The phrase unify communications seems to get used a lot these days. Yet for the many out there who find themselves unable to keep up with the latest in technological terminology, the phrase begs one crucial question: what does it mean? And, besides that, why is it so important and how can a business benefit from it?
These are all important questions and all have answers that require a little background and explanation for context. Ultimately, though, the concept is fairly simple.
Today mankind enjoys unprecedented communication options. From one side of the globe to the next, there’s simply never been a time when people have been better connected: employees may work remotely across the globe at maximum productivity, video chat allows family members to instantly communicate face-to-face despite being across an entire ocean, and students can now take classes entirely online, no physical campus presence is necessary.
In so many ways, today’s age is an era unlike any other in the history of humanity. From instant messaging, to Twitter, and to any variety of other communication tools, today the miracle of the telephone seems antiquated to anyone who was born after the widespread availability of the internet. However, all of these ways to connect with one another can be confusing at times: should one send a text message, an email, an instant message, or maybe even a message on a social networking platform? And this all hinges on whether an individual is even available to respond on the chat program or device (a concept known as presence).
With all the options of contacting another just about anywhere on Earth, there are those who seek to unify communications to make the myriad means of contact more synchronous while retaining those diverse options. In terms of usage, the term unified communications may sometimes be abbreviated as UC and the concept may also be referred to as same time/different place communication (a perhaps more self-explanatory term).
The Benefits of Unifying Communications
Due to the increasing variety of ways in which people communicate, some organizations and companies stand to benefit if they successfully unify communications and therefore increase efficiency and ease of use. Professionals can assist with this process by building systems that share resources (such as shared sound, video, and chat systems).
To better streamline communications, experts work to produce a consistent user interface for a variety of media types and devices, resulting in a unified experience. As an example, with a unified system, an individual may be able to receive a message in one medium and receive it on another medium altogether, opening up a world of possibilities. The benefits of this approach are numerous and allow for flexibility where there was once rigidity as well as pooled resources, meaning less required hardware.