Gartner announced in January that it will be retiring the Magic Quadrant reports for on-premises Unified Communications and Contact Center, and it will be tightening the criteria for inclusion in the UCaaS and CCaaS Magic Quadrant.

Here’s a breakdown of Gartner’s rationale and what it means for enterprise communications buyers.

No More On-Prem Magic Quadrants

Gartner Magic Quadrants exist to compare the differences in vision and ability to execute between major players in an industry—and Gartner’s recent research into the on-premises Unified Communications and Contact Center industry is that the main difference between providers is geography and external integrations, not core services, reliability or innovation—in other words, vision and ability to execute are all about the same.

At the same time, the market for premises-based Unified Communications and Contact Center systems has been declining by about 10% per year as businesses of all sizes opt for cloud-based communications solutions. As a result, vendors are shifting R&D investment to UCaaS and CCaaS solutions. Vendors that offer both on-premises and cloud-based communications solutions are encouraging customers to switch to the cloud-based product.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that unified communications and contact center technology is a commodity industry where purchasing is made entirely based on price. However, purchasing decisions regarding on-premises communications systems aren’t about suppliers’ visions or ability to execute, but rather about past relationships and existing business partnerships, Gartner says.

UCaaS and CCaaS MQ will Now be Full-Stack Only

The 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS included 18 providers, which is about twice the number of companies that fit comfortably in a Magic Quadrant report. From now on, Gartner will only be including companies like 8x8 who control the entire application stack rather than source some or all of their software from third-party vendors, called hosted or managed solutions.

The goal is to create a better apples to apples comparison in the Magic Quadrant reports. Hosted communications solutions are generally offered by wireless carriers and offer different sets of features than true SaaS cloud-based communications solutions.

Putting Gartner’s Advice into Action

The clear takeaway from Gartner’s Research Note regarding the discontinuation of the Unified Communications and Contact Center Magic Quadrant reports is that cloud-based SaaS companies are leading innovation in business communications. The market for cloud-based communications is expected to continue growing at the breakneck speed of 15% per year. If you want to keep up with the trends and get access to the latest in communications functionality, moving to the cloud is a must.

There are other reasons enterprise buyers are moving from on-premises communications systems to the cloud. Among the reasons Gartner mentioned in the research note are a desire to move from a Capex to an Opex model, the lower per-seat cost of cloud-based communications systems and a desire to use internal IT resources for projects that support business growth rather than maintaining an on-site communications system.

How 8x8 Fits In

8x8 is one of the companies that will still meet the Gartner Magic Quadrant inclusion requirements—we provide UCaaS and CCaaS solutions based on our proprietary technology that we develop and manage in-house. We’ve been Leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS for seven years in a row, and Challengers in the CCaaS Magic Quadrant for four years in a row—we’re the only company that appears in both.

Our cloud-based business communications give your team members one system of engagement to work together and communicate with customers, partners and colleagues. We’re constantly enhancing our own technology to ensure our customers get the most innovative communications tools available.

Want to see how a cloud-based UCaaS solution could change your communications game? Schedule a demo today.