In August of 2013 Gartner released their updated MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market. This report is a great overview of the UC market for SMBs. It does a good job of breaking down what UC means to the SMB market. Gartner evaluates the following six communication functions:
- Voice and telephony — This area includes fixed, mobile and soft telephony, as well as the evolution of PBXs and IP PBXs. This also includes live communications, such as video telephony.
- Conferencing — This area includes separate voice, videoconferencing and Web conferencing capabilities, as well as converged unified conferencing capabilities.
- Messaging — This area includes email or integration with email, voice mail and unified messaging (UM) in various forms.
- Presence and instant messaging (IM) — These will play an increasingly central role in the next generation of communications. Presence services, in particular, are expanding to enable aggregation and publication of presence and location information from and to multiple sources. This enhanced functionality is sometimes called “rich presence.”
- Clients — Unified clients enable access to multiple communications functions from a consistent interface. These may have different forms, including thick desktop clients, thin browser clients and mobile tablets, as well as specialized clients embedded within business applications.
- Communications applications — This broad group of applications has directly integrated communications functions. Key application areas include consolidated administration tools, collaboration applications, contact center applications and notification applications. Eventually, other applications will be communications-enabled. When business applications are integrated with communications applications, Gartner calls them “communications-enabled business processes.”
These broad functions cover all of main functionality an organization should evaluate when looking for a complete UC solution. Not every organization needs all of the features and functionality in each category, but the evaluation of each offering will offer insight into your organization’s needs.
As a full service Unified communications provider CTI uses many resources including Gartner when developing our product portfolio. Of our four current UC Solutions both ShoreTel and Microsoft were evaluated in this MarketScope. Based on the evaluation criteria Gartner uses CTI believes that all of our solutions can be implemented with great success in the SMB, with each of them having outstanding solutions for a wide verity of customers. For the complete Gartner Marketscope please click here.