Why Unified Communication and Collaboration?
As we move into a new era, it’s clear that the accelerating changes in communications capabilities are affecting corporate purchases and usage, especially for voice and video communications. The growth in mobile, peer-to-peer communication, communications capabilities embedded into business applications software, in new devices, in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and technologies like WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication) are changing personal and corporate communication patterns. Even more importantly, these new capabilities open up significant new opportunities for enterprises to support collaboration, improve their fundamental business processes, reduce delay & errors, and offer new ways to get work done more effectively.

Unified communications is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, Basic Telephony (including IP telephony), Advanced Telephony, High Definition Video conferencing and Collaboration, Application and Data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). Unified Communication is a platform that can deliver Voice, Video and Multimedia Collaboration channels anytime and anywhere and any location from the device of your choice be it Desk IP Phones, Laptops or Workstations, Smart Phones or tablets. In Summary, Unified Communication must deliver a consistent experience across three screens namely Workstations, Tablets and Smart Phones.

In broadest sense Unified Communication can encompass all forms of communication that can be exchanged over a network within the Enterprise or outside the Enterprise. Users can initiate an Instant Message looking at the presence of the Individual in consideration to escalating the conversation to a voice call to further escalating the call to a audio conference call and if need be enhancing the same call to a High Definition Video Collaboration experience using the same Interface or Device or Phone.

With the advent of IP telephony the handset was no longer a digital device hanging off a copper loop from a PBX. Instead, the handset lived on the network as another computer device. The transport of audio was therefore no longer a variation in voltages or modulation of frequency such as with the handsets from before, but rather encoding the conversation using a CODEC (G.711 originally) and transporting it with a protocol such as the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). When the handset is just another computer connected to the network, advanced features can be provided by letting computer applications communicate with server computers elsewhere in any number of ways; applications can even be upgraded or freshly installed on the handset.

With unified communications, multiple modes of business communications are integrated. Unified communications is not a single product but a architectural platform that includes

  • Call control and multimodal communications
  • Presence and Instant Messaging
  • Voice Collaboration
  • High Definition Video Collaboration
  • Mobile Collaboration
  • Unified messaging
  • Speech access and personal assistant
  • Conferencing (Audio, Web and Video)
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Business process integration (BPI)
  • Software to enable business process integration
  • BYOD