Unified communications (UC) is the generic term used to define the integration of communication tools, with the main aim of optimising business process and improving collaboration and productivity across the enterprise.
Characteristically UC would consist of two or more of the following services:
- instant messaging services
- voice (traditional and/or voice over IP, including conferencing)
- mobile services and fixed-mobile convergence
- presence and calendar services
- video conferencing (desktop and high-level room based)
- mobility services (single number and extension mobility)
- collaboration tools (email, virtual meetings and whiteboards)
The list above is not exhaustive; UC is an umbrella term to cover the business integration of electronic communication tools. UC can be provisioned as a stand-alone system within your enterprise or as a cloud based service as UC as a service (UCaaS). Both routes have advantages and drawbacks; the choice is likely dictated by your local infrastructure and business models. It is important that NHS organisation research their UC business requirements to ensure it meet the needs for current needs and allows for future growth.
Need to give consideration to integration to your voice service, or procurement as one service delivery with voice (see Appendix B).