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What are Unified Communications?
UC is a concept which describes the integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video conferencing, desktop sharing, and data sharing.
Unified Communications help simplify the proliferation of everyday technologies. Integrate voice, video, and data, enabling users to communicate and enjoy collaboration in real time. This ultimately eliminates inefficiency and improves communications, boost productivity, and enhance customer service capabilities across your organization.
Unified Communications solutions also enable users to streamline communication processes through the use of features such as rules-based call routing, simplified contact management, and speech recognition.
Unified communications do not represent a singular technology; rather, it describes an interconnected system of enterprise communication devices and applications that can be used in concert or successively.
The connected modes include:
- Instant messaging
- Unified messaging
- Speech access
- Conferencing (audio, Web and video)
- Collaboration tools
- Business process integration (BPI)
Types and features of UC technologies
User-facing components include the following technologies:
Text-based tools, such as email, text messaging and chat.
- Web conferencing platforms, virtual meeting spaces and interactive video
- Real-time presence
- Voice-based applications, such as telephony voicemail and audio conferencing
- Enterprise social networking and collaboration platforms
On the backend, a solid communication system may comprise of the following:
- Single or multivendor UC platform/server.
- Devices such as phones, headsets, cameras, microphones which are also user facing.
- Business communication gateways e.g. SBCs
- Traditional, IP or cloud based PBXs
Benefits for Your Team
- Maintain a single stream of thought and action instead of shifting from one application to another.
- Access to a consistent set of communication functionality regardless of location, network or device.
- Continue working even if network, device or location is affected by outage or disaster.
- Improve work-personal life balance through user demand access rules.
The benefits for companies include:
Satisfying customers through worker availability and responsiveness
- One number access to employees regardless of device or location
- Find me/follow me instead of leaving a message wait for
Accelerated workflow and business processes
- Consistent availability of directories and telephony features like “conference”, “hold”, and “forward”.
- One consolidated message box – no more checking mobile-mail and office-mail
- Use of presence allows targeted not blasted communications
Reduce Costs and Risk
Workers are reachable and productive anywhere through the corporate network increasing continuity, reducing external networks cost and improving retention by having customers call a business number for employee access.