Unified Communications: What You Need to Know

Unified Communications: What You Need to Know

Functioning as the premier Telecommunications Specialists throughout Monmouth County and New Jersey, our number one goal with each and every customer is their total satisfaction. Our experts are fully trained and will work with you to ensure that your new system meets your functional and operational requirements now and in the future. To expand on our passion for IT and Telecommunications systems we have provided the article below for your enjoyment. 

Unified Communications

A business term describing the integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video conferencing, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), desktop sharing, data sharing (including web connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).

UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent
unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.

In its broadest sense, UC can encompass all forms of communications that are exchanged via a network to include other forms of communications such as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and digital signage Communications as they become an integrated part of the network communications deployment and may be directed as one-to-one communications or broadcast communications from one to many.

UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium and receive the same communication on another medium. For example, one can receive a voicemail message and choose to access it through e-mail or a cell phone. If the sender is online according to the presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through text chat or a video call. Otherwise, it may be sent as a non-real-time message that can be accessed through a variety of media.

Presence

knowing where intended recipients are, and if they are available, in real time—is a key component of unified communications. Unified communications integrates all systems a user might already use, and helps those systems work together in real time. For example, unified communications technology could allow a user to seamlessly collaborate with another person on a project, even if the two users are in separate locations. The user could quickly locate the necessary person by accessing an interactive directory, engage in a text messaging session, and then escalate the session to a voice call, or even a video call.

In another example, an employee receives a call from a customer who wants answers. Unified communications enables that employee to call an expert colleague from a real-time list. This way, the employee can answer the customer faster by eliminating rounds of back-and-forth e-mails and phone-tag.

The examples in the previous paragraph primarily describe “personal productivity” enhancements that tend to benefit the individual user. While such benefits can be important, enterprises are finding that they can achieve even greater impact by using unified communications capabilities to transform business processes. This is achieved by integrating UC functionality directly into the business applications using development tools provided by many of the suppliers. Instead of the individual user invoking the UC functionality to, say, find an appropriate resource, the workflow or process application automatically identifies the resource at the point in the business activity where one is needed.

When used in this manner, the concept of presence often changes. Most people associate presence with instant messaging (IM “buddy lists”) the status of individuals is identified. But, in many business process applications, what is important is finding someone with a certain skill. In these environments, presence identifies available skills or capabilities.

This “business process” approach to integrating UC functionality can result in bottom line benefits that are an order of magnitude greater than those achievable by personal productivity methods alone.

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