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Unified communications helps companies simplify IT

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Businesses have to deal with several IT trends, including bring-your-own-device, social networking and mobile communications technology, to stay ahead of the game. IT News Africa contributor Paul Fick recently suggested that companies can leverage unified communications to help simplify these developments so they do not become overwhelming.

"Next generation unified communications platforms simplify the complexity and enable organisations to deliver any communication service to any user on any device, anywhere in the world," Fick explained. "They also provide the base for a number of innovative emerging technologies, including presence, intelligent video and contextual collaboration."


To fully take advantage of the possibilities associated with unified communications, businesses must equip their communications network to handle the technology. For companies seeking options to improve customer experiences and productivity while lowering costs, an infrastructure is needed that will allow new solutions to be equipped easily and quickly, according to the writer.


Luckily, organizations can adopt the latest generation of unified communications to support devices like mobile phones, tablets and PBX phone systems, among others, Fick added.


"Through this core, every communication service within the organisation is deliverable to any user, through any device and with any medium, to any location, with high quality and cost effective delivery," Fick wrote. "The UC platform also then serves as a springboard that enables organisations to incorporate the latest generation of productivity and experience enhancing solutions."


Unified communications still young


Although unified communications offer a wide range of benefits, the technology is still maturing, according to a recent Computerworld report. The news source noted that service providers have been a cause of the slower UC adoption rate because of the differing definitions of the solution. In general, UC involves videoconferencing, telepresence, instant messaging, telephony and other technologies to boost employee productivity and collaboration while reducing operating costs.


Computerworld also reported that market research and advisory firm Nemertes Research Group conducted a survey of businesses and found that fewer than five percent had deployed unified communications. The firm's executive vice president and senior partner, Robin Gareiss, noted that many organizations are finding difficulty integrating UC with their current systems and identifying a clear return on their investment for such a move. Companies are also wrestling with employee training and unplanned costs of adopting UC.



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