Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing
Consolidation due to acquisitions is continuing as the Web conferencing market evolves, with offerings becoming more deeply integrated with unified communications and collaboration technologies and with social media. This Magic Quadrant assesses the pros and cons of 12 core providers.
The Web conferencing market continues to undergo a tremendous amount of consolidation. Acquisitions are being made as smaller vendors look to be acquired, and larger vendors seek to fill out their offerings.
Web conferencing services are still purchased mainly by individual departments and lines of business. Organizations must start looking at these services more strategically as part of a broader unified communications and collaboration (UCC) strategy. More than ever, Web conferencing decisions need to be made in light of other decisions about communications and collaboration infrastructure.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)
Web conferencing products are real-time collaboration tools that support interactions over a network between participants in multiple meeting formats. Types of meetings and communications that fall into the category of Web conferencing include webinars, online meetings, messaging and audio communications.
The primary justification for Web conferencing has been cost savings and other benefits arising from reductions in business travel. When meeting participants cannot travel because of security, environmental or other reasons, Web conferencing becomes a mission-critical capability.
The growth of Web conferencing has continued, driven by cost-saving initiatives and improvements in the technology's ease of use and performance. However, price competition has hampered revenue growth — usage has increased faster than its monetization (see "Market Share Analysis: Team Collaboration and Web-Conferencing Software, Worldwide, 2010").
The real-time collaboration sector has been undergoing tremendous change and innovation. While this Magic Quadrant focuses on the core Web conferencing vendors, real-time conferencing capabilities are also emerging from vendors from other markets, which are adding them to their platforms. For example, salesforce.com's acquisition of Dimdim gives it real-time collaboration functionality with presence and conferencing technology; this functionality will be added to the Salesforce Chatter product. Another vendor, Tibco, has integrated third-party multiparty videoconferencing and desktop sharing into its Tibbr 3.0 offering. Google has added desktop-based videoconferencing for free for 10 participants in Google+ Hangouts. It has also enabled Google Apps for Business to access Google+. This gives Google conferencing capabilities for the enterprise in conjunction with social media.
The worlds of social media, collaboration and enterprise applications are starting to merge, bringing real-time capabilities to business processes and personal productivity applications. Web conferencing vendors that fail to adapt by ensuring integration with adjacent markets will find it a challenge to compete in the long term amid this convergence. One concept that can bridge the world of Web conferencing and social media, and therefore prove a powerful aid to Web conferencing vendors, is that of communities. Web conferences can be a powerful engine for fostering social communities. Early signs of this are evident with Google+ Hangouts, with people flocking to topic-based "Hangouts."
Consolidation continues in the form of acquisitions such as salesforce.com's purchase of Dimdim, and Blackboard's purchase of Elluminate and Wimba. Also, BroadSoft has announced that it will acquire iLinc.
Real-time and conferencing functions are appearing as components of larger collaboration platforms and portfolios. The market is shifting so that real-time and conferencing functions are becoming embeddable capabilities. As basic Web conferencing services become commodities, it will be services adjacent to Web conferencing that will be the differentiators for vendors.
Downward pressure on prices is continuing. This is forcing vendors to adjust their pricing and licensing strategies to be more competitive.
Traditionally, Web conferencing products have typically been departmental purchases. But enterprise IT managers are now getting involved earlier in the procurement process.
Bandwidth concerns are increasing as companies look to add video and expand the scale of conferencing sessions. Vendors are trying to address these concerns in several ways. Saba has created a satellite architecture for its Centra solutions, so that Web conferencing traffic is routed efficiently across a company's WAN. A newer vendor, AppShare, has piloted a scalable architecture, designed specifically for use in larger enterprises, that eliminates network bottlenecks and thus potentially reduces bandwidth costs.
Where vendors support both on-premises and software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models, as in the case of IBM and Cisco, the on-premises and SaaS offerings are separate and have different code bases.
The following are the functional requirements that vendors had to meet to be included in this Magic Quadrant:
- Presentation delivery: All participants can see an online presentation (usually delivered by Microsoft PowerPoint), which is under the control of one participant, who is designated the presenter.
- Desktop or application sharing: All participants can see, but not directly interact with or modify, the presenter's desktop or a specific application on the presenter's system. Some Web conferencing products deliver presentations by sharing a presentation application, rather than using embedded presentation facilities.
- Text chat: Participants can exchange real-time text messages with other participants or the presenter using an instant messaging (IM)-like interface.
