Wrap-Up of Dream Teams for the Digital Workplace

Can you buy a digital workplace? If you did, what would it do? This five-part series analyzes Gartner Magic Quadrants to envision an architectural landscape for an integrated digital workplace to enable communications, content management, and mobile self-service. The goal is to bring ideas to the table for stakeholder discussions that strike a balance between enterprise integration and best-of-breed capabilities, to guide emerging strategies for digital workplace platforms and workforce enablement.

Part V: Wrap-Up

This section reviews our findings in terms of:

  • Vendor Breadth of Capability
  • Best of Breed
  • Best in Class: Communications, Content, and Mobile Self-Service
  • Can You Pick One Vendor?

So, let’s wrap up. Which platform vendors get a piece of our dream-team digital workplace?

Vendor Breadth of Capability

Since we’re looking to minimize vendors for an integrated platform, let’s start by looking at vendors who appear in at least two Magic Quadrants across the board.

Vendor

1. Leader

2. Challenger

3. Visionary

4. Niche

GMQ Count

Microsoft

6

2

2

1

11

Cisco

6

6

IBM

5

3

8

Avaya

3

1

4

Citrix

3

3

Mitel

3

3

Adobe

2

2

HP

2

2

Lexmark

2

2

OpenText

2

2

SalesForce

1

1

2

ShoreTel

1

1

2

Tibco

1

1

2

Vidyo

1

1

2

VMWare

1

1

2

Best of Breed

Since we need to satisfy a broad range of stakeholders and negotiate best of breed head-to-head, let’s take a second pass with a “win, place, and show” rating in each GMQ. Since Microsoft ranks as the integrated-platform winner with 11 MQ appearances, let’s also compare Microsoft’s ranking to the best-of-breed winners to see what would happen if we traded best-of-breed in that area for deeper UX integration.

Capability

GMQ

Win

Place

Show

Microsoft

Communications

Group Video

Cisco

Polycom

Vidyo

N/A

Communications

Secure Email Gateways (SEG)

ProofPoint

Cisco

Microsoft

1. Leader

Communications

Social Collaboration

Microsoft

IBM

Jive

1. Leader

Communications

Telephony

Cisco

Avaya

Mitel

2. Challenger

Communications

Unified Communications

Microsoft

Cisco

Mitel

1. Leader

Communications

Web Conferencing

Cisco

Microsoft

Adobe

1. Leader

Content

Enterprise Content Management

IBM

OpenText

EMC

1. Leader

Content

Enterprise File Sync and Share

Syncplicity

Citrix

Box

2. Challenger

Content

Enterprise Search

Covea

Sinequa

HP

N/A

Content

Web Content Management

SiteCore

Adobe

Acquia

4. Niche Player

Self-Service

BI and Analytics

Microsoft

Tableau

Qlik

1. Leader

Self-Service

Sales Force Automation

SalesForce

Microsoft

Microsoft

1. Leader

Self-Service

ERP

SAP

IFS

Microsoft

3. Visionary

Self-Service

HR Talent Mgmt

SAP

Oracle

Cornerstone

N/A

Self-Service

Mobility

Airwatch

MobileIron

Citrix

3. Visionary

A communications team looking to rationalize would face the most resistance to a single-vendor strategy with group video and telephony, and would want to evaluate their on-premise needs for video hardware and landline phones against the UC capabilities of Skype for Business. Some degree of Cisco-Microsoft partnership is likely to play out effectively here.

Content teams will find that dedicated website needs and high-end search will drive a multivendor strategy, although both areas are rapidly emerging area for Microsoft and it may well make it onto next year’s MQs. Best-of-breed for EFSS will be a very hard sell to enterprises looking to gain governance control over file sharing, since OneDrive integrates so tightly with email and collaboration workloads.

Mobile self-service will still need to select a back office ERP vendor, especially for HR, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM has both place-and-show in CRM behind SalesForce. Microsoft is still a visionary in mobile device management, although choosing a leading vendor here for best-of-breed MDM would require some integration with communications and content systems.

Best In Class

Next, let’s take a deeper dive into each capability group to look at the best-in-class players in each collection of Magic Quadrants.

Communications

For a communications platform that unifies phone, web, video, and social collaboration, Microsoft with or without Cisco is the clear best-of-breed choice. Microsoft takes first place in social collaboration and unified communications and second place in web conferencing, while Cisco places first in group video and telephony. Enterprises not currently using Cisco may be able to leverage Skype for Business more heavily for telephony, as Microsoft is a strong challenger here. Those looking to replace or upgrade enterprise group video systems will still want to invest in Cisco, Avaya, or Mitel, since Microsoft does not have a pure-play enterprise video offering. However, all three vendors offer strong Microsoft connectors for an integrated user experience.

