10 Cisco/Microsoft Hybrid UC Deployment Options

Learn how to make Cisco voice or video interoperate with Microsoft Skype for Business.

Brent Kelly, PhD

August 3, 2016

2 Min Read
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If your organization is like many others, you've got a mix of Cisco and Microsoft unified communications tools in use -- and that can mean interoperability challenges ahead.

Market statistics indicate that 70% to 75% of enterprises in the U.S. have deployed Cisco networking equipment and 25% to 35% uses Cisco voice solutions, while 60% to 65% of enterprises have implemented Microsoft's Skype for Business UC platform (a global integrator has validated these figures, with 21% of its customers having deployed Cisco Voice and Skype for Business). Furthermore, approximately one third of respondents in a recent No Jitter survey indicate use of UC capabilities from each vendor.

Based on these statistics, we estimate that roughly 20% of the market has deployed both Cisco Voice and Microsoft Skype for Business.

If your organization is one of the many that has deployed Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) for voice and Microsoft Skype for Business for IM/presence and/or some conferencing, what can you do to unify these disparate communications and collaboration environments? In this article, I'll share 10 ways to integrate Cisco telephony and Microsoft UC platforms, along with the pros and cons of each.

Before discussing these hybrid options, however, I must point out that if you truly want a unified communications experience, one in which users can seamlessly escalate IM to voice to conferencing to video, you will need to eliminate one of the vendors. The same is true if you would like to use any combination of communications modalities in an ad hoc, as-needed fashion. However, some hybrid options do provide a good user experience while obviating the need to eliminate one of the vendors.


Option 1 – Jabber-Skype for Business Federation Using Cisco Expressway and Cisco UC Manager

In this scenario, Cisco Expressway and CUCM enable a shared corporate directory betweenJabber and Skype for Business as well as federate IM, presence, voice, and video between them. The implication here is that some users would be relying on Cisco voice and Jabber UC while others would be using Skype for Business. This deployment model is really intended to allow Jabber and Skype for Business clients to interact with one another primarily in a point-to-point fashion, although multipoint interaction is also possible.

Read the rest of this article on No Jitter.

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