Cisco Launches UC Blitz vs. Microsoft
Cisco is looking to highlight differences in its approach and Microsoft’s as the two companies compete to offer complete solutions.Cisco Systems officials are kicking off a campaign aimed at highlighting what they say are significant shortcomings in rival Microsoft’s enterprise collaboration efforts. Cisco’s initiative—launched Feb. 18, on the eve of Microsoft’s Lync Conference 2013 in San Diego, Calif.—includes a survey conducted by the networking giant that officials say illustrates the differences in approach to collaboration by Cisco and Microsoft, and how Cisco’s strategy dovetails better with the demands of businesses. The release of the survey results is just the beginning of an effort to mark the differences between Cisco and Microsoft that officials say could last weeks. “Customers tell us time and again that a modern collaboration platform needs to deliver more than the basics like IM, conferencing and VOIP,” Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, said in a Feb. 18 post on the Cisco blog. “It needs to offer flexibility and choice in support of trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), high-quality video, and cloud-based deployments (private, public, hybrid,and hosted). The modern collaboration platform needs to be usable not just by office workers but by anyone, from physicians to customer care agents, executives, mobile and desk-less workers. And it needs to be as complete of a solution as possible. … Which brings me back to Microsoft and Lync. 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.”
Microsoft officials are pushing back. While not addressing Cisco’s campaign directly, they said they are pleased with the growth they’ve seen in Lync business since it was announced more than two years ago, and that that growth is a validation of the direction Microsoft is taking in collaboration.