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What is Unified Communications

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Definition of Unified Communications
Unified Communications or in short UC is a marketing buzzword referring to the seamless integration of communication tools that facilitate the process of communication and collaborations at enterprise level.

Components of Unified Communications
Many of us had a misunderstanding that unified communications is referring to simply IP telephony. However, IP telephony is only a small part within the entire unified communications system. There are other communication tools like: presence technology, instant messaging, unified messaging and real time video conferencing etc.

Presence Technology
Presence technology can simply means the transmission of real time information about an individual’s availability. This feature is dubbed the “next big thing” in unified communications. With the advancement in communications technology, people no longer rely on a single communications tool. Instead, tools like office phones, mobile phones, email, instant messaging and video conferencing are being used for enterprise communications. Presence technology will be able to relay real time information regarding the device or platforms the user is on. This will allow the other party to better determine the right tools to be used to reach out. Aside from call management, presence technology greatly helped individuals to achieve faster communications and collaboration within the organisation in terms of meeting scheduling. For example, his/her presence status will be marked busy when the system detected that he/she is in a midst of a meeting based on the calendar schedule.

Instant Messaging (IM)
This involves the exchange of short messages in real time via a software application. Unlike an email message, IM tends to be used when the message requires immediate attention. IM is often use at enterprise level to facilitate the relaying of message and task that requires timely actions.

Unified Messaging
Do not confuse unified messaging and instant messaging, unified messaging brings electronic messaging and communications tools like e-mail, SMS, fax, voicemail, video messaging etc., into one single interface for ease of use. This provides utmost convenience and simplifies the communication process with a single interface.

Video Conferencing
Video conferencing feature provides real time communications involving audio, visual and text. The introduction of video conferencing has help many enterprise to lower travel cost and enhance customer satisfaction for enterprise that uses this in customer servicing. Take for example, Avaya Video Conferencing solutions enable companies to use one communications infrastructure for real-time voice, video and data conferencing needs, this greatly reduces the complexity and operational expenses.

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