Migration to Unified Communications Slowed but Not Deterred by Deep Recession

Synergy Research Group announces the publication of a series of Q1 2009 Collaborative Applications Market Share & Analysis Reports. The worldwide market for Collaborative Applications in Q1 2009 amounted to $913.3 million in sales. In general, the extended pause in enterprise telephony sales continues while prospects and customers await the recovery of the global economy, assess the effects on their budgets and postpone buying decisions directly affecting Collaborative Application sales.

“We believe those vendors that are in a strong strategic position, such as Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Siemens, ShoreTel and Mitel, are in good shape to weather the present business environment and provide a strong UC migration story,” said Jeremy Duke, CEO, Synergy. “Those vendors that are more exposed and are displaying challenges with market share progress and in addressing other significant industry issues, include 3Com, Aastra, Nortel, NEC, and Toshiba.”

Q1 2009 Collaboration Applications - UC Desktops Sold


Rankings Q-Q Change Y-Y Change
Avaya 1 -18.5% -14.1%
Cisco 2 -33.3% -21.7%
Siemens 3 -11.0% -3.0%
Alcatel-Lucent 4 -29.3% -23.1%
Microsoft 5 -28.1% -12.6%
Nortel 6 -28.9% -24.9%

Synergy defines Collaborative Applications as a collection of network-based applications that facilitate the working together of two or more individuals regardless of physical location. For current quantitative measurements, the Synergy Collaborative Applications market segment include the following sub-categories: UC Desktop, Presence Management, Instant Messaging, Desktop Web/Video/Audio Conferencing Unified Messaging, and Mobile 2.0 applications. For definitions of each, please refer to the report.

The biggest growth market in Collaborative Applications is what Synergy has defined as UC Desktops. Synergy defines a UC Desktop as a user workspace having the minimum requirements of access to voice telephony (PBX/KTS/dial tone) and integrated presence management and instant messaging capabilities. A UC Desktop can be made up of a tightly integrated, single vendor solution combining voice telephony and presence/IM or a multi-vendor telephony and presence/IM solution integrated into a unified worker’s desktop. UC Desktops can be stratified into three levels of functionality: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.

Further Synergy breaks the UC Desktop into the two-market sizing categories of Enterprise and Small Medium Business (SMB). Synergy defines Enterprise as those systems that ship with 150 lines or more, and conversely defines SMB as those systems that ship with fewer than 150 lines.

“In the SMB category, ShoreTel continues to grow its UC offering and carve a leadership position in the market in the face of significantly larger competitors,” said Ken Landoline, VP of Research, Synergy. “Although ShoreTel, compared to its competitors, has challenges with brand name recognition, international presence, and a limited service provider reseller channel, ShoreTel has optimized on current market conditions with Nortel’s market challenges and the company is moving ahead aggressively with channel build out and international expansion.”

Q1 2009 SMB UC Desktops Sold

Rankings Q-Q Change Y-Y Change
ShoreTel 1 -19.2% +3.8%
Cisco 2 -28.6% +8.3%
Avaya 3 -14.8% +16.3%
Siemens 4 -8.8% +5.6%
Alcatel-Lucent 5 -24.2% -11.0%
Mitel 6 -14.0% -37.2%

Interesting trends spotted in the Q1 2009 and analyzed in the report include

  • Social Networking continues to be a hot topic of discussion as UC vendors look to interface or incorporate Social Networking applications into their UC offerings.

Average Selling Price in the UC Desktop market, which has been holding steady over the past six months, dropped slightly in Q1 2009 indicating the growing competitive nature of the industry.

Conferencing bucked the decreasing trend in collaborative applications by growing revenues 7% quarter to quarter. This is on top of a 5% growth in revenues in Q4. Conferencing (web, video and audio) still shows good growth as corporations continue to spend on technologies that are perceived to have relatively short-term returns on investment and a positive effect on employee efficiencies.