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Mike Johnson

Analysis by Mike Johnson, Director UC Architectures & Solutions

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications for 2013 has been published. The Cisco UC portfolio is the leader again, as in 2012. Cisco is actually moving up in the quadrant. Some folks are debating why. In my opinion Cisco is the leader because experience matters. Service reliability matters and platform matters.

An enterprise IT leader who has to support and guarantee QoS and QoE (experience) on a UC platform will gravitate to a provider/OEM/partner that can single source, widely support and demonstratively prove that their solution works every time with hardware and software that were built for each other’s purposes and that have evolved for well over a decade into the Magic Quadrant UC leader. Other UC Platforms have excellent SW clients and likely even unify communications with better federation than Jabber/WebEx—but if they are harder to source/support and guarantee performance, that could explain Cisco’s leadership position.

The top UC players have earned their right as Magic Quadrant leaders. When looking for objective reasons for why Cisco remains on top, I consider the robust network, policy and endpoint synergies as well as the army of partners, consultants and install base success stories as clear differentiation. Everything else being equal, the leader, Cisco, has these distinct advantages.

Do you think these are valid reasons for Cisco’s standout performance? Or are there other reasons for their lead in the Magic Quadrant?

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