Unified Communications (UC) technology streamlines communications and collaboration to optimise business processes. UC comprises the equipment, software and services that are used to integrate multiple communications, networks and systems. UC solutions vary, but commonly often include:
- Instant messaging
Benefits of UC
- Streamlining communications means that employees can interact and collaborate regardless of device or location.
- Mobile workers can access desktop-like functions on mobile devices, improving collaboration and productivity while on the move.
- Users are better connected with each other and the information they need to make faster and better informed decisions.
- UC reduces communication costs, by enabling you to make voice calls over your business IP network (using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology).
- UC minimises travel costs with audio, video and web conferencing.
Key UC terminology
Voice over IP (VoIP)
VoIP is a group of technologies that deliver voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. VoIP is also referred to as IP telephony, Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service.
Video conferencing integrates video and audio to connect users anywhere in the world, as if they were in the same room. It usually refers to communication between three or more users in at least two locations, rather than one-on-one communication, and often includes multiple people at each location. Each user or group of users needs a computer, camera, microphone, video screen and audio system. Users are connected by Internet, or via a satellite-based system, a broadcast signal or other communications technology. Video conferencing allows participants to see and hear each other in real time (or very close to it). This enables natural, face-to-face conversations and visual elements that are not possible with voice-only communications technology.
Instant Messaging (IM)
IM is a set of technologies that enables real-time, text-based communication between two or more users over the Internet, or other types of networks. The real-time aspect of IM distinguishes it from email, which is less immediate and perceived as quasi-synchronous.