I have had successfuly connected many SDH equipments from different vendors(like Lucent and Alcatel). As long as they are complied with ITU-T standard, there is no problem connecting them. The problem is that they are not compatible between their NML/EML applications, so, when you want to create a vc12 path across two different-vendor NEs, for example, you have to do that twice -- one for each vendor. You need two set of network management server, and that is not a cheap investment.Maintainence is also a big isuue.
So far, I don't have a chance to use Cisco SDH equipment(I hope I can in the future). So I'm not the person that are so qualified to answer your question, but I still hope my experience on this issue will provide more-or-less help to you.
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