IP-based technology offers businesses increased competitiveness by providing enhanced capabilities. While the high cost of IP-based infrastructure constrains growth in the South African market, the ongoing investment in telecommunications infrastructure will foster development in the IP PBX market in South Africa.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan estimates that the South African IP/PBX market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21,6% between 2008 to 2014.
"The global move to next-generation converged technology is pushing the adoption of IP services in South Africa," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT analyst Mpho Moyo. "Large corporations with multiple-branches nationally or internationally are adopting IP technology in order to leverage their business operations and focus on core competencies."
However, costly investments in legacy equipment are limiting the adoption of pure IP services. Thus, hybrid IP PBXs are more prominent in the market. The growth of the IP PBX market has been further constrained by the limited availability of broadband and personnel with a combination of IT and telecommunication skills to implement the systems.
"As competition escalates, factors such pricing, the uniqueness of services offered and the availability of skilled personnel become crucial," says Moyo. "Customers demand high-quality products that are well priced and accompanied by adequate support."
Early entrants in the market providing a unique offering can gain significant market share. The provision of customer-oriented solutions and establishing strong relationships within the value chain will also strengthen customer loyalty.