Over the next few weeks I will be looking at how best to approach Unified Communications to gain the maximum advantage for your business. I will consider specifically the what, why and how? – starting today with the what?

Unified communications can be deployed in a number of different ways, either via a dedicated IP PBX, a hosted IP PBX or the desktop computer. In terms of base functionality I have already identified Unified Communications covering three key areas:

  • Collaboration – email, instant messaging, intranet, document and media management
  • Real-time applications – voice, video, web meetings and session recording
  • Unified Messaging – voice to text, text to voice and fax to email

But this is just feature based classification which gives little insight into what unified communication can do for a business. Collectively, applications deliver benefits beyond their individual functionality. In bringing these three areas together we are looking to improve communication, collaboration and productivity wherever the user is working – in the office, at home or on the move. And whoever they are working with – colleagues, partners or customers.

I have noticed that a number of Unified Communications vendors include mobility in the above classification but I believe that mobility should be built into all of the above applications to serve the modern user. If it doesn’t work remotely then it isn’t unified communications.

But understanding UC is not about defining terms. It is about understanding how the technology can help you reach your business goals. Ideally we are looking for familiar business applications, working seamlessly together, accessible wherever your people need them.

If you have any comments or questions about unified communications then please leave me a message and I will try to answer your query.