Every year, the communications environment eagerly awaits the results of Gartner’s numerous magic quadrant reports for spaces like Unified Communications, UCaaS, and of course, Meeting Solutions.
Gartner identifies “Meeting Solutions” as real-time applications for collaboration and the associated endpoints that help to promote stronger teamwork in a professional environment. This year, the Magic Quadrant featured various notable changes. Lifesize and StarLeaf were added to the report, while the following vendors were dropped:
1. ZTE: ZTE could not be included in the status due to “export-control-related decisions.”
2. West: West was removed from the magic quadrant because it did not acquire 20% of its revenue from a branded meeting solution
3. Polycom: Polycom was removed from the MQ because its meeting solutions capabilities did not meet with the inclusion criteria for Gartner’s report
The Meeting Solutions Leaders for 2018
Gartner defines its Meeting Solution Magic Quadrant leaders as companies with significant influence and market share. In last year’s MQ, the leaders were:
This year, the vendors leading the pack are:
Cisco offers a broad selection of meeting solutions through their Webex environment. Cisco Meeting Server is the leading product in Cisco’s portfolio, while Webex Meetings and Teams provide solutions for hybrid conferencing and collaboration. Cisco has the broadest range of meeting solutions on multiple endpoints compared to any other vendor in the MQ report for 2018. Cisco also excels in working with disruptive technology like natural language and intelligent speaker tracking.
LogMeIn enters the top spot this year offering collaborative services through GoToTraining, GoToMeeting, GoToConference, and GoToWebinar. LogMeIn solutions are popular among enterprises, and the vendor delivers services at a scale much greater than some of its competitors. Gartner also comments LogMeIn for its commitment to innovative services provided through in-depth analytics, speech-to-text transcription, and integration with smart assistants like Amazon Alexa.
Microsoft has stayed active in the meeting solutions environment with Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams leading the way for state-of-the-art communication and collaboration. Microsoft users consider ease of deployment and maintenance to be two crucial characteristics that set this vendor ahead of its competition.
Zoom also stayed in the Leader category for another year with a hybrid, SaaS, managed services and dedicated meeting services. Zoom offers a choice between Zoom Video Webinar technology and Zoom Meetings. Each option comes equipped with easy-to-use interfaces, innovative capabilities and support continuous innovation.
The Meeting Solutions Challengers for 2018
The Challengers in the Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions are defined by their operational excellence and strong reputations in the segment. They might not be as innovative as the visionaries and leaders, but they still offer excellent technology for the modern communications space.
Last year’s challengers were:
This year, we have:
Adobe‘s premises-based, SaaS, dedicated deployment and managed services meeting solutions come in the form of “Adobe Connect.” The solution comes with a useful engagement dashboard providing more profound insights into customer experiences. Gartner also notes Adobe’s business model, which focuses on responding to recent trends like the transition to cloud and serving the needs of their target audience.
Google‘s meeting solutions include Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat. Gartner celebrates Google’s success in expanding the G Suite to serve companies across the globe, boosting the adoption of Google Hangouts. Additionally, the Magic Quadrant also references Google’s interoperability with other Google products like Google Drive.
The Meeting Solutions Niche Vendors for 2018
The niche players in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions deliver useful technology and excellent service, but they’re limited by their size and geographical reach. Some also choose a niche strategy deliberately to support a more focused target audience. Last year, the niche vendors were:
This year, niche competitors are:
An NTT Communications company, Arkadin provides meeting solutions through Arkadin Vision and Arkadin Anywhere. The global reach of this company makes it really stand out in Gartner’s MQ, and its SmartStart programme ensures that adopting your new meeting solution is simple – no matter where you are in the world. Arkadin also offers a freemium licensing option.
Huawei is a technology vendor offering the “eSpace” solution, either as a SaaS solution or premise-based product. Huawei also supports a range of video endpoints for modern meetings. This year, Huawei has held onto its space in the Magic Quadrant by enhancing its meeting solutions portfolio with a broader range of capabilities like editing for recorded messages, recorded meetings, integrated digital whiteboards and more.
Lifesize provides meeting solutions through the Software as a Service model, and it also supports a range of video endpoints, like Huawei. Lifesize delivers high-quality training and management options for customers, to accelerate adoption. Additionally, the vendor has its own codec-enabled video endpoints for easy integration with the Lifesize Cloud service platform.
PGi moved from the visionary quadrant to the niche segment this year with their GlobalMeet and ReadyTalk offerings. The company consolidated their meeting solutions platforms for a more natural deployment method, intended to create a consistent user experience and foundation for market expansion.
Starleaf is a new addition to the Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions this year. The company entered the niche players category with their SaaS deployment and portfolio of high-quality video endpoints. Starleaf’s easy-to-use and deploy video collaboration service integrates seamlessly with its video conference room endpoints, as well as other popular third-party devices. Gartner also celebrates Starleaf for its partnerships with other technology vendors, intended to support a wider range of consumers.
The Meeting Solutions Visionaries for 2018
Visionaries have unique, and well-developed features in their meeting solutions according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. Gartner believes that their visionaries are leading the way to essential transformations in the current marketplace. Last year’s innovators were:
The visionaries for 2018 are:
BlueJeans delivers meeting and events solutions through software as a service offerings. BlueJeans meeting solutions come with video collaboration capabilities, and state-of-the-art technologies that feature capabilities like spatial audio, smart devices, join automation and much more. Gartner also highlights the BlueJeans Command Center, which delivers intuitive platform management and analytics for modern businesses tapping into consumer data.
Vidyo‘s meeting solutions come in premise-based, SaaS, dedicated instance, managed instance and hybrid formats. Essentially, VidyoConnect can suit any business – no matter their deployment preferences. The Vidyo service platform is reliable, resilient, and capable of performing with a variety of network types. VidyoConnect and Vidyo.io are also ideal for financial and healthcare organisations according to Gartner.