VoIP Systems

Sonus Looks East

2:45 PM -- VOIP systems specialist Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS), like any self-respecting telecom vendor, is training its sights on the growing business opportunities in emerging markets and is on the hunt for a partner in Russia, and possibly also in China.

The company's cheery VP of corporate marketing, Jocelyn Lynds Philbrook, tells Light Reading during a whirlwind visit to London that success elsewhere in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), where the company has taken on extra staff in Dubai, France, and Spain, is fueling further ambitions, with Russia looking particularly ripe for plunder (my words, not Philbrook's). (See Sonus Nears NGN Role at Colt, Sonus Boasts VOIP Leadership, Sonus Eyes Euro Growth, and Sonus Fills BT's IMS Hole.)

During the company's recent first-quarter earnings conference call, Hassan Ahmed, currently CEO, president, chairman, and head of stuff, noted that Europe is the company's second largest zone for orders.

He said that deployments are underway currently at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) -- where Sonus is "working diligently to meet their aggressive deployment timeline" -- Cable and Wireless plc (NYSE: CWP), Carphone Warehouse Group plc (London: CPW), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s business services arm T-Systems International GmbH , Orange (NYSE: FTE), and Interoute Communications Ltd.

And the company, which has pretty much refreshed all its leading executive positions in recent months, is looking further east, too. Having already picked up business in India, Malaysia, and Japan, China is now part of the expansion plan as well, though Philbrook notes that Sonus needs "a solid strategy" for that market: "We've got to be careful about margins."

So what about all those top-level changes, including the appointment of a new CEO/president (leaving Ahmed with only his chairman badge to shine)? Did the board decide on a big spring clean to freshen up the company? (See Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus, Gaynor Lands at Sonus, and Sonus Changes Sales Chief .)

Philbrook says the decisions to replace the company's CEO, CFO, and head of sales were not related, and that each decision was for a different reason. "You can't lump them together," she says.

Can't? Now there's a challenge...

Sonus stock is trading at $4.29 today, up 2 percent.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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