Unified Communications (UC) is the incorporation of real-time communication services like chatting, telephony, video chatting, data sharing, call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services, e.g., unified messaging like email, texting, integrated voicemail, and fax. UC is not a simple, singular product; rather, it is the process by which a set of these products provide a consistent unified user interface and user experience across various device and media platforms. UC incorporates a multitude of types of communication exchanged on the TCP/IP network to encompass other types of communications like IPTV and Digital Signage Communications. These communications methods are incorporated into a larger network of communications deployment and can be sent to an individual or broadcast to many clients. UC allows a user, for example, to receive a standard voicemail message and access the message via email or text message. Unlike unified messaging, UC allows a user to access messaging in real-time or at a later time. Unified messaging only allows a user to check converted messages at a later time.

 
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Latest Headlines

Wireline moves forward amid shifting sands: a look at 2012's trends

It's been an interesting quarter for wireline and the telecom industry in general, with M&A activity continuing and traditional telcos swaying toward VDSL solutions. But some new trends have cropped up in the past few months.

Unified communications breathes new business revenue life into rural telcos

For many smaller independent ILECs, which have spent much of their 100-plus year lives selling nothing more than traditional POTS, unified communications for businesses is becoming a new revenue savior. As the PSTN declines, UC could mean the difference between survival or extinction.

Social media will become a bigger part of the UC experience

As enterprises move into what Gartner calls the "third wave" of unified communications, social media sites including Twitter and Facebook will become part of the growing set of functions.

Cloud-based UC gets the attention of larger enterprises

Cloud-based unified communications, or UCaaS, has become the latest fashion craze in the cloud services market. Initially, UCaaS was an attractive option for SMBs. But now, it's getting the attention of larger multisite enterprises that see value in deploying services via the cloud versus investing in infrastructure and equipment.

Verizon brings cloud-based unified communications to SMBs via Broadsoft

Verizon on Wednesday unveiled a new cloud-based collaboration and hosted voice service that will deliver collaboration tools typically only available to large enterprises.

Week in research: VoIP and UC future bright; Patent trolls now file 40% of patent lawsuits

Big things ahead for VoIP: If last week's IT EXPO was any indication, the market for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and UC (unified communications) services continues to rise rapidly. A new Infonetics Research report says that $377 billion will be spent on both business and residential VoIP services between 2012 and 2016.

Examining the benefits, realities of unified communications

The IT and telecom industries are in agreement that there are a number of benefits to unified communications. However, early UC adopters face a number of near-term challenges.

Comcast Business brings hosted voice services to Houston area

Comcast Business has made Houston the latest target for its cloud-based unified communications (UC) services set in a bid to win SMBs away from regional incumbent AT&T.

Comcast Business adds cloud-based voice, UC to its voice services portfolio

Comcast Business (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is making another move to appeal to larger business clients by serving up its cloud-based voice and unified communications Business VoiceEdge service. As a

Sprint moves into the cloud-based unified communications service arena

Sprint (NYSE: S) is taking advantage of this week's Enterprise Connect event to debut its serve up a new hosted unified communications offering that it says will make it easier for business customers