UC Sales Destroying PBX Market

By TC Doyle Comments
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Unified Communications (UC) is crushing PBX, new research reveals.

In their latest quarterly report on the enterprise Unified Communications (UC) and voice equipment market, which includes PBX phone systems, voice over IP gateways, UC applications and IP phones, Infonetics Research found that UC sales jumped 27 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to one year ago. In contrast, worldwide sales of PBX goods, which includes TDM, hybrid and pure IP, fell by 8 percent compared to a year ago. PBX sales were also down 8 percent sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2013.

Infonetics Research Principal Analyst Diane Myers said the market transition to UC is unmistakably clear. “The enterprise telephony market continues to struggle as businesses hold off new PBX purchases and invest instead in unified communications (UC) applications," she said in a prepared statement. What is more, sales cycles are getting longer, she noted, and pricing is now “all over the map."

During the quarter, one vendor among others stood out for its growth: Microsoft. According to Infonetics Research, Microsoft, which leads the UC market, is “the only vendor in the enterprise telephony segment to post year-over-year revenue growth" in the first calendar quarter of the year.

That could be a big deal in the new few years given how the market is forecasted to grow. Infonetics forecasts VoIP and UC services sales, for example, are expected to increase to $88 billion worldwide by 2018.

As for the shrinking PBX market, Cisco, Avaya and NEC remain market share leaders, though Mitel is moving up. Thanks to its merger with Aastra, it cracked the top four for the first time.

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