Meeting room solutions are now an essential component of business, but who are this year's leaders?
The Magic Quadrant has long been the top resource for businesses looking for the brands and solutions that are dominating the market. For any business looking to stay abreast of the digital workplace, the vendors in this report are the first place they look.
Meeting services have transitioned to the cornerstone of many businesses and we have seen unprecedented innovation over the last 12 months. Meetings have moved beyond video conversations to include collaboration, interactive technology, and engagement technology.
According to Gartner, by 2024 the virtual visual canvas will become the centre of 30 percent of meeting experiences as focus shifts to enabling collaboration. By 2025, Gartner predicts 50 percent of all enterprise virtual events will occur on the video meeting platform already deployed by the business.
The Leaders quadrant hasn’t changed this year, the big three are still out in front.
Cisco’s Webex offers customers a suite of collaboration products that addresses the need for meetings, events, and education classes. Customers and partners can choose from a variety of deployment options, including cloud-premises hybrid or managed service. Cisco also offers a range of video endpoints for rooms and personal workspaces.
Like all the leaders, Cisco has made leaps and bounds this year through its own development efforts and with a raft of acquisitions in the artificial intelligence, audience interaction, hybrid event management, and improved audio and video experiences spaces.
Microsoft continues to be a dominant force in the meetings space. The Microsoft 365 bundle includes Microsoft Teams which gives users the ability to hold meetings with up to 1,000 participants. The wider ecosystem can be accessed via the Teams client which unlocks several key collaborative capabilities.
In the past year, Microsoft’s Teams Meetings have seen major improvements such as transcription enhancements, expanded webinar capabilities, intelligent conference room functions, surveying and gestures for audience engagement, a new presenter mode, and live caption.
Zoom is a leader in this Magic Quadrant for another year. Zoom meetings continue to be some of the best in the marketplace and cater to a wide variety of use-cases. Zoom’s solutions can be deployed as SaaS, premises-based software, cloud-premises hybrid, managed services, or dedicated cloud.
Key features this year include Smart Gallery and Zoom for Home. Zoom remains an easy-to-buy, deploy and use service which has contributed to its rising popularity in the market.
The Challengers quadrant welcomes a new name this year as Pexip slides across from last year’s visionaries quadrant.
GoTo (previously branded LogMeIn in Gartner’s research) offers GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, and join.me to meet a wide variety of business needs in the meetings arena. A cloud-only deployment model, the business plans to grow its solutions as part of the broader UC offering GoToConnect. GoTo has been praised widely for its intuitive host controls, feature richness, and interaction features for webinars.
Google Workspace includes Google Meet for meetings of up to 250 participants. As a SaaS only deployment model Google is focusing its efforts on the public sector, schools, non-profits and businesses that need to support hybrid workflows. The solution is cost-effective and provides easy access to most meeting room scenarios. Its seamless integration within Google Workspaces has made it a popular solution.
Pexip is now a challenger in this year’s quadrant. Pexip’s meeting solution addresses a range of enterprise use cases for collaboration and multivendor conferencing interoperability. Pexip is certified with both Microsoft and Google to deliver video interoperability for their meeting platforms and can also provide customers with robust data sovereignty options.
Huawei offers hardware-based video endpoints and its WeLink meeting solution platform. Huawei is concentrating its efforts in transitioning its current customer base away from the premise-based solution and into the cloud. Huawei boasts a number of unique features not available from other vendors on this quadrant. These include in-meeting content markup and editing, co-browsing, and in-room speech recognition.
There are some new faces in the Visionaries Quadrant this year as Avaya and Kaltura join BlueJeans and StarLeaf from the Niche Players Quadrant.
Avaya’s meeting room solution is Spaces which is part of their OneCloud UCaaS proposition. Avaya aims its solution at customers wanting a unified experience across meetings, contact centre, workstream collaboration, and voice services. It also has a reputation for its ease of use and its workstream APIs for easy integration.
BlueJeans by Verizon
BlueJeans is focused on the enterprise segment, mostly on Verizon’s customer base. BlueJeans Meetings supports a significant integration into the Verizon UC offering which has seen traction in the healthcare and higher learning sectors. BlueJeans not only carries a number of integrations with other well known vendor solutions but it also offers a compelling set of security features.
Kaltura Meetings, Virtual Classroom, and Virtual Events cover a wide variety of enterprise use cases for a modern day meeting. Kaltura supports cloud, on-premise, or hybrid deployment options. The solution adopts a ‘plays well with others’ mentality and endeavours to embed video capabilities into a number of business applications. The ability to blend recorded and streamed video content with live video meeting experiences is a particular strength.
StarLeaf is renowned for delivering high-quality experiences that are not only simple to use but also secure and consistent across desktops, rooms, and smartphones. The platform interoperates with several competing meeting room services which allows users to join third-party meetings easily. Its quality security features and consistency of service make StarLeaf a popular choice.
Lifesize has joined the Niche Players Quadrant this year as Avaya and Kaltura head over to the visionaries.
Adobe Connect is typically considered for remote learning and training due to its high-level webinar feature set. Adobe continues to pursue the government, education, and enterprise sectors. The platform has seen huge growth due to its cross-functional strategy, customisation features, and breakout rooms.
Quanshi’s MeetNow product is available globally but is concentrated in Greater China. The simplistic approach to meetings has served the business well as customers look for solutions that do the basics well but also provide specific integrations for services like WeChat. The company is looking to develop its OnShow platform for online events and the Metcom platform which offers a virtual learning solution.
TrueConf Server has gained considerable traction with customers that still require an on-premise deployment for security or availability reasons. The platform also supports cloud and hybrid deployment options. TrueConf offers videoconferencing and messaging designed to support collaborative work. The solution has gained a great reputation for ease of deployment and dependable stability.
Lifesize supports a wide range of digital workplace needs with its cloud-based meeting room solution. Lifesize is committed to making meetings more immersive with 4K group video systems and interoperability of its video endpoints with other leading meeting platforms. Lifesize Connect enables customers to take advantage of the BYOD landscape by enabling Icon room systems with Windows or Mac devices to join meetings on any third-party cloud video app or service.
2021 has certainly been labelled ‘The Year of the Meeting’ as the pandemic continues to fuel hybrid working for many businesses. For the vendors featured here, it is not only important to be featured but to be featured for the right reasons.
Although the quadrant includes the same vendors as last year we have seen some movement between the Visionaries and Niche Players quadrants. Notable moves include Avaya faring significantly better this year as they move into the Visionaries Quadrant. This is encouraging for a vendor that has spent much of the last five years developing and executing its cloud strategy with its huge customer base.
The Leaders Quadrant remains unchanged with one small movement from Zoom that has overtaken Cisco with its ability to execute scores. It is hard to imagine seeing another vendor on this quadrant catching these three leaders in the immediate future as their development cycles are still some of the fastest in the market.