Altman Solon, the largest global TMT strategy consulting firm exclusively dedicated to the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology sectors, released its Productivity Suite Survey, in collaboration with Cowen. The team surveyed nearly 600 productivity suite buyers and decision-makers. The findings reveal that competition among productivity suite providers is heating up. Security is a top priority when purchasing productivity suites, and, despite high satisfaction with their solutions, customers are less loyal than expected.
Today, workplace collaboration is no longer limited to the walls of an office. Productivity tools — including spreadsheet applications, word processing tools, and messaging services, among many others — are essential for companies of all sizes to keep business operations in motion as employees embrace remote, hybrid, and in-office work arrangements. Altman Solon’s Productivity Suite Survey, conducted in collaboration with Cowen, explores the state of the ~$44B productivity suite market. Microsoft has historically led the market, but the space is rapidly changing, with challengers — led by Google — gaining market share in niche segments. Below are some key insights from our report.
Microsoft currently dominates the productivity landscape, but Google Workspace is carving out a niche to capture market share
Microsoft has established longstanding, lucrative relationships with large enterprises. Google Workspace, on the other hand, is capturing market share with small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the mid-market, and smaller enterprises, while gaining a foothold in the education sector. As SMBs and the mid-market continue to grow and evolve, and recent graduates who used Google Workspace during their studies enter the workforce, competition among productivity suite providers will continue to heat up.
Security is a top priority when purchasing productivity suite solutions
The rise in hybrid workspaces makes companies more vulnerable to hacks, breaches, and malware. Survey respondents noted security as the most important purchasing criterion when choosing a productivity suite. Technical features also rank relatively high as a purchasing criterion. As businesses grow in size, the ranking of technical features and breadth of product offerings rises in importance. The survey also shows that price and contract terms are less significant purchasing criteria when evaluating a productivity suite.
Bundling productivity suites with enterprise software or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is growing in popularity, especially when purchasing through the channel
For IT decision-makers, bundling simplifies purchasing decisions, increases efficiency through integrated apps, and provides potential cost savings. Bundling benefits software providers by increasing average revenue per user (ARPU), customer loyalty, and lifetime value. This trend is likely to evolve as companies consolidate contracts.
Respondents are highly satisfied with their productivity suites but are less loyal than expected
Survey respondents across business sizes show high levels of satisfaction with their productivity suites. Nearly 70% of companies studied also see their productivity suites as possible replacements for their Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) providers, with Google Workspace users edging out Microsoft 365 users. However, in an evolving market, consumer loyalty is not a given: despite high levels of customer satisfaction, 83% of respondents have expressed interest in upgrading, adding products to their suites, or outright replacing their productivity suites, primarily driven by organizational growth and a desire for new technology features.
Within the broader global cloud market, we expect these trends will continue to gain momentum, drive competition, and foster innovation within the productivity suite market.
About Altman Solon’s Productivity Suite Survey
Altman Solon’s inaugural Productivity Suite Survey, completed in collaboration with Cowen, gathered insights from nearly 600 IT decision-makers across business sizes and industries to compare Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace product suites. The survey covers productivity suite usage, key purchasing criteria when evaluating suites, customers’ propensity to use their productivity suite for UCaaS and security purposes, and loyalty of Microsoft and Google customers.
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