Unified messaging system

Unified messaging system

A Unified Messaging System is able to unify and integrate messages going out and coming through various communication solutions. Unified Messaging Systems are a complete approach intended to overcome and eliminate media disruptions. The unified messaging system can e.g. process faxes, voice mails, SMS, MMS or e-mails and unify them. Many unified messaging systems deliver the various messages in form of e-mails and e-mail attachments. These can be accessed through a user interface such as a browser or an e-mail client. They can be read both from a stationary computer and mobile systems, e.g. smartphone, laptop or tablet. The goal of the unified messaging system is to deliver the different messages in a unified, traceable form which can be accessed at any time. In a commercial environment they optimise a company's internal and external workflows.

The Unified Messaging System in a traditional telephone system environment

Implementing a unified messaging system in an environment with traditional telephone systems requires different service servers and service gateways which communicate over a network. The server uses the respective gateway to connect to the various communication systems and ensures messages are processed, unified and made available in a central location. Incoming analogue messages are first digitised. In the case of printed information, this may be done using optical character recognition (OCR). Voice messages are converted to sound files or text files.

The cloud-based Unified Messaging System

Since the introduction of Voice over IP telephony and merging speech and data networks, unified messaging systems can conveniently be made available through the cloud. Basic unified messaging functions are standard in many cloud telephone systems hosted online. Users only need an internet connection to access all of the information made available by the unified messaging system over the cloud. Specific hardware such as gateways or servers are no longer required at the business site.