Microsoft and Cisco diverge on UC interop amid customer complaints
Many large businesses have complained that Cisco's collaboration products and Microsoft's productivity tools don't work well together.
Cisco wants to help them. Microsoft does not.
Microsoft's posture may frustrate some of its customers in the short run. But, over time, the vendor appears to be hoping the clumsiness of the integration between Microsoft Office 365 and Cisco Webex will convince more businesses to abandon its competitor's products altogether.
And there were signs at Microsoft's Ignite conference this week that the strategy was paying off.
Bridgestone, an auto parts manufacturer with 20,000 users in the United States, uses Cisco Webex for video conferencing and Cisco Jabber for instant messaging and presence. The company is looking into a switch to Microsoft Teams because of its better interoperability with Microsoft Office 365.
"The Cisco stack, as good as it is for meetings and messaging, doesn't seem to have that robustness when it comes to integration to the [Microsoft] Office back end," said Jose Arbelaez, enterprise architect at Bridgestone, based in Nashville, Tenn. "And, right now, being split into two worlds, it's just not working out well."
Despite Bridgestone's pain, Microsoft does not intend to let Cisco compete with Microsoft Teams from within the popular Office 365 suite.
"We are not, at this point, looking to have an interop relationship with Cisco directly," said Lori Wright, the general manager of Office 365 collaboration apps.
Microsoft is apparently suspicious of what motivated Cisco to add the word Teams to the name of its competing product. The vendor rebranded Cisco Spark as Cisco Webex Teams in April.
"I think Cisco sees a lot of reasons why it makes sense for them, with the change with Spark, to build into the Teams ecosystem," Wright said. "And they've made some curious choices in naming their product Teams."
Businesses want Microsoft and Cisco to integrate UC and productivity suites
A decade ago, when their portfolios had less overlap, Microsoft and Cisco worked together to build links between Cisco's networking gear and Microsoft's email and Active Directory systems.
Since that time, Cisco has entered the collaboration market, and Microsoft has developed products for voice and video communications. Over the past couple of years, in particular, Microsoft and Cisco have both been investing heavily in new cloud-based team collaboration apps similar to Slack.
Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams offer businesses most of the same core capabilities: messaging, calling, video conferencing and file sharing. But only Microsoft has platforms for email, calendaring, word processing and document storage.
Cisco is doing the best it can to integrate the Webex suite with platforms like Outlook, Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint using Microsoft's publicly available APIs, said Angie Mistretta, senior director of Cisco's collaboration marketing group.
Cisco's desire to integrate with Microsoft is "a reaction to customer demand," she said.
"The reality is most of our customers are saying, 'We're a Microsoft shop for all of our productivity tools, and we're not changing that,'" Mistretta said. "And [Cisco is] not in that business."
Cisco announced this month that users can now join a Webex meeting with one click from Microsoft Teams. It also recently gave customers the ability to message using Cisco Webex Teams from within a Microsoft Word document. But the integrations are not as seamless as they would be if the two companies worked together, as Cisco does with Google for connections to G Suite.
For example, a user can send a colleague a link to a document stored in Microsoft OneDrive through a Cisco unified communications (UC) client, but cannot also use the Cisco product to alter the permissions of that document to ensure the colleague can access it. The clunkiness is one of the issues that Bridgestone's Arbelaez cited to explain his company's desire to adopt Microsoft Teams.
Another common complaint from businesses is the inability to federate messaging channels between Microsoft and Cisco UC clients. Conjoining the two would be particularly helpful for external collaboration, because users could remain under their company's governance settings when communicating with people on the other platform.
"I don't think you're ever going to see Teams-to-Teams federation, as much as the end users would love to see that," said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.
