Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems

Published: 14 July 2016 ID: G00290014

Analyst(s):

Summary

Software video infrastructure, video as a service and innovative form factors are reshaping video collaboration. We review eight vendors with the necessary reach, scale and interoperability for the global enterprise market so that IT infrastructure and operations leaders can make an informed choice.

Market Definition/Description

This document was revised on 15 July 2016. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on gartner.com.

Group video systems primarily serve the need for high quality video interaction across a range of meeting room sizes and endpoint types, including soft clients and mobile devices. They also include the requisite infrastructure to connect these endpoints for point-to-point and multipoint conference calls. The infrastructure to support video interaction is deployed on-premises, consumed from cloud providers “as a service,” or as a hybrid of the two.

In addition to one or more screens of video, these systems allow for content-sharing collaboration functions, as well as integration with unified communications (UC) platforms. As participants join meetings from outside the conference room, these collaborative systems accommodate desktop and mobile endpoints while providing continuity of experience across all device types. These systems also allow for interoperability with standards-based endpoints such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), H.323, and WebRTC.

In 2016, group videoconferencing is a $3.3 billion market, declining slightly (−1.3% annually) through 2020 (see “Forecast: Unified Communications, Worldwide, 2013-2020, 2Q16 Update;”Video Systems and Infrastructure tab). The elements of group video systems evaluated as part of this document include the following:

  • Dedicated and huddle room systems. Immersive form factors are at the high end of the group video market. These are dedicated systems that may include furniture, lighting and integrated audio, and are deployed in rooms purpose-built for video meetings — with one or more screens. Customer interest in this segment has declined as enterprises seek more affordable and more flexible solutions. New entries in this category have focused on free-standing form factors that include display, camera technology and audio along with an integrated codec. Free-standing form factors can be more readily deployed and can also be repurposed in other rooms as needs change. Devices in this category have primary use cases based on group video interaction.
  • The desire to equip smaller meeting rooms and huddle room spaces — as a way of extending technology to a larger share of the enterprise user base — is growing in influence. These systems allow flexible deployment of codecs, displays and peripherals in a manner that can accommodate a variety of room configurations. Enterprises often couple the services of an audio/video (A/V) integrator as part of room design and automation to optimize the solution. This category includes “soft room endpoints,” where video/audio encoding and decoding is implemented in software; it does not include A/V “aggregation devices” that neither encode nor decode video.
  • Personal video endpoints. Accommodating individual video participants in group meetings is an essential component of the video portfolio. These solutions can range from soft clients for desktop and mobile devices, to WebRTC-browser-based clients to desktop video appliances that offer very high quality audio and video. The emphasis in this segment is on interoperability with group and immersive systems.
  • Video infrastructure. Available as dedicated chassis hardware or as a software stack, video infrastructure facilitates both multipoint conferencing among a vendor’s own endpoint portfolio and interoperability with other standards-based video endpoints including SIP, H.323 and WebRTC. Interoperability includes transcoding of media as well as interworking of signaling to facilitate point-to-point and multipoint calling. Vendors may offer this capability directly as a cloud deployment delivered “as a service,” or through relationships with partners. Alternatively, vendors such as Cisco (through Acano) and Polycom (RealPresence Clariti) offer premises-based software video infrastructures.

When rating group video systems in this Magic Quadrant, we considered several important factors, including the following:

  • Clearly demonstrated market traction with large enterprise or public sector customers
  • Product range, including the ability to span from large dedicated video rooms to personal and mobile endpoints
  • The scope, quality and innovation of content-sharing tools available with the product
  • Innovation in endpoint design, cloud-based infrastructure and user experience
  • Ability to directly facilitate reach and interoperability, including different signaling, endpoint types, video codecs and network transport
  • The availability and functionality of tools to provision and manage endpoints and infrastructure to facilitate ease of use
  • Product quality, especially in dedicated room systems and modular room systems

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (July 2016)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

