Unified Communications, (UC) also known as Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), is the integration of different telecommunications technologies. Unified Communication and Collaboration, as the name implies, helps members of a company or an institution use media to communicate in different geographic areas, to better collaborate on projects.
We have so many ways of getting our message out—Twitter, Facebook, emails, texting, your company's web page—And so many ways of getting messages sent to us—voice mail, email, chatting, pamphlets, billboards—it's very easy to get mixed up. It's easy to get confused, and you may pick up the phone and say “hey, did you get my email about that link that Reuben forwarded to me?”
UCC is all about bringing those different media together, and, equally important, being able to see who is available, who has read or seen what, and send pertinent information along to the people or programs responsible for follow up.
Here's an example of UCC increasing productivity: Your office phone rings. The screen on the phone pops up the name off your client, which you previously entered into your address book. As you talk to your client, you realize that there's a problem you can't handle, but Bob can, and so can Jen. You look at your screen and Bob is busy, but Jen is available. You send an instant message to Jen, making sure she can take the call, and transfer over to Jen. You have the option of monitoring the call. Instead, you decide it's a good time to take a walk. You set your desk to automatically forward calls to your cell. A few minutes later, your cell phone rings. Jen has solved your client's problems, and wants to set up a meeting. You bring up your calendar, and enter the date. Your client is happy, and you saved everyone a lot of time.
Unified Communications and Collaboration involves a combination of hardware and software. VoIP provider Fonality, for example, has a their Fonality HUD. RingCentral connects many cloud services with their Cloudfax. Hardware manufacturer Polycom is constantly developing new hardware to make working with people across the globe more like face-to-face interactions. New technology is always being developed to improve the user experience. Whatever new breakthroughs come in the future, VoIP makes it easy to add these features to your existing service.