As companies search for more flexibility in their communication services, the “as a service” approach to UC has become increasingly popular. The as a service model allows organisations to access the latest features of UC technology through the cloud, ensuring exceptional scalability.
Today, Gartner believes that by 2021, 90% of IT leaders will be relying on the cloud for their UC technology. The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a report that evaluates vendors in the UCaaS space according to their “completeness of vision” for innovative technology, and their “ability to execute.” Let’s examine who made the cut this year.
The UCaaS Leaders for 2018
Leaders in the UCaaS Magic Quadrant offer the best completeness of vision, and the strongest ability to execute. In 2017, the leaders were:
- Orange Business Services
This year we have:
RingCentral has accomplished some phenomenal things this year. They were our UC Awards 2018 winner for “Best Cloud Communications Provider,” and now they’re at the head of the leader section for the Gartner Magic Quadrant too. RingCentral has successfully expanded their offering across SMB, mid-size and enterprise accounts, offering the full RingCentral Office with Glip collaboration, and multiple enhanced communication features. Gartner notes that RingCentral has a strong market position, and this year posted a strong revenue growth of 34% since 2017.
8×8 is a UCaaS application specialist who rebranded their product portfolio this year to the “X Series.” 8×8 now has a rich cloud portfolio featuring integrated UC, workstream collaboration, contact centre solutions, conferencing and more. Gartner believes that over 50% of 8×8 customers currently purchase CCaaS from the company to compliment their UCaaS deployments too.
Global CSP Orange offers two separate UCaaS services, including a Skype-based solution and Cisco-based option. Orange deploys reference architecture for UCaaS too through a range of gateways, handsets, headsets, SBCs, video endpoints and more. Gartner’s financial assessment tool gave Orange a positive financial rating this year, and Gartner showed that Orange is a well-proven vendor, with more than 10,000 seats in both the Microsoft and Cisco stacks.
Global CSP BT offers five UCaaS options in its portfolio, including the “One Cloud Cisco” HCS, and the One Cloud Microsoft option, which are the focus of the MQ evaluation. The OneCloud iComms from Ribbon, Cloud Voice (RingCentral) and Cloud Phone (BroadSoft) specifically target the UK. Gartner suggests that BT has advanced skills in the UCaaS stacks and can support a range of communication environments around the world.
Global CSP Verizon offers Verizon Unified Communications and Collaboration on a surface based on the Cisco HCS platform. Serving companies in more than 1040 countries, Verizon has a broad reach, and a connection with Cisco for selling WebEx Meetings, Teams, Cloud Connected Audio and more. Verizon’s UCaaS adoption platform also makes it easier for customers to access the full suite of solutions.
The UCaaS Challengers for 2018
The UCaaS Magic Quadrant Challengers are solutions that are quickly making their way towards a leadership position. Last year (2017) we had:
This year, the Challengers are:
One of the best-known publicly-held IT service vendors in the world, Microsoft’s UCaaS application is Microsoft Teams, part of the Office 365 suite. The Microsoft Teams offering supports presence, workstream collaboration, screen and audio sharing, and more. With a new direct-routing capability supporting third-party PBXs, Teams is consistently gaining momentum in the UCaaS market this year. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft hits the Leaderboard.
Google is another major contender ready to move to the Leadership position soon. Google’s UCaaS offering includes Hangouts and the G Suite cloud office bundle. The Google service is available in a wide selection of languages around the world, and it’s received various updates in the last year with new endpoints, clients, user experience solutions and more. Hangouts fosters a highly collaborative work experience that’s quick to deploy, and highly cost-effective.
Global CSP AT&T targets UCaaS both directly, and through a selection of channel partners. AT&T has three separate cloud-based offers, which enable the company to deliver support for most UC stacks, regardless of the size of their customer’s business. Gartner also notes that AT&T has taken steps to improve and simplify the customer experience with a new upfront requirement design team, post-sales deployment services, and automated migration tools.
Cisco’s position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS this year comes from Gartner’s evaluation of the Cisco BroadCloud component, where Cisco delivers and maintains UCaaS stacks. The BroadSoft acquisition in 2018 gave Cisco access to multiple cloud calling capabilities and additional services for UCaaS. Gartner notes that the Cisco BroadCloud platform is highly scalable, with countless new facilities on the horizon.
The UCaaS portfolio for the NTT Group come from the combined assets of Arkadin, Dimension Data, and NTT Communications. The three separate business units run UCaaS solutions that have offered a positive financial rating this year, according to Gartner. The NTT has made methodical gains this year according to Gartner, by aligning multiple UCaaS groups together to serve customer needs.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant niche players for UCaaS in 2017 were:
- NTT Group
This year, the niche players are:
A privately-held vendor with a global footprint in networking, Masergy has recently expanded to support managed security services, and UCaaS delivered from the SD platform. Masergy offers a robust adjacent portfolio to its UCaaS solution which includes CCaaS, SIP Trunking, SD-WAN and more.
Star2Star is a UCaaS application specialist that delivers UCaaS solutions to a wide range of companies spanning from large enterprises to SMBs. Star2Star merged with BlueFace this year for extended coverage over Europe and Asia Pacific. Through two UCaaS offerings, Star2Star offers a broad range of services, and the system they provide over the cloud requires no customer premise equipment – ideal for low-cost deployment.
The UCaaS Visionaries for 2018
Finally, the UCaaS Visionaries for 2017 were:
- BroadSoft (now part of Cisco)
This year, the Visionaries for the Magic Quadrant are:
West is currently a privately-held company following a recent purchase by Apollo Global Management. Today, the lead UCaaS offering for the company, VoiceMaxx CE is built on the Cisco HCS platform. West also supports CCaaS from Cisco, alongside its own branded CCaaS solution. The West offering is highly supported by adjacent services, and Gartner believes that Apollo is investing in West to improve its position in the marketplace.
Mitel has two global UCaaS solutions to offer in the form of MiCloud Connect and MiCloud Flex. The two options give companies access to a broad range of services, and Mitel also plans to link its range of on-premise PBXs with MiCloud Connect through an emerging CloudLink integration. Gartner notes that Mitel can support both standard UCaaS portfolios, and customers with unique requirements.
Finally, privately held UCaaS app specialist Fuze runs it’s own UCaaS multi-tenant platform which now supports collaboration features. In 2017, Fuze linked its portfolio with AppNeta to expand into video and voice reporting and quality monitoring capabilities. Fuze customers appreciate its fantastic rate of innovation according to Gartner.
Considering this Year’s Magic Quadrant
It’s been a successful year for many companies in the 2018 UCaaS Magic Quadrant. Cisco took over for BroadSoft after the recent BroadSoft/Cisco acquisition, but the players in the report remained the same from 2017 with a few vendors shifting up and down to new sections of the report.
We’re particularly impressed by RingCentral this year for its exceptional cloud performance, and believe that Cisco, Microsoft, and Google are well on their way towards a potential appearance in the Leadership quadrant of the MQ.
What do you think about this year’s UCaaS Magic Quadrant? Let us know in the comments below.
Other Gartner Magic Quadrants for 2018: