ACCORDING TO A JULY 2000 REPORT by Cahners In-Stat Group, a lot of corporate Private Branch eXchanges (PBXs) may be shown the door in the next few years. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based research company predicts that more general-purpose communications servers will take its place as integrated communications become more critical to corporate life.
The current market for communications servers sits at around $122 million for 2000, but that number should balloon to $4 billion by 2004, says In-Stat. The reason is that these open-standard servers make it easier to integrate data applications and features, such as LAN-based telephony, than do the current crop of more proprietary PBXs. Communications servers can also be administered like any other application server, and they generally cost less than PBXs.
As a result, In-Stat says it expects to see some of today's little-known communications server vendors' names become more widely recognized in the coming years. It notes, however, that PBX vendors also see the trend and will likely migrate their current PBX offerings toward more open products similar to and better able to compete with communications servers.