Essential Guide

What makes enterprise unified communications work

Learn about the underlying technology that makes enterprise unified communications function properly.

Introduction

VoIP, messaging, presence and conferencing -- these communication components are the main facets of unified communications (UC) technology. But what do these components run on, and what technologies make enterprise unified communications work?

This essential guide talks about the network infrastructure needed to support robust communications and the deployment strategies that make a successful rollout. Take a look at influencing technologies, like mobility and social collaboration, and how they are being incorporated into an enterprise's UC infrastructure. Get started learning everything you need to know to make enterprise unified communications work for you.

1Infrastructure-

Network infrastructure and UC platforms

The network is the platform that enables all components of enterprise unified communications technology. If the aforementioned UC applications do not integrate, then the technology is not truly unified. Under the umbrella of unified communications platforms, some industry experts include UC clients, application integration, business process integration (BPI) and rules engines that give permissions or priority for routing the various UC components. Below are resources on each aspect of UC platforms.

Answer

Enhancing the network to support a unified communications infrastructure

Understand your network infrastructure needs before implementing unified communications technology. Continue Reading

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Understanding application integration terminology

Enterprise application integration, or EAI, is often used interchangeably with the term "business process integration" (BPI). Learn about other common app integration terminology. Continue Reading

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Understanding business process integration architecture

Read "Process Integration Architecture," Chapter 9 of the book Enterprise Integration: The Essential Guide to Integration Solutions by Beth Gold-Bernstein and William Ruh. In it, you will gain an understanding of how business process integration works and why it is needed for complex application implementations, like UC. Continue Reading

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Understanding business rules engines

A business rules engine (BRE) is a software application or system designed to manage and enforce business rules based on a set of attributes. This chapter, from the book Master Data Management and Customer Data Integration for a Global Enterprise, explains how BREs reduce the time and costs of application maintenance. Continue Reading

Tip

UC reference architecture must be flexible

Three technology trends are driving the need for flexible unified communications architecture. Learn what those trends are and what your UC architecture should entail. Continue Reading

2Mobility-

Making the enterprise mobile

One of the defining characteristics of the evolution of enterprise unified communications is mobility. Workforces are becoming mobile and expect enterprises to accommodate those mobile needs. Adopting mobile unified communications can create a productive and efficient workforce while cutting costs. But mobile UC isn't without its challenges. Read on for resources on avoiding deployment pitfalls and making mobile UC successful.

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Mobile unified communications and its benefits

Mobile unified communications sits at the convergence of two complex topics: mobility and unified communications. This article explains where enterprises can benefit by making UC mobile. Continue Reading

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Understanding mobile unified communications clients

A mobile workforce can be a UC nightmare. Learn how to navigate the available mobile UC options to ensure efficient collaboration between users. Continue Reading

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Ten questions to evaluate mobile UC vendors

Purchasing mobile technology requires careful evaluation of products. See how your potential mobile UC vendors will respond to these pertinent questions. Continue Reading

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Can mobile UC mature from BYOD best practices?

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies can be tricky. Adopting best practices can keep BYOD manageable for IT and increase mobile adoption. Continue Reading

Tip

Enterprise needs come first in UC mobility

When it comes to mobility, the wheel doesn't need to be reinvented. Employees want mobility features and products they need, not what they already have. Continue Reading

3Social media-

Integrating social platforms

Social media has become another outlet for employees to perform their business processes. Social media allows for better collaboration among employees through document sharing, presence and more. But enterprises must do more than simply purchase social software. Social platforms must be integrated with existing UC tools to enhance employee productivity, which requires a robust deployment strategy. Read on for advice on how to incorporate social media and build an enterprise social strategy.

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Social media and the definition of UC

Analyst Zeus Kerravala explains why social media must be part of unified communications. Continue Reading

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Integrate social software with existing business applications

Employees need social software that ties into business processes by integrating with unified communications tools. But enterprises shouldn't cram social elements where they don't belong. Continue Reading

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Social software and UC must integrate

Enterprise social networking platforms should not be considered standalone tools. Embedding social's functionality within UC applications allows employees to collaborate in real time and increases adoption within the enterprise. Continue Reading

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Defining a social networking strategy

Buying social software doesn't guarantee social media success. A strong social networking strategy is necessary to ensure successful adoption. Continue Reading

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Evaluating social software vendors

Learn what vendors and social platforms are best suited for your enterprise's social media strategy. Continue Reading

4Enterprise collaboration-

Making enterprise collaboration work

Effective collaboration is essential for employees to do their jobs. Collaboration is comprised of many UC components, including messaging, conferencing and presence. These components come together to allow employees to work together and effectively achieve business goals. Emerging UC technologies, like WebRTC, are also having a huge impact on collaboration. Learn more about collaboration trends and how to successfully implement it.

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Why collaboration must be included in a UC strategy

There is more to enterprise collaboration than just video and audio conferencing. Learn what really constitutes collaboration and why it must be part of your UC strategy. Continue Reading

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Where the industry stands with social collaboration

In this Q&A, Nemertes Research VP Irwin Lazar discusses where business social collaboration intersects with unified communications. Continue Reading

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Assessing business collaboration technology and benefits

Learn the benefits of adopting business collaboration and what use cases highlight the need for collaboration technology. Continue Reading

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What is collaborative communications?

Unified communications, collaboration and social media have combined to create collaborative communications. Continue Reading

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Five UC trends redefining collaboration

From the cloud to WebRTC, read on to find out what unified communications trends are changing the definition of collaboration. Continue Reading

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Focus mobile collaboration on needed features

Employees want the collaboration capabilities they have in their offices available on their mobile devices. But mobile collaboration features differ across devices. Continue Reading

5UC strategies-

Defining a UC strategy

It's not enough to adopt enterprise unified communications technology. Enterprises must have a defined strategy to ensure deployments are rolled out successfully. Clearly defined strategies help enterprises understand the needs of employees and roll out the UC features and tools that suit their needs. Learn more about how to develop a UC strategy and implement it effectively.

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Reap the benefits of a social strategy

To get the most out of an enterprise social media program, a strong social media strategy that goes beyond the IT department is necessary. Continue Reading

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Preventing UC&C deployment failure

There are several challenges that could prevent an enterprise from successfully deploying unified communication and collaboration. Learn what enterprises can do to keep their deployments from failing. Continue Reading

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Mixing and matching hardware- and software-based UC deployments

Most unified communications deployments are a mix of the cloud, hardware and software. Learn why enterprises choose to take this mixed route. Continue Reading

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Avoid a vendor's upsell of your unified communication services

When preparing for an enterprise unified communications deployment, be clear on the needs of employees and the network to avoid purchasing unnecessary services. Continue Reading

News

Choosing between consumer and enterprise-grade social software

Many enterprises still use consumer social networking tools, despite the availability of enterprise social software. But enterprises are starting to realize that consumer tools don't have the level of collaboration they need. Continue Reading

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Integrating mobile UC products into your infrastructure

One of the best ways to ensure that mobile UC is successfully integrated into your enterprise is to create an evaluation program. Learn more about how to determine how your infrastructure can support mobility. Continue Reading

6Definitions-

Enterprise UC definitions to know

Deploying enterprise unified communications means knowing what exactly terms like "bring your own device" and "collaboration" mean. Knowing exactly what UC services, technology and trends are is crucial to UC deployment. Learn what terms you need to know for deploying using our glossary.

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