Always the bridesmaid, never the bride; that has long seemed the unified communications (UC) market's fate, but new analyst figures suggest the tide might be turning for this technology.
According to Q2 2014 Infonetics Research statistics released by Diane Myers, its principal analyst of the VoIP, UC and IMS markets, the first half of 2014 saw global sales of PBX – whether traditional, hybrid or pure IP – sink six per cent compared with the same quarter a year ago, and shrink one per cent from Q1.
Meanwhile, UC sales continued to grow.
"[Yet] UC applications once again proved their resilience, with worldwide revenue increasing 31 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 over the year-ago quarter as the demand for tools to provide increased productivity and employee flexibility continues to fuel growth," Myers said.
The Q2 report tracks worldwide sales of enterprise UC and voice kit, including PBX phone systems, VoIP gateways, UC applications, and IP phones.
"The trends we reported on the enterprise telephony market in the first quarter of 2014 carried over into the second quarter, with the PBX market continuing to take hits as businesses evaluate cloud alternatives and hold on to existing solutions while investing in UC applications," Myers continued.
Enterprise spending, however, "remained conservative" generally, with firms holding back on telecoms upgrades and expansions.
Microsoft is the top UC vendor, according to Infonetics, and is continuing to expand its telephony footprint.
In other Infonetics reports, cloud PBX and UC services have been predicted to expand to become a $12bn (£7.2bn) market by 2018. A cool $1tn worldwide may be spent on telecoms and data communications equipment and software over the next five years.
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