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Cisco? Microsoft? Or Hybrid? - Unified Comms & Collaboration Insight

The question that still manages to divide the C-suite and networking & application folk alike is 'What’s the best vendor when it comes to Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC)? Cisco? Microsoft? Or Hybrid?'

Whether an organisation requires contact centre (in favour of Cisco), or whether they have entered into a Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement (in favour of Microsoft), too many systems integrators tow the vendor line and promote the single vendor approach and thus base their response on what fits best with their portfolio, rather than objectively prescribing what best fits the client’s requirements.

Of course, it’s vendors’ prerogative to persuade clients and partners alike to work toward a single vendor environment, but is this actually practical?

For the vast majority of businesses, I would suggest that it isn’t.

We don’t live in an ideal world, we live in world where managers are instructed to sweat their assets, forced to integrate with inflexible (closed) third party applications, jump through governance and compliance hoops, as well as play the often difficult and obstructive political game.

In my mind, this raises another pertinent question: 'what actually constitutes a hybrid?'

It could be argued that it’s no longer about the co-existence of two market leading UCC vendors, it’s something much more.

With the advancement of technology and demand for seamless end-to-end collaborative communications, every solution provider should be considering the impact of: 

  • Application integration
  • Omni-channel contact centre
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Social media listening/engagement
  • And transition to cloud, but to name a few.

So, in light of this, perhaps it would be fair to suggest that every UCC solution could and should be viewed as hybrid.

Taking a holistic view of a customer’s environment and truly understanding the value in hybrid is a critical part of a customer’s journey and ultimately their success.

By focussing on products from the UCC market leading vendors, as well as software development (including software defined networks), Forfusion has been able to develop a broad, yet specialist tool-set, allowing us to displace some of the largest systems integrators in the world time and time again. Not just because we promote and champion hybrid, but because we put our customers’ needs first at every step. Take a look at this case study from our customer Killik & Co:

There is obviously no singular approach to providing the best UCC solution, however experience would suggest, if a systems integrator fails to see the value in deploying a hybrid solution (whatever they constitute to be a hybrid), perhaps ask yourselves this:

'Does the proposed solution meet the specific demands of my organisation now and in the future, or is it aligned to the strategic goals and targets of my systems integrator?'

Categorised Under: Unified Communications

4th Sep 2017

Steve6