What is Unified Communication (UC)? Unified Communication means integration of real-time communication tools such as IP telephony/calls instant messaging/chat, or non-real time tools, such as email/voice-email, fax etc. that help people to exchange ideas and perform their work more effectively. In today's world, most of the people are familiar with Skype calls or the concept of VoIP. Many businesses of all sizes rely on this concept of IP-telephony.
The way we have used communication is changing and is evolving along with technology. So, let us try to understand what drives Unified Communication. There are several factors that makes the adaptability of Unified Communication important. Those are, the use of social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, Video Calls, Virtualized organizations, and Smartphones.
Following are some of the key components of Unified Communication:
- Communications: Voice, data and video
- Messaging: Voice, email, video, IM
- Conferencing: Online, audio and video
- Application Integration: Microsoft Office and CRM
- Presence: IP phone, desktop clients
- Common User experience: Desktop, phone, and mobility
Fig. 1: Unified Communication Components
A lot of organizations are already using the various, independent elements of a Unified Communication solution, such as VoIP (Voice over IP), or specific features like ‘find me/follow me’. Each of these elements help contribute to the efficiency of an organization.
By combining a broader range of communications and features into a more complete UC solution and integrating it with other business processes, an organization will be able to substantially increase its effectiveness and cost savings.
Monitoring your UC environment is critical if you want to ensure that your users get a good quality experience when they collaborate over voice and video. The tools available can track configuration changes, provide reports, and help you identify problems before your end-users even notice that anything is wrong. There are different performance metrics to check the performance of UC monitor.
Some of the commonly monitored metrics are:
- Grade of Service, Delay, Jitter, Latency, and Mean opinion score (MOS / MOS Score)
- Processor Load, Utilization, CPU Usage, Wait I/O, and Response Time
- Memory Usage, Errors, and Free Memory
- Disk Usage, Errors, Space, Disk Queue, and Database Disk Usage
Using Unified Communication, we can serve our customers better, connect everyone, secure our business, be more productive, and work from anywhere. So, let’s connect and collaborate. Over the last decade or so, it has been observed that Unified Communication has evolved, which in turn, has helped to change the way people work and communicate. Earlier, everything was on email and a bunch of papers. Now people have voice-email and can work from anywhere, which has made our communications more simplified and unified.