Open source PBXs make corporate gains; how much is a debate

Open source IP PBX studies show gains but numbers vary wildly
  • (Network World)
  • — 02 March, 2009 07:58

Infonetics did find that the worldwide growth of PBX sales did grow 1 percent last year, but that growth figure was also a drop from the 7 percent growth it reported the year before. "I would say it was the economy," he says, not the incursion of open source alternatives that accounts for the decline.

Machowinski said open source PBX vendors should be willing to claim such numbers. "If this is really the case, why won't companies like Digium report what their line shipments are?" he says. "You'd think that would be something they'd like to provide."

Bill Miller, vice president of product management for Digium, which sells commercial Asterisk products and peripherals, says all the company knows for sure about the software s the number of downloads, but not whether they are actually used.

But he has estimates based on downloads and the purchase of peripherals such as line cards and codecs for the systems that give an indication of what I actually in use. He puts that number at 2.7 million lines installed in North America last year, which is more than Eastern Management's estimate. He estimates that just 5 percent of the downloaded Asterisk PBX software is in production use at businesses.

Machowinski says that someone could install a free open source IP PBX but that doesn't necessarily mean they would have bought one from a proprietary vendor if there were no open source alternatives. So the 18 percent that use open source might not represent a loss to the leading non-open-source PBX vendors. "Even if it's 18 percent, does it displace 18 percent of the market?" he says.

Malone acknowledges the difficulty of accurately measuring open source PBX use. The software can be downloaded anonymously with no way to know if it is ever put into a live business network, he says.

The open source study is the most massive one his firm has undertaken in 30 years. It relied on using raw download numbers plugged into an analysis model built based on responses the firm got from those surveyed as one predictor of the market.

Malone says that within three weeks he will have complete 2008 PBX sales data provided by manufacturers to plug into his calculations that will result in refined 2009 projections.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Topics: open source, pabx
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?