- IAM Product/ Project Manager
- Upto €80,000 plus benefits
IAM product/project manager is need for this expanding service provider to help develop their IAM (CIAM) strategy roadmap. This role will have two main functions, to work between the front end digital team and the backend IAM development team to ensure that the current deployment of the solution runs smoothly and is fit for purpose, the Second function is to look at the business’ future digital offerings and to understand how the IAM/CIAM solution will develop with the new digital strategy, you will be looking at the future technology and the ensuring the IAM solution is fit for purpose. The business is an agile environment and you will require agile experience. This is a great opportunity to help shape a key product within the future digital strategy of this expanding service provider. We are looking for someone with both IAM and strong product management experience Project management experience would be beneficial. If you are interested speak to Robert Anderton on 0044 (0) 7957 493501 and he will be able to discuss the role in more details IAM product/project manager is needed for this expanding service provider to help develop their IAM (CIAM) strategy roadmap. This role will have two main functions, to work between the front end digital team and the backend IAM development team to ensure that the current deployment of the solution runs smoothly and is fit for purpose, the second function is to look at the business’ future digital offerings and to understand how the IAM/CIAM solution will develop with the new digital strategy, you will be looking at the future technology and the ensuring the IAM solution is fit for purpose. The business is an agile environment and you will require agile experience. This is a great opportunity to help shape a key product within the future digital strategy of this expanding service provider. We are looking for someone with both IAM and strong product management experience Project management experience would be beneficial. If you are interested then speak to Robert Anderton on 0044 (0) 7957 493501 and he will be able to discuss the role in more details
- Cyber Incident Manager, Proactive planning and management. SC
Cyber Incident Manager, Proactive planning and management. Cyber incident Manager needed to join a large and complex business to help them prepare for a cyber related incidents. SC clearance will be required. Current or the ability to achieve. This role does not require specific current hands on technical Incident response experience, but this background would give a distinct advantage. The role has two key functions: to help the business prepare for an event and to steer them through when / if that happens. The Cyber Incident response managers role will include, but not be limited to; working with internal stakeholders to develop a security incident management plan along with its and supporting policies. Developing plans and implementing strategies on how incidents are detected, reported, assessed and responded to. Engaging with leadership teams both internal and external, proactively mapping out this large business to identify and engage the various other stakeholders and their teams. Build out and document incident scenarios and their processes, ensure incident management procedures are updated, playbooks and key training etc. You should have experience working with both internal teams and external suppliers. The role will also focus on liaising with the various teams to ensure the security incident response plan is delivered effectively. CCIM, GCIH, CIPR (NCSC-Certified Cyber Incident Planning & Response) Looking to interview immediately.
- SOC Manager. SC Clearance. Immediate opportunity.
Permanent SOC Manager. SC cleared / clearable, London / Birmingham. SOC Manager needed to replace a SOC contractor I placed into a client who is due to complete their assignment at the end of March. The ability to achieve SC clearance is essential. Looking for someone that is a blend of strategic stakeholder engagement with strong technical skills. The role will sit in a relatively new SOC environment. The position is to setup, implementation and management of resources to help with the initial and on-going stages of a new SOC. Experience engaging with and managing client stakeholder relationships as well as 3rd party relationships is critical. The role will involve; setting up, implementing and fine tuning the various initial stages of a SOC environment. Experience establishing and building out technical process / operational capability, managing of technical teams (analysts, engineers and architects, creation of policy / playbooks, fine turning is key. SPLUNK is the tooling of choice… Interviewing immediately. Set up a call with me today on https://calendly.com/chris-holt/arranged-call-with-chris-holt-soc-manager-role Direct contact details Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com or 07884666351
- Security engineer. Financial Services. UK. Permanent
CH7863 Security engineer. End User . Financial Services Security Engineer needed to monitor and manage a security suite of tools within an End User environment. The Security Engiener will be responsible monitoring, configuring, fine tuning, incident management and generally improving the security tool capability. Specific experience with CyberArk, Tripwire Log Center and Tripwire Enterprise is highly desirable). Current experience with Vulnerability management and penetration testing is highly desirable. Specifically the ability to effectively manage 3rd party pen tests. You will be working within a specialist security team reporting to the CISO. Experience working within an end user environment within financial services is highly desirable. Flexible location. This is an exclusive role to DCL Search & Selection. To book a call please use my Calendy link https://calendly.com/chris-holt/arranged-call-with-chris-holt-soc-role-