Cisco beats Microsoft to punch for collaboration crown – but cloud coming up on the rails

The enterprise collaboration market continues to be well and truly joined; and according to the latest figures from Synergy Research, Cisco ended 2016 as the market leader with Microsoft just behind.

Total revenues – including enterprise voice, unified comms applications, email software, enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise social and cloud comms – hit $9 billion.

As in previous analyses, Cisco dominated premise-based collaboration while Microsoft was on top for hosted and cloud-based. Yet the landscape continues to shift; revenues from premise-based collaboration fell 4% year over year, while cloud and hosted solutions went up by 9%.

IBM finished third in the rankings for the most recent quarter, although Avaya – which of course filed for bankruptcy at the start of this year – held the bronze medal position across the whole year.

Other challengers include Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE), AT&T, Citrix, Mitel, Polycom, UNIFY and Verizon, Synergy added.

“Collaboration continues to be a somewhat fragmented market that is characterised by a long list of disruptive and high-growth companies, with no less than 15 companies achieving full-year growth rates in excess of 20%,” said Synergy Research founder and chief analyst Jeremy Duke. “That level of growth is certainly not matched by the market leaders, with the top 10 companies in aggregate seeing their revenues actually decline somewhat in 2016.

“Looking ahead, we see that new cloud-based applications will continue to disrupt traditional business communication systems, creating strong opportunity for new cloud-based solutions,” Duke added.

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