Businesses in Australia are increasingly abandoning the traditional PABX based on dedicated, specialised hardware in favour of software-based PABX running on standard hardware - both on-premises and in the cloud.
Research firm Telsyte estimates that on-premise software-defined PABX now represent 10 percent of the total installed base of on-premise PABX systems. A Telsyte survey of 319 CIOs and decision makers found 75 percent of respondents to be equally or more comfortable with a software-defined PABX compared to a dedicated hardware system.
Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda said that software-defined communications was not new, but had grown in prominence recently with new products and services entering the local market and with many manufacturers of dedicated PABX systems now offering virtualised versions of their PABX software that could be run on standard servers.
He added: “There are also a growing number of local enterprise telephony cloud offerings from telco and non-telco service providers which are mostly developed in software in order to scale to service many customers on common, shared infrastructure.”
Telsyte also predicts that the growing popularity of software-defined communications - both on-premise and in the cloud - will encourage the adoption of more unified communications (UC) features in addition to standard voice telephony.
Gedda said: “The penetration of UC among Australian enterprises remains low at less than 10 percent. However, software-defined communications systems are more likely to integrate voice with instant messaging, presence, videoconferencing and email [and] on the client side, more consumers are increasingly familiar with using software for communications including mobile messaging apps and desktop video clients.”
According to another researcher firm, Forrester, reducing human latency in business processes (ie reducing the time to find, connect to and collaborate with experts and decision-makers across an ecosystem) is the key value that UC delivers but “Despite the best intentions, few firms have succeeded when trying to measure the bottom-line business impact of UC deployments.”
However Forrester sees UC uptake increasing as evidence of the benefits it offers grows. “The business value of UC has become clearer as more early adopters have shared their success stories. Examples are now common in healthcare, government, manufacturing, professional services and retail environments,” Forrester says.
“As vendor solutions have matured and there is a better understanding of how firms can incorporate this technology into the daily work routines of their information workers, the demand for these solutions has increased — motivating IT buyers to consider broader and deeper UC deployments.”
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