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Skype for Business Vs Cisco

Discover the differences between Skype for Business and Cisco with our comprehensive comparison guide.

Cloud technologies are revolutionising unified communications (UC) and VIA is one company utilising these developments to completely overhaul the communications landscape for the future. 

Some UC platforms require Skype for Business to be completely managed on-premise, however, others offer cloud-based alternatives, whether in hybrid form or completely transferred to the cloud.

Cisco offers Cisco Spark, a UC platform which utilises a hybrid of cloud-based and on-premise server technologies. This comparison guide compares our Skype for Business platform, VIA UC,  against Cisco’s, analysing what each platform offers businesses for their communications needs.


Skype for Business with VIA UC means no servers will be needed on a business’s property due to its total cloud integration. Cisco utilises their hybrid technology, meaning only a partial amount of the platform is integrated in the cloud. As the business needs escalate, more servers would be needed. However, they do state that they will integrate them in the most compact manner, provided the space allows it.


Space will be saved when utilising VIA’s Skype for Business’s cloud integration, meaning more space will be available for desks or a breakout area. Resources are freed up as no management is required from your IT manager and cost is saved due to the upgrading being external to your company. Reduce your work burden with a hosted Skype for Business solution like VIA UC.


Both Cisco and VIA’s Skype for Business offer 24/7 support. However, VIA’s support team is specifically UK-based. 

Microsoft also offers its own basic Skype for Business support, through forums.

In terms of setup support for your UC platform, VIA offers to help install your communications solutions in person and teach staff how to use their new platform. Cisco, on the other hand, requires self-installation from the business, draining time, money and the resources of those who install it.


Both services offer a similar 24/7 support for future issues, however, VIA’s Skype for Business solution offers training for new users.


Cisco offers three primary categories for businesses of different sizes, with a cap of optimised users at 1,000. This category determines the type of categories a business can have installed. 

VIA’s Skype for Business solution is charged per user, meaning businesses of all sizes will be getting an accurate costing and bespoke package for their company’s size and needs.


Cisco offers broad usage ranges and caps the optimised users at 1,000. This means that, for a business with more users, the technology may not run as intended. VIA offers a 30-day rolling contract system where a business can be flexible and is able to scale up and down whenever they want.


Cisco has specific device limits per business category which includes caps on how many phones, tablets and laptops can be connected to the UC network. 

VIA UC and Skype for Business have a device limit of 8 per user active at one time, which is more than enough for any one person. Microsoft offers the largest ecosystem of device partners and are leading the way for user integration; VIA gets to take advantage of this. 


Dependent upon business packages received from Cisco, a business’s device limit may be inadequate for their needs. VIA’s alternative offers more devices per user, allowing an uninterrupted flow of connectivity across all users and their devices. 


As VIA UC is hosted entirely in the cloud, the maintenance, cost and resources associated with server maintenance are all handled by VIA external to the business. 

Cisco’s hybrid technology means there would be maintenance and coverage costs to consider as part of the system would be self-managed. In addition, Cisco’s hardware replacement can take anything up to a day to replace, depending on the premium a business pays for. VIA UC is updated regularly and remotely to keep your UC industry leading.


A consideration should be given to the time and cost of managing servers within the business and potentially could require a consistent employment of someone to manage them. This worry is relieved when servers are entirely managed in the cloud, as is VIA’s Skype for Business solution.

Microsoft Integration

With Skype for Business and VIA, Office 365 integration is seamless. Offering features like click to call, voicemail to email and presence information, these native Microsoft features are available to Skype for Business and VIA customers.

Cisco can integrate with Microsoft’s Exchange and Active Directory but not with any other Microsoft products. 


For smooth integration with Microsoft Office 365 packages, Skype for Business and VIA UC offer simple access, though the former requires an enterprise level package. Cisco has limited integration with Exchange and Active Directory.

System Updates

VIA and Skype for Business offer cloud-updates to remotely upgrade software in a business’s UC platform. Skype for Business upgrades larger businesses first and then trickle down to smaller clients. VIA updates all customers over one weekend at the same time. 

Cisco would have to manually update hardware, or the maintenance manager at the business would have to fix this personally. This would also be the case for an organisation with Skype for Business installed on-premise.


Both Skype for Business and VIA UC systems benefit from cloud-hosted updating. However, manual updates to hardware would be required with Cisco’s platform and an on-premise Skype for Business setup.

Features: Call Management

Both Cisco and VIA’s Skype for Business offer the following features;

  • Instant messaging
  • File transfer
  • Remote connection to calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing 
  • Network security protocols respective to each company. 


In terms of their features, both companies have extremely similar capabilities, just with differing support and limitations in Cisco’s capabilities. View VIA UC's Skype for Business features.

Features: Call Recording

Cisco does not offer call recording and the Skype for Business standard package only offers basic call recording for parts of a single call, not company-wide. 

In contrast, VIA’s Skype for Business can includes FCA and MIFID IIcompliant, EU-approved call recording - ideal for industries such as the financial sector - that can legally record all business communications. 


Cisco’s software misses call recording as a feature, whereas VIA offers the most developed call recording capabilities in comparison to other Skype for Business platforms.

Skype for Business Vs Cisco - Who Wins?

Cisco UC
VIA UC (Hosted Skype for Business)
24/7 Support
Remote Access and Functionality
Hosted Servers
External Cloud Servers
Maintenance Required
Remote Updates
Usage Limit
Microsoft Office 365 Integration
Instant Messaging
File Transfer
Video Conferencing
Remote Call Connection
Screen Sharing
Network Security
Stable Network
Call Recording

Hybrid solutions for unified communications can lack certain features, as well as being a burden on your physical business space. VIA’s Skype for Business platform offers more functionality and is designed specifically for your business. By purchasing a package per user, businesses can make the most of this unified communications platform and understand exactly what they are paying for. 

Cisco and Skype for Business are trademarks of their respective owners


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