The year of 2022 was another bumper 12-months in the Collaboration industry as plenty of fascinating changes unfolded in this emerging market. In a recent webinar with Steve Waltens – Vice President of Sales for the Americas and Anna Byrne – Head of Marketing, the pair took a look back at the year that has been, picking out some of the defining moments: both the good and the bad.
Steve and Anna discussed how a strong GTM has become the leading success factor in the industry, far overshadowing innovation or product engineering prowess, how bundling continues to provide tremendous value to customers and is the dominant model to follow, how EU anti-competitive regulators are starting to swoop in at big players like Microsoft, and plenty more!
The 2022 highs
- Bundling of products and services continued to expand and deliver excellent value to customers. Customers are seeing the benefits of having their Collaboration needs met by one platform, with multiple applications bundled into one subscription fee. This means they avoid using piecemeal applications from various vendors, with varying policies. The market saw a number of 'followers' mimicking this platform model throughout the year.
- We saw strong go-to-market strategies winning the market, as opposed to product innovation. Vendors who focused on entering the market with a strong value proposition and brand position consistently won out, even if the end product was not as valuable as some of their competitors.
- The joy of hybrid working was fully realized without the weight of the pandemic hanging over employees and the organizations they work for. White collar workers settled into a routine of working from home and the office, in a way that suited both parties.
The 2022 in-between (could be considered a high and low)
- There was an increase in the number of mergers in the Collaboration space. On one hand, mergers can be beneficial when a company is struggling financially and needs to merge with a larger organization to remain afloat. On the other hand, mergers can be detrimental when they reduce competition and lead to a monopoly.
The 2022 lows
- Cisco and Microsoft dominated the market and begun pulling away from the competition. Without adequate competition, consumers could be left with limited choices, higher prices, and lower quality products.
- In the European Union (EU), Microsoft were facing an anti-trust investigation as regulators raised concerns about whether Microsoft Teams being bundled into their suite of products as a free tool was giving them an unfair advantage. The EU's anti-competitive laws and regulations are some of the strictest globally and are designed to protect consumers.
- While the Collaboration market saw massive growth in 2022, it could still be considered as being in the emerging stage. However, there are signals the market is maturing.
- The cost of dysfunctional technology continued to be prevalent as the employee experience became the number one concern around retention for many organizations. Maintaining an issue-free communications and collaboration environment was critical to ensure productivity and employee happiness, all of which impact the bottom line.