- Shared whiteboard: A meeting participant can add annotations — viewable by all — by typing or drawing on a whiteboard application, or on top of a presentation or shared application window.
- Basic security: Encrypted data transfer and password-protected meetings.
- Remote control: Useful for technical support, this gives one participant control of applications or the desktop on another system.
Web conferencing products are increasingly being augmented by more advanced, optional features, although vendors did not have to offer these to be included in this Magic Quadrant. Examples of these features are:
- Integrated public switched telephone network (PSTN) audio: Users can dial into an audioconferencing bridge linked to the Web conference. Participants can "see" who is speaking and presenters can control individual phone connections (for example, they can mute them or give presenter rights).
- Integrated voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) audio: To remove or reduce the need for telephone-based audio, some products can use a PC's speaker and microphone (or a headset) to enable participants to listen to a presentation or — more rarely — to both listen and speak.
- Videoconferencing: Some products can show live video feeds of participants or the presenter from a desktop webcam or dedicated video installation. Some vendors integrate these video streams into sessions running on dedicated videoconferencing equipment.
- File sharing: Participants can exchange files during the conference.
- Application/document sharing: Participants can write directly in the presenter's application or document.
- Advanced security: Extra features that are required for sensitive meetings. These include participant-level passwords to prevent sharing, forcing the use of new passwords for every meeting; the ability to block anonymous users, limiting participants to those with specific Internet Protocol addresses; and automatic purging of online documents after the meeting.
- Archiving: Audio and interactive portions of the conference can be recorded for later listening and viewing. Participants can "sit in" on a conference they were unable to attend in real time. Archiving mandated by regulatory audit trail requirements is on the increase.
- Feedback: Participants can indicate whether they want the speaker to slow down, speed up, answer a question, and more.
- Polling: A quick survey of participants can be conducted to answer a specific question in real time.
- E-learning: Specific functionality to support online and blended learning scenarios, such as participant testing, instructor monitoring of student desktops, and corporate learning system integration.
- Mobility: Specific support for mobile phones such as the Apple iPhone and Android and Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry devices.
Users have three basic deployment options for these applications:
- SaaS model — Web conferencing software runs on the vendor's (or a partner's) systems on a multitenancy basis, and the user accesses the capabilities over the Internet (see Note 1).
- On-premises model — Installs software on systems owned and operated by the enterprise.
- Hybrid model — Combines the SaaS and on-premises models.
Typical everyday internal meetings can be run using on-premises facilities. Unusually large meetings and those with both internal and external participants can be run using software running on external servers. SaaS is the predominant model in the Web conferencing market.
The Web conferencing market is characterized by offerings that are predominantly SaaS-based and sold to lines of business first. The IT department generally gets involved later in the cycle for more strategic deployments.
As a stand-alone market, there are no common protocols or standards. Interoperability has not been an issue so far, but with the IM and presence platform becoming an infrastructure component and a launch pad for many types of real-time communications, including Web conferencing, interoperability will become increasingly important.
Typically, companies use a separate telephone bridge for audio in conjunction with Web conferences. Most of the vendors in this Magic Quadrant have their own VoIP capabilities, which eliminates the need to send out separate bridge telephone numbers and IDs. But bandwidth is a concern as audio quality can suffer if there is too little.
Increasingly, bandwidth concerns also apply to video. Video usage is not very high at present, but interest in it is growing. Most vendors support video via Universal Serial Bus (USB) webcams during Web conferences. The predominant use case for video in Web conferencing is one-to-many meetings or sessions. Interest in desktop-based video has been increasing due to consumer offerings from Google (in Google+ Circles), high-definition (HD) video being enabled by Web conferencing vendors, and the availability of cameras built into most new laptop PCs and mobile devices. Increasingly, some vendors are promoting adaptive bandwidth management features to control bandwidth consumption flexibly on the network.
Other important concerns are difficulties provisioning PC accessories (such as headsets), configuring and maintaining them, and bridging VoIP and the plain old telephone service (POTS) for participants lacking PC microphones.
Most vendors in this market support a similar basic set of features. Differentiation comes primarily from pricing, integration of the Web conferencing offering into a broader UCC suite, and the overall viability of the vendor, which gives an indication of its likely longevity.
This Magic Quadrant covers enterprise use of Web conferencing, so it does not address vendors that cater solely for consumers. Some enterprise vendors, however, do offer scaled-down versions of their Web conferencing services as a strategic way to "seed" the low end of the market and position their brands.
We used the following criteria for inclusion in this Magic Quadrant:
- The product must provide at least the functionality described in the Market Overview section above.