Avaya

Avaya , one of the largest vendors in the enterprise voice and UC market, has been offering group video systems since its acquisition of Radvision in 2012. In 2015, Avaya made progress toward integrating the Scopia video elements with its Aura UC Platform in order to converge its conferencing applications and offer a more consistent and collaborative user experience. Additionally, following the acquisition of Esna Technologies in May 2015, Avaya can now embed video access in third-party web applications, enabling enterprise customers to participate in video communications from their favored business applications. Avaya is building on its foundation of cloud video offerings globally with both partner-hosted video solutions and its own AvayaLive Video cloud service. It also introduced new endpoints in 2015, including the H175 Video Collaboration Station, which features a detachable full-HD 1080p, 30 frames per second (aka 1080p30), wide-angle camera and wideband speakerphone, allowing it to be used in both personal desktop and huddle room settings. For larger conference room environments, there are the cost-effective Scopia XT4300 and the flagship H.265-based Scopia XT7100, both with integrated multipoint control units (MCUs).

Further convergence of its video portfolio and Avaya Aura UC assets may help to convince Avaya’s voice and UC customer base to stay in the brand and gain the benefits of a more seamless user experience. Enterprises should consider Avaya’s Scopia portfolio for all videoconferencing use cases; this applies especially to those that already have an Avaya voice and UC solution.

STRENGTHS
  • Avaya offers a broad array of hardware, software and mobile video endpoints, as well as conferencing and collaboration applications, across its Scopia and Aura platforms. These can satisfy nearly all enterprise video use cases.
  • The acquisition of Esna enables Avaya to embed its Scopia video calling, conferencing and collaboration functions into applications such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Office 365 Calendar (Outlook’s “hover card”) and across Salesforce.
  • Avaya’s reference customers indicated that it had the critical video features and integration capabilities they required. It also scored well for ease of use.
CAUTIONS
  • Avaya has yet to fully integrate its video assets into its UC portfolio. Although the engineering work is underway, it has more work to do to harmonize its Scopia and Aura platforms and deliver a unified user experience for video solutions.
  • Judging from Avaya’s limited market share in the general enterprise video market, sales of its group video solutions are probably largely dependent on “pull through” sales to its existing voice and UC customers.
  • Avaya’s financial rating remains “Caution,” according to Gartner’s published methodology for rating IT providers’ financial status. Avaya announced that it has engaged advisors to address the company’s capital structure in order to meet its large debt obligations.

Cisco

Cisco remains the global market share leader for video endpoints and infrastructure, with a comprehensive range of form factors for every enterprise video use case. Cisco’s innovations in its endpoint portfolio have focused on ease of use. They include the introduction of intelligent proximity sensing to enable mobile devices and laptops to view and share content across associated room systems; the introduction of PresenterTrack enhances existing speaker-tracking technology to intelligently manage camera transitions for front-of-room presenters. In addition, Cisco has introduced new options to improve the scalability and simplicity of its video solutions. For example, Cisco’s recently completed acquisition of Acano simplifies the ability of all users (including those with WebRTC and Microsoft Skype for Business endpoints) to access virtual meeting spaces.

Cisco has taken some initial steps to simplify its licensing models in order to make it easier to offer virtual-meeting capabilities. By making video an integrated component of its Spark collaboration platform, Cisco will have additional opportunities to increase the penetration of its video experiences and add value to conversational workflows.

Cisco continues to develop a broad range of on-premises and cloud-based video solutions that are attractive to corporations of all sizes around the world, especially those requiring a full set of video functionality.

STRENGTHS
  • With demand growing for a broad range of modular and flexible endpoint form factors, Cisco consistently provides evidence of large enterprise deployments globally that span boardroom to desktop.
  • Cisco’s leadership in web conferencing and group video infrastructure enables it to satisfy the need for hybrid architectures that maximize quality and security.
  • Cisco retains strong executive sponsorship for its boardroom video solutions, which often results in better account control as enterprises expand their video estate.
CAUTIONS
  • Cisco’s acquisition of Acano will improve the scalability and affordability of large on-premises deployments, but is not fully integrated with Cisco’s Cloud Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR), which results in inconsistent end-user experiences.
  • Cisco is enabling its room systems with cloud registration capabilities via Spark Room OS. At present, the only supported room system for Spark Room OS is the Cisco TelePresence SX10; however, plans are in place to broaden availability to other room systems.
  • The direction of Cisco’s video portfolio — with a greater emphasis on cloud deployments — is causing enterprise clients to rationalize existing investments in single and multicodec endpoints, telepresence servers, VCS Expressway, WebEx and Jabber.

