VoIP vs Unified Comms – The Differences Explained

Over recent years the technologies used in communication have rapidly changed and evolved. Organisations are moving away from traditional phone networks to network-based internet communication methods.

Jargon and technical terms abound in this new world of technology and two such terms are VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Unified Comms (short for communications). These are two of the most popular Internet-based communications method which we discuss and compare in this article.

Unified Communications Powerful Organisational Tool
Unified communications across an organisation is a very powerful and effective tool

VoIP and unified comms – a quick overview

Before we start comparing the differences it’s helpful to set the scene and broadly describe/define each technology:

1)    VoIP a definition

Throughout this article, we use the term VoIP this is a widely used abbreviation of Voice over Internet Protocol. This is a relatively recent technology, which is now maturing and uses an organisations network for voice communication.

Reliant on the internet, VoIP solutions replace traditional telephone lines instead using network cables to communicate voice messages. The same telephone equipment as used on traditional phones can be used with VoIP, it’s just the routing method which is different.

As high-speed broadband has gained momentum and costs have reduced more and more organisations have moved to VoIP in what is now an established market. It’s widely accepted that most organisations will achieve sizable cost savings through switching from traditional telephone lines to VoIP.

2)    Unified Comms a definition

An alternative technology which many organisations will hear about is unified comms; this is effectively a marketing term to describe a range of communications technologies. This is an organisational wide communications system, which unifies communications. A consistency of interface and user experience is delivered across the entire communications system, which will typically consist of numerous applications and platforms (see our list later in this article).

The main differences between the two technologies

Here we summarise the main differences between VoIP and unified comms:

  • VoIP tends to focus on internet-based calling, whereas unified comms focus on the entire organisational communications
  • Often VoIP is a component of unified comms (the voice component)
  • Unified comms is wider in scope and works in areas of an organisation such as collaboration, workflow streamlining and aiding decision making

Common components of unified comms

There are many components of unified comms, it’s these components which make VoIP different. Unified comms can rely on VoIP but is much broader in its reach across the communications infrastructure of an organisation. Here are some unified comms applications:

  • Call control (basic routing and automatic call distribution)
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Instant messaging and chat functions
  • Internet telephony (through VoIP)
  • Screen sharing
  • SMS (for texting phones)
  • Speech recognition
  • Video conferencing
  • Voice mail

Shesh Tech Advice – Choosing between VoIP and unified comms

Cutting through the jargon and the “technospeak” can be tricky at times? Why not call our experts at Shesh Tech, once we understand your requirements we can craft a solution to exactly meet your communication needs. Call us today on 0121 573 0081 or complete our contact form to commence discussions.


Image Credit: NEC Corporation of America

Leave a Reply