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Market Quadrants Explained

Radicati Market Quadrants are designed to illustrate how individual vendors fit within specific technology markets at any given point in time.

Click here to view free sample Market Quadrant

All Radicati Market Quadrants are composed of four sections, as shown in the example quadrant (Figure 1 below).

  1. Specialists – This group is made up of two types of companies:
    1. Emerging players that are still very new to the industry and have not yet built up much of an installed base. These companies are still developing their strategy and technology.
    2. Established vendors that offer a niche product.
  2. Trail Blazers – These vendors offer cutting edge technology, but have not yet built up a large customer base. With effective marketing and better awareness, these companies hold the power to dethrone the current market leaders. “Trail blazers” often shape the future of technology with their innovations and new products designs.
  3. Top Players – These are the current leaders of the market, with products that have built up large customer bases. Vendors don’t become “top players” overnight. Most of the companies in this quadrant were first specialists or trail blazers (some were both). As companies reach this stage, they must fight complacency and continue product innovation, or else they’ll be replaced by the next generation of “trail blazers.”
  4. Mature Player – These vendors have large, mature installed bases of customers, but no longer set the pace for the rest of the industry. These vendors are no longer considered “movers and shakers” like they once were.
    1. In some cases, this is by design. If a vendor has made a strategic decision to move in a new direction, it may slow development on one product line and start another.
    2. In other cases, a vendor may simply become complacent as a top vendor and be out-developed by hungrier “trail blazers” and other top players.
    3. Companies in this stage either find new life and revive their R&D, moving back into the “top players” segment, or else they slowly fade away as legacy technology.

Figure 1 below, shows a sample Radicati Market Quadrant. As a vendor continues to develop its product, it will move horizontally along the “x” axis. As market share changes, vendors move vertically along the “y” axis. It is common for vendors to move between quadrants over the life of a product, as their products improve and market requirements evolve.

Radicati Market Quadrant

Figure 1: Sample Radicati Market Quadrant

* Disclaimer: Radicati Market Quadrant is copyrighted March 2005 by The Radicati Group, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without expressed written permission of the Radicati Group. Vendors and products depicted in Radicati Market Quadrants should not be considered an endorsement, but rather a measure of The Radicati Group’s opinion, based on product reviews, primary research studies, vendor interviews, historical data, and other metrics. The Radicati Group intends its Market Quadrants to be one of many information sources that readers use to form opinions and make decisions. Radicati Market Quadrants are time sensitive, designed to depict the landscape of a particular market at a given point in time. The Radicati Group disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. The Radicati Group shall have no liability for errors, omissions, or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.