The Relationship Between VoIP and Unified Communications
Often we talk about unified communications and business VoIP as if they were two separate products. And they are, to a point.
Business VoIP is IP-based phone service, and unified communications (UC) is not only voice but also video conferencing, chat and presence all rolled into one.
Business VoIP and UC are deeply related, however, and while you can have business VoIP without UC, you can’t have UC without a strong business VoIP foundation. That’s because voice is a crucial component of UC. It is the foundation, really.
UC is the unification of all communication channels, and voice is the foundational business communications channel outside of direct, face-to-face interaction. No good UC platform can stand without good business VoIP at its core.
In many respects, UC is just business VoIP expanded with integration from the other channels. This is how UC starts for many businesses, too. A business phone system becomes a VoIP system, and once the business has the flexibility and features of IP-based phone service it is only a short hop to bring VoIP together with other communication channels.
Business VoIP is not only the foundation of UC, but it also is the gateway for most businesses. The first step for any business that is considering UC is getting the business VoIP component right.