Unified communications, often referred to with a host of different names including collaborative communications and unified communications technology (ICT), is changing the business landscape as we know it. For tech users, understanding what such communication technology offers its users is crucial in the development of a decision as to whether it might be something you wish to invest in or not. Here we take a brief look at it, recap its benefits and features, all with the intention of aiding your decision.
Telecommunications Vs Unified Communications
All tech users will undoubtedly be familiar with traditional telecommunications services that offer different features and modes of communication. Unified communications differs in that it encompasses all forms of communication, from web conferencing, video and messaging, and brings it together in one package. As future innovation impacts the marketplace, the components of unified communications will expand to incorporate these changes, thus being far more adaptable than traditional telecommunications technology.
One of the big features that separated unified communications is Internet Protocol (IP) technology. Seen in applications like Skype, this technology uses the Internet to transfer voice, fax, video and other lines of communication across users. Voice over IP (VoIP) is also a component of IP telephony, helping to manage voice communications and transfer data.
Presence technology is another big part of a unified communications strategy that some tech users might not be familiar with. Responsible for locating and identifying a computing device attempting to connect to a network, presence technology monitors the availability of another user communicating back to you and whether they're able to receive information or not. Very effective in terms of time management as you no longer waste your time attempting to communicate with unavailable people.
Originally unified communications, as a term, was spawned from unified messaging, technology which is made up of email, voicemail, fax and instant messaging (IM). As part of unified communications, messaging allows users to manage all their different communication modes (i.e. fax or video) into one single mailbox that can then be accessed remotely via phone or email. This saves both time and money when it comes to managing data, organising and storing it.
Conferencing is a massively popular feature of unified communications solutions and a primary factor in many businesses' decisions to employ this kind of technology. Permitting a greater level of mobility and presence in an organisation, conferencing can help facilitate more informed decision making in helping bringing organisation members closer together.
Unified communications, for tech users, incorporates a lot of familiar features that they will already recognise. As far as the decision goes for possibly incorporating it into the workplace, the benefits speak for themselves.