- The product must support at least five participants. Products that support one-to-one interaction or small groups are generally aimed at the consumer market or at other specialized markets not covered by this Magic Quadrant.
- The vendor must market the Web conferencing product on a stand-alone basis, or as a component of a larger collaboration suite that may include presence and IM.
- The vendor must have at least $7 million in annual revenue from sales of Web conferencing products.
- Sales and marketing efforts connected with the product must not be limited primarily to a particular vertical or horizontal process (such as training).
- The vendor must develop and market the primary Web conferencing product, not resell a "white label" product produced by another company in an OEM relationship. The product can be the result of an acquisition.
Vendors of the following products are evaluated in this Magic Quadrant:
- Adobe Connect.
- AT&T Connect.
- Blackboard Collaborate.
- Cisco Unified MeetingPlace and WebEx Web Meeting applications (Meeting Center, Sales Center, Event Center, Training Center and Support Center).
- Citrix GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar.
- Dialcom Spontania.
- IBM Lotus Sametime Meetings and IBM LotusLive Meetings.
- iLinc Enterprise Suite (iLinc for Meetings, iLinc for Webinars, iLinc for Support, iLinc for Learning).
- InterCall Unified Meeting.
- Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007, Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and Lync Server 2010.
- PGi GlobalMeet and iMeet.
- Saba Centra.
Service providers such as InterCall and PGi are included in this Magic Quadrant because they market and develop their own Web conferencing offerings.
The two key criteria that excluded some service providers and other direct Web conferencing vendors were the requirements to have developed their own Web conferencing solution and to have at least $7 million in annual Web conferencing revenue.
Besides the vendors included in this Magic Quadrant, many Web conferencing vendors such as Yugma and service providers such as Global Crossing, Arkadin and BT come up frequently in inquiries from Gartner clients, and they should be considered viable options. Depending on the organization's environment and needs, an alternative vendor may be the best fit.
Blackboard has been added to the Magic Quadrant due its acquisition of Elluminate.
PGi was formerly called Premiere Global Services, under which name it appeared in the previous Magic Quadrant.
Alcatel-Lucent has been removed from the Magic Quadrant due to a lack of client inquiries and market activity. Alcatel-Lucent still operates strongly in other markets, such as unified communications, where conferencing is a function included in its suite of communications tools.
Dimdim has been removed due to its acquisition by salesforce.com, which is integrating Dimdim's solution into its platform, not offering it as a separate product.
Elluminate has been removed due to its acquisition by Blackboard.
Netviewer has been removed due to its acquisition by Citrix Systems.
Several factors contribute to the vendors' execution ratings.
We evaluated the capabilities of the vendors' products separately for basic and advanced functionality.
Because this market includes many small vendors with uncertain futures, financial viability was an important factor.
We evaluated pricing in terms of comparative price levels and vendors' flexibility in supporting the kinds of pricing model that customers want (such as concurrent user, named user, per minute and flat rate).
We judged the customer experience by speaking to those of our clients who use the product and by calling users identified as reference customers by the vendors.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)
We evaluated the vendors' completeness of vision by examining customers' requirements for usage and purchasing, and assessing how the products aligned with those.
To evaluate vendors' marketing and product strategies, we looked at how they position their products and whether their products adequately address the chosen positioning.
We rated the flexibility to support both SaaS and on-premises deployment models more highly than a strategy of concentrating on a single deployment model.
We also evaluated vendors' product innovation and ability to address the trends we expect to see in the Web conferencing market.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)
Vendors in the Leaders quadrant have achieved significant market share, while demonstrating an ability to respond to customers' needs. Leaders have robust, scalable products with a wide range of features, a large installed base, acceptable financial performance and good distribution. Leaders are doing well today and are prepared for the future.
There are no vendors in the Challengers quadrant this year. If there were vendors in this quadrant, they would be characterized by operational excellence or good standing in the market. But compared with vendors in the Leaders and Visionaries quadrants, they would either not have long-term road maps or their products would lack some features.
Visionaries typically have important, unique or well-developed technical capabilities and provide key innovations that illustrate the future of the market. However, they have not yet developed the sales and support capabilities to address or influence the whole market.
Niche Players may have good technology but are limited by their size, breadth of product line, track record in the market, vertical or horizontal focus, geographic niche or financial circumstances. Some have chosen a niche strategy — for example, regional vendors with a local focus or targeted functionality intended to run on top of, or alongside, other technologies.
