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VoIP Systems

CopperCom's Closing Soon

CopperCom is discontinuing its product line, citing a "lack of demand" for its softswitches, sources say.

A source at one of CopperCom's partner companies says the softswitch vendor had contacted customers last week to say that it would cut back operations to maintenance and support of its products.

Light Reading received a copy of an email sent to customers, in which CopperCom CEO Julian Thomson writes that, as of December 14, CopperCom "will no longer market the CSX, CopperCommander, and Switchmaxx/VoiceMaxx product lines."

In a phone call with Light Reading, Thomson confirmed that his company had discontinued product sales.

The decision was "primarily due to a lack of demand for our products," Thomson says. "We looked at our forecasting, our market sizing, and so forth going forward, and the demand simply wasn't there."

While the company will halt sales of its products, Thomson said CopperCom would continue to support customers with support agreements.

"From an organizational standpoint, we did indeed lay off a significant sales and marketing presence," Thomson says. "But we do have the engineering talent still for the company to support the products."

The company, which makes made class 5 softswitches and media gateways, is a subsidiary of Heico Companies LLC. The turnaround specialist bought a controlling interest in the struggling company back in October 2003. (See CopperCom Saved(?) by Heico and CopperCom Gets Bought.)

The parent company was unable to change CopperCom's fortunes, however. Despite a recent change in management -- Thomson took over for former CEO Mike Myers in August 2006 -- the company is effectively ending its sales operations. (See CopperCom Changes CEOs.)

While competitors stand to benefit from one less softswitch vendor in the market, sources say the effect of CopperCom's demise will be minimal. That's because the company hasn't been actively competing in the market for some time.

Taqua LLC CMO Scott Weidenfeller says CopperCom has been absent from most accounts Taqua has bid on, so a discontinuation of its product line won't affect competition much. "It's always good to have fewer competitors, but this is not a watershed moment," he says.

Weidenfeller says many of CopperCom's customers have already "seen the writing on the wall," prompting them to look for replacement vendors. "They've been struggling for a while, and a lot of existing customers have been searching for other products." Weidenfeller says Taqua says it has already won some replacement business in former CopperCom accounts, and similar claims can likely be made by Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS), Nortel Networks Ltd. , and other vendors.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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JenJackson 12/5/2012 | 2:57:17 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon Oh now don't fib in the holiday season. Everyone knows that's the same Taqua product that the company has been selling in the market since 2001. They may be the only company and product that are truly built to last in this market.
trzwuip 12/5/2012 | 2:57:17 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon Couldn't you guys get Nortel or Metaswitch "quotes" on this story? Taqua could be next to close the doors. They have done it 2 times in the past after all. Will the 3rd time be a charm?

Too bad for CopperCom's customers. Cheaper isn't always better way to go! Expensive lesson for some...
whatyadontknow 12/5/2012 | 2:57:16 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon "Everyone knows that's the same Taqua product that the company has been selling in the market since 2001. They may be the only company and product that are truly built to last in this market"
....that is exactly their weakness not strength...no innovation, bad architecture (call control all over the place)and famous low bidder approach. Didnt work for them and we are on strike three and it surely didnt work for CuCom
SPecial_Guy 12/5/2012 | 2:57:16 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon Taqua's website shows Scott Weidenfeller as the CMO, not CEO. Do they not update their website or is the article incorrect?
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:16 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon That was my bad. I mistakenly wrote CEO, not CMO. that has since been corrected.
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:16 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon That was my bad. I mistakenly wrote CEO, not CMO. that has since been corrected.
JenJackson 12/5/2012 | 2:57:15 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon Was strike one 40% marketshare and strike two being acquired for $90M? Can I be the next to strikeout please?

If you want to point out failing architecture, exactly like Coppercomm, look no further than TaquaGÇÖs remaining competitors.
JenJackson 12/5/2012 | 2:57:14 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon Well get out there and sell some then, or there will be no kidney pie or braces for your children this year.
FatherTime 12/5/2012 | 2:57:14 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon There will always be a market for the Walmart's of the world. Low price, limited functionality.
whatyadontknow 12/5/2012 | 2:57:14 PM
re: CopperCom's Closing Soon how they snowed the world and got some market share are many carriers problems now (if a supposed 300 switches is 40% of the market, we sure live in a small world, it is for sure less than <5% in reality). But I know for a fact that many of those next gen switches are now retired/junked...'cause they didnt do what the salesman promised...and we know who those infamous salesman where/are..not surprising.

Technically you need to do your homework for I know of at least one strong competitor that is nothing like either platforms i.e. it has a 100% packet backplane and can actually scale. That is something only Taqua and Coppercom could of dream/dreamed of...
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