I will be the first to admit I am not an expert on enterprise business management, nor do I keep up with market trends. But as life offers you opportunities, you take them and learn. In this case my first significant introduction to this world was something called the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It sounds made up and when you first hear it described you think, “Does this really mean anything?” I’m sure if you are a seasoned industry guru you are now rolling your eyes at me, but for those in my boat, this article will help you get a deeper grasp of what the Gartner Magic Quadrant is and why you should care, no matter your role at your company.
Gartner was established to provide high quality and unbiased research on the fast-paced IT market, and supplies desperately needed advice to the entire IT community. With its global reach, stationed in over 100 countries, Gartner can determine the IT standards that are in place today and the market trends that will become a reality in the future. They have become the industry standard by holding high ethical standards and performing meticulous research, while keeping independent with no vested interests. Not only does Gartner provide invaluable research, but they offer tools to help CIOs and IT leaders navigate the rapidly changing IT world; and conferences to help bring together leadership to converse about strategic actions to make the right business and technical decisions. Beyond the extensive amount of research documentation Gartner contributes to the community, they create a chart for many markets of the IT industry comparing competitors based on this research. They call this the Magic Quadrant.
What is the Magic Quadrant
The Magic Quadrant is a graphical presentation of a company’s Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute their vision compared to market standards and other technologies in the same category.
The Ability to Execute is fairly self-explanatory and is the y-axis. The x-axis is the Completeness of Vision, which is heavily influenced by a company’s recent three-year history of innovation and success with its strategies. It is important to understand that a Magic Quadrant (MQ) is not specific to a product, rather an MQ evaluates a vendor in a defined market.
There are four sections, or quadrants, that a company can fall into:
- Niche Players
Each of these sections say something different about a company’s role in the IT industry at the time. A company that is in the Niche Players category, the lower left quadrant of the chart, usually means the company focuses solely on specializing in a small section of the entire market and do not present a clear vision for expanding and executing more qualifiers. Moving to the lower right section of the chart we find the Visionaries; these companies have a clear view of where the market is heading or can see a way to reshape the perception of the technology in a way that is innovative, but lack in the demonstration of those ideas today. This leads into the upper left side of the chart with what is called the Challengers; these companies are well-structured and have orchestrated the ability to keep up with today’s standards but tend to fall short in the vision of what is in demand for tomorrow. Last is the upper right portion of the chart: this is referred to as the Leaders quadrant. These companies have demonstrated the ability to execute today’s standards and have demonstrated past success along with clear roadmaps of the standards expected in the future.
Veeam and the Magic Quadrant
Since 2016 Veeam has been placed in the Leaders quadrant, most recently being cited by Gartner for having a large ecosystem of partners, ease of deployment and use, and for having a compelling hybrid cloud backup strategy.
Veeam is the only vendor, not just in the Backup MQ, but in a storage related MQ in Gartner’s history to achieve the “Magic.” The Magic in a Magic Quadrant is if a vendor could get into the Leader’s quadrant, but not have to traverse the other three quadrants. The typical progression is that a vendor initially enters an MQ in the Niche quadrant, works on its products and enters the Visionaries quadrant. If the vendor can execute well on the business, it typically falls a bit behind on the product and makes it into the Challengers quadrant. If a vendor can excel in all categories, it would then move into the Leader’s quadrant. Veeam entered the MQ in 2014 as a Visionary vendor and moved straight up into the Leader’s quadrant in 2016, bypassing the other two quadrants.
What does this mean for the everyday admin? This means that Veeam is a strong supplier in the backup industry, creating a top of the line product, and can keep up with the ever-changing platforms that need to be protected. Veeam is completely focused on backup and availability; it’s all that we do. We have more customers than the rest of the vendors in the Magic Quadrant combined. At Veeam, we continually strive to be the one backup solution you need for your entire environment.
To wrap up this message, Gartner has done great things for the industry by boldly creating standards for what sets a company ahead in this competitive world and doing the research for the technologies we will experience tomorrow. At Veeam, we look forward to Gartner’s annual evaluation and feedback.