Microsoft increases its lead in the unified communications market

40% of all unified Communications and video conferencing solutions used on the Belgian business market are Microsoft solutions. We’re talking here about Skype for Business, formerly Microsoft Lync. Cisco, including the acquired Tandberg, accounts for about 25% of solutions. Polycom completes the top three with a share of about 15%, mainly through their share of video conferencing solutions. All other vendors have a share in the total of less than 5%. All this and more has emerged from an analysis byComputer Profile of about 2,500 interviews which were conducted with ICT officers at Belgian company offices with at least 50 employees on the use of communication solutions.

The regional differences between the different vendors are striking. For example, the Microsoft share in Wallonia is considerably lower than in the Brussels Capital Region and Flanders. Cisco is clearly doing better in the Brussels Capital Region, whilst Polycom and Life Size are represented most strongly in Wallonia. Microsoft has enjoyed a 5% increase in its share as compared to one year ago. Microsoft has a large share in the transport sector, namely above 60%. Microsoft also scores highly within ICT & Utilities and Financial & Business Services (47%). The increase for Microsoft seems to have come at the expense of Polycom (whose share has fallen by 4%) and, to a lesser extent, Cisco (1% drop). Cisco scores well above average in the trade segment. Polycom is at its best in the care sector and in education.

Trend reversal or saturation?

For the first time since 2011, there has been no increase in the number of locations which say that they use unified Communications and video conferencing. In 2015, 36% of the interviewed locations said that they use a solution in this field. This figure seems to have fallen by one per cent. It will be clear in one year’s time whether or not this is a one-off drop or a genuine saturation of the unified communications and video conferencing market.

The use of unified communications and video conferencing takes place mainly in the big business market. Use rises to 50% in locations where there are at least 200 employees. This percentage is 27% for locations with between 50 and 100 employees and 36% for locations with 100 to 200 employees. Segmentation according to industries shows that the most use of unified communications and video conferencing takes place in the segments ICT & Utilities (62%), Financial & Business Services (45%), Transport (43%), and in industry (41%).

Use of Voice over IP is almost 50%

At present, 47% of the Belgian business market uses Voice over IP applications. Education and the construction sectors are lagging behind with penetration of less than 40%. It’s mainly KMO locations with fewer than 200 employees which are lagging behind somewhat. Vo IP use in the segment between 50 and 100 employees is 43%, and 46% for between 100 and 200 employees. Vo IP penetration is over 50% for companies with more than 200 employees.

VoIP vendors

Cisco is still the most common name when it comes to Vo IP service providers. In 2016, Cisco is enjoying a 21% share in the total number of recorded Vo IP solutions. However, that is a slight drop (1%) as compared to one year ago. The number two, Mitel from Canada, has grown gradually in recent years. Their share has risen by about 1.5% as compared to one year ago. Unify (Siemens Enterprise Communications), Alcatel-Lucent, and Avaya complete the top five.

Proximus and Nextel are mentioned as vendors of the purchased Vo IP solutions, whilst those parties don’t actually make their own solutions. Since these service providers can supply solutions from several producers, the shares of Proximus and Nextel cannot be converted one-on-one to any of those producers. To give the fullest possible picture, the researchers have therefore decided to include both service providers in the summary.


VoIP is found most at bigger locations. This emerges if we consider Vo IP penetration per region. The Brussels Capital Region where several multinationals are located has the highest Vo IP penetration. Vo IP use in Flanders and Wallonia is becoming increasingly similar. In Flanders at present, 46% of locations say that they use Vo IP, whilst the figure in Wallonia is now 42%.