Definitions for Unified Communications Industry Terms

Unify's Business Communications Glossary

advanced analytics – The integration of techniques to analyze and predict future outcomes based on current data trends. When applied to UC-generated information, such forward-looking analysis provides users with greater insight into customer relations and market moves to drive improvements in business practice.

anywhere worker – A mobile worker who may do their job anywhere and on any device and usually participates in virtual teams; also known as ‘the new way to work’.

business phone – A phone designed with features that meet the needs of a business user and operating in a corporate office (or home office) environment; often in conjunction with a Unified Communications solution.

business phone systems – Typically a centralized phone system that serves the voice telecommunication needs of enterprise users (or a public sector organization) within a single site or across multiple sites.

BYOD – Bring your own device refers to employees bringing personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and using those devices to access information and applications.

CAC – Call admission control is a means to avoid network congestion and loss of quality for voice-over-IP calls across an IP-network by managing bandwidth allocation of services.

call recording – Records and stores voice conversations over PSTN or VoIP networks in a digital audio file format; often used for quality and training purposes in a contact center, or for legal and compliance reasons.

call swipe – The ability to move an active voice call from one (mobile) device to another device easily and without interruption.

campaign management – Solutions  used to provide advanced management capabilities for the data, lists, targeting and execution of outbound communications  to customers and prospects.

Circuit – HD video, voice, basic screen sharing, rich format textual messaging, and file sharing in a single view.

cloud contact center – A contact center solution (automatic call distribution) that is provisioned from a public cloud on a subscription or pay as you go basis, also known as Software-as-a- Service.

cloud solutions Refers to applications or capabilities accessed on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis from a centralized data center and accessed over the internet; also known as Software-as-a- Service.

collaboration  – Refers to solutions that enable multiple parties to work with each other to perform a task and to achieve shared goals, by providing real-time communications and sharing of information.

conference calling –  A telephone call allowing multiple parties to join and participate in a dialog, or attend in listen-only mode; used to conduct virtual meetings or connect with remote parties.

consumerization – The emergence of the individual consumer as the primary driver of product and service design; originated from and is most commonly seen as a major IT trend e.g. the iPhone.

contact center – Centralized facility used for receiving or transmitting a large volume of interactions by telephone, email, web chat or social media.

contact centre – See above (alternate spelling).

conversations – A new approach that weaves together multimedia and multichannel communications in a fluid, immersive manner, offering a more effective way to have dialog, build relationships and collaborate customer analytics - A process by which data from customer behavior is used to help make key business decisions via market segmentation and predictive modelling; used in direct marketing, digital marketing and CRM.

data center model –An IT solution, system, or product (including UC, contact centers, and trading turret systems) designed as a server-based application in a hardened IT data center.

disaster recovery (DR) / business continuity – A set of policies and procedures designed to aid the restoration or continuation of vital technology systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Redundant and geographically separated infrastructure, and the ability to effectively work off-site are key provisions of disaster recovery plans.

FMC – FIxed mobile convergence is seamless flexibility and transition among fixed and mobile voice and data networks; including roaming between networks without user intervention or changing devices.

free seating –Allows mobile traders to securely access their settings regardless of location or device (soft client or hard turret).

HD video – High-definition video is video of higher resolution than the standard 480 lines of resolution; in video conferencing, HD video provides a greater level of immersion and improved user experience.

hoot-n-holler (also known as “squawk box system”, “holler down/shout down circuit” and “junkyard circuit” – A full-time open circuit between multiple parties (can be thousands of users) which is an integral part of voice trading systems Anyone can speak at any time without having to pick up a phone or press a button.

hosted contact center – Enabling a contact center to operate with technologies and capabilities that are operated by another party; typically located off-site in a third party data center.

hosted trading, or Trading as a Service (TaaS) – A cloud-based trading service, often marketed to small and mid-sized firms, which provides trading platform technology without the expense and time required to build and maintain on-premises infrastructure.

hybrid cloud – A cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of on-premise, private, public and community cloud services, often from different service providers.

internet telephony – Refers to the provisioning of communications services (voice, fax, SMS, voice-messaging) over the public internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

interoperability –The ability for a communications technology to work seamlessly with complementary IT technologies, such as CRM, voice recording, market data systems, and traditional PBXs.

ip phone – Uses voice over IP for placing and transmitting telephone calls over an IP network, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN).

ip telephony – Voice telephone communication where the digital information is packetized, and transmission occurs as Internet Protocol (IP) packets over a packet-switched network.

least cost routing (LCR) – The capability for a network switch, such as an IP-PBX, to automatically select the lowest cost transport method for completing an outbound call or session. An example is automatically routing a branch-to-branch call over a SIP trunk rather than a public network line.

legacy system –Older, functional but obsolete computer or communications technology platforms, programs, or processes, still in use despite the availability of newer, more efficient and productive alternatives.

managed services – The practice of outsourcing day-to-day IT and telecom management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and lowering expenses.

