Voice mail vendor Adomo is adding speech-recognition features to its unified messaging system that will make it easier for Windows customers to retrieve voice mail regardless of their location.With its Adomo 5.0 software, the auto-attendant feature of the company's gear can recognize spoken names and connect callers to the appropriate extensions. Instead of being asked to punch in the first few letters of a person's last name, the caller says the name and the Adomo Voice Messaging Exchange makes the connection. If there is more than one person with the same name, the equipment asks a follow-up question such as, "What department does the person work in?"Adomo can work in tandem with offerings from PBX vendors including Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Nortel and Siemens. The company is working on a Session Initiation Protocol interface for its next software release that will enable the gear to work with SIP-based IP PBXs.The company competes against voice-messaging systems made by PBX vendors. "This is a pretty unique approach," says Mike Osterman of Osterman Research. Adomo expects businesses will buy its products because they unify voice mail systems across multiple sites.SI International, an IT consulting firm in Reston, Va., uses Adomo gear in conjunction with Avaya, NEC and Nortel PBXs, says CIO Steve Hunt.The office with the NEC PBX had no voice mail before, and Hunt opted to use Adomo with the Avaya and Nortel gear. The costs were about the same, and the Adomo equipment gave added features, such as the voice recognition.The Adomo gear creates a single voice-messaging system that serves multiple PBXs. If a call for an employee in an SI office in Virginia comes into SI's Colorado office, the message will get to the employee when he picks up his voice mail via the Virginia phone. Without Adomo, he would have to check his voice mail tied to the Virginia voice mail system and then check in separately with the Colorado voice mail system.The problem is SI will have to install an Adomo appliance at each SI office with PBXs for the voice mail system to be fully unified, Hunt says. That transition is planned for next year.The new Adomo software also lets users forward voice mail using voice commands. The appliance then dips into Microsoft's Active Directory and determines to what extension to forward the call. Users also can create voice mails that can be forwarded to groups of recipients via voice commands. The messages also can be sent as audio attachments to any e-mail address listed in a user's Exchange address book.The software also enables call forwarding and calling several numbers to track a user down. The call can be put through directly when the recipient picks up, or the Adomo Voice Messaging Exchange can first ask a caller for his name and what they are calling about and relay that message to the recipient, who can take the call or send it to voice mail.The call-forwarding and find-me policies are set by each user via a Web interface.The standard Voice Message Exchange costs $125 per user plus the cost of hardware, which comes in three options: $12,000 for 500 users; $18,000 for 1,000 users; and $24,000 for 2,000 users. The speech-recognition options increases the price up to $165 per user plus the hardware.