Microsoft Solidifies UC Role as Juniper Slips in Network Security

By Edward Gately

Global network security appliance and software revenue climbed 6 percent in 2014, while the global enterprise telephony and unified communications (UC) market took a hit, closing down 4 percent.

The data comes from fourth-quarter and year-end reports released this week by technology market research firm Infonetics Research.

Network security appliance and software revenue reached $6.9 billion as enterprises and network operators deployed security services aimed at protecting data and network infrastructure. During the fourth quarter, the worldwide network security market, including appliances and software, grew 4 percent to $1.9 billion.

The top four network security vendors for 2014 (in alphabetical order) were Check Point, Cisco, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Juniper Networks slipped out of the top tier.

In 2014, Palo Alto Networks’ revenue increased more than 50 percent over 2013, while Fortinet’s revenue increased 25 percent.

“Closing out 2014 on a positive note with strong performances by most of the top vendors … the network security space has been on a roll as a result of some very large data center and cloud projects,” said Jeff Wilson, Infonetics’ principal analyst for security. “By next year, though, quarterly revenue growth will begin to slow as the industry transitions to lower-ASP virtualized security solutions.”

However, integrated advanced threat-prevention security solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile networks and industrial environments will help support overall growth, he said.

The decline in the UC market, down to $8.7 billion in 2014, resulted as businesses continued to hold off on new purchases and upgrades of PBX equipment, despite improving worldwide economic conditions. The decline masks the health of the evolving UC applications segment – a significant channel-partner opportunity – which jumped 20 percent last year, energized by the demand for tools to increase workforce productivity.

Globally, PBX revenue, including TDM and IP PBXs, fell …

… 6 percent last year compared to 2013, and dipped 1 percent in the fourth quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2013. Also, PBX line shipments declined 3 percent last year compared to 2013, but were up 4 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, driven by pure IP PBX.

Vendors and their partners remain in a battle to gain customers and maintain existing ones as enterprises migrate to IP and UC solutions. In 2014, the top four PBX revenue market share leaders were Avaya, Cisco, Mitel and NEC.

Microsoft continues to see strong sales on the UC front, further solidifying its position atop the unified communications market share leaderboard.

“The enterprise telephony market continues to be tough,” said Diane Myers, Infonetics’ principal analyst for VolP, UC and IMS. “Just as we see one area begin to improve, it’s offset by slowdowns in geographies or market segments. Underscoring the declines are not only slowing businesses purchases but also competitive pricing, which has created unpredictable swings. The move to the cloud is having an impact in certain markets, particularly North America.”

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