While "Live Searching" (I honoustly gave up googling 🙂 ) I ran into this report by Gartner Group; it’s most recent Magic Quadrant on the Unified Communications space. I ofcourse knew of it’s excistance, but prefer blogging about something that is available for all to see.
Compared to last years analysis, Microsoft has "rocketed" from the Challengers to the Leaders quadrant. This is strong recognition of the efforts of Microsoft in this space and the fact that Microsoft is ahead of the game when it comes to other players in the RTC space for example
Unified communications offers the ability to improve how individuals, groups and companies interact and perform tasks. Companies should review their current communication systems and processes, then undertake pilots or trials that could lead to improved processes….
The Leaders quadrant contains vendors that are selling comprehensive and integrated UC products that address a range of market needs. These vendors have defined migration and evolution plans for their products in all the core UC markets. The product planners looking at these products and vendors should understand the significant technical and strategic differences among them…
…Microsoft’s UC solution is based on Live Communication Server (LCS) and its client Office Communicator (OC). Together, these offer presence, IM functionality, call control, a general-purpose client interface and integrations to other live communications. Unified messaging will be offered through their Exchange Server 2007 product, as well as through partnerships. Live Meeting offers conferencing and collaboration but, unfortunately, is currently offered only as a service, not a premises solution. (We expect Microsoft to offer a premises solution in the next version.) Microsoft has partnerships to enable live voice integration, including PBXs and IP-PBXs, and also has native SIP-based voice solutions. Although many of the functions are not yet in general release, or are at an early-stage, together, this represents a strong emerging UC portfolio. These functions can also be integrated with Microsoft Speech Server, Active Directory, Microsoft’s various mobility solutions and will be offered as a premises solution through channels or as a service through partners. Organizations interested in UC should understand Microsoft’s vision for how communications will evolve and should consider pilots and trials. However, enterprises should understand that this is still an early stage solution. As such, it is likely to undergo significant and rapid evolution and to lack integration and administration across components….