Box CEO Aaron Levie

Box CEO Aaron Levie.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing

IT research firm revealed the findings of its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing report. Here's a summary of the results.

Gartner, Inc. (IT) released the results of its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing, and Talkin' Cloud has covered the report to give channel partners a closer look at the offerings out in today's market.

The IT research firm recognized several vendors in its Leaders quadrant this year, but it left out one well-known San Francisco-based company: Dropbox. Who else didn't make the cut? Talkin' Cloud put together a quick summary on Gartner's analysis.

Gartner's definition of the market

The IT research firm defines the enterprise file sync and share space as the following:

"EFSS refers to a range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that enable individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. File sharing can be within the organization, as well as externally (e.g., with partners and customers) or on a mobile device as data sharing among apps. Security and collaboration support are critical capabilities of EFSS to address enterprise priorities.."

These offerings may also include support for the following: mobility, security, administration and management, back-end server integrations, content manipulation, collaboration, simplicity and usability, and storage.

And now: Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share

Gartner's analysts evaluate players in this space on two criteria: completeness of vision (future success in market) and ability to execute (do they meet the needs of customers?).


Vendors must "provide mature offerings that meet market demand" to be considered for this quadrant. They focus and invest in their offerings to lead market direction. These vendors support broad market requirements, but "they may fail to meet the specific needs of vertical markets or other more specialized segments."

Companies ranking in this year's Leaders Quadrant: Citrix (CTXS), Box, EMC (EMC) and Accellion.


These providers "have a strong ability to execute but may not have a plan that will maintain a strong value proposition for new customers." They typically are financially sound but might "lack a strong vision, innovation or overall understanding of the market's needs."

Companies ranking in this year's Challengers Quadrant: Microsoft (MSFT), Dropbox, Google (GOOG) and IBM (IBM).


Visionaries have fewer proven capabilities to deliver against Gartner's vision of how the market will evolve. These vendors "may need to build financial strength, service and support, and sales and distribution channels."

Companies ranking in this year's Visionaries Quadrant: Alfresco and WatchDox.

Niche Players

Niche Players do well in a particular market segment where they focus on a particular functionality or region. These businesses have "reasonably broad functionality, but limited implementation and support capabilities, and relatively small customer bases." They also lack a strong vision for their offerings.

Companies ranking in this year's Niche Players Quadrant: Hightail, Huddle, Egnyte, Intralinks, AirWatch, Workshare, Novell, Acronis and ownCloud.

Gartner's Market Overview -- Summary

What's driving workers to adopt file sync and share solutions? Consumer devices and BYOD programs. Gartner believes this consumer-driven trend is unsettling to enterprises for several reasons: consumer services store data on unmanaged infrastructures; there' no visibility into what employees are sharing; and potential security threats.

To overcome these challenges, IT administrators have moved to adopting enterprise file sync and share solutions, in the hopes of managing and securing employee data.

There will be an increase in players in the space over the next 12 months, mainly due to market acquisition or the broadening of product portfolios, Garter says. The market, though, will continue to go "through rapid transformation." The adoption of file sync and share solutions is expected to continue, but these capabilities are "increasingly becoming commodities."

But Gartner expects market consolidation in the forecast -- large vendors will acquire specialized vendors. Other parts of the market will also be absorbed into adjacent markets. 

Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta and Google+ for further updates on the story above.

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