Why Cisco and Avaya are Battling Microsoft in a Unified Communications War

LyncUnexpectedly, Microsoft’s Lync – its unified communications system – is becoming increasingly popular among companies. As a result, both of Microsoft’s competitors Avaya and Cisco have recently launched an online marketing campaign in an effort to discourage users from Microsoft’s product. Pointing out every shortcoming of the system, the marketing campaign hopes to detail every limitation of the Lync product.

Fighting back, Microsoft has quickly upgraded its system to address many of the critical problems that have been raised by both of its competing companies. However, the increased popularity of Microsoft Lync might have both Avaya and Cisco worried. Many companies are quickly moving to replace their existing traditional landline telephony system with Microsoft Lync or they have already done so in the past two years.


There are specific concerns that are raising the fear of both Avaya and Cisco. Avaya consumers are not quite as fearful, having only invested in a contact center and a voice system. Cisco consumers on the other hand have made a significant investment in their new telephony system at a much higher cost. For both companies, Microsoft is poised to make both of their systems insignificant in the industry.


Detailing Microsoft’s Limitations


Cisco has detailed the long list of what they believed to be Lync’s limitations. These include the lack of a phone system, video and voice gateways, video endpoints, and the lack of networking and cloud PSTN connections. The system relies on the consumer finding these components somewhere else which will increase the complexity and overall cost. Supposedly, the limitation also extends to Microsoft’s inability to troubleshoot the installation of Lync and all of the components.


According to Cisco, Microsoft has not determined any clear path for their program’s cloud deployments. In essence, they are right. Both the Surface laptops and tablets by Microsoft are actually in direct competition with hardware vendors which automatically creates a specific conflict of interest. This is especially true when supporting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs in the corporate world. At this point Microsoft might need to fully restrict all of the features of Lync when accessing other Microsoft devices.


Even with its inherent downfall in being able to support all devices, Microsoft Lync will be fully integrated with Office 365 – its newest flagship cloud application service – in the near future. With the ability to purchase voice licenses, many Microsoft customers can abandon their Avaya or Cisco license and reduce their overall costs. For Microsoft, the future seems to be very bright in the battle over unified communications.

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