Unified Communications (UC) is the integration of business communication platforms. This umbrella term includes voice calls and conferencing, video calls, chat/messaging, collaboration and file sharing.
By consolidating these tools into a seamless UC user experience, organisations can reap significant productivity benefits. With a well-architected UC strategy in place, users can toggle between multiple tools within a session – e.g. sharing large files or URLs with other participants in the chat functionality of a video conference.
UC platforms also integrate with third-party solutions to provide further functionality. This enables project management tools, repositories and other useful applications to enrich the UC environment even further. Interoperability between UC vendors through APIs is also increasing, meaning smoother transitions and experiences for users.
UC and digital transformation
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a shift that was already taking place – that is oeganisations moving to digital and cloud functionalities from previously on-premise or hybrid ways of working.
UC can contribute to significant productivity gains and cost reductions. For example, for firms handling overseas customers, VOIP-based calling provides demonstrable cost savings compared to international rates on traditional telephony services.
Remote working, home office or hybrid working arrangements are also well supported by UC, with cross-device communications largely seamless. Customers can also see the benefits of an organisation’s deployment of UC, with slicker customer services and processes.
What’s “under the hood” of UC?
There are several strings to UC’s bow. From the user perspective, these include email, instant messaging, SMS, fixed line voice calls, voicemail and call handling, transcription/translation capabilities, screen/file sharing, video and audio conferencing, interactive whiteboards, and many more.
UC and IT departments
As the default communication platform for many organisations, UC is on the “business critical” level. If it goes down, the whole company’s productivity can be negligible until services are restored.
As a result, the back-end of a UC architecture often comprises either sole or multi-vendor UC platforms, private branch exchange, endpoint devices and peripherals, communication gateways, and various control units.
This section of the MYREDFORT Community will give you all the insights and tools you need to know to adopt, or refine, your UC architecture.