What exactly IS unified communication? More than a buzzword in the technology world, unified communication is not something that can be easily summed up. Unified communications is, as the name suggests, many things working as one.
There are 7 components that come together to make unified communication possible:
- Voice. The standard communication method in business and everyday life, access to a quality voice system is crucial to having a successful unified communication strategy.
- Video. “The wave of the future!” Video communication and video conferencing were once only seen in sci-fi TV shows and in movies. Now video is on nearly everyone’s cell phone and pervasive bandwidth is allowing high quality video attainable to all businesses and corporations. A great way to maintain a higher level of communication, no unified communication system is whole without video.
- Instant Messaging. While chatrooms may seem like entertainment for free-time, the reality is now days we communicate mostly through email, texts, and IM. Using software like Microsoft Lync, individuals are able to communicate like they are sitting in the same room- asking questions and having whole conversations over IM.
- Productivity Tools. File sharing, calendars, contact management, email and web collaboration are all tools that enable an organization to make faster decisions, communicate more effectively and save time, thus creating a higher ROI.
- Unified Messaging. This is different from instant messaging in that this feature allows someone to receive a voicemail from a cell phone or typical office line in their email so that they are able to stay connected from anywhere and are not tethered to their desk.
- Presence. Along the same lines as instant messaging, presence is a tool which allows others to see who is available, away, busy, in meetings, etc. A feature also available in Microsoft Lync, this creates a more tight-knit organization where people feel connected whether they are working from a home office or in the next room.
- Mobility. Having unified communication tools on the go is critical in today’s business world. Not only does mobility bring all of the above with you, but being able to join a conference call (even video) from home, vacation- wherever is critical. Now users can connect to room systems from mobile devices as easily as making a phone call.