Content Management

For a content management platform with robust web and mobile experiences, cloud file sharing, and enterprise search, Microsoft may be the best single-vendor choice even if it does not lead in any of the top three spots. They are a leader in ECM and a challenger in EFSS, even though they still rank as a niche player in WCM.

Integrating Office 365 and/or SharePoint on-premise with OpenText or Documentum may provide best-in-class ECM, while high-end web content management will still want to rely on SiteCore or Adobe for polished and branded web publishing experiences.

However, a number of third-party service providers are developing UX layers that dramatically improve the out-of-box SharePoint experience, including Unily, Wizdom, and Beezy. Before developing a custom intranet on SiteCore or Adobe, enterprises would do well to evaluate these “intranet-in-a-box” UX-layer offerings to take advantage of Microsoft’s deep platform integration across core collaboration workloads like email, file sharing, social, and web communications.

Emerging experiences like Delve and the Office Graph are likely to strengthen Microsoft’s market position in search, especially as SharePoint 2016 offers hybrid search of cloud/on-premise CMS as well as a host of third-party search integration connectors. Organizations already invested in Coveo or Sinequa may want to deploy their Microsoft connectors for seamless cross-platform search.

Mobile Self-Service

A true business self-service platform must be mobile and must offer self-service access to business processes and data. Microsoft holds the top spot for BI analytics, due in large measure to its PowerBI tools that take Excel to the next level. Data-centric enterprises will probably want to add Tableau or Qlik to their data warehouse toolset, but will also want to integrate back office SORs with the Microsoft BI stack (probably through SharePoint BCS) to drive decentralized self-service analytics.

ERP self-service will still rely on SAP (SuccessFactors) or Oracle (PeopleSoft) for transactional processes, especially in HR. Both vendors have strong integration capabilities with Microsoft as well as their own suite of mobile apps. Microsoft shops will want to stay put on Dynamics CRM, while SalesForce teams can take advantage of a wealth of connectors and strong mobile support.

Even though Microsoft is a visionary in the mobile device management space, enterprises needing BYOD governance will still want to invest in Airwatch, MobileIron, or Citrix to ensure best-in-class mobile device management for the enterprise.

Can You Pick One Vendor?

Can you pick a single turnkey vendor for an enterprise digital workplace? Microsoft would certainly like you to say yes. Organizations that decide to put all their eggs in a single-vendor basket may be able to get quite far with a Microsoft digital workplace strategy, before running into resistance from group video (Cisco), CMS (OpenText or Documentum), public websites (Sitecore and Adobe), and/or advanced analytics (Tableau or Qlik) reporting on centralized ERP systems. Large or complex enterprises may want to put these scenarios out of scope for a first-phase digital workplace deployment, especially if they are already engaged with a leading vendor.

The cost reduction from replacing one of these best-in-class systems may not deliver short-term ROI for an enterprise that is looking to drive a digital experience for these core workloads of video, CMS, web publishing, and data analytics. Most importantly, disrupting the user experience of these systems may create resistance to change that can hamper an enterprise vision and strategy for digital business.

The temptation to go out and buy a digital workplace platform is a strong one, and Microsoft is driving it hard. However, the organizational change implicit in a single vendor strategy may backfire by placing too much strain on siloed teams that first need to evolve an integrated vision of communications, content, and business self-service for the digital workplace.

Strategy Tips

Working from the middle out can be a useful strategy, by leveraging Office 365 for Skype, Exchange, and OneDrive to accelerate lightweight, agile collaboration that can quickly go viral among widely distributed mobile users. A hybrid or on-premise strategy for SharePoint can provide integration points with key line of business systems that can then go mobile through a collaborative intranet portal for employee services.

One way to negotiate stakeholder consensus could be to agree to replace or retire any existing system that is a Gartner niche player or did not make a Magic Quadrant, while postponing the replacement of existing Leaders, Challengers, and Visionaries until there is a clear business driver for upgrade.

However, since IT cloud infrastructure, cost reduction, and rationalization are such strong business drivers today, many intranet sponsors and IT teams may find themselves pushed toward a single-vendor strategy and caught in the middle with best-of-breed champions vying for their own requirements.

This survey aims to bring some talking points to the table, with an independent analysis of industry research, some predictions for opportunities and challenges, and some tips to think about as you step up to the plate as a vision leader for workplace enablement. Here’s hoping it helps your digital workplace strategy become a dream team.

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