Ever heard a dial tone? Many people haven’t. It’s the sound that indicated the phone system was ready to accept input so you could place your call. Presence information serves a similar function — it tells you whether a person is ready for a call, busy, away from their desk, in a “do not disturb” state, or offline. They offer real-time information regarding a user’s current availability and presumed willingness to communicate. Granted, it doesn’t help if you’re looking for a person on MSN.com and they’re logged in somewhere else, but hopefully these presence systems will soon be able to work together.
Imagine if your communication systems were perfectly optimized to integrate with the processes of your business and increase the productivity of your users. That’s not just pie-in-the-sky — that’s Unified Communications. And that’s a service that we gladly offer at Universal ComOne. There are many parts to a successful Unified Communications deployment including Presence, Call Control/IP PBXs, Unified Messaging, Instant Messaging, and Business Process Integration.
This is the hardware element that enables Unified Communications solutions to happen. This market is changing rapidly, as many vendors are shifting to doing things in software as opposed to hardware that’s more expensive and not as easy to change. Web based services are starting to play an increasingly crucial role in Unified Communications markets, and many switch providers have revealed that they will soon be providing call control capabilities in software as opposed to hardware.
Unified Messaging brings notification of all messages to one place, regardless if they are email, voice, or fax. UM also allows a user to access any of these messages from wherever they are, at any time, from any terminal. Capitalizing on UM’s store-and-forward aspects, many Unified Messaging providers add in a range of leading message and call management functions, including cross-media messaging, call return or live-reply, find me/follow me, and screening of inbound calls, similar to a desktop phone.
Collaboration and conferencing includes Web conferencing, as well as audio and video. It also includes collaborative components such as document and file sharing, whiteboarding, and shared workspaces. There is one technology in the group that is growing faster than all the others, and that’s Web conferencing. It brings easy collaboration to the desktop using nothing but a cheap webcam and a web browser — and, of course, an Internet connection. It enables those participating to see documents and presentations while taking part in a conference, all in real-time. Yet another component of collaboration is that of shared workspaces, which allows those taking part to share, view, and edit files together.
The last crucial element of a Unified Communications deployment is how it integrates with your workflow applications and business processes. One of the important goals of business process integration is to reduce “human latency,” or rather to reduce the time when any business process has to wait for a human to make a decision or provide information required to move on to the next step. UC can minimize this latency by automatically contacting the person next on a list, in a predefined sequence of steps, or by calling an ad hoc meeting to settle an issue.
Universal ComOne Louisiana, LLC (DBA LineOne)
206 Rue Louis XIV
Lafayette, LA 70508
791 Bayou Pines East
Lake Charles, LA 70601
We provide business telephone, networking, and paging solutions designed to meet the needs and expectations of each customer while using high quality and cost effective products. Serving Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Surrounding Areas of Louisiana.