Unified messaging (sometimes referred to as the unified messaging system or UMS) is the handling of voice, fax, and regular text messages as objects in a single mailbox that a user can access either with a regular e-mail client or by telephone. The PC user can open and play back voice messages, assuming their PC has multimedia capabilities. Fax images can be saved or printed. A user can access the same mailbox by telephone. In this case, ordinary e-mail notes in text are converted into audio files and played back. Unified messaging is particularly convenient for mobile business users because it allows them to reach colleagues and customers through a PC or telephone, whichever happens to be available. Some services offer worldwide telephone access.
UMS components are:
Company Productivity. Unified Messaging helps businesses, small and large alike, to streamline information delivery and ensure ease of use. Human delays are also minimized or eliminated, resulting in better, faster interaction and service-delivery for the customer, and cost savings for the business. Unified Messaging also allows for easier, more direct collaboration between co-workers and with suppliers and clients, even if they are not physically on the same site. This allows for possible reductions in business travel, especially with multi-party video communications, reducing an organization’s carbon footprint.
Less Time. People are able to quickly send, receive, and find the exact information they need, no matter what form it was delivered in and no matter where they are.
Anywhere access. Unified Messaging delivers access from familiar clients like Microsoft based and a variety of mobile devices, and ordinary telephones.
Reducing Cost. Integrated unified messaging systems allow site and server consolidation, reducing the total number of servers required to provide voice mail and fax service. Consolidation can dramatically lower maintenance and upkeep costs, particularly for organizations with remote or branch offices.
Foundation for unified Messaging. The combination of e-mail, voice mail, and fax capability can be augmented with presence, instant messaging (IM), and real-time conferencing capability to expand the ways in which users can share information and communicate.