CopperCom's Closing Soon

Softswitch vendor is hanging it up, citing lack of demand for its products UPDATED 3:15 PM

December 17, 2007

2 Min Read
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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