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UC products: A comprehensive buyer's guide

Buying UC products can be a challenge if you don't know which questions to ask. In this unified communications buyer's guide, Jon Arnold and Chris Partsenidis break down what you need to know before buying a UC service.

Introduction

Unified communications emerged from the limitations of legacy technology and the need to streamline collaboration and enhance productivity. The advent of voice over IP (VoIP) allowed telephony to be merged with other data streams, and gave rise to unified messaging. Following a natural progression, UC products have evolved to include messaging, desktop sharing, presentation capabilities and presence technology.

Despite rapid advancements in communication and collaboration, the value proposition for UC products can still be confusing for many organizations, even large businesses with well-established IT infrastructures. This buyer's guide describes the emergence of UC as an enterprise tool and explores the best use cases for its implementation. It also discusses critical purchasing criteria and provides a comparison of the leading UC products.

1What is it?-

How unified communications emerged for the enterprise

UC products emerged from a need to expand on the capabilities of traditional VoIP. Expert Jon Arnold discusses this evolution and the reasons why businesses deploy UC services.

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Tracking the evolution of UC technology

Telephony expert Jon Arnold explores the emergence of unified communications and the evolution of UC technology as a response to changing business needs. Continue Reading

2Do you need it?-

The business benefits of adopting UC products

UC can offer several benefits over traditional or IP telephony, including worker productivity and company agility. These four use cases highlight those benefits, both for short- and long-term success.

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Four ways unified communications benefits productivity

Telephony expert Jon Arnold examines the benefits of UC as businesses look to improve individual productivity, team collaboration and overall organizational agility. Continue Reading

3How to buy-

Criteria to consider when choosing a UC service

Knowing the important questions to ask before buying any UC products for your enterprise is crucial. Here you will learn the criteria to consider before making any purchasing decisions.

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Three buying principles for unified communications products

After exploring possible use cases for unified communications systems, examine the value proposition, deployment models and vendor-partner relationship. Continue Reading

4What to buy-

Finding the service that fits your company

Compare the leading UC products and vendors on the market before you make your purchase in order to ensure your choice is best-suited to your organization.

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Choosing the right unified communications system for you

Network expert Chris Partsenidis compares the leading unified communications vendors based on key purchasing criteria, such as end-to-end services and organization size. Continue Reading

5Top product overviews-

A look at the top UC products

Read our in-depth analyses of the top UC products on the market today. Each service offers a variety of features. Discover which service suits your organization.

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Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch suite: Product overview

The Alcatel-Lucent UC portfolio, including the OpenTouch Business Edition and OmniPCX platforms, offers a wide range of features for both small and large organizations. Continue Reading

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Avaya UC product overview: Aura Communication Manager

The Avaya Aura Platform, perhaps best suited for larger enterprises, supports messaging, voice, video, presence and mobility features, as well as virtualization. Continue Reading

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Cisco UCM: Unified communications product overview

The Cisco UC Manager supports instant messaging, video conferencing, mobility and presence technology. The platform can support up to 100,000 users in a cluster configuration. Continue Reading

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Microsoft Skype for Business Server: Product overview

With its Skype for Business services, Microsoft has shaken up the unified communications market by launching an unconventional platform that's generating significant growth. Continue Reading

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Mitel's MiVoice MX-ONE: Product overview

Mitel communications products include the MiVoice MX-ONE suite, which can support up to 500,000 users. Many of Mitel's products can be managed from a Web browser interface. Continue Reading

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NEC UNIVERGE 3C: Product overview

Unlike solutions that are licensed by service, the NEC UNIVERGE 3C offers a unique licensing model, providing users with complete UC services without additional costs. Continue Reading

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ShoreTel Connect ONSITE: Product overview

With a simple deployment model, the recently revamped ShoreTel UC platform is well-suited for multisite organizations and looks to contend with other major vendors. Continue Reading

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Unify OpenScape Voice: Product overview

With support for mobility, video and scalability for up to 500,000 users, OpenScape Voice -- and the rest of the Unify UC portfolio -- is well-suited for large enterprises. Continue Reading

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