Unified Communications Terminology: Understanding the Basics

There's a lot of lingo used in the technology world. Read through these common UC terms and start moving your business forward with unified communications solutions.

Articles published February 26, 2019 by Stephen Webb

In today’s fast-paced and mobile world, digital business management is paramount. Many businesses are improving their communications systems to make connecting employees easier and conducting work more efficient, which boosts overall performance. How are they making communication easier and more productive? Unified communications (UC) is the answer. But what is unified communications, and why is it valuable?

When discussing communications systems, there’s no shortage of terms — from UC to VoIP to UCaaS. Understanding these solutions can help determine the right option for your organization. As a hosted unified communications provider, we can guide you through common UC terms and show you how it can contribute to business growth.

Unified Communications

UC describes any communications system, usually for a business, that has a broad range of technologies and applications that have been designed as a single communications platform. UC streamlines communication efforts within a business by increasing efficiency, productivity and collaboration among employees.

Unified Communication System

A unified communication system integrates enterprise communication services such as instant messaging, presence ability, video conferencing, click-to-dial, Voice over IP (VoIP), mobility features, and video and screen collaboration to make communication flexible and seamless. The back-end systems that support UC are referred to as UC platforms.

Hosted Unified Communications 

Fully managed and cloud-based, hosted unified comms solutions keep you connected to everyone without an on-premise UC solution. Switching to a cloud-first model has permeated the market and validates the need for a cloud-based solution.

Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) 

Unified communications and collaboration is another way to describe a unified communication system. It gives businesses the option to use various communications and collaboration solutions by accessing a single interface.

Hosted Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) 

Much like a unified communication system, a hosted UC&C solution provides a suite of applications and services for small, medium, and large businesses by integrating major communications channels in one protected, cloud-based and user-friendly system. Hosted communications services combine to form a single hosted unified communications and collaboration system.

Hosted PBX

Hosted Private Branch Exchange (HPBX) is a service where the call and PBX features are hosted by a service provider such as Aureon, rather than traditional PBX where the service is hosted on the site of the business. HPBX is a fully managed, cloud-based solution that allows businesses to avoid the costs of a traditional phone system. HPBX capabilities are integrated into UC with Aureon.

UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)

UCaaS delivers unified communication and collaboration solutions through a third-party service provider, across the internet or another IP network.

UCaaS Market 

The market for UCaaS has changed rapidly in recent years. The importance of team and workstream collaboration has led to the incorporation of more applications and advanced features. Providers are keeping up with digital communication trends and how they affect business.

UCaaS Providers 

UCaaS providers such as Aureon allow you to work the way you want from anywhere.

Unified Communications Providers 

Unified comm companies such as Aureon offer an array of communications solutions that make doing business easier through efficient collaboration. Many companies are turning in their traditional business telephone systems for UC solutions that provide VoIP, which reduces costs while delivering cutting-edge mobility features and clear, uninterrupted voice.

Unified Messaging 

The best way to move business forward is to communicate quickly and concisely with 1-1 and group chat during the work day, whether in meetings or on mobile. Unified messaging allows you to instantly communicate with coworkers when needed.


Voice over Internet Protocol, also called IP Telephony, is the delivery of voice communications over an internet protocol network, such as the internet. With Aureon, VoIP service is included with a UC subscription.

Different Kinds of Unified Communication Platforms

There are several types of platforms for unified communications. Some include cloud-based UC and software, video UC, WebRTC, mobile UC, and telephony platforms. There are many benefits of unified communication platforms, and integrating these platforms into the UC interface helps cater to an organization’s specific needs.

  • Cloud-based UC and software: Businesses can receive more benefits through cloud-based software for UC solutions — spending can be reduced and focus can be shifted to larger business goals.
  • Video UC: HD video is essential to collaborating more efficiently through conferencing, even including mobile users and multiple desktop endpoints.
  • WebRTC: Click-to-dial is facilitated through WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) where web browsers work as voice and video endpoints without using a browser plug-in or separate app. This uses JavaScript, so developers can use this platform to add video, voice, and screen sharing to applications.
  • Mobile UC: Smartphones are vital to business communication today. It’s important for businesses to include a mobile platform for their unified communications system.
  • Telephony: To have clear voice, businesses need a telephony platform to support VoIP. This also allows for video conferencing.

The Aureon Hosted Unified Communications solution is a hassle-free voice and communications service for today’s busy office, without the expense or maintenance of an on-premise UC solution. It offers flexibility and mobility by allowing you to place and receive calls from an alternate device as if it was your office line, complete with Caller ID. Additionally, voicemail can be received on your phone through an email, and top-used business apps such as Outlook (Office 365 and Exchange), G Suite, Salesforce, and more can be integrated within our solution. Plus, these features can be accessed quickly and easily on-the-go with Aureon UC with Webex

Aureon UC with Webex is the collaboration app that keeps you connected to everyone and everything. Access unified messaging or instant messaging and improve workplace meetings with engaging HD video and voice, calendar integration, and screen sharing. Work the way you want from anywhere — from your PC to tablet to smartphone, whether in the conference room or on the go.

Does your business communications strategy allow employees who are on-the-go the opportunity to connect and collaborate?

About The Author

Stephen Webb

Stephen Webb, Product Manager at Aureon, has over 20 years of experience in the technology and communications industry. Stephen is dedicated to designing a broad range of solutions around data centers, storage systems, cyber security, wireless, and LAN networking. Stephen has worked with various ... read more

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