Worldwide Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) market soars in 2020, according to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass. – The worldwide Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) market grew 29.2% year over year and 7.1% quarter over quarter to $13.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20) , according to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Unified Communications & Collaboration Q V iew. Revenue growth was also up an impressive 24.9% for the full year 2020 to $47.2 billion.

How business was conducted changed dramatically in 2020 due to COVID-19, driving companies of all sizes to consider and adopt scalable, flexible, cloud-based digital technology solutions (e.g., Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS) as part of their overall integrated UC&C solution. Vendors and service providers also saw exponential growth in the number of video and collaboration end users in 2020. In 2021 and beyond, IDC expects worldwide UC&C growth will be driven by customers across all business size segments (small, midsize, and large) with interest especially in video, collaboration, UCaaS, mobile applications, and digital transformation (DX) projects.

Some UC&C market specifics include the following:

  • Hosted Voice/UC Public Cloud (UCaaS) grew 26.1% year over year and 6.8% sequentially in 4Q20 to nearly $4.6 billion in revenue. For the full year 2020, public cloud UCaaS revenue increased 21.2% to $16.4 billion.

  • UC Collaboration (including video conferencing software and cloud services) increased 48.0% year over year and 5.1% sequentially to reach almost $6.2 billion in revenue in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, UC Collaboration revenue increased 45.0% to $22.1 billion.

  • Revenue for IP Phones declined 20.4% year over year but grew 20.3% sequentially in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, IP Phones revenue declined 22.8% to $1.9 billion. Shipments of IP Phones declined 23.1% year over year but increased 14.7% sequentially. For the full year 2020, shipments of IP Phones were down 22.2%.

  • Enterprise Videoconferencing Systems (i.e., videoconference room endpoints) surprisingly increased 26.1% year over year and 36.5% sequentially to more than $827 million in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, revenue increased 12.4% to almost $2.6 billion.

"In 2020, COVID-19 caused many businesses and organizations to re-think their plans for leveraging digital technologies and accelerated interest in and adoption of solutions such as team collaboration, team messaging, videoconferencing, and UCaaS, among other technologies," said Rich Costello, senior research analyst, Unified Communications and Collaboration at IDC. "In 2021, IDC expects positive growth numbers across these key UC&C segments to continue, albeit at slightly more modest rates."

From a regional perspective, the UC&C market saw positive numbers across the board in 4Q20 and for the full year 2020.

  • In North America, UC&C revenue was up 3.1% quarter over quarter and 30.1% annually in 4Q20 to almost $6.3 billion. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 26.1% to $22.9 billion.

  • Asia/Pacific (including Japan) revenue was up 14.9% sequentially and 36.9% year over year to more than $2.4 billion in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 28.1% to almost $8.4 billion.

  • Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) revenue was up 9.5% quarter over quarter and 23.8% annually in 4Q20 to $4.0 billion. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 20.9% to $14.3 billion.

  • Latin America revenue increased 3.6% compared to 3Q20 and 27.3% year over year in 4Q20 to more than $441 million. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 27.6% to over $1.6 billion.

UC&C Company Highlights

  • Microsoft's total worldwide UC&C revenue was $4.4 billion, up 3.5% sequentially and 41.9% year over year in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, Microsoft revenue was $16.1 billion, up 46.0%, representing a 34.2% share of the worldwide UC&C market.

  • Cisco's total worldwide UC&C revenue in 4Q20 was nearly $1.3 billion, down 2.3% compared to 3Q20 and down 5.8% year over year. For the full year 2020, Cisco revenue was declined 4.6% to almost $5.0 billion, representing a 10.5% share of the worldwide UC&C market.

  • Zoom's total worldwide UC&C revenue increased 13.6% sequentially and a whopping 377.6% year over year to almost $863 million in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, Zoom's revenue grew 333.4% to $2.6 billion, representing a 5.5% share of the worldwide UC&C market.

  • Avaya's total worldwide UC&C revenue was up 6.7% quarter over quarter and 25.3% year over year to $353.5 million in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 14.8% to over $1.2 billion, representing a 2.6% share of the worldwide UC&C market.

  • RingCentral's total worldwide UC&C revenue grew 9.3% compared to 3Q20 and 31.3% annually to $252 million in 4Q20. For the full year 2020, revenue was up 32.5% to $899 million, representing a 1.9% share of the worldwide UC&C market.

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Unified Communications & Collaboration Qview provides total market size and vendor market share data in an easy-to-use Excel pivot table format that includes. IP Telephony/UC Systems (IP Phones, IP PBX/UC Systems), Enterprise Videoconferencing Systems (Videoconferencing Room Endpoints, Huddle Room Endpoints, Videoconferencing Infrastructure), UC Collaboration, and Managed/Hosted Voice/UCaas (Hosted Voice/Public Cloud UCaaS, Managed Voice/Private Cloud UCaaS). Measurement for the WW UC&C QView is provided in vendor revenue and unit/line/license/seat shipments.

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