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Global PBX/Virtual PBX Sales Jump as Unemployment Increases: Eastern Management Group

October 31, 2011
By Rajani Baburajan, Virtual PBX Contributor

As unemployment increased worldwide, so did the sales of PBX and virtual PBXs, a recent study from Eastern Management Group revealed. 


While unemployment increased to 8.5 percent in 2010 from 6.1 percent in 2008, purchases of business phone systems jumped 16 percent in North America and 14 percent worldwide to $59 billion, the study shows.

Participants for the research project consisted of over one thousand IT managers, which attributed the increased growth of PBX and virtual PBX sales to the demand for increasing employee productivity, which was the largest catalyst driving 2010 sales.

The research estimates that buyers spent $1,200 per phone, either expecting or following reduction in operating budgets. IP/virtual PBX systems not only reduce operating expenses, but also can simultaneously drive employee productivity. 

Despite economic downturn, global PBX purchases show resiliency. Nine of the world’s 12 largest PBX and virtual PBX companies increased sales in 2010, including Alcatel-Lucent, Mitel and ShoreTel. These 12 PBX vendors support unified communications and collaboration.

As the popularity of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) increases, services like virtual PBX will become integral to business communications. According to Eastern Management Group customer survey, a PBX upgrade cycle for businesses that could last for years has just begun.

Additionally, a recent study from Gartner showed that the influx of next-generation communication tools will gradually lead to the extinction of all versions of the PBX including virtual PBX.

The report finds that currently very few companies leverage comprehensive UC systems like Lync to entirely replace their existing PBXs. Rather, enterprises are relying on partial UC deployments, adding in tools like presence, instant messaging, collaborative workspaces and new conferencing technologies through a piecemeal approach.


Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for virtual-pbx. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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