Compliments of UC Today. This is a great resource when navigating the UCaaS industry. Livtech has deep relationships with every one of these providers and can match up your company’s needs with one of them.
Exploring the Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant 2019
As businesses search for more scalability in their UC solutions, UCaaS has taken over as the de-facto way to access technology for many brands. Each year, Gartner helps companies of all sizes to explore some of the leading vendors in the UCaaS space using the Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant. The MQ report discusses the ability to execute and completeness of vision shown by each vendor mentioned.
In this year’s report, Gartner noted that by 2023, 40% of new enterprise telephony purchases will be made based on a cloud office suite.According to Gartner, this will be either Google G-Suite or Microsoft Office 365, if not something similar. The report also drew attention to the rapidly evolving and fluid nature of the UCaaS environment.
In previous years, Microsoft and Cisco haven’t been front-runners in the UC market, despite Gartner’s claims this year. However, the acquisition of BroadSoft for Cisco, and the launch of Microsoft Teams has allowed both organisations to gain serious ground. Additionally, Gartner has noted this year that UCaaS officially appears to offer better functionality than on-prem systems, which shows us the direction that the market is heading in. Let’s take a look at what happened in this year’s report.
The UCaaS Leaders for 2019
Leaders in the UCaaS Magic Quadrant stand out for their completeness of vision and ability to execute. Last year, the leaders were:
This year, the leaders are:
Microsoft is leading the way in the UCaaS environment for Gartner this year, thanks to the delivery of Microsoft Teams – the fastest growing collaboration app in the industry. Microsoft’s UCaaS solutionsupports everything from team and personal messaging to enterprise telephony and meeting capabilities for all. Additionally, Teams telephony services are available through certified business phones in the ecosystem. Microsoft Office 365 is also a significant feather in Microsoft’s hat, and the company has used it’s complete portfolio to attract a vast range of customers.
We’re thrilled to see RingCentral leading the pack again in 2019 after a successful 2018. In 2019 RingCentral was crowned the Best UC Platform at UC Awards 2019. Last year, we announced RingCentral as our UC Awards winner for Best Cloud Communications Provider, and we’ve seen the business implementing a massive range of upgrades and enhancements in the last 12 months. This year, Gartner drew attention to their investments in AI solutions for sales productivity, CSP integrations, and improved options for performance analytics. RingCentral also made some significant investments (and acquisitions) in contact centre this year too.
Another company making substantial strides for 2019, 8×8 has made a name for itself as a UCaaS application specialist with the incredible X Series platform. Perfectly suited to the small and mid-sized business market, 8×8 is excellent for organisations in search of flexibility and scalability. This year, 8×8 has released its Dynamic Integration framework for more rapid integrations with business and communication applications. Additionally, the 8×8 Team messaging solution has seen a host of key upgrades too.
Cisco is another major player alongside Microsoft in the enterprise communication and collaboration space this year. As a global publicly-traded IT vendor, Cisco has an excellent reputation for delivering high-quality products and services. Over the last 12 months, the company has concentrated heavily on realigning its UC portfolio and defining its future roadmap. Platforms available today include everything from Webex Contact Centre, to Webex Teams, Meetings, and Calling. The solution can support a wide range of environments and strategies.
The UCaaS Challengers for 2019
The Challengers in the UCaaS Gartner Magic Quadrant are those that are making their ways towards the leadership position with high ability to execute. Last year we saw:
- NTT Group
This year, we have fewer entries, including:
Google has held onto its position in the Challenger space for the UCaaS Gartner Magic Quadrant. The Google UCaaS offering consists of Hangouts Meet, Chat, and Google Voice, and each comes with its own client. Hangouts Meet provides audio and video conferencing, while Hangouts Chat focuses on group and one-on-one chat. Google Voice is more recently, with general availability rolling out earlier this year. The solution supports things like voicemail transcription, Google AI, and more.
Mitel comes to the UCaaS space with their unique Mitel MiCloud offering, delivered primarily via channel partners and complemented with direct sales. Over the past year, larger numbers of legacy Mitel channels have begun selling MiCloud Connect. MiCloud Connect also supports unified messaging, meetings, team messaging, email to fax, and more. The company has implemented a host of robust support processes this year, to strengthen its position in the marketplace. And Mitel also ported MiCloud Connect to the Google platform.
