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Disruptive technologies fuel expanding communications & collaboration market

5th February 2015

The growth of cloud-based deployment models and context-aware communications solutions is stimulating growth in the next-generation communications & collaboration solutions market.

According to a report by Kable, the global communications & collaboration market was worth US$25.1 billion in 2013 and will grow at a CAGR of 14.8% to reach $50.1 billion by 2018. Evolving solutions such as the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) model are expected to add further impetus to the communications & collaboration market, as enterprises increasingly move towards agile mobility-based communications solutions.

Managed IP PBXs are expected to hold the largest share of the communications & collaboration market, with a market size of $10.6 billion by 2018, registering a healthy CAGR of 19.4% between 2014 and 2018. Meanwhile, enterprises are also adopting IP Centrex and hosted IP PBX solutions to avoid expensive vendor lock-ins. Kable forecasts both the IP Centrex and hosted IP PBX markets to witness reasonable growth rates at 20.5% and 20.8%, respectively, in the same period. 

“Recent developments in the field of unified communications, such as WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) are extending real-time unified communications beyond the confines of the enterprise,” says Renjitha Balkrishan, analyst at Kable. “However, issues relating to security and the high capital investment of communications & collaboration solutions remain the major obstacle for the exponential growth of this market.” 

Cisco leads in vendor market share

Established vendors such as Cisco, Unify, Avaya, Microsoft, and Polycom have all managed to secure a strong foothold in the market and Kable’s vendor market share analysis shows that the top ten vendors accounted for the majority (67%) of the market share in 2013. 

Of the top ten vendors, Cisco has gained a significant lead over its competitors and continues to hold a dominant position in the market due to its strong channel partner base and its ability to cater to hosted and virtualised deployments at lower latencies. Balkrishan adds: “The market is gradually moving towards consolidation as pure-play and emerging communications vendors are acquired by established vendors in this domain as well as other leading ICT vendors who are looking to enter this market.”

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Editor’s notes

All information used in this text is based on the Kable report 'Strategic Focus Report – Communications & Collaboration, Technology and market trends,' available to subscribers of the Kable UK service.


Managed IP PBX – a traditional on-premise IP PBX where the service provider manages the infrastructure.

IP Centrex – a service where the call platform and PBX (Private Branch Exchange, or phone system) features are hosted at the service provider location.

WebRTC - Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is an industry term for an open standard API that provides real-time audio and video communication on WebRTC-enabled browsers and mobile platforms, while eliminating the need for any integration hardware.  

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