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The Looming Death of the PBX Means it’s Time to Go all in with UCaaS

If you’re still selling hardware for on-prem PBXs and thinking that the gravytrain will continue to roll for the next few years, think again.  Competition from cloud-based solutions is still accelerating and if you don’t change the way you sell, you’ll be run over.  It’s time to go all-in on cloud. 


Changes in the Market
We’ve known for a while that Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) would eventually consume the PBX market, but now we are seeing the PBX death spiral play out in news in real-time.   As I wrote in this article for TMC, A Channel Wake-up Call from Cisco's Broadsoft Acquisition:

“In 2016, Gartner reported that UCaaS entered the “Early Majority” phase of adoption. And the $1.9 billion acquisition of BroadSoft and $610 million purchase of SD-WAN provider Viptela by Cisco were more nails in the coffin of on-premises equipment sales.”

Another example is the recent merger of Shoretel and Mitel, for which a major driver was Shoretel’s Cloud Connect Platform.  Add on other signs like the bankruptcy of AVAYA, one of the last direct descendants of the original equipment business at Ma Bell (but they’re still doing better than Nortel - interesting to read in 2010 “How dead is Nortel” - Its dead…..), and the writing is on the wall.  You don’t have to take our word for it, or Gartner’s for that matter, all of this activity is proof that the shift is happening and the landgrab for UCaaS is exploding. 

Why You Need to Get in NOW
In the days of selling on-premise PBXs there were 3 key compelling events in the equipment’s lifecycle that were reliable drivers of new sales opportunities every three years or so: 

  • Maintenance contract renewals
  • Version upgrades
  • And equipment end-of-life
These compelling events no longer exist in the cloud world, which means that as these customers move to a UCaaS Solution, they will no longer have a decision to make every three years.  They become locked in.  That plus the scalability of UCaaS which gives a business the ability to grow and expand without changing solutions, means that once that land is taken, it won’t be back in play for a while.  So you better get your share.

Getting Your Share
It’s time to have a talk with your PBX customers.  Explain how, as their equipment comes to its end-of-life, and maintenance contracts need to be renewed, and they want new functionality from upgrades that will never come, they will need to change technology because PBX will not be an option much longer.  This change is imminent and the timeline is accelerating.  You can use the headlines about market changes as your proof points.  By proactively leveraging this information as an impetus to have a strategic conversation about the future of their technology architecture, you’ll be adding value and solidifying your role as a trusted advisor. 

Where to Start
Start with AVANT’s December BattleBriefing: Capitalizing on UCaaS News and Momentum.  We’re bringing together a panel that includes a customer that has made the change to UCaaS, a partner that has pivoted to UCaaS, and leaders from the UCaaS industry to help you learn how to get in now.  You can learn more and register here