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Week 5 discussion – The Power of Unified Communications
Chapter 7 highlights the power of the “Network.” Advances in networking technology have made the internet possible and have provided the underpinning for a revolution in communications. There is a mini case study at the beginning of the chapter about Hyundai Heavy Industries which illustrates the power of wireless networking and unified communications in particular. As defined by the text, unified communications allows companies to merge disparate communication modes into a single service.
By doing a search of the internet or by other research methods, find an example, or a case study, of an organization that has used Unified Communications to its advantage.
Ponder these questions: (remember to post references)
1) What business problem was this organization trying to solve?
2) What was the current state of their technology infrastructure?
3) What unified communications technologies did they decide to deploy? What were the key components of this system?
4) How did they improve their business by implementing unified communications?
5) What do you believe the future holds for unified communications?
What business problem was this organization trying to solve?
            By deploying Microsoft VoIP, Microsoft is trying to solve the problems that were experienced during the eras of playing phone tag, dialing blind, and voicemail jail, especially pertaining to lack of efficiency. Therefore, the company seeks to operate at lower cost, by eliminating PBX in its cost structure, hence depending on internet and software connection only, for communication. Consequently, the introduction of unified communications portfolio will see Microsoft’s customers save cost in areas such as travel expenses, customer service hold times, as well as paving way for more efficient decision-making (Follett, 2007).
What was the current state of their technology infrastructure?
            The current technology used by Microsoft is IP PBX and the desktop phone modes of communication, which have prevented the company from leaping the digital world. This system is connected to the IP network. Nevertheless, IP PBX is far easier to configure and install than a conventional PBX system (Follett, 2007).
What unified communications technologies did they decide to deploy? What were the key components of this system?
            The company resolved to deploy VoIP as the unified communication. Its key components include Media Gateway, Signaling Gateway Controller (SGC), Media Server, and Application Server. SGC is the heart of VoIP platform, functioning as the link between the IP world and PSTN (public switched telephone network) world. The Media Gateway uses the RTP transmission protocol to transmit voice packets. A Media Server to add features such as video conferencing or voicemail.  Lastly, application server offers value-added services to the IP network.
How did they improve their business by implementing unified communications?
            VoIP (voice over the internet protocol) offered Microsoft customers an alternative to the existing voice communication. This made it possible to use voice services and traffic to fully capitalize on IP, and to efficiently distribute data over wide network coverage with little or no centralized control. Also, VoIP  ensured cost saving, because voice is transmitted on the less expensive internet or private data network lines, rather than using public switched telephone networks. This technology also brought about rich media service, which integrates with other applications and protocols, hence providing multiple media options and creating new markets such as in mobile phones (Maresca, Nicola, & Baglietoo, 2004).
What do you believe the future holds for unified communications?
            Most likely, the social media will have dramatic impact on the Unified Communication (UC). Although its purpose and functionalities will remain…………………………………………………………………
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