Unified messaging is the integration of different streams of communication (e-mail, SMS, Fax, voice, video, etc.) into a single, or, unified ‘message store’, accessible from a variety of different devices. Unified messaging is a subset of a fully integrated Unified communications system.
Unified Messaging was expected by many in the consumer telecommunications industry to be a popular product, first augmenting and eventually replacing voicemail. However, UM was slow to gain consumer acceptance, and UM vendors such as Comverse were badly hit when the slowdown in the telecommunications industry in 2001 made carriers wary of spending large amounts of money on technology with little proven consumer demand.
Today, UM solutions are increasingly accepted in the corporate environment. The aim of deploying UM solutions generally is to enhance and improve business processes as well as services. UM solutions targeting professional end-user customers integrate communications processes into the existing IT infrastructure, i. e. into CRM, ERP and mail systems (e. g. Phoenixnet PH, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, SAP, etc.)