Unified communications is a marketing industry term used to describe any business communication system that integrates a broad range of applications and technologies designed, sold and supported by a single communications platform. The concept allows organizations to seamlessly integrate typical business processes with both real-time and non-real-time communications and increases user productivity by reducing latency, managing flows and eliminating device dependencies.
Unified communications systems allow users to access a variety of communication systems such as multimedia services and unified messaging through a single mailbox. The systems also incorporate collaboration and interactive systems such as calendaring, workflow, scheduling and integrated voice response that help individuals and groups communicate efficiently.
Unified communications may be a single product or a set of products that provides a unified user interface across multiple devices and media types. It can encompass one-to-one communications or broadcast communications from one user to many. It also allows individuals to send a message in one medium and receive the same communication in a different medium.
Unified communications systems are useful for day to day communications in organizations and emergency communication systems where they provide a reliable platform for communicating life-saving and damage-mitigating notifications and instructions. By integrating unified communications with other business processes, organizations are able to substantially increase their effectiveness and cost savings.