Business Communications A to Z: Fifth in a Series

    021013_shoretel 9459If you haven't spent a lot of time in the telecommunications industry--and even if you have--you may find yourself stumped by an "insider" acronym or phrase.  Knowing key technical jargon and abbreviated terms can make or break your understanding of a presentation or white paper.

    At ShoreTel we're all about simplifying unified communications (UC).  That's why we've created a brilliantly simple business communications glossary that can give you the ABCs of VoIP UC, PDQ.

    This blog is the fifth in a series that demystifies key UC phrases. If you missed our first four glossary blogs, find them here:

    This blog presents terms from M – Q. First, we'll make a statement loaded with specialized terms, then we'll translate it with help from our Business Communications A to Z:  A Helpful Compendium Of Unified Communications & IP Telephony Terms, Acronyms & Phrases.

    Modern Means Mobile

    "Always On" solution reliability was born when n+1 redundancy reduced MTBF to an incredibly high 99.999% service rate. Now, we can add "Anywhere," as today's network advances are untethering unified communications, both for the user and the system administration. Mobile UC and MDM expand features while Mobility routers expand efficiency.  The early days of PSTN are far behind us.


    "Always on" unified communications solution reliability features a distributed system architecture. This design, based on one or more server-less voice switch appliances, is more reliable than traditional server-based business phone solutions because it does not have a single point of failure.  Instead, the entire phone system is backed up by deploying a single redundant switch, a strategy called n+1 redundancy (contrasted with 1:1 redundancy, which requires a one-to-one hardware back up plan).  This innovation can reduce the mean time between equipment failure  (MTBF) dramatically; ShoreTel's on-premise solution boasts an incredibly high 99.999% ("five nines") service rate.

    Today's mobile network advances now allow unified communications to be "always on anywhere," as both end users and system administrators are becoming "untethered" from landlines and cables. Mobile UC, or mobile unified communications, integrates features like presence, messaging, visual voicemail and document sharing  into users' smartphones and tablets. Enterprises can allow employees to use their personal mobile devices for sensitive business communications because Mobile Device Management (MDM) software secures, monitors and manages the data and configurations, including the ability to delete data from a lost or stolen device.

    Mobility routers have dramatically lowered the cost of carrier charges for enterprise users. These routers are network appliances that extend voice and UC to mobile devices while automatically selecting the best networks (cellular or Wi-Fi) to optimize cost, call quality and battery life. As costs have plummeted, usage has skyrocketed.

    The early days of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) are far behind us. Originally a network of fixed-line analog telephone systems, which allowed any phone in the world to connect with any other phone, the PSTN is now almost entirely digital in its core and includes mobile as well as fixed telephones. The network now consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all inter-connected by switching centers, thus allowing any telephone in the world to communicate with any other.

    Get your own copy of Business Communications A to Z:  A Helpful Compendium Of Unified Communications & IP Telephony Terms, Acronyms & Phrases here.