Microsoft Ranks Tops for UC Vendors

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ABI Research has ranked Microsoft Corp. at the top of its latest Vendor Matrix for unified communications (UC).

Cisco Systems Inc. and IBM Corp. came in second and third, respectively.

ABI determines standings based on innovation and implementation, among other criteria.

For its part, Microsoft showed the strongest growth among UC vendors, making the most of its position as a leader in desktop applications, said ABI Research Senior Analyst Subha Rama. Over the years, Rama added, Microsoft has “integrated multiple solutions in its portfolio to offer a compelling software-based UC solution in Lync. Microsoft also has the widest spectrum of partners for Lync and is expanding this ecosystem rapidly. It has an equally significant play both on the premises and in the cloud."

Cisco, meanwhile, scored high for the way it has evolved its UC channel partner ecosysmte, said Dan Shey, practice director for ABI Research.

“All leading system integrators view Cisco as one of the top two key vendors in this space," said Shey. And IBM, he said, “was among the first to bring a high degree of credibility to the integration of social computing tools with UC platforms."

In all, ABI Research examined vendors’ UC channel ecosystems, mobility (the ability to offer clients the same user experience on different devices), technology partners, the cost of licensing and equipment, the nature of their application development efforts, the range of professional services vendors offer, and the scope of their product portfolios, to determine rankings. It also scrutinized UC security features and system architectures, scalability and interoperability, video and telepresence support, and messaging and IP telephony strengths.

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