Unified Communications (UC) has been a buzz word floating around the telecommunications industry for some time now. However, very few people understand what UC is or what it can do for your business. As a web conferencing company, we are ultimately interested in tracking this trend because web conferencing is a form of communication. Cisco's purchase of Jabber is a strong case for the emerging presence of UC.
So, what is Unified Communications? According to the International Engineering Consortium, unified communications is an industry term used to describe all forms of call and multimedia/cross-media message-management functions controlled by an individual user for both business and social purposes.
Great so what does that mean? To put it simply, unified communications integrates all the systems that a user might already be using and helps those systems work together in real time. For example, unified communications technology could allow a user to seamlessly collaborate with another person on a project, even if the two users are in separate locations. The user could quickly locate the necessary person by accessing an interactive directory, engage in a text messaging session, and then escalate the session to a voice call, or even a video call – all within minutes.
Another important part of UC is its ability to eliminate device and media dependencies as well as reduce latency. Latency is the delay between receiving information and acting upon that information. The idea is that by having a unified communications infrastructure linked (typically using web services) you can automate the process of setting up conference calls, web conferences or any other method of communication so that you can get hold of the necessary people more easily and quickly, and thereby make decisions faster.
What does this mean to a web conferencing company like ReadyTalk or to your company? In the next blog, I am going to talk about how at ReadyTalk we are doing our best to reduce latency and device and media dependency.