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Unified Communications and Collaboration Market Continues to Climb, as only 9% Expect to Return to Office Full-Time

Collaboration and collaborative working continue to be driven by software solutions, as teams maintain their operations across widely dispersed geographies, creating an effective hybrid working solution.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend for hybrid working was on the rise, and there is no going back. Physical locations have diminished in significance and a robust UC&C (unified communications and collaboration) strategy is now the backbone of any successful enterprise.

A new industry report from market research company Futuresource Consulting, who advise clients on all aspects of the collaboration sector, assesses the current UC&C market. The dynamics and future direction of this bullish industry, which experienced 31% global growth in users last year and a 22% increase in revenues, is explored in detail.

Revenue is Lagging Behind Uptake, but Gaining Ground

“UC&C platforms are increasingly where all the work is done,” says Alistair Johnston, Head of Collaboration at Futuresource Consulting. “Last year, millions of users were introduced to platforms for the first time, with some initial apprehension. This has quickly transformed into acceptance and endorsement. Now, for many, remote collaboration is just a way of life.”

The UC&C Platform & Tools report indicates that revenues haven’t grown as quickly as users, as many people are still using free or limited versions. However, as those users upgrade to paid versions, Futuresource expects robust revenue growth over the next few years.

A Fragmented Marketplace

With such explosive growth, the market has become heavily fragmented, with Futuresource identifying a wide range of smaller, fast-growing, more innovative companies who will mark the next wave of UC&C development. Yet, despite the array of offerings, when it comes to revenue there are only a few significant players.

“Together, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google account for more than half of all global revenues,” says Johnston. “When you bundle in Cisco, LogMeIn and RingCentral, that’s 80% of the market covered. These super six are in command of the landscape, despite Chinese providers capturing more than 40% of total global users.”

The UC&C View from the Regions

In terms of user volumes, the Americas takes second position behind China. EMEA takes third place, leading APAC by a comfortable margin. Futuresource expects this gap to increase as adoption in EMEA is rising at a faster rate than all other regions, driven by increased uptake of cloud in the wealthier European countries.

“Our end user research shows that before the pandemic, 40% of people either never, or very rarely worked from home,” says Johnston. “Now only 9% expect to go back to working in an office full-time. The world has changed, pushing UC&C to the forefront of conversations. And while 2020 was an extraordinary year, we expect a CAGR of 16% value growth out to 2025.”

For further information or to purchase the UC&C Platform and Tools Report from Futuresource Consulting, please contact matthew.ledgerwood@futuresource-hq.com

About Futuresource

Futuresource Consulting is a market research and consulting company, providing its clients with expertise in Professional AV, Consumer Electronics, Education Technology, Content & Entertainment, Professional Broadcast and Automotive. Combining strong methodologies and unsurpassed data refinement with in-depth market knowledge and forecasting, Futuresource deliver the latest insights and technological developments to drive business decision-making.

Date Published:

Alistair Johnston

About the author

Alistair Johnston

Alistair leads the Collaboration team at Futuresource Consulting, researching and consulting on the ways we work together, both in the office and remotely.

With a background in both operations and marketing, Alistair is particularly interested in how individuals and companies adapt under conditions of technological and social change.

Alistair has an economics degree from the University in Cambridge, and has previously worked as a business analyst, particularly within the financial sector.

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