Huawei

Huawei is one of the largest technology providers in the world. Its sales of group video systems continued to grow, resulting in increased endpoint and infrastructure revenue in a challenging market. Shipments of video equipment are mainly in China and the broader Asia/Pacific region, but sales are also growing in EMEA. Huawei has commercialized its H.265 TX-50 endpoint, which includes integrated Wi-Fi support and built-in MCU capacity for local conferencing, and its DP300 touchscreen device. Huawei also has immersive multiscreen video endpoints and a video wall form factor called Max Presence.

Huawei’s portfolio includes a set of chassis-based MCUs. The company is also trialing its first soft MCU, which is intended for cloud deployments, with its service provider partners. Its video infrastructure supports networking solutions that address the needs of large, distributed enterprises. Huawei’s video room systems can integrate with Microsoft Skype for Business and WebRTC endpoints through gateways.

Enterprises, especially those in Asia/Pacific and EMEA — regions where Huawei’s sales and service channel partnerships are better established — should consider Huawei for video endpoints and premises-based video infrastructures.

STRENGTHS
  • Huawei has a robust suite of group video solutions that meets general enterprise requirements. It also has dedicated endpoint designs for vertical markets, including healthcare.
  • Huawei reported $60.8 billion in revenue in 2015. Its solutions span the carrier, large enterprise, small or midsize business (SMB) and consumer markets. Its financial strength provides a solid foundation on which to grow its video business.
  • Huawei has partnerships with large European service providers to win large public sector and enterprise video contracts.
CAUTIONS
  • Huawei does not currently offer an enterprise-class option for a software MCU. This makes large-scale video deployments expensive to build and support.
  • Huawei has yet to commercialize a virtualized cloud infrastructure offering, and is trailing its main competitors in this regard. It will rely on third-party service providers that have yet to show they can be successful in winning significant business with video as a service (VaaS) offerings.
  • Huawei has limited video market presence in North America. Prospective customers in this region should check with local sales offices to determine the experience level of its in-region partners.

Lifesize

Lifesize , which was spun off from Logitech in December 2015, is now an independent company backed by venture capital. It has made a strategic decision to focus on its Icon endpoints for enterprise meeting rooms, along with its Lifesize Cloud VaaS offering for multimedia and web conferencing, while deprioritizing its on-premises video infrastructure business. This integrated approach allows Lifesize to offer cloud-native endpoints designed to exploit the capabilities of its virtual meeting rooms. This also enables simplified endpoint registration and software updates, and a directory structure that streamlines intracompany calling.

The Icon series ranges from the Icon 400 and Icon Flex for small meeting rooms and huddle spaces, to the Icon 600 for larger meeting spaces and the Icon 800 for auditoriums and lecture halls. Lifesize has introduced additional features to simplify deployment and management of its endpoint systems, but still faces growing competition from commodity video endpoints and unbundled VaaS services.

Enterprises should consider Lifesize when looking for a VaaS offering with integrated video room systems that are easy to deploy and manage.

STRENGTHS
  • Enterprise adoption of cloud-based conferencing has increased significantly and is projected to continue to do so. Lifesize has positioned itself well to capitalize on this trend — having its cloud-native endpoints integrated with its cloud services.
  • Lifesize uses a highly available, distributed architecture across a network of 14 IBM (SoftLayer) data centers worldwide, to deliver scalability and consistent performance.
  • Gartner clients report that the Lifesize video solution experience is user-friendly and that it eases the adoption of conferencing within their organizations.
CAUTIONS
  • Lifesize no longer has the financial cushion that comes with being part of a larger, well-established company (Logitech). It is now more vulnerable to market forces.
  • Lifesize’s withdrawal from the on-premises infrastructure market may be consistent with trends toward virtualized and cloud-based alternatives, but it eliminates opportunities for Lifesize to win business from enterprises that favor on-premises MCU approaches.
  • Lifesize faces a rapidly growing set of competitive solutions in the cloud video infrastructure market segment, including VaaS coupled with third-party audiovisual peripherals.

