Is Hosted IP PBX Business Finally Getting Major Traction?

In any new market, for any new product or service, one typically looks for signs that adoption is about to move from early adopters to the mass market. Quite often, in the consumer space, that happens when total adoption reaches 10 percent of households. There obviously is no direct business-to-business product.

But one wonders whether hosted IP PBX, hosted IP telephony or unified communications as a service (you can pick your preferred nomenclature) has passed an important inflection point, at least in the U.S. market.

At the moment, hosted IP telephony providers seem to be seeing relatively strong double-digit rates of growth, at least in the U.S. market, with an average of about 20 percent revenue growth, per year. Even if one concedes that some of that growth comes from a low installed base, that is healthy.

That growth would stand in some contrast to some estimates of broader unified communications and collaboration revenue growth, which by some estimates continues to be a slow-growing market or alternatively a smallish segment of the communications or information technology markets. 

Of course, it always is difficult to ascertain with precision what revenue elements get included in the UC and C market. Many such estimates, especially in the smaller business market, include access revenue, since the broadband connection is bundled with the unified communications features and voice service.

Still, the reported 20 percent growth for hosted voice suggests it is possible an important adoption hurdle has been leaped.

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