Does open source control 18% of the PBX market?

Has open source taken over the low end of the PBX market, and does it already have nearly one-fifth of the total market?

Following a reader survey and 150 phone calls, an analyst has concluded that open source now has 18% of the PBX market, the vast majority of it Asterisk.

John Malone runs Eastern Management, a Las Vegas-based outfit with a rudimentary Web site claiming it's based in New Jersey. His last prominent role was shilling for what the Bells called "deregulation" in 2001, which turned out to be re-monopolization.

The discrepency on location is explained by the fact Malone's business partner, Robert Saunders, whose title is research director, is located in New Jersey. He may be best known for a release saying an MCI-Qwest merger was a bad idea in 2005.

Malone told No Jitter that his methodology was to first get several hundred surveys completed by the site's readers, to test his questions, and then to send the questions out to about one-tenth of a database with 80,000 industry names on it.

This was followed by calling 51 vendors, calling 100 VARs, and running the data through his own market models.

What he found was a market of 15.88 PBX million lines in which open source had the largest share, followed by Nortel, Cisco and Avaya in that order. The vast majority of open source lines were found in companies with just one or two locations.

Malone's analysis gives Asterisk the most credit for this. He says it has 85% of the open source market, with its Digium affiliate having half the installs. Most of the VARs supporting open source are also small.

I can't tell whether this reflects reality or not, although it sounds quite reasonable. My skepticism has more to do with Eastern's lack of a track record and No Jitter's dedication to the interests of the VOIP market.

So let me just conclude by asking readers whether this reflects what you see in the market? Has open source taken over the low end of the PBX market, and does it already have nearly one-fifth of the total market?

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