May 04, 2011

Why is the definition for Unified Communications so variable between vendors?


Hi gritte,

Here's a good background article on Unified Communications that might be of interest to you:


It covers quite a bit of stuff that should give you an understanding of why definitions are fluid between vendors.

The definition for Unified Communications is variable between vendors because there are so many different technologies that could be considered components of Unified Communications. A good target set of features include: video conferencing, email, instant messaging/chat, SMS/text messaging, voice messaging, fax, presence information, whiteboard, call control, and speech recognition. As the market for unified communications grows and matures, customers will demand greater feature sets, helping to redefine the standard requirements for Unified Communications.


Because unified communications (UC) is an umbrella term, the features under that umbrella vary depending on vendor. Each vendor puts their best features forward, and claim those are the most important parts of a UC system.


However, since every vendor wants to label their product UC, the feature list from one vendor does not always match up exactly with the lists from competitors. For instance, videoconferencing may be featured by some vendors, while those without a videoconferencing module will still claim to be UC because they have Instant Messaging and integrated voice mail. This is why one must be careful when comparing systems.

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