Adobe has one of the better user interface designs in the Web conferencing space. The Adobe Connect offering supports on-premises, cloud-based and managed-service provisioning models. Adobe has strong traction in the education, government and defense sectors, where we see heavy on-premises deployments. Adobe Connect supports iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices, among others. Adobe Connect continues to support various use cases, from ad hoc meetings to scheduled webinars, training and virtual classrooms.
Deployment models: on-premises, SaaS, and hybrid, as well as managed services.
- Adobe has focused on the user experience and usability of the Adobe Connect platform, to make it more user-friendly. The user interface is configurable by the host of each meeting.
- Adobe has targeted expertise for education, enterprise, government and specific defense environments.
- Adobe Connect supports an unlimited number of video participants.
- Clients indicate that Adobe Connect tends to be one of the more expensive offerings and that the licensing model can be complex to understand.
AT&T's Connect solution is integrated into the company's communications portfolio and infrastructure. AT&T offerings range from a desktop-based Web conferencing solution to telepresence services. AT&T Connect takes a converged conferencing approach to audio, Web and video. Customers typically choose AT&T when they have a strong need for both audioconferencing and Web conferencing. As a service provider, AT&T has experience in large deployments and hybrid environments that mix on-premises and SaaS deployment models. As a carrier, AT&T Connect supports RIM BlackBerry and Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
Deployment models: on-premises and SaaS.
- AT&T's converged conferencing with audio, Web and video is good for use cases requiring multiple communication modalities.
- As a service provider, AT&T offers customers a single invoice for bundled Web, audio and video services.
- AT&T Connect supports the Apple iPhone and iPad.
- AT&T has failed to market its complete conferencing portfolio well. It also lacks pricing transparency for customers; pricing information is not readily available online.
Blackboard's Collaborate offering combines technologies acquired with the purchase of Elluminate and Wimba. Blackboard has combined the best features of Elluminate and Wimba to develop and launch a fully overhauled platform including Web, video, voice and IM capabilities. There was initial concern among customers about how Blackboard would integrate the technologies and what would happen to their investments in Elluminate and Wimba. Blackboard then clarified its strategy of unifying these brands under Blackboard Collaborate, only for it later to announce its acquisition by Providence Equity Partners. This in turn has caused concern among customers about the nature of Blackboard's commitment to the Collaborate offering. Blackboard Collaborate supports training, learning and virtual classroom use cases. Beyond the education market, Blackboard has presence in corporate, government and military scenarios. Mobile support is limited at present and behind that of competitors.
Deployment models: on-premises and SaaS.
- Blackboard Collaborate has cross-platform support for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Unix operating systems.
- The predominant use case is for learning and virtual classroom scenarios, with integration to a wide range of commercial and open-source learning management systems. Blackboard has specific expertise in the education sector.
- Some customers concerned about the recently announced acquisition of Blackboard and the company's future have begun looking at competitors' offerings.
- Mobile support for devices such as Android, iPhone and iPad is limited to playback-on-demand conferencing sessions. Users cannot join a live session from mobile devices. However, Blackboard promises to remedy this shortcoming by the end of 2012.
Cisco's WebEx offering is the most recognized brand in Web conferencing and, according to Gartner's statistics, has the leading share of new license revenue. WebEx is a feature-rich offering that includes modules for collaborative meetings, training, large events, remote support and integrated audio. Because of the wide range of features, users sometimes report it can be complex to understand. WebEx supports multiple mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry. With the recently launched support for HD (720p) video, which builds on WebEx's introduction of high-quality (360p) video last year, and interoperability with telepresence, Cisco's video offerings range from telepresence to desktop and mobile videoconferencing. We expect Cisco will bring a version of the cloud-based WebEx Web conferencing services into an on-premises offering. Enterprises will then have the option of on-premises or SaaS, or a hybrid deployment.
Deployment models: on-premises, SaaS, and hybrid. Note: the on-premises and SaaS offerings are currently completely different products, based on separate code.
- Cisco WebEx has the largest share of the Web conferencing market in terms of new license revenue.
- Cisco has a well-rounded and integrated conferencing portfolio, ranging from telepresence to desktop-based Web conferencing and videoconferencing.
- Cisco WebEx has mobile support for Apple iOS, Android and RIM BlackBerry devices.
- Cisco is a large company, and we have heard from several customers with smaller licensing deals that their sales representative was sometimes unresponsive.
