The last game on TalkingPointz was Match the UC Tagline to the UC Vendor. This new game is made possible due to the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant UC report. This report attempts to boil down a whole lot of complex information into a simple grid. It attempts to be the Consumer Reports of the industry and seems to have quite a bit of influence. The Ability to Execute axis has 7 categories of consideration including marketing and customer experience, and the Vision axis covers 8 areas including business model and innovation.
In addition to the actual grid, each vendor included gets a brief description that includes strengths and cautions for the buyer. Some strengths and cautions are very specific to the vendor and/or product in question, and some are fairly generic – surprisingly generic considering the 15 point evaluation criteria.
I’ve selected 12 bullets from the 2013 report. Match the strength and cautions to the correct vendor:
1) Strength: “[Vendor] offers a full UC suite with strong, globally scalable support for IM/presence, video, telephony and multiple conferencing options. Additionally, full UC functionality is available on leading mobile platforms.”
2) Strength: “[Vendor’s] vision for collaboration and social business, as well as its emerging cloud options, provide the vendor with a direction for next generation of UCC.”
3) Caution: “[Vendor’s] UC solutions have limited brand recognition, compared with the leading competitors in the North American and European markets; as a result, [Vendor] is often not included for consideration in these markets. To succeed, the vendor needs to advance its brand marketing for [Vendor] [Product] as a full UC suite.”
4) Strength: “[Vendor] continues to improve its offerings and ability to compete in the evolving software and cloud markets.”
5) Strength: “[Vendor] is able to leverage its installed base, especially in Europe, and generally has a lower total cost of ownership offering relative to other vendors.”
6) Strength: “The vendor’s enterprise products can span provider and enterprise physical or virtual environments, which may prove useful for cloud-based, on-premises and hybrid offerings, and for penetrating existing markets where its on-premises sales are not well established.”
7) Caution: “Some of [Vendor’s] channel partners in the North American and European markets for the [Product] lack the experience and skills needed to sell and deliver this broader product. To succeed, [Vendor] needs to continue to expand its partner training programs. Buyers interested in [Product] should contact [Vendor] to ensure that they are aligned with a partner that has the needed competencies.”
8) Strength: “[Vendor] leverages open standards to support integration with other vendors’ UC solutions and a broad range of SIP endpoints.”
9) Strength: “[Vendor’s] integration capabilities have been expanded, allowing for stronger multivendor UC integration options, including integration with Microsoft Lync.”
10) Strength: “[Product] offers a full multiparty, multidevice and multimedia UC suite with a competitive TCO that can operate as a complete solution, or as part of a multivendor UC solution.”
11) Strength: “[Vendor] is developing an attractive hybrid on-premises and cloud offering.”
12) Caution: “Although [Vendor] is adding new channel partners, the market share for its UC product in key markets such as North America remains limited. Some partners may have limited experience supporting UC functionality.”
That should have been pretty hard. I only selected strengths and cautions that I felt could be applied to multiple vendors.