Cisco or Microsoft? What to Consider
September 07, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor
Staying connected – it’s something that every business needs to be able to do. You have certain goals you need to reach, which can include sales that rely heavily on telephony. You know what you need to accomplish, but you may not know the best way to select the tools to get you there. It’s no longer as simple as hooking up a phone and calling the phone company. Today, it’s all about unified communications.
To best protect your methods for call accounting, it’s time to dig deep into the available solutions so you can select the best one. It’s not uncommon for business decision makers to simply turn to Microsoft because the name is known, the platform is trusted and it’s an easy decision. But if you dig a little deeper, Cisco (News - Alert) also has powerful options in unified communications. When comparing apples to apples, how do you ensure the one you ultimately select is the right one?
Call accounting solutions provider, ISI (News - Alert) Telemanagement Solutions recently posted a blog on this topic. As you consider the collaboration and communication needs of your employees, you’re able to make decisions based on real usage statistics and not just corporate planning processes. It’s a waste if you select solutions that don’t get used or have too many features that aren’t necessary for your environment. Therefore, the selected solution has to align with your business objectives and avoid user inactivity.
ISI suggests that you consider familiarity and integration when making your selection. User adoption is best thwarted by a solution that doesn’t follow user behavior and is completely unfamiliar. Users well-versed in a platform and its various collaborative solutions are much more likely to embrace additional capabilities from a similar platform. Skype (News - Alert) for Business is popular among business users because they were already familiar with using Skype. If the learning curve is steep and usability isn’t designed with the end user in mind, the technology is more likely to fail.
A solution that has a well-respected name or has earned innovation awards is great to consider, but all elements have to play a part. For instance, the great solution that everyone knows and loves will soon be hated if it doesn’t support mobility or integrate appropriately in the environment. Integration must be tight and usage seamless between technologies and devices. While Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Collaboration suite is an integrated unit across multiple venues, the company can’t compete with Cisco when it comes to physical endpoints for both voice and video.
The optimal answer may come in what solution did you use, first? Does the proposed solution deliver more value than staying with the one you know and love? Map out what change will look like and be prepared for pain. Just be sure your strategy outlines how that pain will eventually be rewarded.
Edited by Alicia Young