The world of enterprise communication has changed a lot over the last two decades, and it's no surprise that companies need to update to the latest technologies in order to stay competitive. Anyone who has done research on modern business communication systems is likely to have heard of VoIP and Unified Communications. To the average person, these terms may appear interchangeable, but both options have significant differences in terms of price, range and intricacy.
Although this is not the biggest differentiator between VoIP and unified communications, it is frequently the one that matters most to organizations. VoIP is drastically cheaper to execute than unified communications, although a VoIP deployment can be the first step towards unified communications. Businesses that are looking to cut prices or those that already operate on razor thin budgets are more likely to favor VoIP since it offers considerable savings over conventional phone lines.
Implementing a complete, end-to-end unified communication solution usually demands more investment - money, time and manpower - so it's a workable choice for bigger organizations or those that can afford to future proof their system for the long term.
VoIP is rather simply Voice over Internet Protocol and normally, it does what it says. Companies can route their voice communication over fast Internet connections instead of through analog lines. UC has a much broader range and contains video conferencing, speech recognition, email, voicemail, messaging, facsimile along with VoIP. Typically, the voice part of unified communication is powered through VoIP.
Nevertheless, many hosted VoIP providers also offer additional services such as video conferencing, voicemail to e-mail transcription, click-to-chat (CTC), etc. as part of the fundamental VoIP service. This is frequently the source of confusion for companies, but the difference between these plans and UC is that the latter contains many different programs that are developed and designed with similar interfaces. Each distinct application can communicate seamlessly with one another. To the end user, the experience of using one tool isn't distinct from using another - whether it's for messaging, voicemail, or video conferencing.
Unified Communication options have many different elements that have to work collectively to present a common interface for the end-user. There are more moving part when speaking about UC. VoIP is simpler to deploy and creates positive ROI within a short period of time. UC projects can span months or even years and it can take several iterations to eliminate bugs or personalize the deployment to suit the needs of the organization.
All in all, VoIP and UC are both great communication solutions depending on the size of the business. Small organizations that don’t need a range of customized UC system applications might prefer to stick with the basic VoIP services which can provide small applications like voicemail, and conference calls. On the other hand, larger organizations might find the need for more customization to satisfy a bigger number of employees and the industry demands.
Computer Resources of America is an IT solution provider that offers UC and VoIP services for any business size. For more information you can contact us at 212-376-4040.