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UC vs. telecom: How do these communications terms differ?

How does telecommunications differ from unified communications and collaboration? Can you explain UC vs. telecom?

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Telecommunications is a very broad term, and it comes from a time when telephony was pretty much the only way to communicate in real-time outside of face-to-face settings. Given how much the world has changed since PCs came along, and after that the Internet, this term is now rather anachronistic. Today, telephony is just one mode of real-time communication, and that takes us to the unified communications concept, which could not have existed in earlier times.

Unified communications is basically a platform that integrates various communications modes into a common environment and interface. This makes for a consistent user experience across devices or networks. Telephony is a core element of any UC solution, but the value really comes from integrating voice with other modes, which in turn facilitates collaboration. Working in teams on a remote basis becomes much easier with these tools, and is becoming a key productivity driver as businesses increasingly operate in a decentralized and even virtualized manner.

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This was first published in September 2013

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