Citrix Online's SaaS portfolio consists of GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, GoToManage, GoToMyPC and HiDef Conferencing. The acquisition of Netviewer, which was finalized in 2011, indicates a new global strategy for Web conferencing and Citrix's desire to expand its reach and user base. Additions such as HiDef Conferencing, HDFaces (HD group videoconferencing) and increased language support make Citrix relevant to enterprises. However, Citrix faces challenges in penetrating enterprise IT departments, where buyers have higher expectations and requirements. There is mobile support for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Citrix needs to show enterprise IT buyers how it can integrate with current UCC initiatives, including integration with real-time UCC clients like Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime.
Deployment model: SaaS.
- Citrix has continued to show strong marketing and sales execution.
- The GoTo line of products is closing the functionality gap with audio and video services.
- Citrix still has to focus on enterprise IT and offer integration with UCC clients such as Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime.
Dialcom is headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and has local offices in the Washington, DC area, Shanghai, China, and Chennai, India. The establishment of a U.S. office was a strategic move to gain traction in North America and to position itself to target emerging markets such as Latin America and India. The key capability in Dialcom's portfolio is desktop group video for a variety of use cases, such as learning and telemedicine. Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology is supported for secure interactive distance-learning scenarios. Mobile support is available for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Gartner believe that with increased interest in desktop video, Dialcom could be viewed as a viable player for advanced video use cases.
Deployment models: on-premises, SaaS, and the platform can be deployed as platform as a service (PaaS).
- Dialcom supports multiple platforms and devices — Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and Android — and integration with legacy videoconferencing systems.
- There is integration with the UCC environments of major vendors such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco.
- Despite being a relatively small company, Dialcom has amassed a global list of clients, with large deployments in Europe and emerging markets like China, Brazil and India.
- Because of Dialcom's limited size, support is limited in some regions, except through regional partners or distributors. This has caused companies in certain geographies to be hesitant about procuring its services.
IBM still maintains two separate Web conferencing products. Companies wanting to standardize on an on-premises solution can select Sametime for its IM, presence and meeting functionality. Customers also have the option of choosing LotusLive, the hosted offering. Gartner believes that IBM will eventually port the capabilities of Sametime Meetings, its on-premises offering, into the LotusLive cloud as a replacement for the current solution derived from the acquisition of WebDialogs. The on-premises and hosted offerings support BlackBerry devices, and LotusLive Meetings also supports iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Both support access to meetings without requiring a separate client download.
Deployment models: on-premises (Sametime), SaaS (LotusLive Meetings) and hybrid. Note: the on-premises and SaaS offerings are currently completely different products, based on separate code.
- As well as regular Web conferencing, LotusLive Meetings offers webcasting and virtual-event capabilities in the LotusLive Events module.
- The conferencing offerings are integrated with IBM's self-developed portfolio of products, the Microsoft Office environment, and Polycom, Radvision and Cisco videoconferencing systems.
- Both LotusLive Meetings and Sametime Meetings support zero-download, browser-based Web conferencing (including audio and video), which has become a requirement in some enterprises that want to control what users download to their desktops.
- Currently, LotusLive Meetings and Sametime are different products with different code bases. However, we believe Sametime Meetings will eventually replace the technology in LotusLive Meetings. Customers should investigate IBM's road map in this regard.
iLinc has a broad range of features and modules for learning, webinars, support and ad hoc Web conferencing use cases. Its offering supports multipoint video, but mobile support is limited and trails the rest of the market. There is also a meter, called the Green Meter, that shows the carbon dioxide emissions saved by conducting meetings online; this is also a useful metric for reporting usage of the solution and potential cost savings. The product has many features that apply to many use cases, including learning and regular Web meetings. Gartner customers report that the tool can require a bit of getting used to. Also, at the time of writing, it was announced that iLinc is to be acquired by BroadSoft. This might affect its ability to execute in the short term. Customers should immediately ask for product road map information from BroadSoft/iLinc.
Deployment models: on-premises and SaaS.
- The various meeting modules support a broad range of use cases.
- iLinc offers good support for virtual classrooms in higher education and corporate learning scenarios.
- The Green Meter helps determine the return on investment and potential cost savings from using Web conferencing services.
- iLinc needs to focus on the enterprise and offer integration with enterprise UCC clients. As basic Web conferencing services become commodities, it will be services adjacent to Web conferencing that will be the differentiators.
- The announcement of iLinc's acquisition by BroadSoft signals a period of transition that has raised concerns among customers.
