Gartner publishes every year their opinion about video conferencing vendors and lines them into the magic quadrant as leaders, visionaries, niche players or challengers.
The report covers vendors’ offering on on-premise solutions that includes conference room devices, video conferencing servers and mobile software. In addition it requires that vendors have remarkable market share and attractiveness in the eyes of customers. Focus is on the US market and therefore one must understand that the Europe differ from one. The differences are in size of an average company and willingness to use cloud services.
The Nordics and Baltics prefer cloud services and therefore we will look at vendors from conference room offering perspective and cloud service providers take care of the rest.
The video conference leaders
Cisco, Polycom and Vidyo are still keeping their leader positions. Each in the trio has totally different strategy and customer target group. A position in the leader quadrant means that customers love vendor’s products and the market share is growing.
Cisco has a wide portfolio of products, everything that can be connected to a network can be ordered from Cisco. They are positioning themselves as one stop shop for network solutions.
Cisco offers for conference room models SX10 (small), SX20 (midsize) and SX80 (large). All these have similar user interface, remote control, and touch panel. User interface is very simple to use. The main differentiators between devices are camera and microphone capabilities. SX10 supports one display when SX20 and SX80 connect to multi-displays. Content can be shared using HDMI cable or even wirelessly. Exceptional feature is that user can control the device by a mobile phone. Self- zooming, speaker and presenter tracking cameras are available for the large device only. There is no direct Skype for Business support.
Polycom manufactures wide range of conference solutions and has thigh relationship with Microsoft. Working with Microsoft they are focusing to deliver and integrate Skype for Business into one simple domain. Keyword is Skype for Business connectivity.
Polycom offers three models Debut (small), G310 (midsize) and G500 (large). The devices have different camera and microphone capabilities. Small devices can be upgraded to large by adding accessories. The product line has similar easy to use user interface, remote, and touch control panel. To the G310 and G500 can be attached self-zoom, speaker tracking and participant finder cameras. Devices are Skype for Business ready. The devices are missing feature to control device from a mobile device.
Vidyo as a newcomer and a position holder has very strongly increased and captured market over past years. It is due to proudly using a totally new architecture. Keyword is video quality that leaves competitors far behind.
Vidyo offers two models HD40 (small) and HD230 (small-midsize-large). The models differ from each other on camera capability and ability to connect multi-displays. User interface is extremely easy to use, and integrates directly into Google and Office 365 calendars. One can join the meeting from a calendar invite. The large model has Ultra HD capability and is able to connect up to two Ultra HD displays or four Full HD displays. Every participant can be displayed at up to Full HD quality. They are missing direct Skype for Business support and ability to use a mobile phone as a remote.
Keeping their seats.
Avaya (Radvision) has been in the market for years, their primary offering has been other product lines than video conferencing. They have used to offer Polycom in the past before acquisition of Radvision. Keyword is native compatibility with other vendors.
Avaya offers next generation of Radvision devices that incorporate easy to use user interface. There are two models to choose from xt4300 (small-midsize) and xt7000 (large). They have created them compatibility in a mind and therefore devices speak natively to Cisco and Polycom. No direct support for Skype for Business neither can a mobile phone used as a remote. All the models have recording functionality.
Others in the report
Other vendors have marginal market share and are mainly focusing other things. Huawei, ZTE are known as network equipment vendors from and in China. Lifesize and Starleaf are more like cloud service operators that manufacture devices for their own cloud connectivity. All of them are missing current key corporate features and are stayed behind others.