Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has maintained a very slim margin over Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the world enterprise collaboration market but ranks below when it comes to cloud deployments. This is according to the latest data.

According to the latest data released by Synergy Research Group, an industry analyst firm, which reviewed the global collaboration market for the three months ending December 2017, Cisco had a bigger market share ahead of Microsoft in terms of percentage for the better part of the year but narrowed towards the fourth quarter.

Cisco’s leadership in the collaboration sector is as a result of the company’s dominant position in the on-premises-based solutions sector, and at the same rime its growing revenue in the cloud and growth hosted market segments. These are generally areas of higher growth.

On the other hand, Microsoft commands a substantial lead in the cloud and hosted-based collaboration space. However, according to Synergy, the hosted and cloud side of the collaboration market is more fragmented, and there is no supplier who has achieved a double-digit market share.

At a distance, IBM and Avaya follow Cisco and Microsoft and other companies like Genesys, LogMeIn, Polycom, Google and Mitel coming in further behind.

Cumulatively, the total revenues from the fourth quarter earned from the collaboration market, including hosted and cloud communications, enterprise social networks, enterprise content management, email software, telepresence, unified communications applications and enterprise voice reached an all-time high of $10 billion.

The hosted and cloud-based collaboration space recorded a 26% year-on-year growth in 2017 compared to a 4% drop in on-premises side of the market. This shows the extent at which the market is changing and leaning towards cloud.

According to Jeremy Duke, the founder and chief analyst of Synergy Research Group, due to the fragmented nature of the market, the firm is now tracking as total of 160 different vendors plus service providers so as to have a better understanding of the market. He adds that Cisco and Microsoft have set themselves aside from the rest as large-scale vendors and have portfolios which span major segments of the market and their activities are spread out throughout the world.

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