John Malone

John Malone | February 27, 2013 |


Eastern Management Group Survey Finds PBX Upgrade Plans Holding Up

Eastern Management Group Survey Finds PBX Upgrade Plans Holding Up Very small declines in US and Canada, while Europe is actually bullish.

Very small declines in US and Canada, while Europe is actually bullish.

The Eastern Management Group's fourth annual Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey of more than 5,000 IT managers should be good news for PBX companies. The new 2013 research study finds that worldwide, 46% of information technology managers are engaged or soon will be engaged in a PBX buying cycle, referred to as an upgrade cycle. While the 2013 survey reflects a modest drop from The Eastern Management Group's 2012 study, overall it presents IT managers as exhibiting strong PBX purchase intent and follow-through.

The annual survey points out areas of opportunity and reports on the overall health of the PBX industry. The survey reports on near-term PBX purchases by customer size, vertical market and world region such as the United States and Canada. The study identifies whether customers are actively implementing a PBX upgrade cycle, planning for one, or are sidelined.

This most recent report shows a global PBX market of more than $40 billion in annual sales. It also shows that there is significant competition as many incumbent vendors strive to increase or maintain market share while new ones continue coming aboard.

U.S. customers who are actively engaged in or planning an upgrade cycle in 2013 dropped more than 2% from the 2012 survey, to 37% this year. Canada likewise declined; except that 40% of IT managers report they are or will soon be buyers, signifying greater strength than the US market.

Western Europe, possibly reflecting some optimism over the economic future, anticipates a good 2013, with a greater percent of IT managers buying and planning to buy than in both the United States and Canada. The number of Western Europe IT managers that will not begin an upgrade cycle in 2013 declined.

In Eastern Europe, the 2013 Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey finds no change from 2012. In both years, 56% of IT managers have said they will enter a buying cycle, reflecting a strong commitment to PBXs as next generation wired and wireless networks fill out.

Select vertical markets show an increase in 2013 purchase plans over the 2012 Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey. Two which are showing strength at a global level in 2013 are retail and manufacturing. In a key vertical market, IT managers of technology companies are expecting one of the largest drops in PBX upgrade cycle programs. The hospitality market is another weak spot.

The SMB market shows unevenness in opportunities by customer size and vertical market, but overall it demonstrates strength. At the enterprise level, the strongest purchase plans are at companies with more than 5,000 employees.

The Eastern Management Group's Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey has observed in recent years that the opportunity for productivity improvement from unified communications features overrides trepidation about the economy. Collaboration, BYOD and other features are seen by numerous IT managers as assets to productivity improvement. This may justify optimism that influences PBX purchasing plans.

About the Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey: Research for the Eastern Management Group's upgrade cycle survey involves more than 5,000 IT managers worldwide. The study is a purchasing measure of expected PBX sales for the forthcoming year. Information is analyzed by customer size, vertical market, and world region. The Eastern Management Group makes data from the survey available to clients. For information about the 2013 Global Upgrade Cycle PBX Survey including customized access to the survey data, contact or The Eastern Management Group at


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