Cisco Systems freezes hiring to cut $2 billion in costs

New Delhi: Global networking giant Cisco Systems has said that it has put in place a hiring freeze, and would now wait and watch the global economic turmoil, as it slashes costs of around $2 billion.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's India event, Cisco's chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink said the company has a hiring freeze in place, though it would not be laying off people in the present scenario. He said the company would wait and watch for around eight weeks before deciding a further course of action.

Cisco Systems is also looking at cost cutting measures of up to $2 billion by addressing overheads such as travel costs and other expenses. Cisco has a 30 per cent market share in the Unified Communications (UC) space, which basically integrates all forms of communications systems. Elfrink said that Cisco will look at doubling this share to 60 per cent over the long term while focusing on emerging markets such as India to provide the company with the necessary growth.

Estimates in the media put the size of the global market for unified communications at around $48 billion by 2012, even as the market is still in its nascent stages in India, notching up around $600 million.

However, estimates say that the market here is growing exponentially, with small and medium businesses increasingly deploying the solutions. Business research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan is reported to have estimated the size of the unified communications market at $1 billion by 2010.