Following the acquisition of Genesys by West Corporation, InterCall's parent company, InterCall refocused on its direct enterprise sales strategy. Along with Web conferencing, InterCall also acquired webcasting and virtual-event technology through the purchase of Unisfair, so filling out its conferencing portfolio for desktop and large virtual-event capabilities. This is a differentiator for InterCall. Although customers still consider InterCall primarily when their driving need is audioconferencing, having adjacent services will give InterCall more bundling opportunities. InterCall Unified Meeting supports the iPhone and iPad.
Deployment model: SaaS.
- Support for both small and large virtual meetings positions InterCall to cover several meeting use cases.
- InterCall's Web conferencing offering does not require a software download, except for hosts and moderators. This will appeal to organizations that lock down desktops.
- Users of Apple Macs can only participate in meetings — they cannot launch them.
Microsoft has been focused on its Office 365 launch and made changes to its Web conferencing portfolio. It is doing away with Live Meeting in favor of Lync Online, so new Live Meeting licenses will no longer be sold. Microsoft is moving Live Meeting users to Lync or Lync Online gradually, based on customers' requirements. Live Meeting supports as many as 1,250 participants, a figure that Lync Online will be unable to match in the short term. Lync and Lync Online support up to 1,000 participants and can be used in a variety of small-group collaboration scenarios. Though Microsoft has announced support for Windows Phone 7, iPhone and Android before the end of 2011, Lync's current mobile support is limited. One of Microsoft's aims is to have the same technology on-premises and in the cloud for seamless integration in a hybrid environment and possibly for in-meeting escalation scenarios from on-premises to the cloud. Lync Online will support Web, audio and video conferencing. Microsoft is keen to offer a suite of functionality in the cloud, of which basic Web conferencing functionality is just a component. This ambition is contributing to downward pressure on prices in the Web conferencing market.
Deployment models: on-premises, SaaS and hybrid.
- Microsoft has integration across its whole portfolio of collaboration products.
- Lync will be the sole platform for Microsoft's on-premises and cloud real-time collaboration capabilities.
- HD video is supported, and there is integration with room-based videoconferencing systems.
- The transition from Live Meeting to Lync Online has prompted some customers to look at alternatives for Web conferencing.
- Support for iPhone and Android will not be available until the end of 2011.
PGi has been busy bringing an innovative offering, iMeet, to market. iMeet blends traditional Web conferencing with desktop-based video and social computing by the way of a personalized meeting room concept. It remains to be seen whether iMeet will replace PGi's current Web meeting offering, GlobalMeet, or continue to be sold alongside it, which would create overlaps. GlobalMeet has received a new user interface and expanded capacity to support more attendees per meeting. GlobalMeet supports iPhone and BlackBerry devices. iMeet supports iPhone and iPad.
Deployment model supported: SaaS.
- PGi is innovating in the Web conferencing space with the addition of iMeet, which integrates a degree of social computing with Web conferencing and desktop videoconferencing.
- GlobalMeet has reporting and analytics capabilities.
- No software download is required for GlobalMeet, which makes it suitable for locked-down desktop environments. iMeet does not require a software download either.
- PGi needs to answer customers' questions about its road map for GlobalMeet in relation to iMeet. iMeet could potentially replace GlobalMeet.
In 2010 Saba refocused on its Centra offering and began integrating it into the rest of its portfolio — that is, into its enterprise social software platform. Adding social capabilities while improving core Web conferencing features is helping Saba create a differentiated offering, and it represents innovation in a crowded market. Saba Centra's leading use case is learning, but the company must continue to demonstrate the broader capabilities of its Web conferencing offering in other real-time collaboration scenarios. Companies with distributed environments may investigate Saba Centra's satellite server architecture as a way to route Saba Centra traffic efficiently across a WAN. Mobile support is available for iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad.
Deployment models supported: on-premises and SaaS.
- Saba's main strength is in the fields of training and remote learning.
- Integration of social software with real-time collaboration is a differentiator for Saba.
- Saba Centra's integration of voice, video and Web data is available on the iPhone and iPad.
- Saba has not communicated its Web conferencing offerings beyond the field of learning to the market as a whole. This has limited the penetration of Saba Centra as a general Web conferencing tool.
Gartner defines SaaS as software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers an application based on a single set of common code and data definitions. The application is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis, or on a subscription based on usage metrics.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope 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, of changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by the vendor.
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills, etc., whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): 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 investing in the product, to continue offering the product and to advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all pre-sales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, pre-sales support and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track 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. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional, 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, etc.
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 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 product 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 set 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 verticals.
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.