Saturday, November 28, 2009

What is Unified Communications?

Author: Derek Rogers

A common question these days is, �What is unified communications?� Unified communications, or UC, is a way for businesses to simplify and integrate all forms of communications. It is a real-time delivery of communications based on a user�s preferred method or medium. In most cases a software program is used to achieve unified communications as well as to improve the infrastructure. Unified communications allow for messages to be sent using one medium and received using another.

The most frequent use of unified communications is probably receiving a voicemail and then reading it via email. However, voicemail and email are not the only two types of communications that can be unified. This communications leverage can apply to a variety of communications including chat, telephone, fax, and presence services.

In most cases, a unified communications software program will join the preferred communications mediums so that they may be easily transferred from one to another. A successful unified communications system will integrate and automate all forms of human communication into a streamlined and efficient experience. Using such a technological phenomenon can optimise a business, reduce latency and eliminate media and device dependencies.

The success or failure of any business is usually dependent upon that business� efficiency and speed, which is why one of the main focuses of unified communications is to reduce, or eliminate altogether, the element of latency. Obviously there will always be the requirement of time to make a decision, but the delay in receiving a message or communication can mean the loss of a sale or business deal. The main goal of unified communications is to remove any unnecessary delay through a streamlined and integrated set of communication technologies.

It is possible for a business to design specific Internet Protocol communications based on its particular needs and requirements. The first step in designing such a program is to establish the existing network�s suitability to support various media including text, voice and video services. Any areas that cannot support the unified communications system needs will be enhanced.

During the implementation of the unified communications system, there are some key service aspects that will be evaluated in addition to the ability of the existing network to support such services. Professionals will not only verify the existing system�s ability but will provide unbiased feedback, solution suggestions, detailed quotes and pricing as well as installation.

Because unified communications is such a sophisticated communications solution, it can only benefit any business that takes full advantage of the technology. Aside from the obvious benefits of staying connected and eliminating unnecessary delays, it allows all users within the network to know the location and status of each other. Furthermore, the technology allows users to see what medium is preferred by other users in order to streamline communications even more and personalise it where possible.

Unified communications is a way for businesses to seamlessly combine various forms of media and participate in real-time communications and collaborations with other users. Integrating and implementing a unified communications system will only help the bottom line by streamlining the development and production elements of any business.

About the Author:
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For information on
Unified Communications, he recommends Network 24.

Article Source: What is Unified Communications?

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