Cisco declares war on Microsoft unified communications system

By , Network World |  Unified Communications, Cisco, Collaboration Software

Cisco faults Microsoft for not supplying all infrastructure elements needed to support unified communications and collaboration. "An enterprise deployment of Microsoft Lync for collaboration requires technology partners for network switching and routing, wireless networking, voice gateways, branch-office survivability, contact center applications, video endpoints,and telephones," the company says in a whitepaper on the topic.

The whitepaper criticizes Lync license structure, choice of video codecs, and lack of full Lync support in Microsoft's cloud service Office 365.

Cisco attacks what it interprets as Microsoft's strategy for Skype. It says in the whitepaper that Skype will evolve to run better on Microsoft's own software platforms than on others, at least according to this statement from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "We always want Skype to be first and best on Windows."

A survey Cisco commissioned from Redshift Research finds 72% of respondents say such a policy would have at least some negative impact on their businesses. The same survey says 46% of respondents who have deployed Lync don't use it for external business communications. 77% have a separate communication system.

Cisco promises to keep up its drumbeat against Microsoft's UC and collaboration because it has so much to say against Microsoft. "That's why we're making this the first of a series of posts where Cisco leaders will examine questions like these, comparing Cisco's approach to enterprise collaboration with Microsoft's, highlighting a different topic in every post," Trollope says.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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