Microsoft is Recognised by Gartner as Leader for Meeting Solutions
With 2020 seeing a huge surge in the demand for effective meeting solutions, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant market assessment highlights the vendors who stand out in this space.
The usage of meeting solutions like Microsoft Teams has rapidly increased in 2020 as a result of worldwide office closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a need to support business continuity through remote work. Many vendors providing meeting solutions experienced a surge in demand for their technology to help employees remain connected and productive in a variety of different scenarios for work, educational purposes and more.
As the use cases continue to expand beyond the regular day-to-day business use to scenarios like public sector meetings or virtual courtrooms, meeting solutions vendors will also need to expand their feature sets and plan ahead to accommodate this. The need to continuously monitor these solutions and their abilities are further supported by Gartner’s predictions that 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work as a result of their experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, Gartner project that by 2024, remote work and changing workforce demographics will impact enterprise meetings so that only 25% will take place in person, down from 60% today.
Gartner's Magic Quadrant
Gartner’s magic quadrant is an in-depth analysis providing advice and insight into market direction by comparing vendors based on a set of criteria and Gartner’s methodology. The meeting solution market is comprised of a diverse set of vendors giving business leaders a rich variety of solutions to choose from. Buyers for both whole enterprises or smaller businesses can select best-of-breed stand-alone solutions, freemium, or bundled software to suit their specific needs.
Leaders: Leaders have achieved notable influence and market share for meeting solutions relative to their competitors. They provide scalable solutions with a wide range of features to satisfy customer needs. Leaders are leading today and are prepared for the future.
Challengers: Challengers have a good standing in the market and are often distinguished by operational excellence. Their solutions may lack the same pace of innovation and features to suit a number of use cases when compared with leaders and visionaries.
Visionaries: Visionaries provide key innovations that point to the future of this market with often unique or well-developed collaboration capabilities and a wide range of features for many use cases. However, they lack a large installed base or substantial finances to lead or influence the whole market.
Niche Players: Niche players have good technology in their solutions with some choosing a niche strategy eg. targeted functionality or regional vendors with a local focus. However, they are often limited by their size, geographical reach, competitive pressures and/or finances.
Why is Microsoft a Leader?
The Microsoft 365 cloud bundle provides Teams meetings for up to 1,000 participants and live event broadcasts for up to 10,000 attendees. It also offers Microsoft Skype for Business Server for on-premise deployment and in combination with cloud services. With geographically diversified sales and service operations, Microsoft’s three-year vision for Microsoft Teams is to support business processes, social connections, and industry-specific workflows to help distribute work across teams both remote and in the office. The key strengths as noted by Gartner for Micorosft Teams were as follows;
Pace of Innovation: With advanced meeting features and capabilities now going beyond its iterations based on Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams adoption goes beyond the Skype for Business customer base to become a leader in the market.
Flexible Deployment: With Microsoft’s Teams limits increasing for meetings and broadcasts, Microsoft are ensuring they can meet a variety of customer needs and use cases that may demand capabilities on a larger scale.
Microsoft 365 eco-system: By enabling organisations to access a large set of collaborative functionality within the broader suite of M365, Microsoft Teams offers a unified experience to users for meetings and teamwork collaboration from a single platform.
Cautions noted around Microsoft Teams were the managing of external participants and the lack of certain meeting controls as seen in competing products.
Gartner's Inclusion Criteria
Gartner review and adjust inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants as markets change. In doing so, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant may change over time. To be included, each vendor must provide at least the following functionality in its meeting solution;
|Presentation Delivery||Text Chat|
|Integrated voice over IP (voIP) audio||Video & Mobility|
|Desktop or Application Sharing||Basic Security|
Vendors are then evaluated based on their ability to execute assessing what criteria are most important for this market. Secondly, vendors are evaluated on their completeness of vision by examining customer’s requirements for usage and purchasing and then determining how the products aligned with these.