Unified Communications Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing unified communications and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • I

    inbound call

    An inbound call is one that a customer initiates to a call center or contact center... (Continued)

  • inbound call center

    An inbound call center is one that exclusively or predominately handles inbound calls (calls initiated by the customer) rather than outbound calls... (Continued)

  • Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU)

    In telecommunications, Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) is the effective long-term lease (temporary ownership) of a portion of the capacity of an international cable.

  • Information Kit: Voice over IP

    What is voice over IP (VoIP)? Expert advice: VoIP certification, Implementing VoIP in a small business, Using VoIP at home

  • instant messaging (IM)

    Instant messaging, often shortened to IM or IM'ing, is the exchange of near real-time messages through a stand-alone application or embedded software.

  • Internet Protocol

    The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet.

  • IP PBX (private branch exchange)

    An IP PBX is a private branch exchange (telephone switching system within an enterprise) that switches calls between VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol or IP) users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.

  • IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony)

    IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony) is a general term for the technologies that use the Internet Protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over the dedicated circuit-switched connections of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • J

    Jingle protocol

    Jingle is a family of signaling protocols for initiating and managing peer-to-peer (P2P) media sessions over the Internet. 

  • jitter

    Jitter is the time variation between when packets leave one system and reach another, affecting real-time communications like VoIP and video conferencing.

  • jitter buffer

    In voice over IP (VoIP), a jitter buffer is a shared data area where voice packets can be collected, stored, and sent to the voice processor in evenly spaced intervals.

  • K

    keyphone (K/P or key station)

    Commonly used by a company within its private automatic branch exchange (PABX) telephone system, a keyphone (abbreviated as K/P, sometimes called a key station) is a telephone with the extra buttons and the intelligence to allow incoming calls to be transferred to other extensions.

  • L

    layer 3

    Layer 3 refers to the Network layer of the commonly-referenced multilayered communication model, Open Systems Interconnection (OSI).

  • leased line

    A leased line is a telephone line that has been leased for private use.

  • long-distance carrier

    A long-distance carrier is a telephone company that provides connections between local exchanges in different geographic areas.

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