I frequently speak with vendors in the collaborative applications market as I cover this space for the AppGap blog. Many of the smaller best of breed vendors have been reporting strong revenue despite the economic down turn. They have been helped by the need for tighter budgets as they are often seen as a lower cost alternative.
A recent IDC report supports these observations. As reported by Tekrati (see IDC: Hot Spots in Overall Collaborative Applications Market Help Offset Economic Decline), IDC research shows worldwide revenue for the collaborative applications market was $7.6 billion in 2009, representing a decline of 0.3%. The top 3 vendors in 2009 (based on worldwide revenue) were Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco. These vendors accounted for 55.8% of the market total. However, that leaves 43.2% of a large pot.
IDC found that some of the largest year-over-year growth came from the emerging social platforms submarket. Erin Traudt, research director for IDC's Enterprise Collaboration and Social Solutions program is quoted,"IDC believes that with a minimal decline during a very tough economy, the worldwide collaborative applications market is poised for a positive rebound in 2010 and that key submarkets such as social platforms, conferencing applications, and team collaborative applications (TCAs) are helping to sustain the market as customers continue to benefit from the enhanced productivity and lower costs associated with these solutions,"
I am very pleased to hear these observations as I think this is growth market as these tools are part of the core of enterprise 2.0. I am glad the market continues to like these options. Here is more good news. When IT professionals were asked by IDC if they had to choose between best of breed versus the collaborative applications from their current vendor, 64% of respondents indicated best of breed would make the strongest business case.
These results are also consistent with growth in the technology job market that was reported by the Wall Street Journal (see Region Leads Rebound in technology Jobs). This article indicated that Silicon valley was the leader here and many of the best of breed players are located there.