Microsoft vs Cisco: Should an Organization Pick One?
Microsoft Lync comprises 60% of voice services on the market, while Cisco makes up 25% to 35%. About 21% of companies and organizations have Cisco voice and Microsoft Lync. When it comes to data deployment, 45% of companies use Cisco data deployments, yet also have Lync and could possibly be Cisco or Microsoft for voice services.
These statistics create a compelling debate about Microsoft vs. Cisco. Which one is better? Should an organization stick with one company, or utilize the various services from each?
Microsoft is a Growing Force in Voice Services
According to Nemertes Research at Enterprise Connect in 2014, end users have started to switch towards a singular provider for their communication needs. While Cisco remains the plurality choice at 22.6%, Microsoft is fast approaching them at 12.9%. In fact, they are presently tied with Avaya for the second spot. With 32.3% of the market undecided and evaluating, the top spot could still go either to Cisco or Microsoft.
A Difficult Decision for Management
The many benefits provided by both Microsoft and Cisco make deciding on one provider a tough decision. Cisco Jabber requires only one telephony license, while Microsoft Lync typically comes bundled with Enterprise solutions that many organizations are already purchasing. Both approaches to a multifaceted communication solution are valid and will take care of the need at hand. In fact, it can often be difficult to even distinguish between the two products.
Comparing Microsoft to Cisco when it comes to capabilities is difficult because they each offer the same services. Basic telephony services, desktop phones, PC clients, mobile clients, audio conferencing and web conferencing are available with both packages.
One distinct advantage that Cisco offers is that most of the services they offer are created and managed directly by Cisco. Conversely, Microsoft relies on working with partners to offer many services. It’s worth noting that companies will still only interact with a single vendor, but having multiple partners in play may complicate the execution of updates and product development.
A Concise Coexistence Strategy
A solution that many organizations are starting to reach is that using both services provides the best outcome. The most common collaboration is to use Lync for instant messaging and an easy UI for Cisco, yet use Cisco for voice services.