Unified communications (UC) is a system that integrates the diverse communication applications and tools into one comprehensive environment for optimizing business processes. This merger has transformed business communication and brought about improved functionality, higher employee productivity and reduced IT management expenses in the company that uses it. No wonder unified communications is becoming increasingly indispensable for all types and scales of businesses.
The relevance of these solutions is increasing also because of the growing trend of remote working. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of employees who do not go to office to work. While this gives great flexibility to the workers, the company also benefits as it saves on renting of office space, power costs, provision of amenities for employees, etc. The concept of remote working depends a lot on UC for success.
To determine whether your business can benefit from unified communications, you have to understand what it exactly means. It is a solution that comprises of several components. Some of these include
- Call Control: The IP PBX is an important UC enabler as it provides the basic plumbing that is required for this solution.
- Video: Video is a critical link of unified communications. Easy connections and high-definition videos make video conferencing a powerful business tool that offers a great experience to the participants.
- Presence: Presence enables assessing the users' present availability as well as ability to interact and communicate. In the business world where time is of primary importance, Presence forms the cornerstone of successful UC.
- Instant Messaging: Instant messaging translates the availability of a person into effective communication and is therefore an important UC element.
- Unified Messaging: This integrates fax, email, voice mail and other communication technologies and allows the users to access the messages from a single interface.
- Mobility: Mobile communication devices are commonplace today. Their integration with the enterprise communications enables the users to work efficiently from wherever they are as the audio or video communication can be launched from the mobile devices too.
- Collaboration & Document Sharing: Collaborative capabilities like audio, video and web conferencing, file / document sharing, white-boarding, shared workspaces, etc. allow the participants to engage in real-time interaction and simultaneously look at common documents and presentations.
As both the vendors and users of UC are realizing the potential offered by this technology architecture, its deployment is increasing at a fast pace. The businesses that have implemented the system have got a definite edge over the ones that haven't progressed to it yet.