Unified communications software is taking voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology to the next level, transforming ordinary business phones and desktop computers into a virtual communications platform. The central contribution of unified communications technology is integration. The system brings together all available communication modalities and makes them available on a robust multimedia interface.
1. Collaboration. Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) features a venue where coworkers, business partners, and clients can come together and collaborate using advanced data sharing and communications devices. You can exchange ideas, share data and documents instantly, edit a document “live,” and more. May of today’s services provide Real-Time-Collaboration (RTC), such as:
2. Communication. UCC enhances business communications by bringing all available devices and modalities under one roof. The implications go beyond access--with UCC, you can seamlessly transition among all available communications modalities “live.” With a click of a mouse you can escalate an instant message (IM) exchange into a phone call or even a conference call, bringing others on board.
3. Access. Because UCC operates across all communications devices, users enjoy unprecedented remote access to the system. Connect to your company’s internal network via wireless using your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or home computer. Unified messaging ensures that all your messages--voice, email, and others--reach you in your chosen format, generally all in your email inbox.
4. Business Process Integration. UCC expands the integration between data and communications applications, promoting continuity across all business processes. Via the UC interface you can access all available business process applications--enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and other data management and reporting utilities.
5. Presence. A unique innovation of UCC technology is the real-time presence interface, which allows you to view the availability of all other users and their communication preferences. This cuts wasted time tracking down available users and leaving messages. For example, a customer support specialist can use the presence application to identify an available expert qualified to answer a particular customer question.
These five advantages represent only the greatest benefits of UCC technology. Other benefits include increased productivity, reduced travel, and cost savings. The next generation of unified VoIP promises more features and collaboration tools to enhance the way we work and communicate.