What is Unified
Communications (UC)?

Definition

Unified Communications (UC) refers to a phone system that integrates (or “unifies”) multiple business communication methods into one system.

Most businesses communicate in a number of different ways: Phone calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, email, fax - the list goes on and on.

A Unified Communication solution brings together all the ways your business communicates and lets them work with one another in one system which can ultimately make your business much more efficient.

Continue reading to learn more about what Unified Communications is and how it can help your business.

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What are the benefits of UC?

Unified Communications offers a competitive advantage to businesses by reducing the number of independent tools, platforms and solutions they need to communicate.

Many businesses are choosing Unified Communication solutions over a traditional phone systems because it's a better way to future-proof their investment and keep pace with advances in technology.

More specifically, here are a few of the main benefits Unified Communications has to offer businesses:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased revenue
  • Better customer service

Go here to learn more about each of the benefits of Unified Communications.

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“...greater employee productivity, reduced costs and a means to improve customer engagement.

What is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?

Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, is a deployment method for delivering UC to organizations via the Cloud. Unlike traditional on-premise UC systems, UCaaS acts like a subscription service with reduced or no upfront costs.

Benefits of UCaaS:

  • OpEx model
  • Little or no IT staff needed
  • Software always up-to-date
  • Easy access
  • Scalability
  • Guaranteed support

Learn more about the UCaaS deployment option.

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Why is Unified Communications growing in popularity?

The Unified Communications market has experienced significant growth in recent years and continues to experience increased adoption from businesses and organizations of all sizes. So what trends are contributing to the growth and spread of Unified Communications? There are 6 factors in particular that have contributed in recent years:

  • Cloud - Think of this as a collection of servers located at a central location that store data or serve various technologies, usually to a large number of people. Popular cloud technologies include QuickBooks Online, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
  • Mobility - The ability to use technology to communicate from outside the office in just the same ways you would communicate if you were inside the office. More specifically, in the telecommunications field, mobility typically refers to being able to use your business phone system from your personal mobile device.
  • Ease of use - For a while, the focus was on integration and network/applications convergence; Increased emphasis in recent years has been on user experience
  • Personalization - The way apps are accessed and used, consumer-centric look and feel.
  • Advanced features - According to a report by Eastern Management Group, 44-46% of IT managers acquire a new phone system to get needed features/capabilities. UC offers a wide range of advanced features not available on a typical telephone system.
  • Productivity increase - UC provides support for efficiency, speed, multi-tasking, and developing interpersonal relationships, which increases productivity among employees and decreases the amount of time it takes to get work done.

What terms do you need to know before looking at UC solutions?

Before you go out and start looking for a new Unified Communications solution for your business, there are a few things to know in order to avoid confusion when you’re talking to tech vendors.

A few important terms to know include VoIP, PBX, IVR, BYOD, and API, among others.

Understanding these basic industry terms is essential for evaluating your options and determining what your business really needs.

To learn more about important terminology that will make learning about Unified Communications solutions easier, take a look at the terminology section of our What is Unified Communication page.

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