Polycom

Polycom offers a broad portfolio of enterprise-class voice and videoconferencing solutions, as well as an expanding suite of Microsoft Skype for Business integrations. During the past year, its product line has continued to grow, with a number of key video endpoint and infrastructure introductions. For example, Polycom’s new RealPresence Trio (with an optional visual and content sharing module) and RealPresence Debut endpoint offerings address the growing huddle room market. Another offering, RealPresence Centro, has a center-of-the-room video form factor that enables participants to be closer to the screens with 360 degrees of camera access.

Polycom continues to sell its popular RealPresence Group series, HDX and CX endpoints for conference spaces of various sizes and for a range of collaboration use cases. Additionally, in 1Q16, Polycom launched its RealPresence Clariti collaboration infrastructure in response to growing demand for software-based video infrastructure that enables cost-efficient scaling, multivendor interoperability, video recording, and content management.

Enterprises should consider Polycom’s video portfolio when looking for a broad range of standards-based options and strong integration capabilities with Skype for Business.

STRENGTHS
  • Polycom has consistently demonstrated an ability to deliver enterprise-class video solutions for a wide range of corporate video collaboration use cases.
  • Polycom is Microsoft’s strongest videoconferencing partner. It provides a wide range of UC and video platform options for extending the Skype for Business experience into the conference room and any standards-based video endpoint.
  • Polycom’s reference customers indicated that it had the critical video features and integration capabilities required. They were also generally very satisfied with its video solutions.
CAUTIONS
  • With its ownership situation evolving, Polycom risks being distracted from its strategic roadmap and operations.
  • Polycom’s video endpoint shipments and revenue have declined, and eroded its market share during the past three years, which may limit further investments in new product development.
  • Polycom’s legacy endpoint and infrastructure accounts are exposed in the technological transition to unbranded soft endpoints and video appliances.

StarLeaf

StarLeaf , a new entrant to this Magic Quadrant, offers a cloud-based video calling and conferencing service in conjunction with its own group video endpoints. Its OpenCloud offering is designed to support standard SIP and H.323 video endpoints, as well as interoperability with Microsoft Skype for Business clients. Video users can call directly from a Skype for Business client to an H.323/SIP meeting room or multiparty conference, with a bidirectional screen sharing capability while on a call. StarLeaf offers a few group video endpoint options with its GT Mini 3330 range of devices for single- and dual-screen configurations, to cater for huddle rooms, boardrooms and larger conference rooms. StarLeaf’s endpoint product line also includes the PT Mini 3020 for desktop deployments and the larger Group Telepresence 3351 for auditoriums. StarLeaf also offers a group video endpoint — the GTm 5250 — specifically engineered to register and operate with Skype for Business.

The OpenCloud subscription allows unlimited point-to-point calling across all supported device types. Although still a relatively small business, StarLeaf has points of presence in several key markets around the world. Enterprises looking for an easy-to-use, cloud-based video calling and conferencing service with integrated, cost-effective endpoints should consider StarLeaf.

STRENGTHS
  • StarLeaf’s cloud-based VaaS offering, in combination with its video endpoints, positions it well as the market moves away from on-premises video infrastructure.
  • StarLeaf offers video endpoints capable of registering to its own cloud service. It also offers a video endpoint that registers with Skype for Business. Additionally, StarLeaf’s OpenCloud has native integration with both on-premises and Microsoft Office 365 Skype for Business deployments.
  • Most of StarLeaf’s reference customers were very satisfied with their solution. They found the service and endpoints easy to use.
CAUTIONS
  • StarLeaf is a small player in a market that is increasingly populated by much larger competitors with similar cloud offerings. This will make it challenging for StarLeaf to grow aggressively.
  • StarLeaf has a limited number of endpoints, which may not serve all room sizes and enterprise use cases adequately.
  • Although present in the U.S., Europe and Asia/Pacific, StarLeaf needs more points of presence to support global coverage and address the requirements of multinational enterprises.

Vidyo

Vidyo’s software-based approach to enterprise videoconferencing has enabled the company to gain momentum and address the growing use case scenarios for workplace collaboration. VidyoRoom SE, for example, is a software-based group video solution that uses off-the-shelf hardware and customer-provided peripherals. Vidyo’s platform architecture eliminates hardware-based transcoding requirements and instead routes calls to other standards-based video platforms, without a need for local infrastructure deployment. This software approach promotes cost-efficient scaling; it also enables upgrades, such as new codecs, to be delivered without shipping new hardware. The choice for customers who want appliances for conference rooms ranges from the VidyoRoom HD-40 at 720p (suitable for huddle rooms), to the VidyoRoom HD-230 at 1080p (for two screens), to the VidyoPanorama at 1080p60 (for up to six screens).

