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  • 11 September 2013 13:50

US leads Australia in hosted IP-PBX adoption

Our remit for this article was to examine the belief that hosted IP-PBX uptake in the US is significantly greater than us. The evidence we were able to uncover suggests that indeed there is somewhat greater enthusiasm in the US for public-cloud based unified communications and collaboration (UCC) - which includes IP telephony - as opposed to private or managed cloud-based. However, when it comes to the uptake of IP-PBX overall, Australia is a world leader.

Our information comes from a global study of the UCC market undertaken earlier this year by Ovum and Dimension Data. It found that, in Australia, 96 percent of businesses surveyed are already using IP-PBX. A breakdown of current installations by premises based, private cloud and public cloud was not provided. However when asked about plans over the next 24 months, five percent of respondents said they were considering hosted or public cloud. Twenty percent nominated private cloud and 98 percent premises based (respondents could select more than one option). The question was somewhat skewed. Respondents were asked: “If you are considering new investment in the following in the next 24 months, which of the following delivery methods would you seriously consider?” Of course, one of the main benefits of a hosted service, like that provided by M5 Networks, is that there is minimal upfront investment, only operating expenses. The report said: “While Australian enterprises expressed some degree of scepticism in the future of the public cloud for UCC, respondents are very keenly interested in the managed services model for UCC, in which the technology is based on-premises, but is managed by a trusted provider.” In the US IP telephony penetration was estimated at 84 percent but the figure on plans for hosted IP telephony over the next 24 months was much higher, 11 percent. The figures for on-premises and private cloud were very similar to Australia, 88 percent and 22 percent respectively. The report noted: “While public cloud UCC services are still largely in their infancy, US decision-makers indicated their openness to the public cloud model, more so than their global peers, who tended to prefer the private cloud model. US firms seem more comfortable with public cloud options.” Ovum’s advice to businesses in both countries was that they should not ignore the cloud options, especially as more become available for large enterprises, but the reported added: “it is clear they are also looking for a services partner to manage their evolving UCC assets and investments.” Globally multi-tenant hosted IP-PBX accounted for just three percent of the total installed base of IP-PBX. Premises-based accounted for the great bulk, 88 percent, and dedicated or hosted private could the remaining nine percent. In compiling the Australian and US editions of the global report, Ovum interviewed 48 large businesses with headquarters in Australia and 54 Australian employee users of UCC. In the US the figures were 129 large businesses with US headquarters and 108 employee users of UCC. All participating companies in both countries had more than 1000 employees.

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