Cisco Unified Communications vs Skype for Business
Last updated: September 26, 2017
With Cisco Unified Communications, your company can connect co-workers, partners, vendors, and customers with the information and expertise they need, access and share video on the desktop, on the road, and on-demand, as easily as making a phone call, facilitate better team interactions, dynamically bringing together individuals, virtual workgroups, and teams, make mobile devices extensions of the corporate network so mobile workers can be productive anywhere
Get messaging, audio and video calls, online meetings, and sharing all in one app. Meet with up to 250 people – even if they’re not on Skype for Business. All they need is a phone or Internet connection. See contacts’ online statuses, schedule meetings, and start conversations from Office apps.
Cisco Unified Communications vs Skype for Business in our news:
2017 - Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business
Microsoft announced that its new groupchat Teams will become its core communications platform for users running Office 365. Until now, Skype for Business was the company’s product for this. According to Ron Markezich, the company’s corporate VP for Office 365, Teams will become the “hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.” Over time, Teams will replace the current Skype for Business client. Microsoft obviously knows that enterprises don’t move fast, so for those who don’t want to do away with their existing PBX systems and calling capabilities to the cloud, it’ll launch a new version of the Skype for Business server in 2018. For those who do make the transition to Teams, Microsoft promises lots of new calling features and meeting enhancements with outbound and inbound calls to and from regular phones, support for voicemail, call holding, call transfers and other standard telephony features.
2016 - Skype for Business is available on Mac to fight Cisco Spark
Microsoft announced the launch of Skype for Business for Mac Preview – the business-focused version of Skype’s communications services aimed at a commercial client base. I.T. administrators and individuals can sign up to test the new desktop software, which introduces features like Outlook integration, additional security, and calls that allow for up to 250 people versus Skype’s 25 max. However, Microsoft says invites will roll out first to I.T. admins before becoming more broadly available.
2015 - Microsoft begins rolling out Skype For Business (to replace Lync)
Microsoft’s Skype for Business, which is designed to replace the company’s older enterprise communication tool Lync, has become publicly available. The company is also now rolling out Skype for Business Online to its Office 365 customers who currently use Lync Online. With Skype for Business, enterprise customers will have access to software that greatly resembles Skype’s consumer-facing client application in look-and-feel, but it comes with enterprise-grade security and compliance features that allow an IT organization to better administer and control the software’s use internally within an organization. Skype for Business conversations are authenticated through Active Directory and encrypted, and IT can manage the company’s user accounts and deployments. The system also interoperates with companies’ PBX systems or legacy video teleconferencing systems, if need be.
2014 - Microsoft enabled video calling between Skype and Lync users to challenge Lotus Sametime
Last year Microsoft enabled Skype-Lync interoperation with text messaging and audio. Today, the video integration also becomes available. Skype users can now video call contacts on Lync, and vice versa, Microsoft announced this morning. To use the now cross-platform video calling feature, you don’t have to do anything differently from before – you just kick off the call the same way you do today. However, video calling is supported only on an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on Android, iOS or Windows and on Skype for Windows desktop. Skype is now working to expand this integration to more platforms, starting with iOS and Android. The change follows a series of deeper integrations between the two products, the latter of which will be rebranded “Skype for Business” sometime in 2015.
2014 - Microsoft will rename Lync as Skype for Business
Microsoft will rebrand its enterprise communications solution Lync as Skype for Business in 2015. The change will see Lync’s interface harmonized to something close to the current Skype’s interface. Skype for Business won’t be available until next year. Lync won’t fold into Skype entirely — instead, it will remain a separate application. I saw a demo of an early version of the Skype for Business client last week, and it certainly did appear to be quite similar to how Skype looks now. Users in Skype for Business will able to call regular Skype users from the application. The rebranding fits with Microsoft's strategy to "re-invent productivity" for all, not just business. To that end, it wants to offer a unified experience across services, so consumers and businesses have similar experiences.
