Unified communications is a hot technology. It is all the rage and businesses around the world are scrambling to understand what it is and what it means for them. Will unified communications deliver value? I suppose that could depend on how you define unified communications. As of yet, there is no agreed upon standard per se for what components make up unified communications.
It is generally agreed upon that unified communications should ‘unify’ different types of communications. Ultimately, a single client with a single inbox that can be reached from any communications source would seem to be the goal. Unified communications may mean combining email and voicemail, establishing presence, instant messaging, online audio/video conferencing, and more.
Avaya is one of the big players in the UC market. Their marketing use of the term ‘unified communications’ for their Unified Communications for Small Business product line may be confusing to businesses trying to understand UC though. The product line does integrate some unified communications functionality, but is primarily unified telephony- delivering a converged method of making and receiving phone calls combining office phones, mobile phones, and PC based softphones.
The communications bundles offered by Avaya are solid products and certainly have the potential to provide value for customers. I’m just not sure that the term ‘unified communications’ applies to all of them and think it is unwise of Avaya to muddy the waters and confuse customers about what unified communications really is.