Exerts from the ShoreTel White Paper - Demystifying Unified Communications
How IP Telephony Systems Enable Businesses To Leverage Fully The Power Of UC
As IP telephony is moving ahead with enormous momentum, most users are still waiting for full convergence and voice-enabled applications. Increased network efficiencies have been the primary benefit of IP telephony to date as enterprises struggle with infrastructure and organizational issues. These first-generation benefits have been considerable, but the focus is now shifting to converged applications, with the initial spotlight on unified communications (UC).
To achieve UC and other next-generation benefits, companies must build the right foundation, eliminate the voice silo, and make telephony a seamless part of information technology. However, UC is a moving target right now, with various vendors using the term in different ways to emphasize a subset of an evolving group of capabilities.
While these vendors naturally see UC from the perspective of their own product portfolios, what users really want is a rich and flexible communications system that meets particular business needs. They should be able to sample from a complete palette of UC capabilities, and not be restricted to a mere subset designed to enhance a particular vendor’s existing products.
Just what is this full palette?
Analysts at industry research firm Gartner have identified 16 features that comprise a complete UC solution:
- Unified Messaging
- Desktop Client
- Instant Messaging (IM)
- Audio Conferencing
- Video Conferencing
- Web Conferencing
- Converged Conferencing
- Notification Service
- Personal Assistant
- Rich Presence Service
- Communications-Enabled Business Processes
- Contact Center
- Mobile Solutions