IP Convergence and the Unified Communications Vision

eWEEK Labs Senior Technical Analyst Andrew Garcia spent last week at the VON conference and based on some of the products he saw came away with some encouraging views on the shape of unified communications and where it is headed for enterprise users. Garcia says that UC is a frustrating and confusing term, because not only do vendors each have their own definitions, but so do customers. Presence is a core component, most agree, as are unified e-mail, voice, instant messaging and fax. But after that it gets fuzzy: What about VOIP? video conferencing? mobile and wireless? enterprise applications? These are all part of UC, but the real answers depend on what customers are trying to accomplish with unified communications.