Earlier this week Gartner published their yearly report on vendors in the Unified Communications market space identifying the Market Leaders, challengers, niche players and visionaries in the UC Market today.  The 2013 report ranked Cisco as the number one Leader with Microsoft following second but its all changed in 2014 with Microsoft overtaking Cisco!!!!!!

For any enterprises considering investing in UC it’s a must read and highlights key strengths and cautions for all players in UC market space. For the full report please see http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1YTWHZZ&ct=140804&st=sg

As I read through the 2014 report I wanted to highlight some differences from 2013 to 2014 and show how the quadrant diagrams has changed over the last year as  I feel its crucial to compare UC vendors year on year to ensure they are continually innovating their products and beating their competition.

Summary of differences in 2014 from last year

  • Microsoft ranked number one in 2014
  • Cisco remained the same
  • Siemens has left the Leaders space
  • Mitel has moved from Visionary to Leaders with its acquisition of Aastra
  • Challenger space has dropped from fours players to two (NEC & Alcatel)
  • Toshiba have left the UC market space
  • Avaya have stayed in the same position in the leaders space
  • Shoretel and Interactive Intelligence have stayed in the niche players
  • IBM and Unify have moved into the visionaries

Why Microsoft as number one ?

Microsoft Lync has overtaken Cisco as the leader in 2014 and with the adoption of Lync 2013 including key features such as Enterprise Voice telephony, Mobility, Video interoperability ,Skype, Cloud with Lync Online and Federation to extend UC to other businesses all have driven Microsoft Lync straight into the heart of enterprises and with its ease of use and integration to the desktop in Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products its easy to see how the user adoption and user experience has played a huge role in ranking Microsoft as the number one leader in the report.

From reviewing the cautions regarding partners I agree that any enterprise business considering or deploying Microsoft Lync should select an experienced and knowledgeable partner to ensure they make the best of the investment, technology and transformation of their business utilizing Microsoft Lync.

A key note from the Gartner report is below

“Microsoft’s Lync solution continued to experience strong adoption, and the telephony and video capabilities improved year over year. Importantly, the Lync partner network matured, and Microsoft’s ability to integrate other enterprise software investments in collaboration and social networks improved its longer-term competitive potential. “

2014 Quadrant Diagram

Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications

2013 Quadrant Diagram

2014 UC Results

  • Leaders: Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, Mitel

  • Challengers: NEC,  Alcatel-Lucent

  • Visionaries:  Unify, IBM

  • Niche Players: ShoreTel,Huawei, Interactive Intelligence

2013 UC Results

  • Leaders: Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Siemens Enterprise Communications

  • Challengers: NEC, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent,

  • Visionaries: Mitel

  • Niche Players: Interactive Intelligence, ShoreTel, Aastra Technologies, Toshiba



Martin B

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