Cisco vs Microsoft: Battle In Unifying Communication

In today’s fast moving technological world, it can often be difficult to decide what’s best for your business and your employees when it comes to office and meeting room technology.

With both Microsoft and Cisco coming out and developing devices that allow you and your employees to meet, chat and share at the swipe of a button it only confuses the situation as to which is better for your business.

Businesses are now focusing on more unified communications (UC)  as they strive for all their devices to easily communicate with each other without the need for separate devices. This is where the question lies, who do you, as a business, choose to go with?

Viju take a look into what both Cisco are doing with Cisco Spark and what Microsoft are doing with Skype for Business.


With the different approaches taken by both Cisco and Microsoft it’s vital that any business has a full integrated service across all devices. Having a fully interactive meeting across the world, sharing ideas verbally and physically via file transfer, it’s even more important to have other aspects of the business share along with it.

Setting up a meeting on separate hardware that doesn’t naturally connect with your meeting room device creates a whole lot of problems that can affect the efficiency of your business. Slow connections, disconnections, individual updates that affect the connection between the two, all of these are possible when not unifying your communications.

Since a lot of small to midsize business use and rely on Office 365, integrating Microsoft’s Skype for Business would work wonders. Allowing an ease of use that would be lost using other devices.

Your Specific Needs

The needs of your business and your employees can dictate the answer for you very easily, whether you already have specific devices installed or your employees personally use an email service that communicates well with a certain device.

If your business already has a Cisco phone system installed for example then it’s a great idea to use Cisco Spark as it allows your business to keep the Cisco phone system. Spark integrates with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, allowing your business to continue using your IP phones, saving your large sums of time and money. This integration is what makes it so easy to use, nobody wants to change their entire office network when adding something new.

The same can be applied to Microsoft Skype for Business, as holding all your emails and calendar reminders within Office 365 can be naturally integrated within other Microsoft devices. Saying yes to additional Microsoft features becomes much easier when you’re already using their other products. You’re already familiar with their UI and learning another product of theirs becomes second nature.

It’s good to see what your employees are familiar with and what they feel is better as they’ll be the ones using it in day to day business. If your employees can become more efficient with one rather than the other, encourage that and pursue options to integrate similar devices.

In summary, both Cisco and Microsoft are investing in cloud communication and moving more into unified communication and it’s down to you to see whether what your business can gain from utilising their devices or a mix.

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