• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

The benefits of unified messaging

Mar 22, 20042 mins

* Achieving employee-productivity gains through unified messaging

Employees are being subjected to an information avalanche. While phone calls, e-mail, fax, and voicemail all provide critical connectivity to keep the business running, at times employees wish they could have better control of real-time and stored communications.

Unified messaging, unified messaging services, and unified communications are all useful tools to help manage the information overload and increase employee productivity.  Unified messaging enables users to access messages anytime, anywhere and on any device. By strictest definition, unified messaging is limited to non-real-time communications.

Unified messaging offers employees and network managers alike some key advantages. The principal one to employees is increased productivity as access to messages is provided from a single, rather than multiple, interface. Interfaces can also be offered over the Internet, which provides telecommuters and traveling workers with easy remote access to messages.

While unified messaging systems have been around in early forms for nearly a decade, unified messaging technology has been developed primarily in the last five years. Current market trends indicate that user acceptance has moved beyond the early adopter phase – unified messaging is now a mainstream tool to improve employee productivity.

Like any other innovation, the road to unified messaging contains several key building blocks, and vendor support for these building blocks will affect a company’s effectiveness at deploying unified messaging. Customers should have an understanding of several key protocols and how each should be supported in a unified messaging solution.

We’ll take a more in-depth view of unified messaging building blocks next time.