Based on early feedback, the introduction of its hosted cloud VaaS offering in 1Q16 is allowing Vidyo to make additional gains in the video market. VidyoCloud complements and extends Vidyo’s room systems with innovative features such as support for 4K resolution and traffic optimization through hybrid deployments. With a rich set of APIs, Vidyo is able to extend its video capabilities to business and web applications using communications-enabled business process techniques.

Enterprises of all sizes should consider Vidyo, especially if the ability to scale cost-effectively is critical.

STRENGTHS
  • Vidyo continues to gain significant traction for large video deployments. This demonstrates the market’s growing acceptance of its approach to scalable video services.
  • Software standardization across endpoints, infrastructure and the cloud reduces Vidyo’s deployment and support requirements.
  • Vidyo’s streamlined pricing structure, which includes a concurrent licensing model, simplifies sizing and budgeting for new implementations.
CAUTIONS
  • Though Vidyo has integrations available to many UC offerings, it lacks a native, unified user experience with the leading UC ecosystems from Cisco, Microsoft and Avaya.
  • Vidyo faces a challenge to overcome the inertia of customers who already have videoconference rooms and video infrastructure.
  • Vidyo is a video-enabling partner of Arkadin. With Arkadin’s announced strategic partnership with Pexip for video collaboration services, Vidyo faces a challenge to maintain that relationship and its associated revenue.

ZTE

ZTE , one of the largest telecom equipment providers in China, has continued to grow its share of the group video system market. It has done so primarily in the Asia/Pacific region, but also with promising growth in EMEA; its presence in North America and other regions remains limited. ZTE has a full lineup of endpoints, ranging from modular and affordable huddle room systems such as the ET700 to three-screen TrueSee telepresence systems. Newer endpoints include 1080p60 encoding and decoding, and support for both H.264 High Profile and H.265. In 2015, ZTE launched TrueMeet, a video infrastructure cloud offering that offers video calling and conferencing services. This offering has seen limited adoption thus far.

ZTE offers a high-capacity chassis-based MCU, as well as a smaller self-contained appliance. In 2015, it introduced the software-based Cloud Conferencing Manager (CCM) 1000-MCU technology that is used in its TrueMeet video cloud platform as well as for on-premises large enterprise deployments. The videoconference servers support legacy H.320 and H.323 endpoints, as well as SIP-based endpoints. Support for H.460 firewall traversal is also provided; it complements a stand-alone firewall traversal unit, the newly introduced FTS2000 Firewall Traversal Server.

Enterprises should consider ZTE for room endpoints for both on-premises and cloud-based video infrastructure. This applies especially to those in Asia/Pacific and EMEA, where ZTE’s sales and service channels are better established.

STRENGTHS
  • ZTE has a capable endpoint portfolio including newly introduced H.265 video endpoints. These satisfy most mainstream room conferencing and desktop use cases in the enterprise.
  • ZTE has introduced video soft clients, including WebRTC endpoints that can be natively interworked with H.323 and SIP video endpoints.
  • ZTE launched its TrueMeet cloud infrastructure platform in 2015, to connect a variety of endpoints in conjunction with its collaboration application. The TrueMeet VaaS offering positions ZTE to capture new business as the market adopts cloud-based videoconferencing services.
CAUTIONS
  • Within the global enterprise market, ZTE is generally perceived as a supplier of commodity group video systems hardware. ZTE needs to focus its marketing efforts on creating awareness of the recently introduced software and cloud-based video infrastructure.
  • ZTE’s market traction is mainly in its home region of Asia/Pacific, with limited market share elsewhere. It needs to further develop its sales and service channels for the enterprise market in countries outside its home region.
  • Although it possesses a solid portfolio of video endpoints and MCUs, ZTE is a “fast follower” in the enterprise video group systems market. It typically trails its large global competitors in delivering integration with leading collaboration applications.

Vendors Added and Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant may change over time. A vendor’s appearance in a Magic Quadrant one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.

