Collaboration Tools – Thematic Research

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Collaboration Tools Market Overview

The communications and collaboration (C&C) market was worth more than $270 billion in 2020 and is expected to record a CAGR of more than 2% during 2021-2025. The services segment had the highest share of the total C&C revenue in 2020, followed by software, and hardware. Software will be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period followed by hardware, and services. Asia-Pacific led the C&C market in 2020, followed by North America, and Western Europe.

Given the change in employees’ personal communication habits over the years, most employees are switching to messaging and collaboration platforms instead of emails or voice calls, to the extent that a new set of enterprise software tools has emerged, including Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom.

Overview of the communications and collaboration market

Overview of the communications and collaboration market

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What are the main trends shaping the communications and collaboration market in the recent future?

Technology trends

Big tech companies are championing the metaverse-a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios-as the ideal environment to support hybrid working.

AI is a central technology underpinning the next generation of collaboration tools, assisting workers by reducing information overload and extracting the insights that help them make informed decisions.

Cloud is a key enabler of the digital workplace for enterprises. This includes offering an enhanced application experience for remote workers and driving productivity through cloud-based collaboration tools.

Macroeconomic trends

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, a hybrid work model is emerging, with many employees splitting their time between home and the office. Collaboration tools will be critical to support this new approach and prevent the emergence of a two-tier workforce, where remote workers are at a disadvantage compared to their office-based colleagues.

Vendors offered free trials or enhanced versions of their pre-existing free services, and collaboration tools became ubiquitous. In addition, the myriad of logistical challenges amid the pandemic boosted rapid innovation and pushed businesses to review and upgrade their communication systems.

Enterprise software vendors have pursued M&A deals to beef up their collaboration and communication offerings for the hybrid workforce.

Regulatory trends

In today’s digital economy, many online services are provided for free, but customers are required to hand over personal data and suffer other non-material costs, such as reduced security and privacy violations. Increasingly, regulators are shifting their focus from investigating monopolistic practices in product markets to investigating abuses relating to customer data.

Big tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are leaders in the technologies enabling the future of work, including collaboration tools. Consequently, they are subject to regulatory oversight for their dominant position.

Which regions lead the global communications and collaboration market?

Asia-Pacific is the largest regional market, with revenue estimated at $100 billion in 2020, equivalent to more than 35% of the total C&C sector. Asia-Pacific’s large enterprise markets, particularly in Japan and China, and the increasing availability of high-speed mobile broadband services help make it the largest regional market for C&C tools.

North America is the second-largest regional market, with an estimated market size of more than $85 billion in 2020. The strongest growth between 2020 and 2025 will come from the Middle East & Africa.

Communications and collaboration market, by region

Communications and collaboration market, by region

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What are the segments of the communications and collaboration market?

The communications and collaboration market consists of three major segments:

Software-includes communications platforms and enterprise social networking and collaboration platforms.

Services-encompass audio conferencing services, web conferencing services, enterprise fixed voice, mobile voice and data, managed IP telephony services, and video conferencing services.

Hardware-includes conferencing and collaboration devices.

The services segment is the largest aspect of the global C&C sector, with revenue reaching more than $230 billion in 2020. It will remain the largest segment of the market throughout the forecast period. However, it is also the most saturated segment, with little growth expected over the forecast period. Software is the fastest-growing segment of the communications and collaboration market.

Communications and collaboration market, by categoryCommunications and collaboration market, by category

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Who are the leading players in the communications and collaboration market?

The collaboration tools market is highly competitive, with increased COVID-19-related demand and new ways of working driving provider differentiation. Vendors are rushing to provide the appropriate collaboration tools to support hybrid working, enabling staff to work from their chosen location. Some of the leading players of the C&C market include Cisco, Poly, Zoom, Aver, Microsoft (Teams/365), Meta (Workplace), Zendesk, 8X8, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telekom, T-Mobile among others.

Communications and collaboration market, by key players

Communications and collaboration market, by key players

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Market report scope

Market size (Year – 2020) >$270 billion
Growth rate (2021 to 2025) CAGR of >2%
Base year for estimation 2020
Segmentation by sector Services, software, and hardware
Regional coverage Asia Pacific, North America, Western Europe, Middle East & Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, South & Central America.
Key players Cisco, Poly, Zoom, Aver, Microsoft (Teams/365), Meta (Workplace), Zendesk, 8X8, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telekom, and T-Mobile.

Key Highlights

According to GlobalData forecasts, the communications and collaboration (C&C) market will grow to $309 billion by 2025. Software will be the fastest-growing segment. The communication platforms segment, which was worth $16.3 billion in 2020, will grow at a CAGR of 15% between 2020 and 2025. The growing number of employees working from remote locations and the need to establish strong links between them and office-based staff is driving enterprise adoption of C&C tools.

Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft have already revealed their versions of the enterprise metaverse, a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios. The competition will only increase as augmented versions of collaboration tools become increasingly commonplace. There is a strong belief that the metaverse will be the next-generation interface enabling users to access multiple services. However, it remains to be seen whether office workers, many of whom are already struggling with ‘Zoom fatigue’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, will find it appealing to interact with digital avatars in the corporate metaverse.

Reasons to Buy

  • The future of work will shape both factories and offices, encouraging greater collaboration between humans and technology and empowering workers with new digital skills.
  • Communications and collaboration tools, ranging from messaging platforms like Teams to video conferencing tools like Zoom, will play a vital role in the future of work.
  • This report provides an invaluable guide to this important theme, including details of the leading players and up-to-date market forecasts.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise
Atlassian (Trello)
China Mobile
China Telekom
Deutsche Telekom
LG Electronics
Reliance (JioMeet)
Reliance Jio
Samsung Eectronics
SK Telekom

Table of Contents

Executive summary


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Industry analysis

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