Cisco maintains a narrow edge over Microsoft in the global enterprise collaboration market, according to recent data, but not when it comes to cloud deployments.
The latest figures by industry analyst firm, Synergy Research Group, which capture a snapshot of the global collaboration market for the three months ending December last year, show that Cisco’s market share topped Microsoft’s by a percentage point or more for much of 2017, but narrowed in the fourth quarter.
Cisco’s continued leadership in the collaboration space comes largely due to its dominant position in the on-premises-based solutions space, while also growing its revenues in the growth hosted and cloud market segments, which are generally higher growth areas.
However, Microsoft holds a substantial lead in the hosted and cloud-based collaboration space. Synergy notes, however, that the cloud and hosted side of the collaboration market tends to be more fragmented, with no single supplier achieving a double-digit market share.
Cisco and Microsoft are followed at some distance by IBM and Avaya, with other players such as Mitel, Google, Polycom, LogMeIn and Genesys coming in further behind.
Altogether, the total fourth quarter revenues from the collaboration market, including enterprise voice, unified communications applications, telepresence, email software, enterprise content management, enterprise social networks, and hosted cloud communications, hit an all-time high, nudging US $10 billion.
The 26 percent year-on-year growth in the hosted and cloud-based collaboration space, compared to a four percent decline for the on-premises side of the market, illustrates just how much the market is shifting towards cloud. 
“Collaboration continues to be a somewhat fragmented market that is characterised 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” Synergy Research Group’s founder and chief analyst, Jeremy Duke, said.
“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,” he said.