Unified Communications (UC) is a term used to describe the integration of disparate communications systems, media, devices and applications. This potentially includes the integration of fixed and mobile voice, e-mail, instant messaging, desktop and advanced business applications, Internet Protocol (IP)-PBX, voice over IP (VoIP), presence, voice-mail, fax, audio video and web conferencing, unified messaging, unified voicemail, and whiteboarding into a single environment offering the user a more complete but simpler and more effective experience.
Unified Communications can be defined as an evolving communications technology architecture which automates and unifies all forms of human and device communications in context, and with a common experience. Its purpose is to optimize business processes and enhance human communications by reducing latency, managing flows, and eliminating device and media dependencies.
Unified Communications should not be confused with Unified Messaging, which it often mistaken for. Unified communications refers to a real-time delivery of communications based on the preferred method and location of the recipient; unified messaging systems culls messages from several sources (such as email, voice mail and faxes), but holds those messages for retrieval at a later time.
IP Performance have chosen to partner with Alcatel-Lucent in delivering their OmniTouch Unified Communications suite of next-generation IP-based Unified Communications applications for Enterprises. These include integrated software applications such as My Messaging (VMXL-based multimedia mailbox application), My Phone (XML-SOAP-based PC-telephony application), My Assistant (VXML-based 'find-me-follow-me' call routing and permissions application), My Teamwork (presence-aware, multimedia, multiparty collaboration tool), and My Instant Communicator: the world's first integrated, real-time, multimedia, multi-session, multi-device, media-blending Unified Communications application. The suite allows users to tailor, control and manage calls, messages, directories, collaborative work tools and information from any location using any device and any software interface.