Introduction to Unified Communications and Collaboration

Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) is an industry term that has come to mean different things to different people. It is not a repackaging or renaming of existing technologies, even though existing technologies play into it. Rather, UCC is a new way of thinking about combining existing technologies to help organizations achieve their business goals through improved communications.

UCC can be looked at from two primary perspectives. The first is a business perspective, in which UCC is a new way of thinking about business processes, aligning communications tools and efforts and providing those new communications paths to existing business processes. It enables new or existing technologies to work in different ways in order to support those business processes.

The second viewpoint is from a technical perspective, in which UCC encompasses a number of different technical solutions, including presence, enterprise-class instant messaging, unified messaging, voice mail and audio/video/data conferencing.

  • Presence is the way of indicating to other people within your organization what your relative availability is.
  • Enterprise Instant Messaging takes the consumer form of instant messaging and makes it much more enterprisefriendly by implementing security and compliance, and enforcing business policy.
  • Unified Messaging enables users to take voice, email and fax messages and deliver them to a single inbox, which can be accessed in a number of ways. For instance, I could have my emails read to me via my voice access.
  • Conferencing, whether audio, video or data, is managed from the user’s internal plant so they can leverage the existing infrastructure within the organization to reduce communications costs.

From a holistic perspective, the real value of UCC is that it allows the creation of solutions that enhance communications and business processes. Our website will provide guidance on the business issues driving the adoption of UCC and how to get started on the journey toward a UCC future.

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