Unified Communications Featured Article

Gartner Names Unified Communications Leaders

July 30, 2018

Gartner has come out with a new Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications report. In it the research and advisory company names Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, and Mitel as UC Leaders.  Chinese equipment giant Huawei alone occupies the Challenger quadrant.  Gartner considers NEC and Alcatel Lucent as Niche players in the UC arena and calls Unify a Visionary.

USA Today reports that the Leaders are all making a return appearance in that quadrant, with one exception: Avaya.  The company’s return to the UC Leaders category is particularly notable in light of its recent struggles.  Avaya last year filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after having struggled under a heavy debt load.  But, by the end of 2017, it emerged from Chapter 11 after having successfully completed its debt restructuring.

As for Cisco, its reappearance in the UC Leaders quadrant follows its recent move to consolidate its collaboration offerings under the Webex brand.  This spring, the networking giant announced that Cisco Spark going forward would be called Webex Teams, Cisco Spark Assistant had become Webex Assistant, and Cisco Spark Board is now called the Webex Board.

Mitel this year did some rebranding of its own, bringing the solutions it got via its ShoreTel acquisition into its MiCloud, MiCollab, MiVoice circle.

Meanwhile, the other UC leader, Microsoft, is replacing Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams. This points to the larger trend toward team collaboration.

Other key trends driving what’s happening in business communications and collaboration, or UC, include the distributed workforce, mobility and app-based solutions, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Today’s employees are more connected, more mobile and more apps-oriented than ever before, and Mitel has worked to make it simple, intuitive and seamless for companies to connect and collaborate,” said Bob Agnes, EVP and President, Mitel Products and Solutions.  “Mitel’s portfolio supports flexible provisioning models and architectures, in turn making it possible for customers to link existing solutions and deployment models with their desired future, giving our customers the freedom to move forward with ease.”

Edited by Erik Linask