Microsoft Corp. has its hands in many enterprise pies — desktop, mobile and server operating systems, productivity software, applications — that it’s sometimes hard to list its competitors. Outside of desktop and server operating systems and productivity suites its sometimes hard to see where it leads.

But according to Synergy Research Group, the company has caught up with Cisco Systems Inc. in enterprise collaboration infrastructure software, at least from a revenue point of view.

The research firm said Tuesday that in the first quarter of this year Microsoft edged Cisco with 21 per cent of the US$5.4 billion in collaboration software sold during the three month period. Software from IBM and Avaya were behind with about nine per cent of the market.

Covered in Synergy’s definition are enterprise voice, unified communications applications, telepresence, email software, collaborative workspace software and enterprise social networks.

“In Q1 Cisco revenue was impacted by softness in the enterprise voice and telepresence segments, issues which affected many vendors” Jeremy Duke, Synergy’s founder and chief analyst said in a statement. “On the other hand, Microsoft has only a small presence in enterprise voice and is not active in telepresence, but is growing its share of the UC applications segment, holding its own in email software and growing strongly in the nascent enterprise social networks segment. Microsoft has been steadily increasing its influence in collaboration markets over the last five years.”

Total revenues for the quarter were down one per cent year on year, Synergy said, as declines in enterprise voice and telepresence countered growth in other segments. On a rolling annual basis revenues reached $22.6 billion, up one per cent from the preceding four quarters. Sequentially quarterly revenues were down eight per cent, reflecting a typical cyclical drop from a high in Q4. The largest three segments were enterprise voice, email software and UC applications, which in aggregate account for 78 per cent of the Q1 market. The highest-growth segment was enterprise social networks, which experienced year-on-year growth of 34 per cent.