Skype for Business vs Spark – Collaboration Extension

In the unified collaboration space right now there is a big battle going on. Whilst many companies might claim that they are also involved or influencing company decisions around collaboration, it really only comes down to Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Cisco’s Spark.

Nearly every business we talk to right now is looking at cloud options within their communications strategy, and is interested in finding out more about Skype for Business and or Spark. Whilst similar in much of their features and functionality, Microsoft and Cisco’s applications are also very different. We have written a whitepaper which you can download. It is called ‘Microsoft Skype for Business vs Cisco Spark: The Enterprise Collaboration Battleground

The whitepaper encourages the reader to look past the feature set and understand what it is that the business and the users need from their collaboration tools.

Imagine a Head of IT, for a global company that just happens to be a Cisco house, aka a business that has invested heavily in Cisco infrastructure. In this example the Head of IT is likely to opt for Cisco Spark because of this current relationship, thinking that the integration and management will be both familiar and simpler. This is a mistake, and many companies are making it.

You could be a company that uses all of Microsoft’s business tools including SharePoint and Azure. Your natural thinking for collaboration will therefore be Skype for Business and possibly Teams. Wrong again.

Decision makers need to take a step back and not simply pick what suits the business based on past purchases, but pick what suits the business needs and user needs. User experience is more important than the technology, or who it is made by.

The workplace has fundamentally changed. As workers, we are connected more, and we have the ability to work flexibly from anywhere. To ensure that time to market is reduced, we collaborate more to increase our productivity. Real-time communication and ideation; access to digital whiteboards; business level instant messaging and high quality video and audio conferencing. These are all expected in today’s office to talk to our co-workers.

But… 

Remember that collaboration extends beyond the four walls of the corporate office. How do employees connect to customers, suppliers, partners and other individuals and companies? Picking a service that does not allow easy collaboration with this external group of people is the equivalent of putting your company into an impenetrable bubble. Users will ultimately reject the tools and most likely try and find their own ways to communicate using shadow IT.

It is essential to deploy a dedicated process that studies, understands and reports on every user requirement, resulting in a successful unified collaboration tool, and this is where the expertise of Videocall proves to be invaluable. With 20 years’ experience of working with enterprise companies in the unified collaboration space, we understand the principles of getting the business needs and user needs documented, and then building a solution to fit around them. We don’t just pick the easy option.

We know that Skype for Business and Spark will remain the dominant options for unified collaboration for the foreseeable future, but heed our advice when we say, don’t just pick the easy option, there is a high chance it may fail.

Download our whitepaper and find out more about Microsoft Skype for Business vs Cisco Spark. Or, contact us today so that we can start to help you identify your business and user needs.

Call us on +44 (0)1276 706 706 or email information@videocall.co.uk    

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