Translates technical jargon into practical business communications solutionsThis book takes readers from traditional voice, fax, video, and data services delivered via separate platforms to a single, unified platform delivering all of these services seamlessly via the Internet. With its clear, jargon-free explanations, the author enables all readers to better understand and assess the growing number of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) products and services that are available for businesses.VoIP and Unified Communications is based on the author's careful review and synthesis of more than 7,000 pages of published standards as well as a broad range of datasheets, websites, white papers, and webinars. It begins with an introduction to IP technology and then covers such topics as:Packet transmission and switchingVoIP signaling and call processingHow VoIP and UC are defining the futureInterconnections with global servicesNetwork management for VoIP and UCThis book features a complete chapter dedicated to cost analyses and payback calculations, enabling readers to accurately determine the short- and long-term financial impact of migrating to various VoIP and UC products and services. There's also a chapter detailing major IP systems hardware and software. Throughout the book, diagrams illustrate how various VoIP and UC components and systems work. In addition, the author highlights potential problems and threats to UC services, steering readers away from common pitfalls.Concise and to the point, this text enables readers—from novices to experienced engineers and technical managers—to understand how VoIP and UC really work so that everyone can confidently deal with network engineers, data center gurus, and top management.