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Unified Communications
Editor's Notes
UC Mag
Paula Bernier
Executive Editor,

IP Communications Magazines

Now I Get It!

Unified communications sometimes gets a bad rap. That's because some folks find it difficult to define and its benefits somewhat challenging to measure. But the players in this cross-section of the industry are making some good headway in delivering unified communications services and platforms that provide end users a truly unified experience, and make UC easier to implement and manage for businesses.


As more of these integrated solutions come to market, and more businesses and employees get a taste of the goodness of unified communications, they are poised to spread like wildfire.


In fact, a recent Frost & Sullivan study - which was sponsored by Cisco and Verizon, and surveyed 3,662 information technology or line-of-business decision-makers in organizations in 10 countries - reports that businesses and government agencies are deploying "increasingly more sophisticated collaboration tools such as VoIP softphones, immersive video and fixed mobile convergence...." The more they invested, according to the report, the more improvement in business results they realized.


R&D managers in organizations deploying UC&C, for example, said advanced collaboration tools enable products and solutions to be developed more quickly, with an improved chance of market success, a higher degree of quality, and a lower overall cost of development.


Of course, in looking at these studies, we always must consider the source. That said, I must say I have recently become a true believer in the productivity benefits of unified communications.


While I don't yet have a videoconferencing phone on my desktop or a telepresence system in my broom closet (I work from home, you see), I do have the ability to answer my calls and listen to messages, as well as chat and conduct other communications from my laptop. I've found these to be incredibly beneficial capabilities both while I'm on the road and while at the home office. It also has come in handy given I had to send my phone back to the Connecticut office for repair, but can still access phone messages through my PC.


Although the capabilities that I've enjoyed since joining the TMC team are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's possible with UC, they are light years ahead of the tools (or lack of them) I have had to manage my communications in the past.


I look forward to seeing, and experiencing, what's next in unified communications. And I anticipate plenty of other workers will come along for the ride.


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