Unified communications combines communication services such as voice, video conferencing, email, and IM into a seamless business application that improves overall efficiency.
- [Instructor] Humans have been communicating with one another since the time of the cave dweller in the form of symbols or rock art, etched in a cave, to convey a religious icon, or communicate a story. Communication has progressed over the centuries and has evolved from pictures to alphabets and then more formal ways of sharing information such as couriers, postal systems and newspapers.
In 1800s we began to see an expansion of sharing information with the development of typewriter and telegraph. In the 1900s we saw the telephone, radio and television. And after the 1950s, we saw computers, computer networks and the internet. In today's world we use any combination of communication methods including email, phones, instant messaging and videoconferencing.
Communication can be real time or non real time. During real-time communication, the sender and receiver communicate in both directions at the same time. Non-real-time communication is asynchronous and includes blogs, fax, traditional mail, and email. It's not time sensitive. It's posted and picked up at another time.
Effective communication requires feedback. Unified communications combines different forms of communications and provides a framework for a consistent user interface across multiple devices and improves business communications. Unified communications leverages the IP Network. We can combine communications across a wide range of platforms including commercial off-the-shelf tools such as Outlook and Customer Relations Management tools and mobile apps.
Features can include voicemail, fax, chat, email, videoconferencing, and presence information. Presence information lets you know if someone is available and willing to communicate. At the heart of unified communications is IP telephony or VolP. With unified communications, an individual can send a message on one platform, the receiver will get the response on another platform.
For example, I receive a voicemail message. Unified communications will translate it to a text or an email message. I'll then pick up the phone, check the party's presence information, and if available and willing to talk, I can call or message the individual. Unified communications has many benefits. It improves employee and team-based productivity, provides more efficient communication by providing presence information, reduces travel by enabling videoconferencing and online collaboration, and offers toll cost savings.
Although there are many benefits, prior to implementation the business should conduct a careful assessment, design the networked environment, select appropriate components, software and devices, and plan for network management and security needs. Unified communications combines voice, email, and instant messaging into a seamless business application that improves overall efficiency.
Lisa Bock compares the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to VoIP, and discusses the framework and components necessary for VoIP to be possible. She reviews codecs, including characteristics such as bitrate and voice quality; protocols for setup, communication control, and data transport; and media gateways, signaling protocols, and intermediary systems such as translators and mixers. Lisa then reviews business integration and the importance of conducting a needs analysis and network assessment prior to implementation. Learn about the many value-added services UC can provide, such as integrating VoIP with email, billing, management software, and other customer management systems. Lisa wraps up with a discussion on how ensuring quality of service (QoS) in a VoIP network minimizes latency and jitter and the importance of VoIP security to prevent malware, impersonation, hijacking, and denial of service attacks.
- History and evolution of PSTN
- UC overview and components
- Gateways, including signaling gateways, translators, and mixers
- Integrating VoIP and UC into your business network