Software-defined communications set to take off: Survey

Software-defined communications have grown in prominence with new products and services hitting the market

Australian enterprises are adopting software-defined communications systems in favour of hardware PABX appliances enabling more options for on-premise and cloud unified communications, according to analyst firm, Telsyte.

The Telsyte Australian Enterprise Communications Market Study 2014, identified that software-defined communications has passed 10 per cent penetration of the on-premise PABX installed base in Australia and organisations adopting cloud communication services are increasingly relying on software-defined systems.

The research found 75 per cent of IT decision makers are the same or more comfortable with a software-only PABX system compared with a hardware appliance.

Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda, said software-defined communications have grown in prominence recently with new products and services entering the local market, particularly with many vendors now offering virtualised versions of their PABX software.

“Software-defined communications products like those from Asterisk, Cisco, Freeswitch and OpenSER have been around for many years, but more recently Microsoft’s Lync server has caught the attention of IT managers looking for an alternative to a PABX appliance,” Gedda said.

Gedda said there was also a growing number of local enterprise telephony cloud offerings from telco and non-telco service providers which are mostly developed on software in order to scale to service many customers on common, shared infrastructure.

Telsyte predicts the arrival of software-defined communications both on-premise and in the cloud will encourage the adoption of more unified communications (UC) features in addition to standard voice telephony.

“The penetration of UC among Australian enterprises remains low at less than 10 per cent, however, software-defined communications systems are more likely to integrate voice with instant messaging, presence, videoconferencing and email,” Gedda said.

“On the client side, more consumers are increasingly familiar with using software for communications including mobile messaging apps and desktop video clients.”

The Telsyte Australian Enterprise Communications Market Study 2014 surveyed 319 CIOs and IT decision makers on their use of enterprise communications technology – from public softphones to cloud and corporate unified communications (UC) and video conferencing systems.

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