Who’s BIG in Unified Communications this Year?

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Who’s BIG in Unified Communications this Year?

We thought we’d take another look at the world’s biggest vendors in unified communications. This is an updated article from last year, here’s the results.

Note: Our list is based on total organisation revenue (income) not profit.

Unified Communications Vendors by revenue

Vendor Country of Origin  Revenue 2017   Revenue 2016  Variance
1 Amazon USA  $           177,900,000,000  $           136,000,000,000 24%
2 Google USA  $           110,800,000,000  $             90,000,000,000 19%
3 Microsoft USA  $             90,000,000,000  $             85,000,000,000 6%
4 Cisco USA  $             48,000,000,000  $             48,700,000,000 -2%
5 Facebook USA  $             39,942,000,000  $             26,885,000,000 33%
6 NEC Japan  $             24,500,000,000  $             25,000,000,000 -2%
7 Unify Germany  $             12,700,000,000  $             11,700,000,000 8%
8 Avaya USA  $               3,270,000,000  $               3,700,000,000 -12%
9 Mitel Canada  $               1,059,000,000  $                   987,000,000 7%
10 Vonage USA  $               1,000,000,000  $                   956,000,000 5%
11 RingCentral USA  $                   501,000,000  $                   379,000,000 25%
12 8×8 USA  $                   253,000,000  $                   209,000,000 18%
13 BroadSoft (Est, Acquired by Cisco in Feb 2018) USA  $                   382,000,000  $                   341,000,000 11%
14 Ribbon Communications USA  $                   329,000,000  $                   252,500,000 24%

The Ones to Watch…

Amazon is number one on our watch list. We’ve picked up on a rumour recently that they might buy Slack for an astonishing $9 billion! If they do, then their Amazon Chime UC platform will probably merge and take an enormous piece of the UC cake. I think we shouldn’t underestimate Amazon’s power to overtake many (or any) of the leading unified Comms vendors.

Google doesn’t play too well in the traditional PBX / corporate telephony market, however, it does claim a big chunk of the UC market with Hangouts and has recently taken big steps into the UCaaS space. PBX vendors need to interconnect more with Hangouts, Meet and G-Suite, however I can’t see Google wanting to replace the PBX anytime soon, a pure cloud play seems logical.

Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business adoption keeps on growing. Thanks to the online (Office365) edition it’s much more accessible for small businesses. However the online edition is still limited in terms of PBX features, so I don’t think it’s going to completely replace the small office telephone system in all cases, however it does appear Microsoft are developing new features into Teams at a rate of knots so watch this space. The Skype for Business ecosystem of vendors and complimentary applications keeps on growing – if I was a PBX vendor I’d be integrating with SfB the best I can and plugging the capability gaps of Skype for Business.

Cisco is a pioneer for enterprise communications at the moment with Cisco Spark. Cisco is one of the most innovative players in UC at present with technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, IoT, and cloud. This brand is one of my personal favourites due to their VR meeting room solution… mind blowing! In February 2018 they acquired BroadSoft which was gives Cisco teh lion’s share of the UC market. Let’s see what they can do with BroadSoft now they are one.

NEC continues to offer a feature-rich on-premises UC platform for small to medium size business. They also have their software based Univerge 3C platform which takes them into the larger markets. The Japanese are a bit late to the UCaaS market but starting to make some traction now with UNIVERGE BLUE  in North America however, nothing yet available in the UK and Europe.

Unify (formerly Siemens) is breaking through with their new team collaboration app. Circuit looks great and overlays itself nicely across many of their call controllers for general PBX functionality. A good solid contender for Mitel and Avaya due to their on-premises, hybrid and public cloud capabilities.

Avaya has had a tough time with chapter 11 in 2017, however they are bouncing back – fitter, leaner and financially stronger. Avaya acquired CCaaS vendor Spoken Communications just out of the gates of C11 and listed on the NYSE. We expect to see plenty of announcements from Avaya going forward into 2018.

Mitel continues their buy and build strategy. Since the acquisition of Aastra (etc. etc.) and now ShoreTel, the Mitel customer base continues to grown terms of size and geography. They have a lot of systems in their portfolio which needs rationalising if they are going to be able to keep up with the pure cloud communications vendors. However, not forgetting that two thirds of UC system sales are still on-premises or hybrid cloud at least for now…

RingCentral and 8×8 are ‘pure play’ cloud communications vendors and because they were born in the cloud they are hugely agile. They are both growing fast and quickly achieving feature parity with the traditional PBX platforms. I predict we’re going to see a lot more innovation from these two vendors in 2018, not to mention high-growth in subscribers and revenue.

In 2017, BroadSoft took the biggest chunk of the UCaaS pie globally (approx 40%) according to Frost & Sullivan. Now that BroadSoft has been acquired by Cisco we’ll have to wait and see what happens to the UCaaS leader.

UC Vendors not listed, but worth mentioning

  • LogMeIn – They have just acquired Jive Communications and are gunning for UCaaS marketshare
  • Fuze – They’ll list as a public company in 2018 which will fire up their growth no doubt
  • ShoreTel – acquired by Mitel in 2017


Got a comment?

  • AvatarRob Scott 02:04, 07 Apr 2018

    Absolutely a valid perspective! I agree entirely. Unfortunately not all these vendors disclose their revenues by division so difficult to tell actually who has the strongest UC performance.

    Reply to this thread
  • AvatarMars 03:04, 05 Apr 2018

    If the above is total revenue per organization, only Avaya, Ring Central, Mitel and Unify on this list have a single business unit and that is UC.
    It looks to me Unify rocks the boat 🙂

    Reply to this thread
  • AvatarRob Scott 05:03, 15 Mar 2018

    Hey Yasin,

    The figures are total revenue by organisation so the Amazon numbers include all business units.


    Reply to this thread
AvatarYasin 04:03, 15 Mar 2018

Thanks for this Rob. What is the source of revenue figures? I am surprised to see Amazon’s huge growth where they only launched chime an year ago. Pretty aggressive growth in first year.

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