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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cisco CEO Chambers Reaches Out to Russia


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Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers

With one of the new economy's most powerful CEOs looking on, local computer hardware maker Aquarius on Wednesday announced its new partnership with John Chambers' Cisco Systems.

Under the deal unveiled in Moscow, Aquarius will assemble servers certified by Cisco, the world's top supplier of Internet infrastructure, and packaged into Cisco's IP telephony solutions sold to firms here.

IP telephony, known in the industry as voice-over IP, allows data, voice and video to be transmitted over a single network infrastructure, centralizing and streamlining businesses' operations.

Chambers, attending Wednesday's launch ceremony at Moscow's Voskhod Research Institute where Aquarius produces its servers, hailed the deal.

"This is a unique partnership between the four entities," he said, referring to both companies, the federal government and Russian educational institutions.

Aquarius manufactured some 7,000 servers in 2002, board chairman Leonid Goldenberg said.

Chambers estimated that the partnership would allow Aquarius to increase server production by 50 percent over the next two years, using conservative targets, or more aggressively, by 100 percent over the next three years.

"IP telephony solutions will be demanded by the market," Goldenberg said.

A government spokesman welcomed the cooperation, attributing its success to warmer relations between the U.S. and Russian governments.

"The future will be formed through such projects," First Deputy Communications Minister Andrei Korotkov said.

Analysts were upbeat about the potential for growth in the sector.

Jason Smolek of the Moscow-based J'son & Partners consultancy called the market for corporate telephony "small but emerging."

"In Russia's case, IP telephony could provide cost savings," he said.

According to J'son & Partners estimates, the domestic market for corporate IP telephony equipment was worth almost $10 million in 2002.

Along with Cisco, 3Com and Avaya are leading vendors.

At a meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, Chambers announced that his company would expand its training programs for network specialists over the next three years, tripling the country's number of Cisco Network Academies.

Thirty-four such academies exist, training a total 1,000 network specialists.