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Unified Communications 101

Creating Business Efficiency With Unified Communications

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Unified Communications 101

Unified communications technology is known by many names.  Some of these include collaborative communications, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), and information and communications technology (ICT). What was once simply referred to as “telecommunications,” has now evolved to encompass all forms of communication.  As current technology continues to improve and new technology enters the marketplace, the components of unified communications also continue to develop. Unified communications (UC) refers to the integration of communication tools that help people exchange ideas and work more effectively.

Some communication tools, like IP (Internet Protocol) telephony, presence technology and instant messaging, facilitate synchronous communication.  Synchronous communication occurs in real-time.  It is sometimes referred to as “same time/different place” communication. Other communication tools, like email or Twitter, facilitate asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication facilitates communication that takes place at a person’s convenience.  This is sometimes referred to as “different time/different place” communication.  The goal of unified communications is software integration that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication.  This way, the end user has easy access to all tools from a single computing device.

UC can help employees in a number of different ways:

  • In traditional office environments, where employees are on computers and using desk phones or softphones and individual webcams.
  • Another way is in Enterprise, business conference rooms with speaker phones, a shared display system and a shared camera system. This could be a traditional conferencing system or a high-end telepresence system.
  • Also for remote or mobile employees working from tablets and smart phones, and operating the audio and video technologies native to the devices.

In a perfect world, unified communications environment integrate with the back-end systems that provide services as well as the front-end clients providing access.  For example, a Web conferencing system uses the audio conferencing system.  This in turn is built on the core IP telephony platform.  A unified messaging email client allows click-to-talk (CTC), click-to-chat, and click-to-video functionality.

Unified communications tools and utilities overlap significantly; collaboration tools such as those providing service desk automation or project management systems often incorporate UC features, like team chat, or integrate with external UC systems for those functions. UC also overlaps with contact center technologies — for example, in the form of automated call distribution (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR) systems.

Unified Communications empowers today’s businesses to stay competitive, lean, increase response times and the overall level of customer service they deliver to their clients.  Contact Teoma Systems if you are interested in learning more about how UC technologies can improve your business.  Our partnerships with Avaya, Ruckus Wireless and 123Net allows us to offer the top technology solutions for our clients.

 

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