Video Conference Meeting

Thanks largely to digital communications replacing face-to-face interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide unified communications market, which includes collaboration, grew 29.2% last year compared to 2019, according to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Similarly strong was revenue growth, up 24.9% for the full year 2020 to $47.2 billion. Fourth-quarter growth was 7.1% ahead of the same quarter in 2019.

For the North American market, IDC reports 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.

In some of the UCaaS sectors, IDC reported the following:

  • Hosted voice/UC public cloud (UCaaS): Up 26.1% year over year and 6.8% sequentially in the fourth quarter to nearly $4.6 billion in revenue. For the full year, public cloud UCaaS revenue increased 21.2% to $16.4 billion.
  • UC Collaboration (including video conferencing software and cloud services): Up 48.0% year over year and 5.1% sequentially, growing to nearly $6.2 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter. For the full year, UC Collaboration rose 45% to $22.1 billion.
  • IP phones: Revenue fell 20.4% compared to 2019, but grew 20.3% sequentially in the final quarter of 2020. IP phone shipments dropped 22.2% for the year.

“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, IDC senior research analyst, unified communications and collaboration in a prepared statement about the unified communications market research. “In 2021, IDC expects positive growth numbers across these key UC&C segments to continue, albeit at slightly more modest rates.”

IDC reported UC&C company highlights include:

  • 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.

Recent data from Verizon and Morning Consult confirm some of this IDC data. The two company’s published a Look Forward study that highlighted a 2,872% increase in videoconferencing usage alone.

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