Jabber or Lync?
Let's chat a bit about a question I get from customers all the time, Microsoft Lync versus Cisco Jabber. Everybody thinks about which way they should go. Should I go with Microsoft Lync or should I go with Cisco Jabber as an instant messaging and presence client or even potentially a soft phone client?
Answer is Unique to Your Unified Communications Environment
The answer, unfortunately, is that there's no clear one way or the other. It depends on the direction you want to go as a customer in your broader unified communications environment. UC decisions usually start with the voice platform you prefer. What voice solution do you want to have? If you looked at something like West's VoiceMaxx CE product, which is built around and uses a lot of Cisco technology, like the Cisco hosted collaboration solution (HCS), then Cisco Jabber is a natural extension to that. Jabber rates really well with all the communication managers capabilities that are built into HCS, which is then built into VoiceMaxx CE.
On the other hand,if you're using a service like VoiceMaxx that work well with Microsoft technologies, you might want to consider Lync as a good extension. That said, you can get Lync to work with Cisco environments from time to time as well. You just need to do a little bit of extra work. West UC would need to do some work in terms of configuration and engineering. But, you can certainly get Microsoft environments to coexist along with Cisco environments.
How to Decide
The best way to decide is to start with the voice platform you want to look at and then evaluate both. If you've started with a Cisco environment, really give Jabber first consideration. Then, look at Lync as well. Both Microsoft and Cisco have committed to continuing to build more inter-operability between the two. So, the good news is which ever way you go, you're going to be pretty safe.