Where do you stand? Some users would have you believe that there is a war brewing between the two camps. But how much truth is there to that? Sure, Microsoft Lync has grown from the “new kid on the block” to a force to be reckoned with, but Cisco has made enormous strides as well.

Recently, KelCor principal analyst Brent Kelly went on record saying, “While Jabber vs. Lync has become a common debate among those seeking UC tools, the two are not equal and enterprises don't necessarily have to make a black and white decision between them.”

Essentially, it is important to know that Cisco comes from the data world, while Microsoft comes from the software world. They are different approaches, plain and simple. Making a black and white comparison is therefore difficult. Instead, look at the concrete details of each vendor.

Let’s measure the two up. First, Cisco owns roughly 75% of the enterprise network market and about 25-30% of the IP voice market. Conversely, it’s estimated that Microsoft owns about 60% of the instant messaging (IM) and presence market.

Each has its own ace in the hole. Going further, Microsoft has made continual strides with their softphone offerings. Despite this, Cisco still wears the telephony market crown with its own purpose-built PBXs. That can all change in the next 10 years.

In the meantime, Microsoft has done a great job with the integration between business applications, desktop programs, and federation capabilities. It is one tightly integrated platform.

This isn’t to say that Cisco is at a disadvantage. Rather, Cisco excels as a “one-vendor show”. Users know that with Cisco, their endpoints and services come from the same place, which offers supreme compatibility and increased confidence. Comparing the two is looking at two sides of the same coin.

In the end, a company can deploy either solution and get their desired result. It’s a tough decision, but keep in mind that either vendor allows for advanced integration with recording and reporting tools for IM, voice, video, and presence.

Tell us whether you utilizing Cisco Jabber or Microsoft Lync in your environment and how is it working for you?