What Is Unified Communications?

What is Unified Communications? Unified Communications (UC) refers to the integration of communication tools that allow individuals to exchange ideas and work more efficiently.

Some of these tools, such as IP telephony, presence notification and instant messaging, facilitate synchronous communication, which takes place in real time (at the same time in a different place). Others, such as e-mail or Twitter, facilitate asynchronous communication, which takes place at the moment chosen by the user (different times and places).

The goal of Unified Communications is to integrate software that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication, so that the user can easily access all of the tools, regardless of the computer equipment he or she uses.

Traditional desktop environments, where users work on computers and with desktop phones or software phones and own individual webcams.

Corporate conference rooms are equipped with loudspeaker phones, a shared display system and a shared video system (these can be classical teleconferencing equipment or high-end telepresence systems).

Employees working remotely using mobile devices, such as Android or iOS tablets and smartphones, and using the audio and video features of these devices. Ideally, the unified communications environment integrates with both the central systems that provide the services and the front-end clients that provide easy access.

For example, the web conferencing system would use the audio conferencing system, which in turn would rely on the primary IP telephony platform, and a UM client would offer a phone, chat, or video calling feature by clicking (“click to call”).

Online collaboration tools that automatically support services or project management systems often incorporate unified communications functions, such as team chat, or are incorporated into external CPU systems to provide these services.

Unified communications is also superimposed on call center technologies. This is the case, for example, with automatic call distribution systems and interactive voice response systems.