Avaya vs. Cisco: Unified Communication Leaders

Cisco and Avaya are leaders in the world of UC, Unified Communications. For customers, having unifying communications in their businesses means first-rate communication solutions, improved efficiency, and reliability in services they trust. Implementing UC promotes effective communication, global collaboration, scalability, growth and security for global partnerships. But how do these global leaders compare and contrast? Where do they differ?

In a head to head comparison pitting one against the other, how do these fierce competitors, Avaya vs. Cisco, match against the other?

Avaya vs. Cisco: Cisco Advantages

Against the younger Avaya, old timer Cisco has immediate home field advantage. Cisco has consistently offered ways to implement their unified communications methods by using IP communications (video, voice, data and mobility) in a way that is effective, secure, and undoubtly continues to maintains excellent deliverability for companies. Through the use of Cisco’s unified communications, companies have the opportunity to strength their customer relationships, control costs, and quickly respond to business issues in a world with ever changing business technologies. It is incredibly easy for companies to optimize their business communications with the wide spread of Cisco’s networking management, endpoints and multitudes of other communication products. Lastly, Cisco has implemented a feature called the Smart Business Roadmap, which is designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The Business Roadmap helps companies plan and strategize their evolution path, evaluating their long-term potential and increasing company profitability.

Avaya vs. Cisco: Avaya Advantages

After emerging from its parent Lucent, and prior to that AT&T, Avaya carved out a name for itself by focusing on business communication solutions. On their company website it says, “Avaya sounds open and fluid — reflecting a company that is open-minded and that provides seamless, effortless interconnections among people and businesses.” Avaya provides a powerhouse “people-centric” communications approach, by intelligently integrating voice, video and chat, and enabling users to collaborate their ideas in real time. Avaya’s goal is to effectively and substantially reduce inefficiencies in communications and provide a complete open software platform solution.

Avaya vs. Cisco: Research in Energy Consumption

On average, according to research tested by Tolly, a leading third-party IT validation service, Avaya phones consumed anywhere between 40-60% less energy compared to Cisco.

Avaya and Cisco had their IP phones put under heavy testing when connected from a PoE port of a LAN switch. Tolly measured power draws from each including power consumption measured from idle power consumption. The conclusive results took into account that both implement energy efficiency modes differently. However according to Tolly, Avaya’s phones had dramatically less energy consumption that Cisco. In addition, “energy saver mode can be coupled with Avary’s PoE power saver features … can be powered off completely at the end of the work day” However with Cisco, their EnergyWise shuts power off to the phones at which case “no communication would be possible.” So, in the long run, Avaya is committed to reducing their environmental footprint (with Cisco not far behind). Avaya is designing their products to be very environmentally conscious, cost-efficient, but at the same time not skimping out on communication efficiency.

Avaya vs. Cisco: Summation

Ultimately, it is a very close call. Avaya vs. Cisco really boils down to usability and operating costs. Avaya has a bit of the upper hand in lower operating costs, but both offer superior functionality, support services and unified communications for all types of businesses.

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Cisco is definitely the leader. We have however opted for ECT, it´s slightly cheaper compared to the service provided by both of the aforementioned brands and is dedicated to cloud based companies, which in our case was the deciding factor. Here you can get some info: http://www.effective-contactcenters.com/ . Definitely an upcoming competitor in the US market too (they´re already quite established in Europe).

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Thanks for the comment, Louie! We will definitely research more into ECT and post on our findings. Thank you for the heads-up.


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After working with both as integrator there are major difference that have more impact what you see here.

1. TAC Support
2. Integration you don’t have to deal with different compagny to get a working solution.
3. Quality assurance of the code that is comming out.
4. Maintenance Cost.
5. SIP Direction

The overall list can be long …

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