What is Unified Communications?
In simple terms, it is the modern way of deploying a phone system. It is also referred to as Voice over IP (VoIP) and IP Telephony. Unified Communications is a business grade communications system that is a mature technology and is more reliable and feature rich than anything you have used before.
Deploying a UC system will enable your company to use the voice features you have come to rely on, and it will add many more options to enable your company to be more competitive, reduce communication costs, and make it easier to collaborate.
Can your company benefit from these kinds of features?
- Single Number Reach – ability for the phone system to send a call to your mobile phone simultaneously. Also allows for a single voicemail box, i.e. you don’t have to manage voicemail on both your desktop phone and mobile phone.
- Unified Messaging – ability to receive your voicemails in your email. This also allows retrieval and playback from your smartphone.
- Mobility – the ability for your smartphone to be attached to the phone system via wifi. Your smartphone can be used in conjunction with your desktop phone, or use your smartphone as your desktop phone. An app installed on the smartphone gives it this functionality.
- Presence – the ability to see the “presence” status of any individual on the system. i.e. on the phone, away, in a meeting, out to lunch, etc. Integrates with Outlook to automatically update your status based on your calendar.
- Instant Messaging – the ability to send an instant message to anyone in the contact list.
- Desktop sharing – the ability to instantly share your desktop with another user to collaborate on a document.
- Video – the ability to have a video call with another user.
- Multi-party desktop sharing, audio/video conference – the ability to have multiple parties join in on a single conference for both audio, video, and desktop sharing. Great for meetings with clients for face to face conversations and document review, no matter where you or they are located.
- Softphone – the ability to use your computer or laptop as a phone. This is great for roaming users who may be onsite at a client for a day, but still want to be reachable by their desktop extension.
- Virtual users – the ability to install a desktop phone at a remote user’s location. As long as internet connectivity exists, a phone can be easily plugged in and configured as an extension. It works the same as a phone in the office, and nobody knows where they are physically located. Also great for office users with a home office or a need to work from home.
- Collaborate with outside users – as your clients become more adept with the technology they have, you can both interoperate with them (see their presence status, share documents, IM, etc), and/or initiate collaboration sessions that they can easily participate in.