Why Unified Communications?

unified-business-communications

The buzz is certainly all about Unified Communications otherwise known as "UC" these days. But does anyone really know what it means...or more importantly what it can do for me? Look it up on Wikopedia and this is what you get- Unified communications (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB's or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types. There have been attempts at creating a single product solution however the most popular solution is dependent on multiple products.

OK thats great but "What"???

To me "Unified Communications" is any two or more of my communication devices/services working together to make my life easier. For example if my office phone can somehow know that I am not at my desk so instead transfer calls to my cell phone, now we are onto something! It seems to me that everyone is touting "UC" but in my biased opinion what I tend to see is still disjointed hardware and software with some interoperability.......but I would hardly call it UNIFIED