With all the many tools and technologies available for communicating and collaborating in real time, it is often easy to forget that communication is not only about the technology, but also about the person. After all, we’re not a bunch of IP addresses, but people with real names, personalities and preferences. And the latter include how we choose to communicate.

Polycom works with Microsoft Lync/Skype to put the person at the heart of Unified Communications (UC). With such a proliferation of tailormade technology, UC has evolved over the years to become more than just a buzzword.

A brief history of Unified Communication

Unified Communication is a term that was first coined by writer and consultant, Art Rosenburg in the year 2000. He used the term to describe technology that enables the streamlining of all communication systems – text, emails, voicemail, telecommunications, faxes and so on.

In other words, any particular communication that can be rerouted directly to you wherever you happen to be, via whatever communication device you happen to have in hand.

Simply put, UC is a system that combines all of a user’s means to communicate. This includes desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, so that communications between individual users becomes significantly more efficient.

Why Unified Communication?

Many workers today are increasingly “virtual”, which means that they may not necessarily be working from behind a desk at their office. They could be at home with their laptops, or in the field with their mobile phones. In fact, there are even some companies that run on a completely decentralized model, where even the receptionist is remotely located.

Quite often, companies may be using separate software and hardware for phones, video conferencing, fax, email, and instant messaging. This is pretty inconvenient to say the least.

All of these means of communication and more, can be integrated using the technological architecture of UC. The latter increasingly uses a single service and a minimal hardware set up. This just makes UC not just very convenient, but also very cost-effective.

As a user of UC you will have your favourite method of communication. This could be email, online chat, or conference calls. The mechanism that UC uses, however, means that all communications are streamlined. This means that if a user’s preferred method of picking up important messages is via voicemail, then they can do so, even if the message was originally typed up and sent as an email.

UC also ensures that all of your company’s communication bills are also unified, quite often into a single invoice with bundled calls, thereby resulting in significant savings.

An availability indicator is always displayed, so that you won’t waste time trying to get in touch with absent users. This, in the long run, can increase company efficiency and your company’s rate of productivity.

So, to sum up, the reach of UC doesn’t just extend to the amalgamation of interpersonal messaging media. Data services are all unified as well. These include online transactions, ecommerce, online banking, delivery of web data, desktop and mobile applications.

All of these are integrated into a single system that allows users instant access not just to each other, but also to all the tools, data and information that they may need when working remotely.

So, now you know how companies can build and integrate UC at the very heart of their business. Do think about UC as an option for your business, if you haven’t already. Here’s to integrated and seamless Unified Communication!

For more information on how to set up a Unified Communication solution for your business, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content and images courtesy: www.polycom.com)

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