Added

  • StarLeaf has been added.

Dropped

  • Smart has been dropped, because its current portfolio did not meet the inclusion criteria.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion criteria are used to determine which vendors will be featured in this research.

To be considered for this Magic Quadrant, vendors must:

  • Have generally available commercial offers for dedicated or modular room systems, and personal video endpoints capable of satisfying enterprise use cases.
  • Provide suitable customer references that validate enterprise-scale deployments combining video endpoints and video infrastructure (whether on-premises or cloud-based). This research focuses primarily on the large and very large enterprise market (vendors primarily focused on SMBs are not included).
  • Offer group video systems in multiple global market regions including North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific.
  • Provide market visibility as evidenced by having realized more than $10 million in direct video endpoint or infrastructure revenue during 2015.

This Magic Quadrant focuses on a systems approach by the vendor. It does not evaluate stand-alone A/V peripherals or A/V aggregation appliances that do not perform video encoding and decoding. While having a choice of managed service and support offerings is important, the provision of managed services is not considered as part of the inclusion criteria or for the ratings.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

Gartner analysts evaluate providers on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods or procedures that enable IT provider performance to be competitive, efficient and effective, and to positively impact revenue, retention and reputation. Ultimately, providers are judged on their ability and success in capitalizing on their vision.

  • Product or Service — Group video system products offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and more — whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
  • Overall Viability — Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization’s financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood of the individual business unit to continue to invest in the product, continue offering the product and advancing the state of the art within the organization’s portfolio of products.
  • Sales Execution/Pricing — The vendor’s capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
  • Market Responsiveness/Record — Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor’s history of responsiveness.
  • Marketing Execution — The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization’s message in order to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. The efficacy and impact of marketing execution should be evidenced by Gartner client inquiry.
  • Customer Experience — Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways in which customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and more. In this category, Gartner client feedback on implementation, ease of use, support and quality of experience are all evaluated.
  • Operations — The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, such as skills, experiences, programs, systems, and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Table 1.   Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria

Weighting

Product or Service

High

Overall Viability

Medium

Sales Execution/Pricing

Medium

Market Responsiveness/Record

High

Marketing Execution

Medium

Customer Experience

High

Operations

Low

Source: Gartner (July 2016)

Completeness of Vision

Gartner analysts evaluate providers on their ability to convincingly articulate logical statements about current and future market direction, innovation, customer needs and competitive forces, and how well they map to the Gartner position. Ultimately, providers are rated on their understanding of how market forces can be exploited to create opportunity for the provider.

  • Market Understanding — Ability of the vendor to understand videoconferencing buyers’ needs and translate these needs into products and services. Leading vendors demonstrate the ability to anticipate new form factors, features and points of integration as a result of understanding the enterprise buyer and the intersection of group video systems with the broader context of conferencing and collaboration.
  • Marketing Strategy — A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements. This value proposition for video collaboration should resonate with influencers and decision makers.
  • Sales Strategy — The strategy for selling video collaboration endpoints and infrastructure that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base. The size, quality and effectiveness of channel partners is evaluated as a key part of this criterion.
  • Offering (Product) Strategy — A vendor’s approach to product development of video collaboration that emphasizes differentiation, functionality and feature set as they map to current and future requirements. The extent to which a vendor’s portfolio can meet a broad range of use cases and interoperate with unified communications and collaboration ecosystems are evaluated.
  • Business Model — The soundness and logic of a vendor’s underlying business proposition.
  • Vertical/Industry Strategy — The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including verticals. Examples include specific endpoint form factors for industrial or healthcare applications.
  • Innovation — Includes innovation specific to solution architecture, cloud infrastructure, seamless integration with collaboration applications, consistency of user experience across endpoint types, video and audio encoding, compelling form factors, and camera technology.
  • Geographic Strategy — The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the “home” or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that geography and market.
Table 2.   Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria

Weighting

Market Understanding

High

Marketing Strategy

Low

Sales Strategy

Medium

Offering (Product) Strategy

High

Business Model

Medium

Vertical/Industry Strategy

Low

Innovation

High

Geographic Strategy

High

Source: Gartner (July 2016)

Quadrant Descriptions

Leaders

Leaders demonstrate a clear vision for how the group video systems market is evolving and are capable of defining and anticipating trends such as endpoints for shared spaces, UC appliances, software infrastructure, and VaaS. Leaders also demonstrate strong market traction with enterprise customers that are successfully deploying their solutions to organically grow existing video deployments, replace legacy room video solutions or establish innovative new use cases for enterprise video.

