February 19, 2013, 1:42 PM — Cisco chose the eve of Microsoft's first Lync conference to attack the Microsoft unified communications platform as incomplete when compared to Cisco's enterprise UC offerings.
Cisco has launched what it calls a frank and direct conversation and a weeks-long debate about what's important when IT executives decide which platforms to choose, and in its initial salvo finds Microsoft lacking in three areas:
- Microsoft doesn't provide phones, video endpoints, voice and video gateways, networking and cloud PSTN connections -- leaving customers to find them elsewhere, increasing cost and complexity.
- It has no clear path for cloud deployments that support the same functionality as on-site Lync deployments.
- Microsoft's Surface tablets and laptops compete against other hardware vendors, which poses a conflict of interest when it comes to supporting bring-your-own-device programs.
[ BACKGROUND: Lync moves closer to proverbial PBX replacement
CUSTOMER STORY: Microsoft delivers missing Lync for telemed project ]
In addition, Cisco says that the way Lync evolved leads to design shortcomings compared with Cisco's UC products. "We believe that a solution that's primarily been developed for a desktop PC user experience is less able to meet these wider post-PC requirements than one that has been designed and optimized for them from the outset," says Rowan Trollope, Cisco's SVP and GM of collaboration, in a blog post.
Cisco claims it has deployed its UC and collaboration gear for mobile workers, international calling, confidential voice and video, and contact centers that blend voice, video, chat and social media. "By comparison, a solution optimized for only the desktop office worker may not be able to serve other users' specific needs adequately, and thus may provide less value to the business," Trollope writes.