Consumers and business users are increasingly using message “texting” for person-to-person contacts, and automated business applications are targeting pro-active, time-sensitive alerts and “notifications” to multi-modal smartphone users. A recent study by Frost & Sullivan confirmed social media tools are being used more frequently than any form of conferencing. Sixty percent of C-level executives indicated that their mobile device was their primary means of communication for their jobs. So, it is time to pull messaging services and especially “unified messaging” (UM) into the game as multi-modal, “UC-enabled” applications.
Old voice mail has always had significant shortcomings primarily because the Telephone User Interface (TUI) was too limiting, but also because of integration issues. With the advent of smartphone usage by consumers, those shortcomings can be obviated and make voice mail and other forms of messaging more convenient and practical by becoming UC-enabled.
What this really means is that every form of business messaging, ranging from email to voicemail to SMS to IM chat to social posts, can be used independently by either senders or recipients. Users can also escalate their messaging contacts with presence-based “click-to-call/conference” options. It also means that UC enablement can help consolidate all end user communications management functions for the flexibility enabled by mobile, multi-modal devices.
The term “unified messaging” (UM) was originally used to describe the ability of a voice mail system to inter-operate with an email system to determine if there were any new email messages waiting. Later, UM included the ability to store and retrieve both text and voice messages, as well as other incoming call management features. Now that IP Telephony is replacing legacy PBX systems and both inbound and outbound calls are becoming more intelligent and “contextual,” unified messaging may now be ready to be simply part of the “UC-enabled messaging” landscape.
The experts at UC Strategies will be discussing this topic in terms of UC-enabled voice mail will do for business process performance and technology costs, usage feature benefits to individual end users at the desktop and on the go, as well as practical migration alternatives from legacy voice mail systems.