Unified Messaging


Feedsee Networking : Unified Messaging : Access all communications from a single inbox anywhere via standard clients

Unified Communications (UC) is a technology strategy that simplifies and integrates all forms of communication with the goal of enhancing business communication, collaboration, and productivity. This concept typically includes integration of various technologies and tools such as voice communication, data sharing, email, video conferencing, instant messaging (IM), and more.

In 2007, a release of HiPath Xpressions unified messaging solution from Siemens included native SIP integration with the high-performance Siemens HiPath 8000 IP-softswitch, supporting up to 100,000 users. Virtually any voicemail Telephony User Interface could be emulated and access to voice messages on-the-fly could be made from any Web browser with no requirement for email client integration. Version 5 was an enterprise-class unified messaging solution built on a standards-based and flexible architecture. The solution supported multiple communications platforms, using SIP, IP and ISDN. It integrated with groupware including Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, IBM Lotus Domino/Notes, Novell GroupWise, and Qualcomm Eudora, and supported simultaneous email systems on a single platform. With the software, enterprise users could access all of their communications - such as voice messages, faxes, and email from a single unified inbox virtually anywhere via standard email clients and Web browsers. They could also gain this access using a variety of client devices, including telephones, mobile phones and soft clients running on PCs. In addition, users could access and manage SMS from a phone, standard email client or Web browser, send and receive messages, and be notified of new messages in their integrated inbox.

Key Principles of Unified Communication

  1. Integration: Unified Communications is all about the seamless integration of various communication tools and technologies. The idea is to have voice and data, including emails and voicemail messages, all accessible from a single "inbox" or interface.
  2. Consistency: Regardless of the device being used (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.), the user experience should be consistent. The user interface, features, and functionality should be uniform across all platforms to ensure easy and efficient use.
  3. Real-Time and Non-Real-Time Communications: Unified Communications integrates both real-time communications (like phone calls, video conferencing, and instant messaging) and non-real-time communications (like email, voicemail, and fax) into a single, user-friendly interface.
  4. User Presence: This feature allows users to see the status of others within the same network (e.g., online, busy, away, etc.) in real time. This presence information helps users determine the best way and time to communicate with others.
  5. Unified Messaging: This feature converges different types of messages (email, voice mail, fax, SMS, etc.) into a single mailbox that can be accessed from a variety of devices.
  6. Mobility: With the advent of smartphones and tablets, UC technologies are designed to work seamlessly across different devices. This mobility allows for remote work and ensures that users can communicate effectively, regardless of their location.
  7. Interoperability: UC systems are designed to work with various network systems and software applications. They should be able to support legacy systems as well as integrate with newer technologies.
  8. Scalability: As businesses grow, their communication needs will also expand. Therefore, a UC system should be scalable, allowing for the addition of new users and features as required.
  9. Security and Compliance: Security is a critical aspect of UC, especially in industries that deal with sensitive information. UC systems should have robust security measures in place, such as end-to-end encryption, to protect data integrity and confidentiality. Additionally, they should be able to support compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

These principles work together to create a cohesive, flexible, and powerful communication system that improves productivity and facilitates easy collaboration across different mediums and platforms.