Microsoft Makes the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony 2008

Yes, you’re eyes are still working!  It’s true.  The unrelenting push by Microsoft to make a product that delivers some version of enterprise telephony has broken into the Gartner MQ for that exclusive club, Corporate Telephony, that was published only last Friday, August 8. 

Now, most of you know that Microsoft had already propelled itself to the Leaders quadrant in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2007, but this is PBX and IP-PBX territory. 

What’s the catch?  Well, Microsoft is in the lower right quadrant — the Visionaries quadrant.  That’s the place for companies with completeness of vision, and Microsoft is rated far to the top (the right on the x-axis) on that scale, but still with work to do on “ability to excute”. 

While some may say this is bad for Microsoft, since they will look weak in the telephony group, it seems to me that this is ideal for them!  It says that Gartner sees Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 as addressing the future directions of Corporate Telephony, but isn’t ready to do it all.  That’s great.  I’ve argued before that Microsoft does not want to win as a leader in the PBX market, they want to win as a leader in the “communications” market, where their software can make major improvements in business operations, not just simply replace a phone. 

Gartner suggests that Microsoft OCS is on target for those who want to “look beyond enterprise telephony to different ways of working, especially for nomadic and knowledge workers.”  I agree entirely.  In fact, you read it here first, on UCStrategies.com.  We called this out from the beginning, advising readers, clients, and our workshop and VoiceCon attendees to look for breakthrough improvements for the specific users in specific business processes.  This is why we have always said that UC is, “Communications integrated to optimize business processes.”  Just look at the 200 Microsoft case studies for OCS 2007 — some are just simple travel avoidance or international toll cost savings, but many really are new ways to communicate and are real business optimizations. 

We’ll bring you more news on this as it unfolds, both here and at NoJitter.com.  If you want to know about Unified Communications, and if you want to know how UC will intersect Corporate Telephony, this is the place to be! 

Please do add a comment below, so we get a lively dialog on this momentous event.

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