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What does it mean if a device is UC-certified?

IT leaders determining which UC devices and endpoints to support organizationwide should look for a UC-certified label, which is an indicator of platform compatibility.

When it comes to unified communications devices and peripherals, such as desk phones, wired and wireless headsets, microphones and video conferencing cameras, there is no such thing as a perfect product for every user or every situation.

If given complete control, some users will prefer one peripheral, while others will choose another. That said, most enterprise IT departments try to limit the number of first- and third-party devices they support across the organization to reduce the rollout and troubleshooting time and effort required to support all users and devices.

Some third-party unified communications (UC) device and peripheral manufacturers separate their higher-quality and more feature-rich products from consumer-grade alternatives by stating the devices are UC-certified. This statement is a bit misleading, however, as there is technically no standard or organizational body that sets the bar for what can or cannot be labeled as UC-certified for all UC vendor platforms. Rather, the term generally means the devices are compatible with softphones.

Choosing UC-certified devices

IT leaders looking for high-quality UC device options for their enterprise user base should start by evaluating their UC platform -- or platforms -- and researching which products the UC manufacturer specifies as being fully or partially compatible with their product. If a UC provider specifically names a compatible vendor or product, it's likely the third-party device had to go through rigorous testing to prove to the UC provider the devices are indeed compatible with the most requested and sought-after integrations.

IT should in no way assume that, because a UC vendor lists a third-party device as being UC-certified, these are the only products to consider. It does, however, help to eliminate some of the time it takes for IT to narrow the choices to a few products. This can save organizations time spent evaluating their list of UC devices supported across the organization.

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