Customers and resellers in the Unified Communications (UC) community have relied on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for years, which helps them distinguish vendors and challengers.
Gartner uses its Market Guide reports for emerging and mature markets. They have some of the same information as Magic Quadrant reports, but without the relative positioning and comparisons. Even though this report did not dive deep into key metrics, it did provide basic insights that helped these firms.
However, last month Gartner announced that the age of the UC Magic Quadrant was coming to an end. This is a move in an attempt by Gartner to “refocus” their research in 2019. According to Gartner, as enterprise buying patterns continue to shift in favor of cloud-based solutions, the Magic Quadrant for an on-premise unified communications setup has now been rendered obsolete. Readers will now have access to Gartner “Market Guide.” These guides will contain much of the same information as the Magic Quadrant, but without the Niche, Visionary, Challenger, and Leader segments, or the subsequent rankings.
Another major reason as to why Gartner is doing away with the Magic Quadrant is that NetScout was suing Gartner over the “unfair” modeling of the Magic Report, which they claimed was working on a “pay to play model.” They claimed that the only way to rank in the Magic Quadrant was to buy a good position.
Although the decision to eliminate the UC magic quadrant is a controversial one, it at least shows that Gartner is paying attention to the movements of the communication space. This is also an indication that the reporting structures that have been in use for years may need to undergo a restructuring. Communication and collaboration are naturally tied together in the business environment, and a restructuring of reports will provide an opportunity to give more coverage to a wider selection of vendors.
The 2018 report will be the final edition of what was a long series of Gartner Magic Quadrants for Unified Communications.