Since I already show you some UC clients, it’s time to start comparing them. You already noticed that I have a Cisco and Microsoft lab and managed to integrate them on a Windows (2008 R2) Domain environment. The funny thing is that is possible to run both CUPC and Lync clients at the same time on a Windows desktop, which is great to make a side-by-side comparison:
As you can see there are some significant differences: CUPC has a blue window, presence status icons on the left and pictures on the right while Lync is a light grey with with presence status and contact photos on the left side. To initiate a communication in CUPC the user right click on a contact and make is choice, while on Lync you do … the same :).
These client comparison features must be made with the entire support infrastructure required by Cisco and Microsoft and their capabilities, and is for these reasons that these are the Magic Quadrant leaders for UC. On other posts I will expose some important differences and requirements of Microsoft and Cisco, but for now let’s just show what can you do with these clients.
I created a table to describe the features and capabilities, and evidence in green the important advantages (from my point of UC view). Note that the features mentioned are the ones that you find using only the client. You can include some of them by adding additional software / hardware from the vendors.
|User interface||Main interface: Personal contact list
Separate windows for:
– Instant messaging;
– Voice and Video calls;
Email integration (send mail).
|Main interface: Personal contact list;
Integrated window for IM, voice, video and content sharing;
Email integration (send mail, schedule meeting).
Web conference (videoconference + content sharing).
|Contacts||Can search for people on an AD/LDAP;
Can search for name or phone (reverse lookup).
|Can search Lync server global address list and personal Outlook contacts.|
|Group Expansion||Can search and add distribution lists to personal contacts;
You can initiate group chat with all members.
|Can search and add distribution lists to personal contacts, view and initiate IM and calls with one or more members.|
|Presence||3 built-in states + custom states;
Presence change with user computer activity;Manual ‘Out of Office’;
Exchange calendar integration (‘in a meeting’);
Manual user access (allow or deny).
|6 built-in states + custom states;
Presence change with user computer activity;
Exchange calendar integration (‘Out-of-office’ with user reply message text, ‘in a meeting’ including next available hour);
Granular user access levels.
|Instant messaging||One or more participants;
|One or more participants;
Can include rich text (ex: copy>paste a spreadsheet table).
|Supported Protocols||Communication – SIP (TCP/UDP/TLS);
Audio – G.711a, µ-law, G.722 (wide band), G.729a, G.729ab, iLBC, iSAC;
Video – H.264/AVC.
|Communications – SIP (TLS/TCP);
Audio – Rtaudio, G.711a, G722, G722.1, Siren;
Video – RTvideo, H.263, H.264/SVC.
|Video capabilities||Point to point video support until 720p resolution;
Multipoint video with active speaker (with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace);
Multipoint video with HD continuous presence (using a cisco Cisco MCU).
|Point to point video support until 720p resolution;
Multipoint video with active speaker viewing.
|Distinguished features||Create/customize contacts (without requiring outlook).||Tag alerting for user status;
Conversation history by contact (using Outlook);
Contact activity history
|Desktop Integration||Call options – Microsoft Office 20xx, Sharepoint 20xx, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox;
Presence – Microsoft Office 2010 (availability and photos), Sharepoint 20xx;
IM– Microsoft Office 2007/2010, Sharepoint 2010;Full details here.
|Call options – Microsoft Office 20xx, Sharepoint, Internet Explorer;
Presence – Microsoft Office 20xx, Sharepoint 20xx;
IM– Microsoft Office 20xx, Sharepoint 20xx.
… in general the integration is reacher than CUPC.
|Client Virtualization Support||VMware View 4.5;
Citrix XenDesktop 4.0.
Note: In a virtualized desktop environment, full audio and video capabilities are only available on CUPC when you are using the desk phone for phone calls. On your computer, only the voicemail features are supported.
|Microsoft RDS,RDS-VDI, App-V;
Citrix XenDestkop 4.0, XenApp 6.0.
Note: Only Application Streaming is fully supported for audio video.Full details on the official documentation.