2014 - Cisco-Jive and 5 other Unified Collaboration leaders to compete with Skype for Business
Large enterprise customers have become so impatient. They want one thing in one place — right now, in real time - the solution that provides collaboration and social interactions and communications and doesn't require long integration project. That's why, software vendors invented the new term "Unified Collaboration" and now sell their solutions under this sauce. Of course, not any IT giant can build such system. Sometimes they need to unite. In particular, the unified communications leader Cisco recently partnered with social networking provider Jive and announced that now it has the best solution on the market. However, experts note that Cisco has five strong competitors: Microsoft (Yammer + Lync), IBM (IBM Connections + IBM Sametime), Citrix (GoToMeeting + Podio), Siemens (Unify + Ansible), Salesforce (Chatter + DimDim). However, the last two vendors are currently only potential because their UC solutions are not quite ready yet.
2014 - Cisco and Google unite against Microsoft on the Unified Communications market to defeate Mitel
Cisco competes with Microsoft's Lync on the unified communications market. Google competes with Microsoft on the operating system market. The conclusion - Cisco and Google should be friends. And they make friends. A few days ago the companies ported Cisco Unified Communications systems and Cisco Webex on Google Chromebooks. Thus, large companies now have one more reason to upgrade their Windows XP licenses (in April) to free ChromeOS, but not to paid Windows 8. In addition, Google and Cisco realized integration between Cisco communication systems and Google Apps suite. In particular from now you can plan online Webex and Cisco UC meetings in Google Calendar, start voice and video calls directly from GMail and Google Contacts.
2013 - Microsoft connected Lync and Skype
Almost 300 million people around the world use Skype. This is a very large customer base, that's why many companies add skype-address to their contacts in order to offer customers a convenient communication channel. But in large companies using Skype at the workplace - doesn't fit the corporate security policy. Therefore, the integration of Skype with Lync communication server can become a breakthrough for deploying Skype in large companies. And thus Microsoft can get a significant competitive advantage over Cisco, Avaya and other enterprise communication vendors. That's was the main reason why Microsoft acquired Skype for a lot of money.
So now Lync (or Lync Online in Office 365) users can add Skype contacts to their contact list, see their online status, chat and call them. The same actions are available for Skype users.
What is not implemented yet: video calling, conferencing, support for Skype mobile apps. Microsoft promised to add these features later.
2011 - Microsoft unplugs Skype from Asterisk to defeate Asterisk
Today Digium (the developer of the open-source PBX-platform Asterisk) has notified its customers that the sales of its product Skype for Asterisk will be terminated since July 26. Recall, Skype and Digium released this Skype for Asterisk connector back in 2009. It allows companies that use Asterisk-based PBX-systems to integrate them with the Skype network and make / receive Skype-calls using the regular office phones. But the new Skype's owner Microsoft, of course, has no particular desire to support the free Asterisk, that competes with its own product Lync (MS Communications Server). So Microsoft decided not to prolong the contract with Digium. Digium assured that existing Skype for Asterisk users will be able to use their Skype-channels during two more years.
It should be noted that Skype has its own service that allows any SIP-based PBX systems (including the Asterisk) to integrate with the Skype network. It's called Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP). And hardly Microsoft will close this service. First, it's sold by Skype, i.e. by Microsoft (and not by Digium) and it requires the subscription fee for the use of Skype-channels (4.95 euros per month). Second, Microsoft is still interested in more companies using the Skype network (even if they use IP-PBX systems other than Lync). Because, if they get linked to Skype, it will be more easy to sell them Lync that will allow to get the maximum features of the Skype network.
2010 - Lync 2010 becomes social
Oh, we didn't rename our products for so long time, thought people in Microsoft and decided to rename MS Office Communications Server to Lync. The new version Lync 2010 with a status "release candidate" is already available for free download and contains a large number of new features as compared to OCS. Most interesting are social features, that we used to see more in social networks rather than in VoIP-solutions. First, the activity feeds that you can subscribe to view contact's status changes. Like in the location-services, Lync can determine the actual contact location by the network point to which he is currently connected. People search allows you to find the right person in the company by name and by the area of expertise. Another interesting feature - context call that allows users to push the conversation subject before making a call, so the contact could better prepair to the conversation.
As for the new communication features, Lync 2010 supports videoconferencing streams with resolution of 720p HD as well as panoramic HD-video.
The "simultaneous call" feature allows users to redirect incoming calls to any internal number or several numbers or directly to voicemail. Voicemail in Lync 2010 will be transcribed to text in real time, so that users could read the contents of the incoming voice messages.
Microsoft will also release web-client Lync Web App and a new mobile client Lync Mobile (it's not clear yet for what platforms).
Commercial version of Lync 2010 is scheduled for the end of this year.