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Demystifying Unified Communications

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How IP Telephony Systems Enable Businesses to Leverage Fully the Power of UC

Get ahead with Unified Communications

As IP telephony is moving ahead with enormous momentum, most users are still waiting for full convergence and voice-enabled applications. Increased network efficiencies have been the primary benefit of IP telephony to date as enterprises struggle with infrastructure and

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How IP Telephony Systems Enable Businesses to Leverage Fully the Power of UC

Get ahead with Unified Communications

As IP telephony is moving ahead with enormous momentum, most users are still waiting for full convergence and voice-enabled applications. Increased network efficiencies have been the primary benefit of IP telephony to date as enterprises struggle with infrastructure and organizational issues. These first-generation benefits have been considerable, but the focus is now shifting to converged applications, with the initial spotlight on unified communications (UC).

To achieve UC and other next-generation benefits, companies must build the right foundation, eliminate the voice silo, and make telephony a seamless part of information technology. However, UC is a moving target right now, with various vendors using the term in different ways to emphasize a subset of an evolving group of capabilities.

While these vendors naturally see UC from the perspective of their own product portfolios, what users really want is a rich and flexible communications system that meets particular business needs. They should be able to sample from a complete palette of UC capabilities, and not be restricted to a mere subset designed to enhance a particular vendor’s existing products.

Just what is this full palette? Analysts at industry research firm Gartner have identified 16 features that comprise a complete UC solution:

  1. Telephony
  2. Unified Messaging
  3. Desktop Client
  4. Email
  5. Instant Messaging (IM)
  6. Audio Conferencing
  7. Video Conferencing
  8. Web Conferencing
  9. Converged Conferencing
  10. Notification Service
  11. Personal Assistant
  12. Rich Presence Service
  13. Communications-Enabled Business Processes
  14. Contact Center
  15. Mobile Solutions
  16. Collaboration

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