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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.

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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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