Wikipedia’s definition of Unified Communications (UC):


UC is the integration of real-time communication services, such as:
Instant messaging (chat)
Presence information
Telephony (including IP telephony)
Video conferencing
Data sharing
Call control and speech recognition


with non-real-time communication services, such as:
Unified messaging (integrated voicemail, email, SMS, and fax).


UC is not a single product, but a set of products that provides
a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.

Many of your customers are investigating what aspects of UC they need for their business processes. Top of mind is how UC can provide increased productivity and cost savings; however the road is a rocky one for many customers to navigate.


This presents a significant opportunity, as your customer’s advocate, to offer guidance and support in identifying the best solution for their business. It is critical to understand the elements that make up UC and how to apply the right mix to support your customer’s unique needs today, and in the future.

Does that mean that you have to provide every component of UC in order to meet your customer’s requirements? Can you also take some time to investigate what UC means to your company while still providing the UC solutions to your customers? Absolutely!

Your top priority is to keep your competitors out of your customer base. And to do this, you must to differentiate yourself.

Think partnerships: There are multiple ways to differentiate oneself.

As you look at your customer base, you understand that “one size doesn’t fit all.” It is important to be able to address a variety of UC customer requests. Before you start investing thousands of dollars in equipment and other resources, take a look at partnering with other technology providers that will augment your current UC solution(s). A partnership will allow you to decide what elements of UC you may want to bring in house and what aspects you prefer to work with another provider.

Provide a complete solution: Another option, which will likely yield the biggest benefit.

What will a fully stocked UC cabinet do for your company, be it “organically grown” or created through partnerships? You will have the ability to sell wider and deeper into your customer base. Your margins will increase due to a varied, robust product portfolio. You will become a trusted advisor to your customers and your customers will come to depend on you to help define their UC needs which will increase customer loyalty.

You will have the expertise to show them where they will save money as well as make their organization more productive and profitable. You will enjoy satisfied and loyal customers for years to come.

Polycom is here to help. Come by the Polycom booth at the ShoreTel Champion Conference Innovation Center and join us Wednesday, July 20 at 4 p.m. to learn how you can “Increase your Competitiveness & Bottom Line with Unified Communications.”


Polycom delivers market-leading voice communication solutions for the way you work.

Some of the individuals posting to this site, including the moderators, work for ShoreTel, Inc. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of ShoreTel. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by ShoreTel or any other party.


Digital transformation has become a top initiative for business and IT leaders. In today’s business world, sustainable market leadership is no longer based solely on which company has the best products or even the best people. Instead, organizations that are agile and can quickly adapt to rapidly evolving market trends will become market leaders.

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