What’s a Communication Solution, IP Telephony, Unified Communications or a Client?
- IT Terminology Explained (Part I)

written by Patrycja Leinekugel | February 14th, 2023


Imagine following situation: You may have already heard about businesses in Europe transitioning from ISDN to All IP. In this context, a specific terminology and technical terms such as VoIP, soft migration, SIP trunks, IP PBX and many more are used.

On another subject…

These days, there are many communication platforms and communication solutions available on the market for SMBs and large enterprises. These solutions promise to enhance the workflow and business processes while increasing the availability of employees and providing reliable hybrid work models. Somewhere, you may have picked up that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and UCC (we are quickly adding to the list of new terms) has so many advantages for users and businesses alike.

What could these advantages be?

a man with a beard and a woman with long hair striking a thinking pose with a light bulb over their heads. A turquoise background with key phraseson VoIP, SIP, IP telephony and more

Once you skim through technical articles on enterprise communications and ICT (information & communication technology), you will come across words such as Internet Protocol (IP), interfaces or the UC client. Such a client is the best bet if communication within the company should be as flexible as possible. Fax2mail and CTI functionalities have become established components of our work lives.

You may be having a quick talk about the configuration of the communications system with the IT specialist of the company you work at. He / she repeatedly refers to gateways, UCC, apps, CRM systems, ERP systems, SBC, DTLS-SRTP protocol and more. All these words start to make you dizzy. You do your own research and get on the internet to figure out what these terms mean. Looking up information may sometimes be quite helpful. Sometimes, your mind starts to boggle.

We would like to help you with frequently used terms and provide an understandable explanation. Why us? Because innovaphone is a leading European provider of work & communications solutions, a VoIP pioneer and a UCC specialist. Our various departments combine a large number of skilled professionals from different fields with great expertise. Our new blog series “What’s...? IT terminology explained” will deliver an explanation on many common terms coming from information and communications technology (ICT), hardware, software, apps, development and more.

Here at innovaphone, developers and programmers, inside sales and development, marketing managers and translators (at innovaphone a total of 7 languages) all come across such terms on a daily basis. We will try to explain terms related to modern communications, telephone systems, cloud and UCC functionalities in such a way that you will not get a headache during your next talk to an IT specialist.

Today, we will get started with following terms:

Communication Solution – IP Telephony – Unified Communications – Client

What is a communication solution?

This question was answered by: Rafał Lipka-Zanozik | Area Sales Manager, Poland @ innovaphone.

A communications solution is a solution that enables seamless communication between all employees within a business.

The means of communication should work on any end device (e.g. smartphone, computer, phone, tablet) and at different locations, for example when employees work remotely from home or when they are away on business trips. Different solutions are based on apps and ensure the constant availability of communication channels – the fitting keywords are: “remote working”, “anywhere workplace”, “WiFi & DECT”. Another important factor is the so-called presence status of users. It visually displays the availability of an employee. Depending on the presence, you can then opt for the best way to establish contact: Via telephone, video call, e-mail or chat message.

The ideal communication solution should be open. In this case, solutions of third parties can be integrated and communication with other systems within the company can be established (for example CRM and other enterprise software used). This inter-connection provides highly efficient exchange of information. Ideally, a communication solution should further provide different operating options such as from the cloud, on-premises and as a rental solution with various billing options.

What is Unified Communications?

This question was answered by: Karl Pennings | Regional Support Consultant @ innovaphone

Unified Communications is a communication solution that combines all kinds of communication tools within one single solution and one client.

This solution provides a client (or UC client) with which the user can access all the different functions such as typical telephony functions, fax, voicemail, IVR (interactive voice response), video calling, tools to participate in virtual meetings & conferencing, chat messaging and much more. The user can access all these functions anywhere, for example at the office or when working remotely, and from any device, for example by using a smartphone or a laptop.


What is IP telephony (IP = Internet Protocol)?

This question was answered by: Franziska Diesch | IT specialist @ innovaphone

For traditional analog telephony, the different electronic pulses used to be transmitted from one telephone via a directly switched line (through several switching points) to another telephone. This required a dedicated line network.

Today, the transmission via IP telephony is a digital process. Just like with any other digital data such as the contents of a website, data packages are sent to IP addresses via the internet. Any digital device connected to the internet can send and receive data with the globally unique combination of IP addresses. By means of such IP addresses, the digital nodes on the internet know the best way to forward a received data packet.  

With IP telephony, all signals - including voice - are transformed into digitally coded data packages. These data packages are then sent from one telephone via the internet to the IP address of the receiving telephone. Servers ensure that data packages are sent to the right IP address by using name or telephone number.

What is a client?

This question was answered by: Daniel Deterding | developer @ innovaphone

Not too long ago, the typical client of a telephone system was a simply put a hardware telephone – either in form of a desk phone or a wireless device.

Today, the term client comprises so much more: You can make calls from your workplace by using a web browser (Chrome, Firefox…) and without needing any additional software. You can also use a specific client application installed on the computer or MAC. These clients can often also be used on the smartphone to make and receive calls with colleagues or business partners.

Nowadays, these clients provide many more functions and apps. Therefore, users can do much more than just make phone calls.



This post explained the first basic terms of modern communications. Stay tuned for more explanations to better understand the world of communication.

Would you like to participate as well? Is there a term that you cannot wrap your head around? Let us know and send us an e-mail: marketing@innovaphone.com. Perhaps we have the right expert to help out.


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