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Unified Communications - Bringing Conferencing Solutions Together

Author : Steven Long

Submitted : 2008-08-07 00:00:00    Word Count : 770    Popularity:   167

Tags:   unified communications

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As a result of major advancements with respect to communications technologies, it's no longer necessary to be in the same geographical location as another person in order to communicate effectively. In fact, with leading service providers such as InterCall® offering a range of audio, video and web conferencing solutions, the quality of long-distance business communications has improved dramatically in recent years. Now the business world is also experiencing the benefits of further technological advancements. In particular, unified communications is making it even easier and more efficient to connect with others by bringing conferencing solutions together into a single, streamlined environment.

Unified communications is defined as a communications technology architecture which integrates various media and devices to create a comprehensive environment which allows for more effective and satisfactory communications experiences. This architecture can potentially include a wide range of mobile and fixed devices and applications, including e-mail, telephone, voicemail, instant messaging, fax, whiteboarding and audio, video and web conferencing. Whereas in the past the proliferation of communications options created many burdens and frustrations, unified communications reduces dependency upon multiple devices and makes connecting with others easier and more simplified. Providing real-time information delivery based upon the preferences of the recipients, integrated communications systems are highly flexible and also enhance contact capabilities.

Considering the increasingly global nature of the modern business world, it's understandable that many companies and corporations have been looking for ways to communicate effectively over long distances. When operating a business in several different countries, it's not always practical or even feasible to be physically present for every meeting, collaboration or event. This is why audio, video and web conferencing solutions have proven so popular in many different industries. From company-wide announcements and online training sessions to new product launches and sales meetings, audio, video and web conferencing solutions have allowed businesses to connect and communicate effectively over geographical distances of any scale.

However, while audio, video and web conferencing solutions have proved to be great assets to many companies, unified communications takes the benefits of these technologies to an even higher level. To begin with, it reduces delays and, therefore, leads to significant savings of time. Rather than having various devices and multiple contact numbers to work with, an integrated communications system allows people to connect with each other more easily and directly. This allows for decisions to be reached faster and for actions to be taken sooner. Furthermore, information can be shared quickly and seamlessly, even when that information is being transmitted through various avenues which previously would have been completely separate and unconnected.

By bringing conferencing solutions and other methods of communication together, unified communications also allows companies to experience cost reductions. Rather than paying to have multiple systems and devices operating separately from each other, it's far more efficient and cost-effective to employ a single, streamlined system which still fulfills all of a company's communications needs. In addition, since unified communications allows people to communicate very effectively over long distances, integrated technology architectures can significantly reduce the need for business travel. When plane tickets, fuel and accommodation need to be paid for less often, the potential savings can extend into the millions.

By integrating all types of conferencing solutions with various other modes of communication, unified communications offers enhanced flexibility. As alluded to earlier, it allows users to choose how and when they will receive information or be contacted. This gives people a high level of control over their availability and communication methods. Furthermore, when making use of a unified communications environment, collaborators are able to move seamlessly from one method of communication to another as their information-sharing needs require. Thus, if users wish to switch from instant messaging to video conferencing, they can do so without interrupting their conversation and without the need to change devices or applications.

Needless to say, when people are able to communicate more effectively and efficiently, productivity and the overall success of businesses will improve. As a result, it's certainly clear why unified communications is proving to be very attractive for large and small companies in many different industries. While audio, video and web conferencing solutions offered many benefits and advantages on their own, especially for businesses operating on a global scale, the benefits provided are even greater.

By bringing together multiple methods of communication, including all types of conferencing solutions, unified communications environments allow for a whole new level of streamlined, simplified and flexible experiences. With strong global connections becoming increasingly important for businesses all of the time, more and more companies will likely turn to unified communications to improve their connections and to move their businesses forward.

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Steven Long is small business owner who frequently uses unified communications to collaborate with employees and business partners. He explains how unified communications provides ability to integrate various media, applications and devices to help business run smoothly.

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