Enterprise PBX/call control market falls sharply in Q1 2014

The market for PBX/call control extensions and licenses (excluding micro PBX products) fell by 9% year-on-year in CY Q1 2014 (January to March 2014 inclusive), and 6% year-on-year for the rolling year (April 2013 to March 2014 inclusive), according to MZA's Q1 2014 market analysis.

The global dip in Q1 2014 was largely driven by an 11% year-on-year decline in the enterprise market (solutions with above 100 extensions/licenses), while over the rolling year this market declined by 5% year-on-year.

Moreover, there were global year-on-year volume declines in the below 100 market (solutions with 100 or below 100 extensions/licenses) over the quarterly and rolling year periods. This market witnessed a 6% decline in Q1 2014 and over the rolling year.

According to MZA the market in North America drove much of the global decline, falling by 17% year-on-year in Q1 2014, with solutions above 100 extensions/licenses falling by 23%. "Deployments in enterprise may have slowed more significantly due to the frigid North American winter, as US GDP contracted for the first time in three years," said MZA analyst Will Parsons.

More moderate declines ranging between 3% and 10% were felt in the other regional markets, with the exception of the Eastern European market which barely bounced back (up 0.1% year-on-year) from a poor quarter in Q1 2013. "Notably, in the quarter total extensions/licenses in North America fell below Western Europe for the first time since Q4 2012," added Parsons.

The increasing development of pure mobile and multi-tenant alternatives and restrictions to credit since the global financial crisis has had some effect on the below 100 licenses/extensions market over the last few years, and in Q1 2014 all regions witnessed declines for a second successive quarter.

The most significant year-on-year declines were in the Middle East and Africa and Latin America which fell by 13% and 15% respectively, helping to drive a decline of 6% in the below 100 extensions/licenses market (excluding Micro PBX products) globally.

Significant declines in North America, Asia Pacific and Western Europe in the above 100 extensions/licenses market drove this segment to its largest decline in recent years, down by 11% year-on-year. "These three regions account for over 80% of all licenses sold in the enterprise sector, and although there was year-on-year growth witnessed in Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa, this had a limited impact in preventing the double-digit global decline," observed Parsons.

NEC became the leading vendor in the global PBX extensions/licenses market (excluding Micro PBX products) in Q1 2014 with a market share of 13%, flat year-on-year. Compared to Q1 2013, NEC remained ahead of Avaya but overtook Cisco with the two American vendors placed in second and third positions with market shares of 12% and 11% respectively. "NEC's continued strength in Asia Pacific, as well as strong share growth in North America helped it to maintain global market share and take top position," noted Parsons.

"The weakness of the North American market had a comparatively stronger impact on the global performance of Avaya and Cisco, as over 40% of each vendor's voice licenses are usually sold every quarter to their home regional market."

Significantly, Mitel, following the Aastra merger, moved into fourth position in the global market with an 8% market share, up one percentage point on Mitel and Aastra combined in Q1 2013. Moreover, Mitel climbed places to reach fourth position in both the below 100 and above 100 extensions/licenses market (excluding Micro PBX products).

MZA's report noted that NEC retained its Q1 2013 global leadership in solutions below 100 extensions/licenses (excluding Micro PBX products) in Q1 2014, repeating its 17% market share. "Although sales represented a volume decline in Asia Pacific against a very strong quarter in Q1 2013, NEC performed well in its home region and improved its volume growth in North America, Latin America and Western Europe," commented Parsons. "Panasonic held off a strong challenge from Avaya to retain second position, with both vendors holding 11% shares."

Cisco remained the market leader in the Q1 2014 above 100 extensions/licenses market with a reduced 21% share, while Avaya remained in second position maintaining a 12% slice of the cake. NEC retained third position with an unchanged 9% market share.

When looking at the global PBX/IP PBX market over the rolling year (April 2013 to March 2014 inclusive), with the exception of Eastern Europe every regional market declined at relatively similar rates (between 4% and 6% year-on-year). "Eastern Europe declined by 9% year-on-year, reflecting the continued weakness of Russian economy the largest market in the region, and the political situation in Ukraine," added Parsons.

The positions of the top six vendors were unchanged in the rolling year. Cisco retained its global lead in the total extensions/licenses market with a 12% share, down two percentage points year-on-year. Cisco was closely followed by Avaya in second position also with a 12% share, while NEC remained third with a market share of 10%, down one percentage point year-on-year.

NEC continued to lead the below 100 extensions/licenses market (excluding Micro PBX products) over the rolling year, with Panasonic closely behind with both vendors recording a 13% market share. Avaya improved market share, recording an 11% market share. Also during this period Cisco continued to lead the above 100 extensions/licenses market, followed by Avaya, Unify and NEC with the top four vendors unchanged in terms of market positions. Microsoft and Huawei continued to close the gap in fifth and sixth positions gaining one percentage point each in market share.

The global IP extensions/licenses market declined by 8% year-on-year in Q1 2014, at a slightly slower rate than the total market (IP and TDM solutions), driven by the market declines in North America where IP extensions account for the vast majority of extensions to the desktop. As a result, and against the expected trend, the global IP penetration rate (the % of IP extensions into total extensions to the desktop) remained at 43% against Q1 2013 and fell sequentially from 46% in Q4 2013.

Middle East and Africa saw the sharpest rise in IP penetration from 30% in Q1 2013 to 37% in Q1 2014, as Avaya and Mitel saw some strong growth in IP deployments.

Cisco continued to lead the global IP extensions/licenses market with a reduced 22% market share over the quarter, closely followed by Avaya which achieved an 18% market share. Mitel took a 10% market share, gaining percentage points as a consequence of the merger with Aastra.

"Over the rolling year (April 2013 to March 2014 inclusive) the top three positions in IP deployments were taken by Cisco, Avaya and Mitel," concluded Parsons. "Cisco remained in front with a reduced 24% market share, followed by Avaya who recorded a 17% share, up one percentage point."

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