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The Path to Unified Communications

Unified communications represents the goal of many workplace decision makers - the integration of e-mail, telephony, presence, fax, mobile communications, collaboration tools, audio conferencing, Web conferencing and videoconferencing into a coordinated and centrally managed communications system, all of which will be accessible via a single address. I believe that's where most workplace communications is ultimately headed, with the ultimate goal being truly intelligent communications. The only real question is how do you get there? There are three basic paths you can follow:

1. Start with unified messaging – the integration of e-mail, voicemail and fax into a single mailbox. This is a “light” form of unified communications and offers users the advantage of receiving their most important communications in a single place, making it easier for users, particularly mobile users, because they have only one location to check for these different communication modes.

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