A Full Glossary of Unified Communication Encyclopedia

It is true that unified communications are the present and future of business interactions. This technology comes with many terms that users need to be familiar with. This post gives a comprehensive list of unified communications related terms you ought to know. The terms are in alphabetical order for easy navigation; 

Anywhere worker 

A remote worker. Such worker is mobile and can carry out work-related tasks from anywhere and on any device. An ‘anywhere worker’ usually participates in virtual teams.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications to access features or data of an operating system or service. This data can be seamlessly accessed, updated and manipulated in real-time over different devices and locations. This technology is at the core of cloud-based unified communications.

Auto Attendant (AA)

A short form for ‘automated attendant’. An auto-attendant is a virtual receptionist that allows callers to be transferred automatically to an extension without intervention from a human operator. Most AAs can route calls to landlines, mobile phones, VoIP and other devices.  An auto attendant system usually greets incoming calls with a recorded form of greeting. They operate using a simple and customizable menu.

Business Phone System

A centralized phone system consisting of multiple interconnected telephones used by businesses for many telecommunication functions. It allows for features such as call handling, transferring, conference calling, call metering and accounting, private and shared voice boxes. 

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

A current trend in companies where employees use personal devices such as smartphones, PCs, tablets or USB drives to connect to the organization’s network. Employees working from home can access work-related systems and confidential or sensitive data. This is often guided by a BYOD policy.

Call Admission Control

The regulation of traffic volume in voice communications to avoid congestion and loss of quality. It is used in Voice-over-IP calls and wireless mobile networks by managing bandwidth allocation of services


A short for chat robot. Chatbots are artificial intelligence software that simulates conversations with users using natural language through messages or mobile apps, websites, or telephones. They are used in dialogue systems for customer service or information acquisition.

Click to Call

Also referred to as click-to-talk, click-to-dial, click-to-text webcall. This is a service feature that allows users to initiate phone calls from the contact list on their computer with a click of the mouse.  

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

This refers to any technology that enables interactions between computers and telephones. It is primarily used in call centers and other agencies to improve productivity. It facilitates the use of services such as click-to-call and screen pops.

Conference Calling

A telephone call service that allows multiple subscribers to participate in a dialogue or in a listen-only mode. It is often used to conduct virtual meetings and connect remote teams.

Contact Center

A central office or facility used for transmitting and receiving large volumes of enquiries via telephone, social media, email or webchat.

Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of service attack is an intentional cyber-attack carried out by hackers on networks, websites and online resources to restrict access to legitimate users. The hackers usually send excessive messages asking the network or server to authenticate requests that have invalid return addresses. This makes it difficult for them to lose the connection and keep the network or server busy. 

Direct Inward Dial (DID)

Also known as Direct Dialing Inward DDI is a telephone feature that allows a company to assign a personal number to each employee, for each to connect to the Private Branch exchange PBX. This helps to split up the telephone traffic for easy management. 

Disaster Recovery (DR) 

A set of policies that are intended to aid the restoration or continuation of vital technology systems after natural or human-induced disasters.


Hardware solutions like desk phones, ATA adapter or conference phones used by companies to facilitate their unified communication services. 

Find Me, Follow Me

These are two call forwarding services usually used in conjunction with each other. These services enhance accessibility regardless of location. Users of find me service can receive calls at any location while users of follow me service can be reached at any of several selected phone numbers.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

A standard client/server protocol used for transferring files or exchanging files with a host computer network. 


An all-in one communication cloud-based communication tool that enables visibility of contacts’ availability for instant video and messaging, voice and conferencing communications. 


These are intermittent delays during data transfers due to factors such as network congestion, collisions and signal interference. They can cause poor voice quality during audio calls.

Location Service

A service used to obtain information about a user’s location from a registrar server. This way, a proxy server can direct call requests to users when such requests are made.

Media Access Control (MAC)

A mechanism used to identify and access control for computers on an internet protocol network. It is the radio control protocol in the wireless network adapter 

Session Border Controller (SBC)

A device regularly deployed to register, setup, secure and exert control over VoIP multimedia communication sessions.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

A signalling protocol used for controlling voice and video calls over an Internet protocol. It offers a cost-effective and open standard connectivity for unified communications.  

Unified Messaging

A feature made available by the integration of email, SMS, fax, voicemail and video messaging into a common interface to enable accessibility from various devices. 

Voice Analysis

Systems and processes which analyse and voice recordings through pattern analysis, computational linguistics, phonetic and semantic indexing.

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)

An open open-source project that provides real-time peer-to-peer communications between web applications for voice calling, video chat.

Final Words..

With this glossary of terms, the language of the unified communications is within your grasp. You can now communicate and use these services with fewer hurdles. Don’t forget to put the abbreviated forms to memory as most people prefer to use them.  It is to your benefit to look out for updates which are a necessity in the digital world.

Published 10/16/19