Unified communications (or UC) is a technology, performing realtime integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing, call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).
According to the definition, UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types (stationary phone, mobile phone, computer, laptop, etc.)
UC solutions were traditionally focused on telephony, but it shifted to text communication with the growth of new messaging platforms, suitable for integration with various corporate applications. Modern team collaboration messengers, such as Circuit, HipChat, dialog, Slack and Spark seriously affect the established world of Unified Communication products and challenge massive and complex corporate solutions. This race stimulates telecommunications giants to launch their own corporate chats - Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Avaya, BroadSoft, Cisco, Fuze, Microsoft, Mitel, RingCentral, ShoreTel, Unify and many others prove that text as a mean of communication becomes a panacea for any modern company.
Modern corporate messaging applications offer a set of functions for team work through a familiar to most people messenger interface, including content sharing and realtime audio- and video-communications. This means that modern corporate messengers actually is a new platform for enterprise unified communications.
So how can a messenger provide opportunities for business growth, help to cut the implementing costs and become a united interface for employees interaction?
1) Telephony support
Support of Web RTC technology, integration with VoIP-services and PAX network allows messenger users to make and receive calls from any phone. As a result, company will save the money on internal communication between employees and cut the costs for outgoing calls.
2) Conversational format
As messenger as a main communication tool is getting globally popularized, it becomes obvious that a customer finds instant messenger interface the most familiar and user-friendly. Corporate messengers extrapolate successful experience from user applications to corporate communications and offer various options for team collaboration, such as message timeline, comments and reactions to particular messages, threads on specific topics, addressing the message to specific users or groups, and many others.
The key to organizing a company workflow is the integration of corporate messengers into the other applications, used by the employees on a daily basis. Therefore corporate messengers become a monitoring tool and an access point to any applications, uniting users, content and communication in a single communication environment.
Chatbots are text robots, which can improve the performance. They are capable of producing and executing commands through the algorithm. Most integrations with the office applications can be realized through chatbots – for example, chatbot can automatically send information about a new email from the integrated mail service, as well as reply to this email. More complex chatbots can use Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to find a connection between employees and current events and the global tasks and actions within company business processes.
5) Information access
History synchronization on all devices with the installed corporate communication app allows the employees to process received and sent information no matter where they are or which devices they are using – all the messages are stored on a company server and can be accessed any time via a comprehensive search function.
Most corporate messengers are available via/through?? SaaS model (Software as a Service) and store internal information in a cloud, which is not suitable for many companies. If communication platform vendor's security algorithms are not good enough, a good alternative would be a solution suitable for installing on a local server. Such solutions as Atlassian HipChat and dialog can be launched on corporate servers. This feature allows the company to keep the physical access and control any internal data, moreover, additional cryptic algorithms can be implemented in dialog according to the company security policy.