Challengers

Challengers are focused on a more traditional portfolio of endpoints and infrastructure, and demonstrate high levels of market traction across all regions for these solutions. While having a broad portfolio of endpoints and infrastructure, they trail leading vendors in anticipating and productizing solutions for points of inflection in the market, including endpoints for shared spaces, software infrastructure, VaaS and UC appliances.

Visionaries

Visionaries have a clear vision for the evolution of the group video systems market and are capable of defining and anticipating market trends such as lightweight endpoints, software infrastructure, VaaS and UC integration. While they have visionary solutions in the market, these solutions may not have the demonstrated market traction of leading vendors, often as a result of addressing a more narrow set of use cases, customer sizes, vertical markets or target geographies.

Niche Players

Niche players have an established portfolio of endpoints and infrastructure that is capable of satisfying a broad range of enterprise use cases. Execution may vary by region, or the market traction may be more specific to only parts of the portfolio. While Niche players are capable of responding to changes in market requirements, they typically do not lead these changes and have more limited customer mind share than leading vendors, as evidenced by Gartner client interactions.

Context

Enterprises defining a strategy for group video collaboration should focus on ease of use, affordability, quality, scale and points of integration, especially involving UC. Understand that your solution portfolio will very likely need to support everything from boardroom conferencing down to video chat, making it critical to characterize your use cases and align solutions that provide the best fit. Also recognize that a significant volume of video interaction may take place outside the conference room: as an integral component of web conferencing, and via unsanctioned “shadow IT” approaches that meet line-of-business requirements at very low cost.

Focus on group video system providers that offer a broad enough range of form factors to meet your highest priority use cases with a consistent user experience and a minimum amount of intermediate infrastructure for transcoding and interworking. When integrating with existing boardroom video deployments, consider establishing a premium tier of group video that emphasizes high resolution, dedicated private network capacity and element management and analytics. Outside the conference room, focus on integration with existing on-premises UC or UC as a service (UCaaS) solutions, and anticipate the need to connect to third parties with a wide range of endpoint technologies and form factors.

Market Overview

The market for group video systems in the enterprise is in a state of innovation and transition. Enterprises expect solutions for the boardroom that are capable of high reliability, high availability and video performance approaching broadcast quality. Despite such high expectations, these same enterprises want to spend less on video networking, managed services and supporting infrastructure.

Outside the boardroom, the emphasis is shifting even faster to affordability and ease of use as enterprises seek to add video to a range of shared spaces without added spend for room logistics. The proliferation of smaller endpoints is also putting pressure on infrastructure costs, because substantially greater infrastructure resources are usually required to accommodate ad hoc video from a larger pool of endpoints (including desktop and mobile). This infrastructure equation has increased the need for virtualized infrastructure from the suppliers and has opened the door to service providers that offer cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

As the adoption of video grows and expectations increase for a full virtual meeting experience in the cloud, vendors in the videoconferencing market have added collaboration elements typically found in web-conferencing services. Collaboration features such as screen and file sharing, IM and session recording/playback have become standard offerings in videoconferencing services. Gartner, recognizing the growing convergence of expectations across web-conferencing and videoconferencing services, is evaluating adjustments to its Magic Quadrant coverage in order to remain in alignment with evolving market conditions.

Acronym Key and Glossary Terms

A/V audio/video
MCU multipoint control unit
SIP Session Initiation Protocol
SMB small or midsize business
UC unified communications
VaaS video as a service
WebRTC Web Real-Time Communications

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Ability to Execute

Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor for the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.

Overall Viability: Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization’s financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization’s portfolio of products.

Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor’s capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.

Market Responsiveness/Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor’s history of responsiveness.

Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization’s message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This “mind share” can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.

Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.

Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers’ wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers’ wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.

Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.

Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.

Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor’s approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.

Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor’s underlying business proposition.

Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.

Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.

Geographic Strategy: The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the “home” or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.

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