Cisco Systems (CSCO), Microsoft (MSFT), Avaya (AV) and Mitel (MITL) were named "Leaders" in Gartner's 2015 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC).

In addition, Gartner said Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and NEC were "Challengers" in the UC space, noting that both companies "offer solutions and capabilities with the potential to move into a leadership position, but are lacking in one or more critical areas."

Gartner's Magic Quadrant also revealed that:

  • Huawei, Unify and Interactive Intelligence (ININ) were named "Niche Players," and these companies "offer solutions that are particularly strong in some, but not all, UC areas, or they have a solution that has limited market reach or appeal."
  • IBM (IBM) and ShoreTel (SHOR) were named "Visionaries" and "offer a strong and differentiating approach to one or more core areas."
  • UC applications are increasingly being integrated or offered in conjunction with collaboration applications to form unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and, in some cases, are being integrated with business applications and workflows or are being targeted at vertical user groups.

Gartner pointed out that enterprises will "face difficult choices" in the UC market going forward.

"At a high level, [enterprises] must choose between a longer-term commitment to an on-premises approach versus a cloud strategy," Gartner wrote in its report. "This will have a significant effect on defining their roadmap and on selecting the specific vendors and solutions."

The Magic Quadrant focused on the worldwide UC market. The full report is available here.

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