What is unified communications?

TrueConf offers self-hosted and secure unified communications solutions for any-sized company or organization. Read our article to learn more about unified communications and discover how this technology may help streamline your business workflows.

What is unified communications?

An introduction to Unified Communications (UC)

Unified communications is a general definition for a variety of interaction tools combined within a single platform. Such tools may include audio and video conferencing, messaging, address book and presence statuses, screen sharing and slideshow, etc. The main goal of any UC platform is to make remote communications easier and create a consistent experience for teams connected from anywhere, on any device, without the need to use multiple tools for each separate purpose.

Unified communications solutions can often integrate with third-party tools (e.g. enterprise-grade platforms, marketing or team management software) for customers to be able to centralize their workflow and eliminate traction between different solutions for meeting and chatting.

Modern offerings usually combine both synchronous (real-time), such as IM or VC and asynchronous communications which allow users to exchange ideas when they feel fit. The latter has become possible with the rise of persistent messaging - personal and group chats or channels available both inside and outside of video meetings. With channels, users are not bound to a specific schedule: they can send and answer messages when they have time or resources without the need to distract from their work timetable. With general availability of advanced collaboration tools, such as content sharing or recording, UC systems are gradually turning into UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration).

UC

Although the popularity of such solutions has been on the rise already for a decade, UCC has really become an essential part of any business during the COVID-19 pandemic, when all companies and organizations were required to move their business communications online. UCC systems help facilitate remote workflows and organize effective collaboration.

How does unified communications work?

UC systems may have different deployment scenarios: on-premises, cloud or hybrid. Although cloud-based systems also called Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) are gaining popularity thanks to multiple integrations with other cloud services and ease of use, security-conscious organizations and businesses still prefer hybrid or on-premises UC systems to comply with privacy policies and ensure safety of the information and data exchanged.

To add video conferencing to their systems, a number of UC vendors are using WebRTC technologies to provide meetings in browsers. However, browser-based meetings do not provide some important UC features such as presence statuses and team messaging, which help immediately check on a user's availability and exchange messages. This is why video-enabled client apps with built-in presence and persistent chats are preferable when looking for a UC system.

UC platforms are best known for integrating the tools a business needs in an all-in-one solution. However, sometimes customers also need additional integrations (e.g. calendars, marketing tools, other video conferencing services, etc). Some vendors are working on providing multiple integrations with third-party services, others deliver APIs and SDKs which help customers create their own integrations.

What are the benefits of unified communications?

Unified Communications bring a number of benefits for any business with distributed and remote teams:

  • Collaborate on shared projects
  • Meet from any geographic location
  • Reduce travel costs
  • Be flexible with an ability to work from anywhere
  • Store all your communications in one place
  • Integrate with other business processes
  • Boost customer and employee satisfaction
  • Follow social distancing rules

What are technologies related to UC?

One of main spheres that are directly connected with UC include omnichannel communications and contact center technologies that integrate special tools such as automatic call queues, automated voicemails, auto attendants, live chats etc. The use of UC systems in customer care has proven to improve customer engagement and satisfaction, automate sales processes and reduce costs for hiring dedicated call agents or company representatives.

Another technology that goes in line with UC is Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), a set of technologies that let you add communication capabilities into your existing offerings and applications via APIs. Voice, video and chats can be embedded to your business applications to enrich customer communication channels.

Features of a Unified Communications System

Messaging

Exchange messages in personal and group chats, communicate in persistent group channels to discuss ideas within your associates.

Video conferencing

Run face-to-face meetings or large-scale video conferences. organize webinars and product demos for partners or customers and reduce your travel costs.

Presence management

Quickly check on users’ availability, view on your organization structure, organize users in groups and keep track of your company’s workflows. Presence statuses may include Online, Offline, Do No Disturb, Out of Office, etc.

Collaboration

Share your screen, show slides, record meetings, and collaborate on shared files.

Audio conferencing

Call mobile and landline numbers, PBX or PSTN subscribers. and invite them to conference calls.

So why choose unified communications?

The UC system can enhance your daily business communications with easy-to-use, performance-boosting technologies and tools that drive results and ensure effective digital transformation. With unified communications strategy, your company can complete tasks with minimal context switches within a single interface.

UC

UC technology puts you in the same room with your employees no matter where they are located. Remote participants can be provided access to the information they need without ever having to get on a plane, bringing you closer towards effective digital transformation.

Why choose TrueConf?

TrueConf is an all-in-one enterprise-grade unified communications solution that integrates audio and video conferencing, team messaging, presence statuses, meeting scheduling and collaboration tools. Self-hosted and secure on-premises deployment guarantees that your communications will always stay on your company’s servers, in your own control.

TrueConf supports a number of use cases and provides a lot of features and tools for efficient team collaboration:

Work in LAN/VPN. Gain complete control over communications without the need for an Internet connection.

Video conferencing. Run video conferences for up to 1,000 participants.

Meet on any device. TrueConf provides native apps for desktops, mobiles, rooms, browsers and even Smart TVs, allowing you to be online literally from anywhere.

Collaboration tools. Collaborate with your colleagues thanks to slide show, screen sharing, meeting recording and much more!

Compatibility with SIP/H.323 endpoints. Dial into TrueConf meetings or call out any third-party, standards-based audio or video device via SIP or H.323.

Compatibility with video conferencing services. Join any meeting held on third-party video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans Meetings, Lifesize Cloud or GoToMeeting.

Address book with presence. Quickly check on your colleagues’ availability.

Get your secure UC system today