Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2010

[tweetmeme source=”stalehansen” only_single=false]Gartner updated their magic quadrant for Unified Communications July 2010. It is always interesting to see what Gartner has to say about the UC market. It is good to see that Microsoft still is in the lead followed closely by Cisco and Avaya. As we can se from 2009 to 2010 is that Microsoft is still in the lead while IBM has been reduced to a challenger. Cisco and Avaya has gotten a clearer UC message and are following Microsoft closely. I often use this in presentations at seminars to explain some of the reason why we promote Microsoft as the UC vendor of choice.

Here is what Gartner has to say about Microsoft in their article

Microsoft

Microsoft’s UC solution is based on Exchange Server, OCS and Active Directory. Microsoft has strategic partnerships with Aspect and HP, along with a large and growing set of partnerships for gateways, survivable branch appliances, IP phones, audioconferencing service providers and SIP trunking, along with major system integrators and channel partners. OCS also integrates with collaboration and business applications like SharePoint. The same OCS and Exchange application is also used for Microsoft’s online collaboration suite, Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).

Strengths
  • Microsoft OCS 2010 R2 has seen year-over-year increased adoption for voice and audioconferencing, and now states that it has 100-plus deployments of over 2,000 telephony users. The next release of OCS, Microsoft Communication Server “14,” scheduled for this calendar year, will add several critical telephony functions.
  • Exchange UM continues to gain acceptance and maturity in the market. Deployments have expanded beyond smaller (fewer than 2,000 subscribers) into the midsize (2,000 to 5,000 subscribers), with a few deployments in the very large (10,000-plus subscribers) market. In Exchange Server 2010, calendar access is integrated with the UM telephone interface, as is text-to-speech rendering of audio messages.
  • Microsoft’s historic strength in collaboration and desktops, combined with promising, emerging real-time communications, results in significant potential. Emerging areas include increased visibility of SIP trunks from carriers and from IP-PBX providers, significant new end-to-end UC solution providers, such as HP, and increased presence in contact centers.
  • Enterprises looking into UC, particularly those with Microsoft applications already in place, should understand Microsoft’s broad UCC paradigm. When considering telephony specifically, OCS can be deployed in different configurations, depending on enterprise directions and requirements. It can be deployed with a PBX so that both are in parallel use for telephony, or it can be deployed to perform nontelephony functions, leaving telephony to the IP-PBX. As OCS matures in 2011, OCS may be able to perform complete stand-alone telephony services.


Cautions

  • The telephony functionality in OCS 2007 R2 remains in the early stage, and OCS has not yet been proved as a complete telephony displacement. Enterprise planners should understand that OCS 2007 R2 has limitations, and should carefully evaluate some critical newer features in the forthcoming version of OCS, such as call admission control and E911.
  • Microsoft’s OCS audioconferencing and videoconferencing product set has expanded its interoperability and endpoint support abilities this year, but these functions remain new and have not yet been proved in the market.
  • Many OCS communication functions, such as telephony, video and public switched telephone network (PSTN) integration, require solution integrators and employees with different skills than many firms presently have. Planners should ensure that their providers and internal staff have relevant experience in key areas.
  • Currently, OCS offers an attractive initial price point for bundled communications and collaboration; however, voice capabilities will be priced separately in subsequent releases. Although some users will be allowed grandfathered pricing, others may see the competitive price advantage of the OCS bundle disappear.

Link to the full article: http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/microsoft/vol10/article19/article19.html

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