- Instant Messaging
What it it?
The real-time redirection of a voice, text or e-mail message to the device closest to the intended recipient at any given time.
Unified communications is the convergence of many industries and applications into a single, common control, and it allows users to send messages on one medium and receive them on another medium. That means someone can get a voicemail message and access it through e-mail or their cell phone.
For example, voice calls to desk phones could be routed to the user's cellphone when required. E-mail intended for a desktop mailbox could be sent to the user's PDA or turned into speech for a phone message.
Unified communications is sometimes confused with unified messaging, but it is distinct. Unified communications refers to both real-time and non-real-time delivery of communications based on the preferred method and location of the recipient.
Unified messaging systems culls messages from several sources (such as e-mail, voice mail and faxes), but holds those messages only for retrieval at a later time.
Unified communications allows for an individual to check and retrieve an e-mail or voicemail from any communication device at anytime. It expands beyond voicemail services to data communications and video services.
How It Works
For companies of all sizes, Unified Communications gives employees the desktop communications tools they need to reach colleagues, clients, vendors, and partners, across the room or at other sites.
From desktop phones and computers, receptionists and staff can use voice, video, conferencing, and more over a secure, reliable infrastructure.
For highly mobile employees—like salespeople, executives, and service consultants—success depends on their ability to communicate with colleagues and customers, quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively. Unified Communications provides the tools employees need to stay available and productive, no matter where they go.
Innovative applications deliver the capabilities of a headquarter's desk phone to laptops, mobile devices, and landline phones in external locations
THE SOLUTION CAN INCLUDE:
Desktop Telephony. Softphones, portal software and back-end applications let users make calls and access a wide range of functionality.
Conferencing. From instant messaging to video conferencing, applications help workers collaborate efficiently and cost-effectively.
Messaging. Messaging systems integrate with your existing messaging applications to create a single, easy-to-administer platform.
How It Can Help Your Business
Improve Customer Service
Features like presence and online conferencing keep employees available, while giving them fast access to information and expertise—resulting in a business that’s more responsive to customer needs.
Easy access to information and to colleagues helps employees make decisions faster, and get more done in less time.
IP telephony reduces long-distance, mobile, and other communications costs. In-house conferencing reduces collaboration expenses, resulting in rapid ROI.
How It's Implemented
Unified Communications (UC) can yield significant benefits for any organization by boosting employee productivity and responsiveness while reducing communications costs. These changes can bring about significant challenges to both users and systems. To minimize the impact of the move to Unified Communications planning is essential.
Assembling the Team
A project team should be able ensure all issues of UC implementation are addressed. These include technical, functional, operational and human requirements. Selections should be made to ensure members can manage all facets of the implementation from design through to end user training.
Analyze Existing Infrastructure
An inventory of the existing communications structure is paramount to understanding what the UC requirements will be. These include hardware, operating systems, current communications applications, network architecture and capacity and security.
Analyzing and Planning Usage
Analyze and plan for the various channels of communication that will be used. VoIP will require special attention as it is the most commonly used UC tool and will have the greatest impact on overall network performance.
Layout all requirements for addressing legacy applications and operating platforms that will need to be integrated for UC. These must include internal and external communications and make full use of the mobility that UC offers through Internet protocols.
Monitoring and Network Performance
Once implemented, UC applications need to be monitored as demand increases. Network monitoring and adjustments need to be made to take full advantage of Unified Communications without adversely affecting the overall network performance.