While doing an earlier post I browsed the overview of Analyst reports on the Microsoft Website again and I bumped into a Magic Quadrant report on Web Conferencing by Gartner group.
Good to see that Microsoft also gets the well deserved recognition in this space …
Just a few highlights on the main competition in this space :
Microsoft positions Live Meeting as part of the Office System as a hosted service. It works together with Microsoft Office Live Communication Server (on-premises presence and instant messaging server) and Microsoft Office Communicator (instant messaging client). This report does not evaluate NetMeeting, which Microsoft is slowly abandoning. Microsoft has many channel partners that sell Live Meeting as part of their own offerings. Live Meeting’s market penetration has increased markedly during the past year.
IBM’s Lotus IM and Web conferencing (Sametime) product is popular with enterprises using Domino that are looking for an on-premises, integrated real-time collaboration suite. Tight integration with IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino applications is one of Sametime’s most-important features. This report does not evaluate the Web conferencing components in IBM Workplace Collaboration Services, which are far less mature and complete than Sametime. Transition to the portal-oriented Workplace environment is one of the major challenges ahead for IBM and its customers.
- WebEx Communications
WebEx Communications has the largest share of the hosted meeting sector, although Microsoft is an increasingly aggressive challenger. WebEx also offers a voice bridge, VoIP and video. Use of video and VoIP services is low, but growing. The user experience can be uneven, although WebEx maintains its own high-traffic network (MediaTone) to improve performance and reliability. WebEx offers a variety of pricing models and a wide range of packages aimed at different types of meetings and conferences. WebEx has many channel partners that sell Meeting Center as part of their own offerings. WebEx will broaden its product portfolio with collaborative team spaces and basic content services through its mid-2005 acquisition of Intranets.com.
Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing, 2005 (Gartner, Sept. 29, 2005) As the next logical step in rich collaboration technologies, Web conferencing is becoming a mainstream enterprise communication tool. Several new vendors appear in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing.