Unified communication and collaboration solutions set to replace PBX


Unified communication and collaboration solutions will soon be the only option for enterprises, as PBX-based telephone systems are slowly phased out. According to a recent report by Infonetics Research, global enterprise spending on PBX during the first quarter of 2013 was the lowest it has been in over four years. In contrast, spending on UC&C solutions was on the rise during the same period.


Channel Partners Online reported that while PBX systems spending totaled $1.8 billion during the first quarter of this year, this is a 9 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2012 and a 10 percent drop from last year’s first quarter levels. In contrast, UC&C revenues from the first quarter of 2013 are up from the previous quarter and have risen 21 percent over the levels observed during the first quarter of 2012.


“The big squeeze is coming from hyper-competitive price pressure all over, with average revenue per line down across the board,” said Infonetics principal analyst Diane Myers, according to the news source. She added, “Meanwhile, demand for unified communications is increasing in all regions as businesses seek tools to help them boost employee productivity and flexibility.”


Why UC&C is superior to PBX

This shift in communications technology preferences should not come as a surprise, as ever-changing enterprise collaboration demands have made the limited functionality of legacy PBX solutions a detriment to future success. As employees, clients and customers increasingly use a variety of new tools and methods to stay connected and boost business outcomes, companies need a solution capable of meeting these evolving demands. PBX systems – even ones hosted via a cloud computing solution – are typically unable to address all of these variables, which is perhaps the main reason why communications industry consultant Marty Parker called PBX a dead technology in a recent Unified Communications Strategies article.


“The era of a standalone voice communications system is over,” Parker wrote. “From my perspective, this is a pretty clear public answer to a question that has been asked for about 10 years now. The question: Is the ‘PBX’ dead? The answer: Yes.”


Collaboration and communication is more important than ever for businesses, which is why legacy technology is meeting its demise so quickly. Parker theorized that even newer PBX systems will likely be woefully outdated over the next 5 to 10 years. This change is, in part, due to a dawning realization that communications technology is not simply a means to an end, but rather it holds the power to dramatically transform business processes.


As solutions like Ethernet connectivity and mobile devices become more prominent, business communication expectations shift. Since end users are more connected than ever before, they also expect to be able to instantly connect with others and access data from anywhere and at any time – with this mindset helping to determine which companies can best adapt to changing corporate paradigms and which ones are likely to experience decreasing market share. PBX systems are not equipped to handle this influx, which is why unified communication and collaboration is the wave of the future, according to Parker.


Businesses looking to move beyond PBX-based communications and embrace UC&C should turn to an IT consulting services firm like FlexITy to make sure the solution is implemented correctly and is ideally suited for meeting all enterprise needs.