Unified communications (UC) promises to change the way people work, increase productivity, and foster greater collaboration. The convergence of voice, video, and data communication services on a shared IP‐ based infrastructure may offer organizations significant gains in business productivity by removing latency in communications between customers and service providers, between team members, and with partners and consultants. However, there are challenges to finding and deploying a single communications solution that suits all constituents and fits how they work. It is unlikely that a single packaged application will be able to act as an adequate console for all communications channels including critical channels such as voice chat and e‐mail that allow for little down time at least in the near term. For organizations ready to build a road map to unified communications.
To formulate and execute a UC strategy, CEOs and IT managers need to understand how team members are collaborating within their organizations today in terms of modes of communication, cultural preferences, and tools. In addition, they must consider the risk that deploying a single application will disrupt the existing flow of information and impede effective collaboration, which may far outweigh any advantages conferred by the new solution.
UC is the convergence of voice, video, and data communication services on a shared IP‐based infrastructure. Based on standards for signaling (SIP/SIMPLE,XMPP) and communications (G711,H264, and others), many UC solutions promise to integrate the following functionalities into one packaged application:
Most organizations are already using these technologies today. They have deployed each channel over time, using different vendors and technologies that rely on different standards and deployment models (on premise versus a service).This piece meal approach has resulted in multiple, loosely connected communications silo that can run from the back‐end hardware to the end‐user device. For example, some desktop IP phones work exclusively with one IP‐PBX running on specific hardware.