Unified communications (UC) is the integration of non real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax) with real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, IP telephony, video conferencing, call control and speech control. UC is not a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types. We have partnered with Cisco Systems for these solutions, as the costing and functionality suit the end users.
UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium and receive on another. It should be possible to easily transfer any activity or message to another medium. For example, one can receive a voice mail message and choose to access it through email or a cell phone. If the sender is online according to the presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through text chat or video call. Otherwise, it may be sent as a non real-time message that can be accessed through a variety of media.