The advantage with unified messaging is that you have more control over the communication methods you may be using, since you can make use of a single source for message delivery, repository, notification, and access, thus cutting down the time factor involved in the whole process. UM is especially useful for companies that want to be in touch all the time, and do not want to waste any time with sending/receiving/accessing info.
Now, let’s see the different UM capabilities in detail. The UM capabilities are single delivery, single repository, single access, and single notification.
Single delivery means one could send messages to a person, an end user, by addressing to a single alias.
Single repository refers to one storage location for access/retrieval and integration like text-to-speech, speech-to-text etc.
Single access stands for making use of a single addressing scheme that permits customers to access stored messages through simple mailbox commands.
Single notification means utilizing SMS or similar techniques to notify the user about incoming messages/missed messages and/or communication attempts made.
However, there is still a bigger advantage that unified messaging delivers. This is the technology’s ability to integrate flawlessly with other applications. For example, using appropriate technologies, a UM system could sense an incoming mail, decipher the receiver, find out his/her position (location based services), and send a SMS notification to him/her about a waiting mail in the inbox. The receiver, on the other hand, will have the facility to decide if the email is an urgent one and needs to be read immediately or if it is something to which you can reply later. With UM, end users can also choose to promptly read the mail via text-to-speech conversion or SMS if needed.
Unified messaging, along with location systems and call management, could enhance the existing communication capabilities of individuals/enterprises in a way that has not been witnessed before. For example, the UM system could prompt a caller to speak the message he/she might want to convey to a particular end-user, and the system then sends the message in the form of an SMS to the customer after assessing his/her current position and status. The receiver can now choose to attend the call directly or leave the job to the system itself. The entire process is not only robust and prompt, but also saves time, the one important factor on which every 21st century management models are based.
Unified messaging is a broad topic that cannot be described in one article. To know more about the intricacies of UM and its applications, it is advisable to refer to the various technical resources written by experts in the trade and posted on the web.
Conclusion: Unified messaging is an advanced messaging capability and is a technology that offers advanced capabilities that are superior to SMS. This includes EMS, MMS, inter-carrier messaging, and mobile instant messaging.