Posted by: Mudassir Ali | May 29, 2011

Microsoft UC vs Cisco UC

Microsoft Unified Messaging

Microsoft vs Cisco

Microsoft UC vs Cisco UC

Compares the Microsoft and Cisco products

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 offers the following benefits and advantages when competing with Cisco Unity 7.0

Microsoft Messaging vs Cisco Unified Messaging

Microsoft Presence vs Cisco in IM/presence

Microsoft advantages over Cisco for IM/Presence

Microsoft Advantages over Cisco for Voice

Microsoft Cisco
User Experience Access UC applications (Office Communications Server and Exchange) without the need for a VPN connection. Access to most UC applications requires a VPN connection. Cisco voice can be accessed without a VPN connection, but customers must purchase a Cisco adaptive security appliance (ASA) and licensing.
Strong solution for mobile and nomadic workers. Users can receive high quality of experience, even under constrained bandwidth conditions due to adaptive codecs. Quality of experience is dependent on the corporate network and relies on codecs that are not rate-adaptive. Cisco does now offer the iLBC codec which can handle some packet loss.
Total Cost of Ownership Is designed to increase the business value of voice by pulling software-powered voice into applications that people use every day. Typically recommends placing an IP phone on everyone’s desk, which does not necessarily provide additional business value and serves to increase costs.
Microsoft’s solution does not require customers to remove and replace existing telephony infrastructure. Customers can continue to leverage their existing PBXs while adding the benefits of UC. Requires Cisco IP telephony solution as prerequisite to other on-premises UC applications.
Single interface to manage the entire UC solution and directory structure with Active Directory. Provides a separate management experience from the PBX, conferencing, email, and IM solutions.
Partners (such as Polycom and LG-Nortel) offer Office Communications Server-certified devices including USB handsets and headsets, helping to drive down device costs. Typically requires Cisco proprietary devices even though SIP-TLS, sRTP, and their codecs are standardized.
Strategy Cisco Proposition Microsoft Response
Compete on features · Call Admission Control (CAC)

· Quality of Service (QoS)

· Analog device support

· E911 support

· Branch survivability

· Respond with CAC and QoS strategies.

· Analog device and E911 support are planned for the next generation of Windows. Explain the difference between 911 (which Microsoft supports today) and E911.

· Office Communications Server does support branch survivability. As in the case of Cisco and other telephony vendors, branch survivability requires the placement of a local resource to manage nodes in case of WAN failure. Cisco refers to this as SRST, which is a capability on a local router. Microsoft can provide branch survivability by placing an Office Communications Server front-end server locally. In future revisions of Office Communications Server, Microsoft plans to reduce the server footprint requirement and enhance performance while running in “survivability mode.”

Experience in voice IP telephony is the first step to deploying UC;

10 years of experience in the voice market and industry leadership for telephony.

Shift conversation from a strict voice focus to the entire UC platform with presence as the foundation.
Microsoft has proprietary voice Cisco may point to the need for Mediation Servers as evidence that the RTaudio codec and Microsoft voice solution are proprietary. There are many third-party endpoints that register to Office Communications Server, including video units from Polycom and Tandberg. The issue isn’t codecs, because Office Communicator supports six “G DOT” standard audio codecs. Office Communications Server requires strong identity, authentication and encryption using Kerberos, TLS, and SRTP that legacy vendors like Cisco do not support.

Microsoft Advantages over Cisco for On-Premise Conferencing

Microsoft Cisco
User Experience Same client whether using hosted Live Meeting or Office Communications Server. MeetingPlace and WebEx provide users with different experiences; this may be confusing to end users. However, customers can now use MeetingPlace audio conferencing in combination with WebEx hosted Web/video conferencing.
The Polycom CX5000 offers portable, affordable videoconferencing that can be extended to the entire business.

Office Communications Server can integrate with industry standards-based Polycom and Tandberg room-based systems.

Many customers may find that the price/cost of Cisco’s room-based video conferencing is not conducive to broad availability or use in their organization. Partners should not compare the Polycom CX5000 directly to Cisco Telepresence.

Cisco TelePresence is a proprietary solution which may cost more than customers want, is not portable, and does not integrate with OCS due to its reliance on Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

Total Cost of Ownership Conference bridge cost savings of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 audio conferencing can potentially fund the entire UC stack. MeetingPlace also provides ability for customer’s to save on conference call bridge charges
Simplified licensing includes audio, video, and Web conferencing on a single platform. Requires separate port-based licensing and hardware for audio, video, and Web conferencing. Due to this hardware-based approach and concurrent pricing model, MeetingPlace can typically cost more than the Office Communications Server conferencing solution. When discussing, compare “apples-to-apples” against MeetingPlace as MeetingPlace Express is not a full-featured conferencing solution (e.g., it lacks redundancy, scalability, and external user video access). Click here to see what features MeetingPlace Express does not support.
Strategy Cisco Proposition Microsoft Response
Compete on features · No download to join Web conference

· 1,000 Web users in one meeting

· Mac, Linux, and Windows support

· Legacy video integration

· External participants can access Live Meeting Web Access to avoid client downloads

· For large meetings, customers can access hosted Live Meeting conferencing, which uses the same client as Office Communications Server conferencing

· Demonstrate support for screen sharing across platforms with Office Communications Server 2007 R2

· In February 2008, Tandberg announced business-quality video interoperability with Office Communications Server 2007 (link). Polycom extends its user experience with a broad portfolio of high-definition voice and video endpoints (link). You can redirect any discussion or objection on this subject back toward Cisco by asking why Cisco TelePresence or VTA doesn’t interoperate with Office Communications Server when Polycom and Tandberg do.

Position hard cost savings The cost savings of on-premises audio conferencing provides a rationale for a customer to move to Cisco voice. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 allows customers to save on conference bridge charges, which can help them to fund the purchase of the Microsoft UC stack and typically costs less to acquire than Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, which relies on proprietary hardware.
Emphasize Cisco TelePresence Cisco executives will demonstrate TelePresence to customer CEOs to show innovation in the UC space and seed their voice platform. Explain that the Polycom CX5000 can cost-effectively bring standards-based video to the entire business and that it is portable. Do not directly compare Cisco TelePresence with the CX5000. Showcase the Microsoft’s alliances and how Office Communications Server can integrate with Tandberg and Polycom.
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