Unified communications speeds up collaboration-intensive business processes and enables seamless, virtual and instant collaboration between team members, partners and suppliers.
This is accomplished through the seamless merging of the following technologies:
• Converged network infrastructures: Consolidated, Internet protocol (IP)-based, quality-of-service enabled, wired and wireless networks to transport voice, data and video communications.
• End-user network devices: The devices used for communicating over various networks.
• Communication technologies: The many communication protocols over which employees can be contacted.
• Collaboration technologies: The tools which allow organizations to not only communicate, but solve problems regardless of time and distance.
• Presence and location services: The capabilities to publish the contact preferences and availability of individuals.
• Application integration: Communication interfaces can be embedded in business applications so that communications can be launched from within any enabled application.
In the past, people had to establish communications with another party by trying to reach them through several channels: first the office phone, then the mobile phone, then voice mail and finally e-mail. With unified communications, users can be contacted in whatever way they prefer at any particular time.
Accenture's experience in the field shows that there are clear business benefits arising from unified communications: cost reduction, revenue enablement, and risk mitigation. However, this is not simply an IT implementation, as it requires the involvement of all users and the business as a whole. Since unified communications fundamentally changes the way users communicate with each other and how they conduct business, Accenture focuses on streamlining business processes and bringing value to the business.