Microsoft vs Cisco – Productivity vs Collaboration – A Converging Battle

A simple question that many IT Directors, Managers and Collaboration Service Owners are being asked over and over right now. Are you a Microsoft house or a Cisco house?

In the current landscape of video conferencing and collaboration these two behemoths are going head to head, but from opposite sides of the playing field. Microsoft Teams vs Cisco Webex Teams, the battle for the rapidly increasing collaboration space. Of course, there are other players on the field of play, namely Slack the inventor of this current style of collaboration service along with Google (G-Suite), Facebook (Workplace) and many others. This blog will however be focussing on Microsoft and Cisco. If you are interested in jumping straight in at the deep end, you can read our whitepaper – Enterprise Team Collaboration – The Battle of the Titans.

So why do we say that Microsoft and Cisco are on opposite sides and what does that mean for you? When we look at the history of each of these companies there are clear differences, and therefore their strategies are not the same. Microsoft is a productivity company, creating applications that allow you to do whatever you need to, in both a business and personal sense. Tools like Microsoft Office come with most the required applications for running your day to day life. Collaboration is indeed one of those tools, but it arrived later on the scene than most of the other applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. When it did arrive, it came in the form of Lync, before becoming rebranded as Skype after a buyout. Perhaps the success of Skype for Business caught Microsoft a little by surprise, but it was certainly built for productivity over the quality and reliability that Cisco offer. Office365 is now leading the way for Microsoft, their response to delivering everything from the cloud, with Microsoft Teams just one of the applications contained within it, but the collaboration service that Microsoft want you to use.

Cisco has a history with collaboration, and within that history high quality audio and visuals have led the way. Everyone knows that if you want to have the best experience within a video conferencing meeting, you should pick Cisco. In recent years of course, the change from having just a video conferencing service to wanting a collaboration service that offers whiteboarding, persistent chat, file sharing, real-time annotation, audio and video dial in and AI all in one; as well as the ease of being able to access documents quickly, has meant that Cisco have had to think about the bigger picture. On top of this there has been the migration to the cloud away from Cisco’s trusted on-premises deployments. Cisco’s response was Spark, which became rebranded to Webex Teams, an all-in-one collaboration service with many of the boxes ticked in having everything in one place.

The overall goal of both Microsoft and Cisco is the same, to have an all-in-one cloud based intelligent collaboration solution. Industry analysts Gartner offer strengths and cautions to both Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams which are worth reading and taking on board before making any decision . It isn’t as easy as being an old school ‘Cisco house’ or ‘Microsoft house’, the benefits and requirements of both the business and the users must be considered.

As a leading managed service provider and systems integrator of on-premises and cloud-based collaboration, Videocall has deep insight into the challenges, best practices and technologies associated with choosing an enterprise collaboration solution. 

That includes helping to co-facilitate the all-important vision sessions that will help your organisation to surface stakeholder expectations, develop measurable business objectives and build group consensus on the all-important requirements framework. 

All of which will enable you to then make decisions about what collaboration solution will represent the best fit for your organisation – based on specific, documented and prioritised business requirements ensuring that you generate the maximum ROI possible. 

From evaluating and building an overall collaboration solutions strategy to defining a technology roadmap to achieve your organisation’s objectives – including user acceptance and adoption – we’re on hand to help. 

That includes making it possible for you to see, and evaluate for yourself, the functionality of solutions like Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams, and how they can work harmoniously alongside traditional or legacy video conferencing estates, should you have them within your business. 

For a detailed demonstration on either or both of these services or to further discuss collaboration technology contact us on, +44 (0)1276 706 706 or use on of the contact forms on the website.