Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2013: A Couple Thoughts


Here are some quick thoughts about the latest Gartner UC Magic Quadrant report. At a quick glance we will notice several things:

  • Not a great amount of change, most “dots” are at the same places
  • Digium is no longer on the report. (I think this is fair)
  • IBM moved up/ahead of AlcatelLucent
  • The gaps between Leaders Cisco and Microsoft has been widened

Cisco and Microsoft are once again Leaders. Drilling into the quadrant leaders, from a Lync perspective (as a Lync MVP and partner) in some ways it appears that Lync Server 2013 improvements, while noted in summary may not be reflected in “Strengths” Section. What are some changes on Microsoft side that seem to have created “negative” progress spatial position in the quadrant?

  • Lync 2013 has released full Voice/Video/Meeting Join mobile clients across popular mobile platforms like iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone Devices. All functionality included in one unified client
  • Lync Room System brings integrated room system video
  • H264 Video Support & first to support UVC 1.5 video offloading on PC’s
  • No mention of Lync Server 2013 Multitenant Hosting Pack click here

Taking a look at the “Five UC Characteristic” Gartner notes are important:

  • User Experience
    • Whether on PC, Mac, or popular mobile platforms Lync provides 1 client and 1 logic experience that provides all functionality.
  • Mobility
    • Lync Mobile 2013 provides 1 client and 1 login that provides access to IM/P, Voice and Meetings on popular mobile platforms like iphone, ipad, android & windowsphone. This include voice, video, IM/P, meeting join using VoIP.
  • Interoperability
    • Microsoft Lync 2013 provides native IM/P+ federation to wide variety of vendors/products
      • Google Gmail
      • Skype/LiveMessenger
      • XMPP based Vendor/Product like: Avaya/Openfire/Webex/Jabber
      • Click Here for complete article
    • Microsoft Lync continues to provide most widely actually federated product
      • Lync Federation Directory +18,000 Organizations: Click Here
      • Interop vendors: Click Here
  • Broad solution Appeal
      • IT – Very robust online community providing assistance, addons, etc
      • IT – Use admin tools Server pro’s are already familiar with

The 2013 Magic Quadrantimage

2012 Magic Quadrant Report for Comparisonimage

It would be interesting to hear the rationale that caused the gap to widen between Cisco and Microsoft. Cisco is positively mentioned for supporting VMWare; It is not mentioned that Lync is supported on both VMWare and HyperV. Another question one might raise: Lync’s close integration with Exchange, Sharepoint, Office and Skype is listed as a “Caution” and it’s open approach to hardware is also a “Caution”? (Note that Sharepoint, Skype and arguably Office are not *required*) So if hardware and software status’ were switched, would this make them both go into “Strength’s”? Considering UX is very important in the UC MQ, it’s surprising that Lync 2013 single login/single client didn’t change it’s position?


how many apps should a Unified Communication solution require on a mobile device?

There are several other reports on the UC MQ that have some quite interesting “comment conversation” you should take a look at:

Another interesting Magic Quadrant report and no doubt that Microsoft and Cisco are duking it out as Leaders.


The full report:


  1. It would be interesting to understand how Cisco even gets into that quadrant, I've yet to find or speak to anyone who is satisfied that they provide a true unified experience, in fact most people have been ripping cisco out to put lync in.

    1. It's a fair question. Cisco's UC experience, as Matt points out, is far from unified. In fact, Cisco Jabber pivots you to a disconnected (un-unified!) WebEx client for the majority of its multimedia experience - certainly the for any collaboration heavy lifting. Between Call Manager, Jabber, Tandberg for video and WebEx for data sharing and collaboration, the experience still looks and feels like a loosely coupled mashup across four different companies. It floors me to hear Cisco quoted as the UC leader here - I can only attribute that position to a wise spend of marketing dollars. I would love for someone to explain this in real, objective terms!

  2. I totally agree with you Matt, i was quite surprised when when i saw this year quadrant, I was expecting much better results especially with the release of the voip mobility features on Lync server 2013, but I believe that these results will change soon, and if not MQ 2014 will certainly witness huge changes.

    Thanks for the brief

  3. WSO2 positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance report, published on August 8, 2013.
    esb vendors gartner forrester

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