MDM – Mobile Device Management refers to software that secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises.

mobile UC – A range of unified communications capabilities deployed on mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets.

mobile video – The ability to conduct video conferencing with remote parties through a mobile device.

mobile voip – The ability to conduct an IP telephony call on a mobile device (in addition to using cellular carrier networks).

phone systems – See business phone system.

private cloud – Is a cloud solution  operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and hosted internally or externally.

private wires / private lines – Dedicated subscriber lines, for a trader’s most frequent or high profile contacts, that terminate directly at the users’ devices (unlike a shared service, such as DID.) The dedicated nature ensures access to the subscriber without switch board intervention or circuit blockage.

project ansible – The code name for Circuit, the team collaboration tool launched by Unify in October 2014.

public cloud – A set of applications or resources based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a service provider makes applications and storage available to the general public over the internet.

quality monitoring – Refers to contact center software solutions that allow the real-time and post-call review of interactions between contact center personnel and their callers.

QoS – Quality of service the overall performance of a telephony or computer network, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network.

SBC – Session border controller is a device regularly deployed in VoIP networks to exert control and security over media streams involved in setting up, conducting, and tearing down telephone calls or other real-time media communications.

SIP – A widely-adopted, highly adaptable signaling protocol used for controlling communication sessions (e.g., voice and video calls) over IP. Other SIP-supported applications include: instant messaging, video conferencing, presence information, streaming multimedia distribution, and file transfer. SIP offers cost-effective, open-standards connectivity for distributed UC and voice solutions for secondary sites.

SIP trunking – Is VoIP and streaming media service based on the Session Initiation Protocol by which internet telephony service providers connect telephone services and unified communications to enterprises equipped with SIP-based private branch exchange (IP-PBX) and Unified Communications.

social collaboration – Refers to the technology tools that bring together the capabilities of socia media and unified communications and collaboration into a unified solution, in order to improve team and organization effectiveness.

social enterprise – A general descriptor of organizations that use social media tools, both private/corporate and public, to enable and enhance their communication among employees, customers, prospects, partners and other stakeholders.

soft MCU – Refers to a software-bsed multipoint control unit (MCU) --  a device commonly used to bridge videoconferencing connections in business environment.

soft client – A PC or mobile software application providing UC or telephony over the internet, replacing or supporting / enhancing a desktop phone or hard trading turret.

soft phone – A software program for making telephone calls over the Internet using a general purpose computer, rather than using a dedicated hardware phone.

trading turret – A specialized telephony key system, also known as a dealer board, generally used by financial traders in conjunction with other tools that make up their electronic trading platform. It is increasingly a software solution.

team collaboration – The mutual sharing and joint development of ideas, content and dialog using the tools of the ‘digital workplace’ to enable distributed team members to work together from where ever they are located.

team communication – The ability to enable team members together through communication of content and conversations in various forms and media, with an aim toward achieving a common purpose or business goal.

unified collaboration – Describes communication tools that bring all media (audio, video, content, text etc.) together into a single, unified view, allowing the user to avoid application switching and toggling among various interfaces and tools.

Unified Communications – Unified communications  is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user-interface across multiple devices and media-types.

video calling – A interaction across a network that include video capabilities in addition to voice.

video conferencing – Is the conduct of a video meeting by a set of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more parties or locations to communicate by simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions.

virtual team – A group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by communication and collaboration technologies.

voice analysis – The systems and processes which analyze voice recordings, including those made through contact centers and trading stations , through pattern analysis, computational linguistics, phonetic indexing and semantic indexing.

voip phones – See ip phone.

VoWLAN – Voice over WLAN is the use of a wireless broadband network according to the IEEE 802.11 standards for the purpose of voice conversation.

Web collaboration – A service or solution that allows sharing of desktop content, files, video, text and white boarding among multiple users in real-time across the internet.

Web conferencing – A service or solution that allows broadcasting content over the internet to multiple parties using a web browser, and/or sharing of desktop content, files, video, text and white boarding among multiple users in real-time across the internet.

WebRTC – Web Real-Time Communication is an standard drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium to enable browser-to-browser communication applications for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without plug-ins or additional software.

workforce management – Solutions that analyze workload, scheduling and interaction volumes using sophisticated modeling;  contact center workforce scheduling is optimized in terms of trading off human capital expenses versus maintaining desired customer service levels.

WFO – Workforce optimization includes all aspects of managing the complete workforce and scheduling lifecycle and supports the business with key insights into how its workforce is performing, linking this to key business concepts such as the customer experience.  Includes Call Recording, Quality Monitoring, Speech Analytics, Workforce Management, Performance Management, eLearning, Coaching, and Customer Surveys.