What is Unified Communications?

Jim Machi Photo
Senior Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Sangoma

Connected Workspace DiagramWhat is Unified Communications? It may seem like a simple question, but the answer is not so simple. On the surface it just means unifying different types of communications together. Sending a voicemail to your email inbox for example is a form of Unified Communications. And 20 years ago, that was pretty much the only unifying of communications you could do. But that’s a long time ago and as the years have gone by, integrating other communication mediums, as seen in this graphic, has expanded the meaning of Unified Communications.

But why am I writing this blog in the first place? Someone can search for “Unified Communications” and get a definition. But this seemingly simple question has been coming up a bit more to me. Why? Because given the explosion of video over the past year and a half, some people these days are saying Unified Communications is just video, screen sharing (collaboration), mobility and presence/instant messaging. And they are saying that because it suits them to say that.

Take a look at the graphic again. It’s no accident Sangoma puts voice at the top. Because no matter how many video calls you do, or how many chats you do, voice is still the predominant business communication medium. Your customers call you!! And you need to be able to route the calls to the right place, and answer the calls on your deskphone, your mobile phone or your desktop. Your business cannot ignore this. And so implicit in the “phone call” is not just the phone call, but contact center functionality such as call routing, call analytics, etc. The definition of Unified Communications will always continue to expand.

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About the Author

Jim Machi - Senior VP of Product Management and Marketing for Sangoma
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