New Q4 data from Synergy Research Group shows that Cisco maintains a narrow lead over main challenger Microsoft in the enterprise collaboration market. Cisco’s worldwide market share was relatively stable over the four quarters of 2017, while Microsoft share nudged up as the year progressed. Cisco market share topped Microsoft by a percentage point or more over the first three quarters, but narrowed to substantially less than a percentage point in Q4. The two are followed at a distance by IBM and Avaya. Cisco’s leadership is thanks in large part to maintaining a dominant position in premise-based solutions while also growing its revenues in the much higher growth hosted/cloud market segments. Microsoft holds a strong lead in hosted/cloud collaboration, though this side of the market is more fragmented with no single supplier achieving a double-digit market share, in contrast to the on-premise market. Beyond the top four vendors, other major players in the market include Mitel, Google, Polycom, LogMeIn, Genesys, AT&T, Verizon, RingCentral, UNIFY, and ALE.

Total Q4 revenues from collaboration – which includes enterprise voice, UC applications, telepresence, email software, enterprise content management, enterprise social networks, and a range of hosted/cloud communications and applications – reached an all-time high at just shy of $10 billion. Revenues from hosted/cloud solutions continue to grow strongly — up 26% in Q4 compared with the final quarter of 2016 — while revenue from premise-based systems declined 4%. During the quarter particularly strong growth was seen in teamwork applications, cloud/hosted email, cloud file sharing, and contact center as a service (CCaaS). Teamwork applications is an emerging and super-high growth area that features Cisco's Spark and vendors like Slack. Substantial vendors whose Q4 revenues grew by 20% or more year-on-year include Zoom, Fuze, RingCentral, Five9, Vonage, BlueJeans, Polycom, and 8x8.

“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” said Jeremy Duke, founder and chief analyst, Synergy Research Group. “That being said, 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.”