Mirroring sequential growth seen in other areas of the ICT industry, it appears as if the UK market for PBX and IP PBX systems is moving in the right direction once again,after analysts at MZA Consulting clocked 7% sequential growth in calendar Q2 and again in calendar Q3.
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Although two consecutive quarters of growth will offer those struggling to sell comms systems some hope, the overall market is still significantly smaller than this time last year, with total sales of 567,000 extensions down 24% on Q3'08.
Predictably, the small business sector was worst hit as nervous small business owners kept their cash where they could see it. The sub 100 extensions market fell 26% year-on-year, with the smallest size segment -11 to 50 extensions - hardest hit, down 30% year-on-year, while the 50 to 100 extensions sector saw a more modest 5% downturn.
The mid-market proved more resilient, with the 101 to 1,000 extension market falling just 15% year-on-year.
Taking advantage of the slump in Nortel sales, Mitel led the UK market during the quarter, scooping 18%, while second-placed Avaya ran away with 17%. Cisco took third place with 15%.
Meanwhile, the incidence of IP PBXs in the wild continued to grow, accounting for 53% of desktop-deployed extensions during the quarter, up from 49% in Q2, and the first time that over half of the extensions deployed in the UK have been IP-enabled.
Penetration rates were highest in the above 100 extensions segment at 78%, with Cisco and Mitel leading in the space, garnering shares of 27% and 25% respectively.
Speaking to MicroScope, MZA general manager Stephanie Watson said that Q3 performance had been better than expected, and predicted that Q4would either see a flat market or slight growth.
"For next year we are predicting growth over 2009, but the concern is that we may have a second dip if the economy doesn't pick up," she added.