Below is a collection of reports published by leading independent analyst firms on, or including, Microsoft. Microsoft has secured all copyright and publishing privileges with the firms to include the reports on this site for all audiences. All reports were researched and funded by the analyst firms themselves.2012Market focus report: The value of mobile and social for CRM (Nucleus Research, March 2012, .pdf file, 79 kb) Adding mobile access and social collaboration to CRM delivers significant benefits. In a survey of CRM decision makers, Nucleus found that providing sales people with mobile device access to CRM drives a 14.6 percent productivity increase, and adding social drives an additional 11.8 percent productivity boost. Given the significant ROI opportunity, all organizations should consider mobile and social CRM adoption.Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems (Gartner Research, February 6, 2012) Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems, based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute in the data warehouse DBMS market.Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms (Gartner Research, February 6, 2012) Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 Service Update (Nucleus Research, February 2012, .pdf file, 68 kb) Microsoft’s latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, nicknamed “CRM Anywhere,” expands mobile and browser access. This is significant for two reasons: first, it shows Microsoft’s recognition that there is a world beyond Redmond-sourced software. Second, given the dramatic productivity benefits of mobile access, this change promises an incremental increase in return for Dynamics CRM customers. From a return on investment point of view, Nucleus considers this release one of the most significant we’ve seen from Dynamics CRM in some time.Technology Value Matrix 2H2011: CRM (Nucleus Research, February 2012, .pdf file, 94 kb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM has always ranked high in usability because of its Microsoft Outlook and Office integration, personalization, and role-based views. Microsoft’s online application marketplace has gained traction, providing customers with more ready access to CRM add-on capabilities that can drive greater value. The Microsoft Dynamics Q4 2011 service update, which was recently made available, includes new social collaboration capabilities such as support for activity feeds, microblogging, conversations, and automated activity updates − all features that will likely improve Microsoft’s position from a functionality perspective in future Matrices.System Center 2012 Licensing Optimized for Private Cloud (IDC, Jan. 18, 2012):  Mary Turner and Al Gillen report “Microsoft announced it had delivered the Release Candidate version of System Center 2012, which the firm described as being optimized to build and manage application-focused private clouds. Microsoft also introduced a new System Center licensing model that aggressively simplifies pricing with the goal of making System Center 2012 the most affordable full-functioning private cloud management platform in the market.” 2011Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wireless Email Market (Gartner Research, December 27, 2011) Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wireless Email Market.Magic Quadrant for Business Process Analysis Tools (Gartner Research, December 12, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant. The report says “Business process analysis tools continue to grow in importance as business managers, process architects and process analysts seek to better understand, streamline and automate their business processes, and to communicate their needs to IT professionals.”Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (Gartner Research, Dec. 7, 2011) Gartner places Microsoft in the Challengers Quadrant on the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, based on an evaluation of completeness of vision and ability to execute.Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing (Gartner Research, December 5, 2011). Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant. Gartner believes the relevance of web conferencing continues to grow, noting “the primary justification for Web conferencing has been cost savings and other benefits arising from reductions in business travel. When meeting participants cannot travel because of security, environmental or other reasons, Web conferencing becomes a mission-critical capability.”MarketScope for Enterprise Search (Gartner Research, November 18, 2011) Gartner ranks Microsoft ‘Strong Positive’ in the 2011 MarketScope for Enterprise Search. The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management, Q4 2011 (Forrester Research, Inc., November 1, 2011) Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft SharePoint as a Leader in two technology areas in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management, Q4 2011. According to Forrester, "SharePoint 2010 continues to grow in popularity, thanks to its blend of collaboration and content management support. SharePoint 2010’s ECM capabilities are much improved from the 2007 release, and Microsoft has focused on empowering the worker by delivering a better enterprise-ready solution."Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals (Gartner Research, October 24, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant on the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals based on an evaluation of completeness of vision and ability to execute. Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (Gartner Research, October 13, 2011) Microsoft is placed in the Leaders Quadrant of this report, which looks at the enterprise content management market and how Gartner rates vendors and their packaged ECM products. According to Gartner “Changing delivery models, new value propositions, solution configurations and partner ecosystems make ECM relevant to every business.”Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony, 2011 (Gartner Inc, September 15, 2011). Microsoft placed in the Visionaries Quadrant. Gartner notes “Companies are increasingly focusing their strategies and acquisition decisions around unified communications and collaboration (UCC) technology; it is supplanting the historic domain of corporate telephony.”Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace (Gartner Research, August 25, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, 2011 (Gartner Research, August 22, 2011) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant. According to Gartner, “the overall UC market has matured and evolved significantly in 2011. The most notable change has been the shift in emphasis from broad UC portfolios toward fuller UC suites.” This research reviews relevant technologies and vendor offerings that can assist in these goals.Magic Quadrant Secure E-mail Gateways, 2011 (Gartner Research, August 10, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Secure E-mail Gateways.Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (Gartner, Inc., July 14, 2011) Microsoft is rated as a Leader for the on-premises version and as a Visionary for the online version of Dynamics CRM in the latest Gartner Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant.MarketScope for Enterprise Instant Messaging and Presence (Gartner Research, July 5, 2011). Microsoft is rated as Strong Positive in this MarketScope report. Gartner believes IM and presence platforms have become elements of core infrastructure for enterprises and the integration of presence information with email and other business applications is a central requirement that impacts workflow and collaborative decision making.Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure (Gartner Research, June 30, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its x86 Server Virtualization Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant assessment takes into account vendors' current product offerings and overall strategies, as well as their planned initiatives and product road maps.MarketScope for Email Systems, 2011 (Gartner Research, June 22, 2011) Microsoft was rated Strong Positive in this report. Gartner emphasizes “Buyers should avoid the popular notion that email is a commodity, easily sourced from a variety of suppliers.”MarketScope for Project and Portfolio Management Applications (Gartner Research, June 13, 2011) Microsoft earned a Strong Positive rating in the MarketScope for PPM Applications based on Project 2010.E-Mail Maturity Model: Optimizing the Investment (Gartner Research, April 27, 2011) In this report, Gartner said “Most organizations will benefit from a careful analysis of the maturity of their e-mail system to uncover weaknesses. This exercise can lead to a substantial improvement in all aspects of the e-mail infrastructure. Ultimately, we believe e-mail — despite its reputation as a commodity — can offer substantial competitive advantage.”Evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Gartner Research, April 25, 2011) This research provides an overview of Microsoft Dynamics CRM product offering and its applicability to sales force automation and customer-service-centric processes.Hosting Service Providers — Cloud Partners Or Competitors? (Forrester Research, Inc., April 21, 2011) A lot of tech vendors — and channel partners — are struggling to define channel partner roles in the cloud services demand chain. On-premise technology variants are starting to lose traction in segments served mainly by channel partners, putting large numbers of channel partners — whose bread and butter is selling installations — at risk. In the software sector, that service provider is typically the software vendor. But not always — hosting service providers, or hosters, new types of partners dedicated to providing hosting services — now abound. And with advancements in hosting technology and hosters’ business models, application hosters are a major threat to those vendors that cling to the old school notion that channel partners are nothing more than resellers.Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers (Gartner Research, April 15, 2011) This Magic Quadrant looks at CRM software for customer service representatives in the contact center. Social media trends, a strong application and technology refresh cycle, and a demand for analytics and business rules are driving changes in the industry.Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications as a Service (Gartner Research, March 30, 2011) This research evaluates leading UCaaS portfolios in the North American market. It focuses on enterprise use cases and also considers hybrid, SMB and very large enterprise environments. Microsoft’s BPOS offering was given an overall score of 3.0 in use cases, with a Product Viability score of Excellent.MarketScope for Ajax Technologies and RIA Platforms (Gartner Inc., March 29, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft as “Positive” in the 2011 MarketScope for Ajax Technologies and RIA Platforms.One Year In, and the Use Cases for Microsoft's SQL Azure are Becoming Clear (451 Group, February 11, 2011, .pdf file, 108 kb) The 451 Group assesses that “SQL Azure is a clear indication that Microsoft is prepared to listen to and respond to the demands of customers in providing a fully managed relational, scalable database service.”The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Warehousing Platforms, Q1 2011 (Forrester Research, Inc., February 10, 2011, .pdf file, 641 kb) Microsoft has launched cost-effective EDW appliances for midmarket and large enterprises. With an increased focus on massively parallel EDW scale-out, Microsoft positions its EDW offerings as the foundation for self-service BI for information workers who rely on SQL Server.2010IDC MarketScape Excerpt: IT Project and Portfolio Management 2010 Vendor Analysis – Four Views to Enable Effective Evaluation (IDC, December 2010) The report evaluates principal vendor participants in the IT project portfolio management (IT PPM) market. Microsoft is a “Leader” in the ALM and IT PPM Market View. The excerpt also includes enterprise IT PPM, where Microsoft is a “Major Player,” entering the “Leaders” section.The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2010 (Forrester Research, July 19, 2010) Forrester evaluated the customer service and support capabilities of 19 leading CRM suite solutions against 196 criteria. Customer service and business process professionals face a diverse range of products to sift through to support the quest to create differentiated customer experiences and build stronger bonds of buyer loyalty. Leader solutions CDC Software, Microsoft, Oracle CRM On Demand, RightNow,, and SAP Business All-in-One offer flexible and quick-to-implement solutions.The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Large Organizations, Q2 2010 (Forrester Research, June 16, 2010) Forrester evaluated 18 leading customer relationship management (CRM) suite solutions against 516 criteria reflecting the requirements of large organizations. We found that heavyweight Leaders Oracle Siebel and SAP still offer the most complete solutions, with better usability and improved total cost of ownership (TCO) to persuade customers to upgrade. Other vendors in the Leader category, such as CDC Software, Microsoft, Oracle CRM On Demand, RightNow Technologies, and are gaining ground with flexible, quick-to-implement solutions.The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Hubs, Q3 2010 (Forrester Research, June 16, 2010) In Forrester’s 112-criteria evaluation of order management hub (OMH) vendors, Oracle E-Business Suite and Sterling Commerce led the pack among the Leaders because of their ability to support both end-to-end ordering processes as well as order hub infrastructure. Meanwhile, SAP, Oracle Siebel, and Microsoft earned their Leader designations because of their strong support for end-to-end order management processes and forward-looking product strategies.The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites For Midsized Organizations, Q2 2010 (Forrester Research, June 15, 2010) Forrester evaluated 19 leading customer relationship management (CRM) suite solutions against 516 criteria reflecting the requirements of midsized organizations. We found that vendors in the Leader category, such as CDC Software, Microsoft, Oracle CRM On Demand, RightNow Technologies,, CRM functionality in SAP Business-All-in-One, and SugarCRM are gaining ground with flexible, quick-to-implement solutions, priced for the midmarket.Exchange 2010 – An Upgrade Worth Considering (Forrester Research, Inc., January 27, 2010) According to this independent report, Forrester analysts believe “Microsoft’s recent release of Exchange Server 2010 has material benefits that should prompt some Exchange 2007 and many Exchange 2003 customers to consider an upgrade. Look for improvements in three areas: back-end improvements largely connected to storage; benefits to information workers; and built-in basic archiving capabilities.”Related LinksContact Information: Microsoft Resources: Microsoft Industry Analyst Relations The Economic Impact of Windows VistaExternal Resources: AMR Research Enterprise Strategy GroupForrester Research Gartner IDCJupiter Research OvumThe Yankee Group