Blame some of it on the TDM-to-IP transition, but a lot of the reason that Hosted PBX sales are increasing is due to the large number of service providers offering it. Today, CoreDial tweeted, "Sales of #hostedPBX and #unified #communication services rose 13% in 2013." This is just a response to Infonetics 2014 VoIP report, in which the research firm projects that UC and VoIP (including residential) will grow to $88B globally. It is currently at $68B. That's global.
When you think about cellular voice, it's Voice over IP, especially the new flavor of VoLTE. All those voice enabled chat apps (like Skype, WhatsApp, etc.) are VoIP. Cable voice is VoIP. FiOS voice is VoIP. It's all going to be VoIP, so this forecast is fudge.
Infonetics reports that SIP Trunking grew 50%. TDM is going away; and PRIs are being replaced with SIP Trunking. Again cable voice services are SIP trunks. This isn't great shakes, except maybe to Broadsoft who would like more seats and less trunks sold. Acme Oracle and the other SBC players are happy to see that number climb though.
"Sales of hosted PBX and unified communication (UC) services rose 13% in 2013 over 2012, and seats grew 35% due to continued demand for enterprise cloud-based services." That seems like mixed metaphors. demand for Hosted PBX is due to demand for enterprise cloud? How? The Enterprise, according to most data, is looking for private cloud, which would suggest IP-PBX boxes being deployed in a data center (which would support the growth in collocation) and carried over MPLS (or IP-VPN) networks.
VoIP Logic in its announcement about them being a PAAS provider now* stated they had 40,000 seats deployed. 8x8 had 36,700 business customers last quarter taking 20 services on average. The ARPU of $274 suggests just less than 10 seats each, so 367K seats.
[* how many keywords can you add to an article?]
Comcast reports that the market for HPBX is $1.5B for them and that they should have 3 Million seats sold by 2016!!!
On the small end you have providers with less than 300 customers - so maybe 2K seats of some kind (but probably asterisk seats). The top bracket is above 250K seats - like 8x8 and Comcast. A handful at the top; another handful from 75K - 250K; and an over-whelming majority under 50K seats.
This report is great for investors and when SPs need to get money, but the real data should be how many are selling cheap seats, how much margin is there per sale, average price per seat sold. Why? Because all I hear is how it's mainly about cheap voice and most users barely use 3 (let alone 7) features -- so how much of the HPBX could have just been a SIP trunk?