LogMeIn’s UCaaS offering is the GoToConnect solution, which is based on GoToMeeting combined with the Jive strategy for enterprise telephony. GoToConnect includes features like enterprise telephony, meetings, team, and personal messaging. LogMeIn also offers two contact centre solutions alongside its portfolio, including NICE inContact partnership for advanced demands, its own Jive Contact Centre. Recent enhancements to the solution include the Alert Centre Portal and the development of the NICE inContactbundles.
The UCaaS Niche Players for 2019
Niche players in the UCaaS Gartner Magic Quadrant are the ones that show some ability to execute and completeness of vision. Last year, we had:
For 2019, the niche players are:
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, or ALE, is a 100% channel-based sales company delivering the incredible Rainbow solution, designed to provide flexible UCaaS to the masses. Rainbow’s architecture is designed over an OTT framework, with Rainbow acting as a central hub for workstream collaboration, telephony, meetings, mobility, and file sharing. The current meeting capabilities are intended for smaller team collaboration sessions, according to Gartner. However, Rainbow’s API hub makes ALE’s offering stand out.
A new addition to the Gartner Magic Quadrant this year, Windstream delivers the OfficeSuite UC solution or UCaaS, which it acquired from BroadView Networks in 2017. The solution natively offers IM, presence, telephony, and mobility features, as well as video and audio conferencing. Web conferencing is also available, with a well-integrated partnership through Zoom. In the past year, Windstream has introduced a more flexible pricing model for its users.
StarBlue is the creation of the merged companies, Star2Star, and Blueface. The two companies offer their cost-effective UCaaS solutions through the StarBlue platform, Some of the major upgrades to the platform that have taken place in the last 12 months include an enhanced call centre dashboard with call-back capabilities and a Studio Builder for the design and implementation of custom embedded communication workflows. Virtual desktop infrastructure is also available via an integration with Citrix.
The UCaaS Visionaries for 2019
Finally, Visionaries in the Magic Quadrant for UCaaS are those that show more completeness of vision than ability to execute. Last year we had:
This year, we’re looking at:
A privately-held UCaaS company that has maintained its position since 2018. Fuze provides a UCaaS platform that supports messaging, meeting capabilities, integrated enterprise telephony, and more. Today’s Fuze users can access a host of capabilities through their web, desktop, and mobile clients, as well as room systems. The Fuze Contact Centre also offers simple voice-based contact centre solutions. However, Fuze also provides deeper integrations with Five9 and NICE inContact for more sophisticated offerings.
The core UCaaS solution from Dialpad today is its “Dialpad Talk” option, which comes with video calling (one-to-one), PBX functionality on the cloud, real-time messaging and group chat. Dialpad recently acquired TalkIQ to bring AI functionality and transcription offerings into their service too. Recommended by Gartner for small to mid-sized enterprises, Dialpad’s UCaaS offering is excellent for providing high-quality telephony experiences, voice intelligence, and robust integrations with a host of solutions, including tools from G Suite.
Our Thoughts on 2019’s UCaaS Magic Quadrant
It’s good to see service management, CPaaS, and AI getting the recognition they deserve from Gartner this year, as they all offer added value for UCaaS platforms. Additionally, CCaaS has been highlighted as a crucial UC-adjacent application, which reaffirms our beliefs around the rise of UC 3.0 and the importance of CX to the UC stack.
However, there are some issues with this Magic Quadrant. For instance, Windstream is in chapter 11, so it’s strange to see them in such a high position. What’s more, they don’t have much of a multi-region presence, with no UK addresses anywhere online. Additionally, Dialpad is predominantly a North American company and are only really beginning to step into other regions. It’s interesting to see some of the vendors on the list where more qualified vendors like Vonage and Avaya have been left out.
Also, several service providers and carriers have been dropped. Is this Magic Quadrant only willing to examine SPs that develop their own platforms now? That seems to be the case, as CSPs without their own UC have been dropped from consideration entirely. It’s also interesting to see Google on the list when they don’t seem to have a lot of information to share about their UCaaS and Voice platform performance.
For us, a lot of major vendors are missing, including Vonage, Avaya, Zoom, PGi, and even Amazon. We believe that these vendors will probably be featured in the 2020 Magic Quadrant.