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Open Source PBX Gaining Momentum in Price Sensitive Market

February 02, 2009
By Susan J. Campbell, Virtual PBX Contributing Editor

Open Source PBX is enjoying substantial growth according to a recent Eastern Management Group study. “2009 Open Source PBX Market Forecast” reported that Open Source PBXs accounted for 18 percent of the 15.88 million line market for business telephone systems in North America in 2008.


This reported market share represents a 40 percent growth of Open Source PBXs in the last year alone. As a result, Open Source now accounts for a larger slice of the market than any single manufacturer of PBXs, and eight percent more than Nortel, the largest traditional vendor.
 
"A market shift is under way and has been since Open Source PBXs arrived", said John Malone CEO of the Eastern Management Group, in a Monday statement. "Traditional telephone system manufacturers are now, largely unknowingly, competing for a bigger share of a shrinking market."

Users can gain access to Open Source PBX simply by downloading it from the Internet for free. The study highlighted that this method has led to a traditional – and incorrect – thinking that the existence of Open Source PBX is solely in laboratories and technology companies.
 
To point out the reality in the market, Malone noted, "When the fog lifts, we find Open Source is the PBX of choice for a large and growing share of the commercial marketplace."

According to Eastern Management Group, Open Source PBXs are used in every industry and 40 percent of those businesses that installed an Open Source PBX in 2008 were not technology companies.

Those companies taking advantage of this technology are organizations such as Government, Schools, Retail, Medical and Finance. Both large and small businesses are installing one or more Open Source PBXs. Hundreds of companies surveyed who have installed the technology have more than a thousand employees and dozens have more than 20,000.

The growth of Open Source PBXs has been primarily driven by its inexpensive price. Systems are proving to be 40 percent below that of a traditional PBX or key system, making it a compelling solution for IT managers who may not have considered such a solution in the past.

As budgets are shrinking, decision makers are re-thinking strategies and solutions, searching for alternative ways to do business which may have been overlooked in the past. The attractive price point and ease of integration of Open Source PBX is gaining the attention of IT managers who are taking a closer look at what the technology has to offer. As Open Source PBX continues to gain traction, competitors will need to take notice, respect the threat and search for ways to effectively compete.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for virtual-pbx and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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