Like many technology buzzwords, unified communications (UC) has had many meanings in its short life. It's now an umbrella term that covers an array of technologies—including instant messaging (IM), web conferencing, IP telephony, expertise identification, e-mail, unified messaging, mobile devices, etc.—that can be delivered behind the firewall or through the computing cloud.
Still, a singular thought resides at the heart of unified communication and collaboration (UC²): minimizing the human latency inherent in every business process. One definition found on Google describes latency as: "The amount of time that one part of a system spends waiting for another part to catch up." Human latency is the delay in closing a sale, resolving a critical customer situation or resuming production because we can't find the needed information or expert quickly enough.
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