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Unified Communications Market Fumbles in 2013 but is on the Rise Overall

August 29, 2013

With unified communications virtualization soaring — according to Avaya, which recently reported that its Aura Virtual Environment saw more than 200 percent quarterly growth this year — it’s no wonder that the enterprise unified communications and voice equipment market is in the state it is. Indeed, the latest vendor market share forecasts from Infonetics Research paint an interesting picture for the space during the second quarter.

Despite the comeback the market experienced toward the end of last year, the first half of 2013 resulted in an overall downward trend — although the situation is far from clear-cut. For example, while North America actually posted both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth during Q2 — a result of improving economic conditions — Asia Pacific revenue declined in the double digits both sequentially and in year-over-year terms.

Meanwhile, worldwide revenue for enterprise PBXs — TDM, hybrid and pure IP — fell by 9 percent in the second quarter as compared to the same period in 2012, reaching $1.81 billion. And yet, Cisco managed to post a sequential gain in enterprise PBX revenue during the quarter, resulting in increased share of the global market. This is Cisco’s eighth consecutive quarter at the top of the market in terms of revenue share.

“Slower demand and competitive pricing pressure delivered a one-two punch to the enterprise PBX market in the first half of 2013,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research. “The slight recovery we saw late in 2012 hasn’t extended into the current year. Telephony spending remains stagnant as businesses rely on existing solutions.”

While this would seem to suggest that unified communications as a whole are down, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, Myers went on to add that worldwide unified communications revenue grew 168 percent in the second quarter compared to Q2 2012 – again suggesting that virtualized UC is on the rise.

Edited by Alisen Downey