Microsoft Lync top threat to Cisco, Avaya?

Unified communication leaders Avaya Inc. and Cisco Systems are starting to feel the heat as more and more enterprise companies warm up to Microsoft Corp.’s pitch for Lync.

At least one industry analyst says Avaya and Cisco have good reason to be looking over their shoulders.
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The Microsoft challenge is top concern for the two companies right now, according to Irwin Lazar, analyst for Nemertes Research Group, a consulting firm that specializes in emerging technologies. According to the research firm the percentage of companies planning to switch from their current phone systems to Lync has more than doubled between 2011 and last year.

Earlier this week, Microsoft upped the ante further by announcing key upgrades to Lync which include enhanced interoperability with video service Skype and new features such as audio call, instant messaging and shared presence.

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Polycom, Lifesize to make room systems for LyncA report from NetworkWorld.com notes that Microsoft’s stepped up campaign for Lync has even resulted in Cisco this week launching a blogging campaign detailing what it says are Lync’s limitations.

Cisco noted the lack of a clear path for cloud deployments that support functionalities available on on-site Lync implementations.

Cisco also said Microsoft does not supply all the infrastructure components needed to support unified communication and collaboration leaving integrators vendors to provide the missing elements. Cisco further took a dig at Lync’s license structure and its video codec and lack of support in Office 365.

Avaya’s VP of marketing, Vincenzo Signore, also questioned Lync’s ability to provide customers with the industry standard 99.999 per cent uptime in telephony.

However, Lazar of Nemertes Research said that during this week’s Lync Conference 2013 Microsoft announced improvements that have “filled some major holes.”

However, he said Lync’s attraction falters when incomes to mobile devices, because the Microsoft UC offering lacks a unified client.

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