Cisco Systems today announced that it has shipped its one millionth Internet Protocol (IP) telephone in Europe. The recipient is Bankernes EDB Central (BEC), a leading Danish technology provider to 78 banks in the country. The millionth IP phone is part of a shipment of 6,000 IP phones being installed over the next three years, making this the single largest IP telephony project in Denmark to date.
To mark this milestone, Tim Stone, Head of IP Communications Marketing for EMEA, Cisco Systems, awarded Leo Svendsen, Director, BEC, with a commemorative phone at a special ceremony at BEC headquarters in Roskilde, Denmark on 9th August.
With the majority of BEC's customers being small to medium-sized banks in Denmark, it is important the solutions provided to them are cost effective and installed with minimum disruption to business. In a close alliance with Cisco Systems and NetDesign, a leading Danish IT and telephony systems integrator, BEC now has the full capability to deliver IP enabled solutions including data centres, PCs, routers and operational systems, which Danish banks of any size can take advantage of.
Leo Svendsen, Director, BEC, said: "We're greatly honoured to receive the one millionth Cisco IP phone here in Roskilde. All the members of BEC, comprising 78 financial institutions, have chosen to invest in IP telephony. I'm sure that Cisco technology will help our customers to improve processes whilst reducing process costs. The merging of telephony and IT opens up a whole new way of serving banking customers, for example through offering video conferencing and the ability to document telephone conversations. I'm sure our members will gain competitive advantages - not only through cost savings but also through the introduction of new services."
Chris Dedicoat, senior vice president, Cisco Systems EMEA, said "We are very proud to be announcing the shipment of the one millionth IP phone in EMEA. This is a perfect example of how we are spreading the word on IP Telephony - not only will one company be affected, but 78 BEC customers will experience the benefits of easier and more cost effective converged telephony."
The first stage of the roll out will commence in early October, and will involve the deployment of 700 predominantly Cisco 7940G IP phones to BEC's offices, plus 800 IP phones to two customer locations, Diba and Forstaedernes Bank. All banks expect to fully migrate to IP telephony by 2007.
In addition, Cisco and NetDesign will provide BEC with an IP Contact Centre for 500 agents, offering BEC customers a hosted contact centre service.
The implementation of advanced end-to-end reliable Cisco IP Communications services to financial organisations improves process, reduces process costs, optimises resource allocation, and helps to achieve compliance right through the organisation.
The new system will enable BEC's customers to move to IP telephony as a hosted deployment, to benefit from reduced telephony costs through increased efficiencies and lowered maintenance costs.
The shipment of Cisco's millionth IP phone in Europe marks a major milestone in IP telephony, demonstrating Cisco's strong and sustained market momentum in this area. In Western Europe, according to IDC, Cisco ships 49% of all IP telephony products, which are a part of the enterprise telephony market. Cisco has over 14,500 IP Communications customers globally and has sold over 3 million phones worldwide.
About IP telephony
Voice over IP (VoIP) defines a way to carry voice calls over an IP network including the digitization and packetization of the voice streams. IP Telephony utilizes the VoIP standards to create a telephony system where higher level features such as advanced call routing, voice mail, contact centers, etc., can be utilized.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a peer-to-peer, multimedia signaling protocol developed in the IETF. SIP is ASCII-based, resembling HTTP, and reuses existing IP protocols (DNS, SDP, etc.) to provide media setup and teardown. Since its first publication in 1999, SIP has generated a high level of interest in the VoIP industry, and many people believe that SIP will become the de facto standard protocol for future voice networks.