For many years, communications were generally tethered to a location. If you wanted to call a specific person at a business, you would dial their number and hope they were at their desk. So, how did we get to a world where anyone can be reached anywhere, anytime, using multiple communication channels?
With the popularization of cell phones, email and laptops in the corporate world, a wired, disconnected communications system no longer cuts it. Eventually, unified communications systems that combined messaging and real-time communications began to be privately developed, with one of the first being the "Poet" unified messaging system created by ThinkRite for IBM's internal use.
With the rise of the internet in the commercial world, businesses began to put IP networks in place that would allow them to transmit voice over the internet instead of using telephone circuits. Some telecommunications providers began to eliminate private branch exchange circuits in their hardware in favor of solutions that utilize internet protocols.
The rise of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) eventually enabled a software-only communications infrastructure, allowing companies to eliminate their traditional private branch exchange systems. With phones untethered from copper wire, they were able to be treated as just another device, allowing communications, text messages, and voicemails to be routed to a person instead of a location.
Today, unified communications are now often delivered through the cloud. Unified communications as a service, or UCaaS, is device-agnostic, allowing users to get the same experience on their phones, tablets, or laptops whether they are at work or part of a remote workforce. In addition to traditional services like voice, UCaaS can enable new services like video conferencing, video calls, enterprise chat applications and collaborative document sharing. In a world where the remote workforce is becoming the norm instead of the exception, UCaaS gives companies, their employees and their customers the flexibility needed to always stay in touch.