A big thank you to Sierra Peoples from InterCall for posting a link on LinkedIn to Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant report on Web Conferencing. Those can be hard to get if you aren’t a Gartner client, but it looks like InterCall got permission for distribution. You can view the report through this link: http://j.mp/xg89JG (hopefully that works even if you are not a LinkedIn user).
Analyst David Mario Smith published the report last December. He points to continued acquisitions and consolidation in the marketplace (not news to any of us who follow the industry!). He also calls out the growth in integration of web conferencing with unified communications and social media.
Gartner’s trademarked Magic Quadrant view of providers has always been a tricky thing to interpret. Their criteria might not match yours for something like “Completeness of vision” or “Ability to execute.” Gartner says they look at business aspects of the company just as much as product features. So a vendor with less marketing or clearly articulated sales strategy could be rated lower. This often gives prominence to larger, more established corporate entities.
And as we all know, “web conferencing” can include a lot of different niche uses. Gartner includes “webinars, online meetings, messaging and audio communications.” So a product that is perfect for a large-audience one-to-many webinar might not be as good for peer-level team meetings (and vice versa). Gartner also says that they specifically looked at enterprise use products, not those tailored for general consumer use. The quadrant only includes vendors with at least $7 million annual revenue from web conferencing products.
That gave them 12 products in their evaluation list. I was a bit surprised to see Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 in the list, since that is a sunsetted product in favor of Lync. But it would be silly to leave out Microsoft as a vendor, so might as well continue to include the older product as long as it exists.
iLinc was also included under its previous independent corporate entity. The report mentions the announcement of acquisition by BroadSoft, and says that this could affect the vision and road map for the product going forward.
The final section of the report is a very brief summary of each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses. I won’t quote from that, as I don’t feel like getting sued. But it’s interesting reading.
Check it out!