Unified Messaging supplants traditional voice mail?

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Tom Keating
CTO
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Unified Messaging supplants traditional voice mail?

I couldn't help but laugh at a prediction by In-Stat stating that "Unified Messaging poised to supplant traditional Voice Mail this decade". Didn't all the research groups make this prediction in the 1990's during the CTI hey day? Heck, I was one of the biggest advocates of unified messaging when I wrote for CTI Magazine in the 1990's - CTI was the precursor to VoIP and of course Internet Telephony Magazine. The prediction that unifed messaging (UM) would take the world by storm still hasn't happened. I will say that as more people use Blackberries and other devices to stay in "constant touch" and be able to work from home or on the road, has increased their expectations for increased connectivity and productivity. Connectivity and productivity could be key driving factors that finally make UM mainstream. Of course they made the "productivity" claim in the 1990's, so maybe the increased connectivity while on the road may help drive UM.

Personally, I'd like a unified messaging solution to go beyond simply integrating my work email and work voicemail into one unified Inbox. For instance, checking my mobile phone voicemail, then calling my home answering machine to retrieve messages and then logging onto Hotmail and Gmail to retrieve my email is a pain in the ass. So I'd like to see my personal mobile phone voicemail integrated into this "unified messaging solution", as well as all of my personal email addresses.

Check out their "prediction" that UM will finally supplant traditional voicemail:

Unified Messaging poised to supplant traditional Voice Mail this decade

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 19, 2006 – With equipment providers embracing Unified Messaging (UM) technology, UM and UM-capable seats will continue to grow while traditional voice mail systems will disappear from the market by the end of 2009, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). UM/UM-capable shipments will rise from 8.4 million seats in 2005 to 11.7 million seats in 2010, the high-tech market research firm says. UM is also beginning to grow beyond traditional voice mail, PC-based e-mail, and fax messaging.

"Interfaces associated with wireless Personal Digital Assistants (PDA), Blackberries, and mobile phones are beginning to garner consideration in UM," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst. "With the growing popularity of 802.11-based systems in the workplace, at home, and in public spaces, and the upcoming introduction of dual-mode WiFi/mobile phones, the need for compatibility with such devices will clearly intensify."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

- Annual end-user revenues from UM/UM-capable equipment will rise from $506.4 million in 2005 to $628.6 million by 2010.
- While Avaya continues to hang on to the top position relative to the overall market, Nortel became the UM leader in 2005.
- New IP architectures put Microsoft and other large data players even more squarely in the middle of the communications picture.

The research, "Unified Messaging: It's Not Your Mother's Voice Mail" (#IN0602895CT), covers the market for UM equipment and services. It includes shipment and revenue forecasts through 2010 for UM/UM-enabled products and traditional voice mail products. It also includes analysis of vendor market share data for 2004 and 2005. Extensive analysis of market drivers and challenges is included.

This research is part of In-Stat's VoIP Services & Infrastructure Service, which provides an end-to-end perspective on global VoIP equipment markets. Includes primary research/case studies of leading VoIP service providers around the world, as well as detailed analysis and forecasts of global VoIP subscriber, equipment and technology markets. The service provides in-depth coverage of the softswitch, media gateway, session border controller, hosted services, IP PBX and IP phone equipment markets, as well as emerging cable telephony and voice over WiMAX markets.


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