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).

1. Top Players – These are the current market leaders with products that offer, both
breadth and depth of functionality, as well as posses a solid vision for the future. Top Players shape the market with their technology and strategic vision. 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 to innovate.

2. Trail Blazers – These vendors offer advanced, best of breed technology, in some areas of their solutions, but don’t necessarily have all the features and functionality that would position them as Top Players. Trail Blazers, however, have the potential for “disrupting” the market with new technology or new delivery models. In time, these vendors are most likely to grow into Top Players.

3. Specialists – This group is made up of two types of companies:

a. Emerging players that are new to the industry and still have to develop some aspects of their solutions. These companies are still developing their strategy and technology.

b. Established vendors that offer a niche product.

4. Mature Players – These vendors are large, established vendors that may offer strong features and functionality, but have slowed down innovation and are no longer considered “movers and shakers” in this market as they once were.

a. In some cases, this is by design. If a vendor has made a strategic decision to move in a new direction, they may choose to slow development on existing products.

b. In other cases, a vendor may simply have become complacent and be out-developed by hungrier, more innovative Trail Blazers or Top Players.

c. Companies in this stage will either find new life, reviving their R&D efforts and move 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 vertically along the “y” functionality axis. The horizontal “x” strategic vision axis reflects a vendor’s understanding of the market and its future direction plans. It is common for vendors to move in the quadrant, as their products evolve and market needs change.

Figure 1: Sample Radicati Market Quadrant

Functionality – refers to product breadth and depth of functionality.

Strategic Vision – refers to a vendor’s strategic direction, which comprises: a thorough understanding of customer needs, ability to deliver through attractive pricing and channel models, solid customer support, and strong on-going innovation.

* 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.