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Why best-of-breed UCC infrastructure?

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A lot has been written and said over the years comparing multivendor best of breed vs. single-vendor architectures. What is anathema to some IT organizations is tried-and-true for others.

When it comes to unified communications (UC) there aren't many choices however. Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the leader's quadrant for UC along with Cisco as the other major leader in the latest 2014 Magic Quadrant.

The major difference between Microsoft's best-of-breed UC architecture and that of Cisco's single vendor approach is that Microsoft Lync solution is based on an extensive ecosystem of partners while Cisco is focused on going at it alone through a series of ongoing acquisitions.

Let's dig into the pros and cons of these two approaches and see how they impact you. The tables below offers multi-vendor and single-vendor UC architecture comparisons.

Integrated multi-vendor

ProsCons
Many technology and product choices with broader visionMultiple vendor roadmaps
Option of price and featuresPotential compatibility issues
Potentially open platforms with custom integration optionsDisparate management systems
Replace or migrate only the required technology investment

Single vendor

ProsCons
Single vendor roadmapLimited innovation and choices restricted to single vendor vision
Single vendor accountabilityPotentially fragmented user and administrator experiences due to series of separate products and acquisitions
Efficient management and maintenanceVendor, technology and price lock-in
Low possibility of product compatibility issuesMay need to replace all of existing technology investment, end to end

Unlike yesterday's non-integrated UC architecture, Microsoft Lync UC architecture is an integrated best-of-breed multivendor solution that reduces customer risk with a comprehensive partner certification program while offering many choices to the customer.

Aruba was the first wireless partner to be qualified under the program with our 802.11n wireless solution. Today we are again at the forefront with the first Lync qualified 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Software Defined Network (SDN) API solutions. With indoor and outdoor solutions offering up to 1.3Gbps, and an integrated wireless architecture that actively monitors and optimizes Lync traffic, Aruba's 802.11ac wireless keeps calls connected and conferences going wherever users work or roam.

Taking complete advantage of the Microsoft Lync Software Defined Network (SDN) API, Aruba's tight Lync integration enables wireless health visibility on a per-call basis. This makes it easy for IT to drill-down to the specific issue when needed as well as automatically provision quality of service (QoS), all from a single management platform, Aruba AirWave.

In the short term, a single vendor all-in-one solution might seem easier to setup and get going. But in long term, a best of breed solution offers more value by enabling you to change and update certain solution pieces without changing the others.

With detailed step-by-step deployment guides, Aruba has made even the initial setup less daunting.