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Cisco freezes hiring to cut costs

Source: PTI
November 17, 2008 17:56 IST
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Networking giant Cisco Systems on Monday said it has frozen the hiring process and is adopting a wait and watch policy due to the global slowdown besides cutting costs up to $2 billion through various means.

"As we have earlier said, we have a hiring freeze... Looking at the present scenario, we will not be laying off people," Cisco Systems executive vice-president and chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's India episode.

Elfrink added, Cisco is adopting a wait and watch policy of 6-8 weeks before taking any decisions. It also plans to cuts costs up to $2 billion through measures like slashing travel costs. "We plan to save up to $2 billion by cutting travel costs and other expenses in the current scenario," he said.

Cisco, which has a 30 per cent market share in the Unified Communications (UC) space, is looking at doubling it even as its competitors, Microsoft and Avaya spruce up their product offering.

"We have a share of 30 per cent and will increase it to 60 per cent in the long term. The focus will remain on emerging markets like India to give us the necessary growth," he said.

The global market for UC is estimated to touch $48 billion by 2012. In India, the UC market is still nascent, at about $600 million. But is growing exponentially as the small and medium enterprise segment begins to understand the benefits of deploying UC solutions.

According to a forecast from Frost & Sullivan, the UC market in India is likely to exceed $1 billion by 2010.

Asked about its plans to enter the consumer segment, Elfrink said, "We are focusing on the consumer segment through a programme called connected homes, but it will be difficult for me to talk about the timeline".

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