What is Unified communications (UC)?

Unified communications (UC) is a term that combines multiple communication tools, such as voice, video, voicemail, messaging, and content sharing, into a single interface.

The main goal of unified communication is to improve user experience and productivity. UC enables users to seamlessly switch from one type of communication to another within a single session, whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

How does unified communications work?

Unified communications is usually supported by one or more back-end management systems, often called UC platforms. UC systems can be utilized on-premises, in a public or private cloud (UCaaS).

Along with a back-end communication system, a rich feature user interface is essential. The user-facing technologies include applications to support voice calling, audio conferencing, SMS, instant messaging, email, voicemail, and live chat.

Most unified communications systems allow easy integration with existing business tools and applications (e.g., CRM software), which enables employees to access history records and initiate customer interactions directly from the CRM interface. Organizations can also integrate third-party collaboration tools to communicate with external vendors or partners.

What are the benefits of unified communications?

Some of the benefits of unified communications include:

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Reduced travel cost
  • More flexibility
  • Better engagement
  • Greater efficiency
  • Real-time feedback
  • Improved customer service
  • Greater customer satisfaction

Unified communications overlap with contact center technologies, interactive voice response, automated attendant systems, video chat functionality, and messaging capabilities.

Chat and telephony can be integrated into business applications through communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) and communications APIs.

What is UC&C?

UC&C stands for unified communication and collaboration. UC&C may include more solutions for collaboration than a standard UC system. Still, the idea behind it is the same as for the traditional UC – to assist businesses in overcoming collaboration and communication inefficiencies.

What is Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS)?

Unified Communications-as-a-Service is an extension under unified communications that makes UC more accessible, binding all technology together in one unit hosted by a provider.

UCaaS is cloud-based, meaning businesses don’t need to set up any of their infrastructure, it is flexible and works for all types of companies and their sizes.

What is the difference between unified communications and omnichannel communication?

Omnichannel communication is an approach that integrates communication across all customer touchpoints and views each channel interaction as a part of one larger communication. At the same time, unified communications connect backend systems with customer-facing channels on one single platform. Unified communication enables companies to support omnichannel journeys and create unified views of interactions, products, and management systems.

Aug 18th, 2023
3 min read

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