A mixture of market forces has forced the number of system sales announcements for telecom IT (BSS/OSS) solutions to drop markedly in 2006.
According to a report by research firm Analysys, there were only 456 system sales announced globally in 2006, compared with 569 in 2005 and 514 in 2004.
"We're still in a tough market but the decline in system sales announcements isn't indicative of another recession," stated Teresa Cottam, the report's author.
"The decline is being caused by a combination of market factors, such as mergers and acquisitions on the supply side of the market, consolidation on the demand side and the investment cycle moving from system selection and purchasing to system implementation."
The report, according to Analysys, was done to examine how changing dynamics in the telecoms IT market are affecting investment patterns globally and how these changing patterns are reshaping the supply side of the market.
In the study, it was found that CRM and order management system sales remained strong in 2006, while billing, revenue assurance and mediation system sales fell significantly.
"Except in Africa and the Middle East, there appears to be a switch in investment away from systems related to cash and toward those concerned with customers," it said.
In North America, the report noted that there was a significant fall in the number of announced sales of service provisioning and inventory management systems. "There was significant supply-side consolidation in this market during 2006," the report said.
The reported also revealed that a small number of vendors dominate the global market: the top ten vendors accounted for around 36% of all system sales announced in 2006, with the top vendor now accounting for nearly 10% of the global total.