July saw the release of this year’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is one of the most commendable lists in the unified communications space. The Quadrant consists of four categories: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players, based on each company’s combined “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision”.
Last year’s leaders were Cisco, Microsoft and Mitel, but they have now been joined by Avaya, a firm that has come back from Chapter 11 bankruptcy to become one of the biggest players in the unified communications space.
Avaya’s position in this year’s Quadrant is possibly the most noteworthy. Coming back from near bankruptcy to being named as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is no mean feat for any company, and Avaya has achieved this in little under a year. 2018 has seen Avaya roll out many a new market offering, including Avaya Equinox Meetings, Avaya Breeze, Zang Spaces and many more. Following a successful year, Avaya will certainly be one to watch in the near future.
Cisco has held onto its top spot in the Quadrant for another year. This is mainly due to its wide range of unified communications offerings, spanning cross-cloud, on-premise and hybrid deployment options. In perhaps its most noteworthy move of the past 12 months, Cisco has recently rebranded the Cisco Spark portfolio in line with the more popular Cisco WebEx brand.
Microsoft represents another big player in the industry that has maintained its leading position for a further year. Whilst Skype for Business continues to be a significant cog in Microsoft’s UC machine, Microsoft Teams has gained a notable amount of traction this year following a slew of updates, including inline translation and even a new free tier.
Following NEC’s drop into the “Niche Players” category, Huawei is the only challenger in this year’s Magic Quadrant. Huawei have received much attention in recent years, as a result of a number of innovative new introductions into the communications space. Huawei’s unified communications portfolio centres around a virtual software platform, “Unified Session Manager”, which the company has continued to expand over the past year with a host of new additions, such as intelligent video endpoint VPT300.
Following Avaya’s advancement into the “Leaders” category, Unify is the only visionary in this year’s Quadrant. Unify offers a wide range of unified communications solutions under the umbrella of its OpenScape portfolio, which comes in four editions: Enterprise, Cloud, Enterprise Express and Business. Additionally, OpenScape Fusion functions as an add-on allowing pre-integrations into other environments, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Online, whilst Unify Circuit allows the delivery of collaboration solutions through a range of cloud-based, on-premise and hybrid deployment options.
The Niche Players
In last year’s Magic Quadrant, Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE) featured in the “Niche Players” categories alongside ShoreTel but, following Mitel’s purchase of ShoreTel last summer, NEC and ALE are the only niche players this year.
ALE represents a big innovator within the current unified communications market. For a flagship multimedia offering, the company offers OpenTouch Suite through the powerful ALE partner network, offering broad and integrated solutions scaling up to 15,000 endpoints.
NEC is a global IT and communications provider. The Japan-based company offers a “Smart Enterprise” framework, encompassing a varied portfolio of products and services, and offers two on-premise unified communications solutions, along with the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform UNIVERGE BLUE.
How Reliable is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications?
Whilst Gartner’s Magic Quadrant may not provide the broadest comparison of unified communications offerings, it continues to be the list that most companies rely on for insight into the unified communications space.
Seeking Advice from a Unified Communications Consultant
In order to ascertain which unified communications offering is most appropriate for a particular organisation’s unique requirements, it may be useful to seek advice from a unified communications consultant. As industry experts, the consultants at 4C Strategies are uniquely positioned to provide invaluable insight into the various unified communications offerings and recommend the most appropriate possible solution. To find out more, contact 4C Strategies today on 01858 438938, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to book a consultation with one of our unified communications specialists.