Unified Communications (UC) is changing the way enterprises do business. The fundamental shift in communication infrastructure and strategy options go far beyond the selections available for the device. UC solutions represent a new generation of communication tools, building upon previously siloed components and tasks.
UC components include messaging (email, IM, voice, video), calling (audio, video), conferencing (audio, web, video), presence, device awareness, information sharing (web chat, file sharing, document sharing), mobility, business applications and database access, tied together with a common user interface.
Tying these tools with business processes and applications makes them exponentially more useful to businesses and workers. The convenience of unified voice and data communications has long been a key convergence benefit, at least in theory. In practice, few users today find themselves operating in a truly unified environment. Solutions that have been cobbled together through acquisitions can be so complex and poorly integrated that they are simply too unwieldy to install, manage, use and support.
Developing the right strategy will faciliate the business benefits Unified Communications promise. On the other hand, the wrong strategy can lead to a situation where any business benefit is elimated by costly disruptions and on-going technical issues.