Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2014

A few days ago, Gartner released their 2014 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC). This Magic Quadrant highlights the trends and changes in the UC landscape and identifies the key vendors that are situated in the leaders, visionaries, challengers and niche players’ corners as well as their strengths and cautions. Below are some of the highlights.

2014 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. Source: Gartner (August 2014)

Overall there wasn’t many changes in this year’s magic quadrant. The leaders include Microsoft, Cisco, Mitel and Avaya. The new player in this corner is Mitel, which moved to the leaders’ corner after its acquisition of Aastra, which resulted in a combined portfolio of UC and IP Telephony assets with multi-regional presence.

Microsoft, who has been the top vendor in the Leader Quadrant for all but 2 years between 2006 and 2014 (see video below) has  pulled ahead of Cisco on “Completeness of Vision” and ties on “Ability to Execute”.

Magic Quadrants from 2006 to 2014

 

Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications) moves to the visionaries’ corner from the leaders’ corner due to some uncertainty around staff reduction and management changes. IBM joins it in the visionaries’ corner and gets a credit from Gartner for IBM Sametime, and its integration with IBM Smart Cloud, Connections and WebSphere.

This year challengers, continuing from last year, are NEC and Alcatel-Lucent, and the niche players are Huawei—recently downgraded from challenger—along with Interactive Intelligence and ShoreTel.

Microsoft, the overall leader for completeness of vision and in a tie with Cisco for ability to execute, also recieved a special credit from Gartner for Microsoft Lync. Gartner stated that Microsoft Lync’s wide range of UC features, which include IM, presence, web conferencing, telephony and video, made it a strong player and an all-in-one offering to the wider market. Microsoft Lync’s integration in Office365 also made it an attractive UC offering as it allows the private cloud to easily leverage telephony functionality.

Finally, Gartner continued to highlight the key five characteristics required for UC success pointed out in 2013: User Experience (UX), Mobility, Interoperability, Cloud and Hybrid, and Broad Solution Appeal.

There is no doubt that UC is here to stay and as Gartner’s report highlights, the UC market is maturing and so are the  best practices for deployment and end-user adoption, showing clearly the top leaders and giving you the confidence to invest in UC solution that tick all the boxes for your business.

To view the whole Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications please click here