The SD-WAN MQ (and other lists)

Gartner put out their magic quadrant on SD-WAN – only they call it WAN Edge Infrastructure. This reminds me of when they had to cancel the UC MQ due to premise based systems disappearing – or no one wanted to pay to be on the list. Indeed, Aryaka and Oracle declined to be on this MQ.

UC Today put out a list of Influencers. It looked like a Top Advertising Prospect list that the publisher sent to sales that accidently got published.

Boomers make fun of participation trophies that Millennials received. Yet Boomer execs pay for and gush over their own version of participation trophies. Trophies like Magic Quadrant, Visionary and Wave are worth the price tag, since Enterprise buyers (the target market) can point to that list for CYA when buying from a company on that list. Yet this year companies declined.

Granted this is a PR stunt to say that we are different than anyone on that list, but it also says that maybe Gartner doesn’t know as much about that sector as they pretend to. SD-WAN has always been a garbage can term for 3 very different things: (1) devices that dig CCNA things like failover and line bonding; (2) Orchestration Layer type deployments with CPE; and (3) Network as a Service (which is like selling Managed MPLS). How do you have a single prize in that garbage can?

It’s like UCaaS which no one defines well. It was Hosted PBX, IP Centrex, Hosted VoIP, Cloud PBX, yadda, plus UC&C and Enterprise Collab. A dozen marketing terms, but Zoom and Microsoft Teams end up in the same bucket?

Also all those marketing terms and when the pandemic hits, it isn’t UCaaS that wins. It is Collab and Video Conferencing. That’s Visionary.

I saw a press release today that said, “the leading global provider of mobile unified communications software”. I think CounterPath’s Bria and VZW One Talk would take issue, but maybe they raised their $45M on a Blue Ocean strategy of staking out a small corner of the global UC market – the global mobile UC corner. How would that fit in a 2×2 box?

It is funny how much vendors rely on these awards to do the marketing for them.

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