A common question our teams get asked when attending Cisco events or other multi-vendor unified comms events such as Enterprise Connect is; what's the difference between Cisco Prime and IR Prognosis? IR is long-standing strategic partner of Cisco's and since we became part of Cisco SolutionsPlus last year the question has become more frequent, especially from Cisco sellers and partners. But before we get to the main differences let's define what each solution is to ensure there is no confusion.
What is Cisco Prime Collaboration?
Cisco Prime is the overarching name for a suite of solutions designed to monitor Cisco UC products. The product subsets include Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance, Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Prime for IT, Cisco Prime for Service Providers, Cisco Prime for Cloud, etc. This blog is concerned with differentiating unified communications monitoring and troubleshooting solutions and as such the Cisco Prime subset described below is Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance.
What is IR Prognosis for UC?
Prognosis is the overarching name for a suite of solutions designed to monitor and troubleshoot industry specific products, Prognosis was developed by IR. The industries Prognosis focuses on are unified communications, contact centers, payments, and infrastructure. This blog will focus on Prognosis for UC. Prognosis for UC is a performance management solution that allows customers to monitor and troubleshoot their entire multi-vendor UC ecosystem.
Cisco Prime is for Cisco i.e. One Vendor, IR Prognosis is a Multi-vendor monitoring tool
The greatest difference between the two solutions is Cisco Prime, as the name suggests, is for Cisco and does not support any other vendors. So if you have Cisco solutions deployed for 65% of your UC seats, Avaya for 20% and Microsoft Skype for Business for the remainder then Cisco Prime can only monitor the Cisco seats. On the other hand, Prognosis is vendor agnostic and can monitor and troubleshoot all your UC seats regardless of whether it's Cisco, Microsoft or Avaya. You can use the one monitoring tool to proactively manage, monitor, and optimize the performance of all your unified communications with Prognosis and deliver the best user experience across all platforms at once.
Cisco Prime is for one part of UC ecosystem, IR Prognosis is for the entire UC ecosystem
From start to finish Cisco Prime operates from a Cisco perspective; it's primed for Cisco only so if you are looking to just monitor Cisco that's where Cisco Prime fits.
Unified communications is much more complex than Cisco. It's more far reaching than simply multiple vendors too. The entire UC ecosystem encapsulates session border controllers (SBCs) beyond Cisco UBE such as AudioCodes, Oracle, and Sonus, network systems, hardware such as servers and endpoints, software and much more. Prognosis for UC brings all these pieces together and combines them with advanced network troubleshooting and diagnostics to not only monitor and highlight the problems, but to quickly identify the root cause and how to fix it.
Cisco Prime Runs Reports, IR Prognosis delivers Insights
Cisco Prime is fantastic for running reports on all sorts of call metrics and performance charts for various Cisco UC management and collaboration products. However, it can be difficult to slice and dice the data being pulled out.
Prognosis specializes in helping customers gain insights from the data they are looking at through customized dashboards, threshold alerts, deep dive analytics and multiple reports stitched together in the one place; providing a single pane of glass to view mission critical data, rather than in separate monitoring tools.
Cisco Prime is a Dependent Solution, IR Prognosis is an Independent Solution
The benefit of having a monitoring tool designed by the same company, is that all the intelligence of the product itself is usually carried into the analytics tool.
IR Prognosis was developed independently from Cisco with deep UC expertise and experience: and the benefit of having end-to-end multivendor visibility can often highlight issues common across many vendors, or unique to vendors outside the Cisco ecosystem elements.
Cisco Prime is an Add-On, IR Prognosis is our Core Business
Cisco Prime Collaboration was developed to assist with basic troubleshooting and reporting requirements that Cisco customers experience and want. It's not the core focus of Cisco's collaboration solutions or product direction but it was developed alongside it.
Monitoring and troubleshooting is core to IR's business. It's fundamental to how and why Prognosis is a much more comprehensive end-to-end solution for monitoring and troubleshooting complicated UC environments for enterprises and service providers.
While there are other smaller differences between Cisco Prime Collaboration and IR Prognosis the above captures the key differences between the solutions: the number of vendors you need to monitor, whether you're looking to go deep with your troubleshooting and customization or simply use high level reports and end-to-end visibility versus one part of the ecosystem. So, if you're looking to just monitor Cisco UC you can use Cisco Prime Collaboration but if you're looking to monitor and troubleshoot multiple vendors and the end-to-end conversation across the entire UC environment IR Prognosis is what you need.