Cisco and Microsoft battle it out for top as the enterprise collaboration market nears $10bn

Cisco and Microsoft battle it out for top as the enterprise collaboration market nears $10bn

Cisco holds a narrow lead over Microsoft throughout Q4 of the enterprise collaboration market, according to new figures from Synergy Research Group.

Cisco held a stable market share over the course of 2017, while Microsoft’s share gradually grew as the year progressed. Cisco held its lead over Microsoft by approximately a percentage point over the first three quarters, but tis fell to noticeably less than a percentage point in Q4.

“Cisco and Microsoft clearly set themselves apart as large-scale vendors whose portfolios span multiple major segments of the market and whose activities span the globe. Cisco is a clear market leader in North America and APAC regions, while Microsoft has a lead in EMEA and Latin America,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group’s founder and chief analyst.

IBM and Avaya hold the third and fourth positions, which are quite a distance behind the two leaders. According to the findings Cisco’s leadership has been thanks largely to its dominant position in premise-based solutions while also growing its revenues in hosted/cloud market segments. Microsoft also holds a strong lead in hosted/cloud market collaboration but hasn’t achieved the same kind of market dominance because in comparison to the on-premise market, the hosted/cloud market is more fragmented with no single supplier achieving a double-digit market share.

In addition to Cisco, Microsoft, IBM and Avaya, other major players in the enterprise collaboration market include: Mitel, Google, Polycom, LogMeIn, Genesys, AT&T, Verizon, RingCentral, UNIFY and ALE.

“Collaboration continues to be a somewhat fragmented market that is characterized by a long list of disruptive and high-growth companies and we are now having to track 160 different vendors and service providers in order to really understand the market,” added Duke.


The total Q4 revenues for collaboration reached an all-time high hitting approximately $10 billion. The collaboration market includes: enterprise voice, UC applications, telepresence, email software, enterprise content management, enterprise social networks and a range of hosted/cloud communications and applications.

Revenues from hosted/cloud solutions was up 26% in Q4 compared to the same quarter in 2016. Revenue from premise-based systems declined 4% for the same period. In addition, teamwork applications – like Cisco’s Spark and Slack, cloud/hosted email, cloud file sharing and contact centre as-a-service, also saw strong growth throughout the quarter. Vendors Zoom, Fuze, RingCentral, Five9, Vonage, BlueJeans, Polycom and 8x8, saw its Q4 revenues grow by 20% or more, year-on-year.

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