Unified communications technology is known by many names: collaborative communications, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), and information and communications technology (ICT). Unified communications is defined differently depending on the industry expert you speak to.
What was once telecommunications has evolved to encompass all forms of communication, from messaging to Web conferencing. As current technology improves and new technology enters the marketplace, the components of unified communications also develop.
This essential guide will cover everything you need to know about what makes up unified communications technology.
UC component: IPT
1. Understanding IP telephony and VoIP
Internet Protocol (IP) telephony has become a critical part of unified communications technology as enterprises move on from traditional phone service and use the Internet to deliver voice, fax and other forms of communication. IP telephony (IPT) takes advantage of the Internet to deliver phone calls. Although IP telephony (IPT) and Voice over IP (VoIP) are used interchangeably, VoIP is technically a subset of IPT. IPT takes advantage of the Internet to deliver phone calls, while VoIP is the transport mechanism used to manage voice communications over IP. The resources below explain IPT and VoIP technologies further.
UC component: Presence
2. Understanding presence in unified communications
Presence technology makes it possible to locate and identify a computing device when the user connects to the network, regardless of the device's location. It also allows users to monitor the availability or state of another user, adding ease and convenience to unified communications. Learn the basics of this unified communication technology and how presence can increase productivity within your enterprise.
UC component: Messaging
3. Understanding unified messaging
The term unified communications was ultimately derived from unified messaging. Messaging technologies include email, voicemail, faxes and instant messaging (IM). Unified messaging incorporates messaging services -- like fax and voicemail -- into a single mailbox that a user can access via email or phone. Learn the basics of unified messaging and how to find the best messaging platform for your business from our resources below.
UC component: Conferencing
4. Understanding audio, video and Web conferencing
From audio to Web to video, conferencing has evolved as newer technologies emerge. Conferencing allows for greater mobility and presence for an enterprise. Learn the fundamentals for conferencing and how to successfully deploy conferencing technologies in your enterprise.
5. Unified communications technology terms to know
Unified communications technology jargon is fraught with acronyms -- UC, VoIP, POTS, PBX -- yet understanding these terms is crucial to comprehending the technology. Learn to speak UC lingo using our glossary of basic unified communications terms below.