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Voicemail Conversion Brings Unified Messaging to Customers

April 25, 2012

A voicemail messaging application that can read your day’s appointments to you or send your smartphone an email may sound like science fiction. But these advancements in messaging services are becoming a reality for state employees. MN.IT Services is offering synchronized mailboxes to customers using both Enterprise Email and IP Telephony services.

These “synchronized mailbox” services have been made possible through the State’s Enterprise Unified Communications and Collaboration (EUCC) services and implementation of Cisco’s Unity voicemail platform.

“The adoption of Unity voicemail has the potential to modernize state systems and business processes, and advance the communications capabilities of the State’s workforce,” said Project Sponsor Jim Johnson of MN.IT Services.

Synchronized messaging allows users to personalize their communications options and interact with the system to manage calls and messages in the way that is most comfortable and convenient for them. Options include the ability to play, delete, record, reply to and forward voice messages from within Microsoft Outlook (EUCC Email), and access Outlook calendars via the phone.

Other features include:

  • Speech-Enabled Messaging – which allows users to call other Cisco Unity users or personal contacts with simple voice commands.
  • Desktop and Mobile Collaboration – offering full compatibility with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The project to bring new voicemail services to the State began in late 2010 with limited deployment of an earlier version of Unity. In the fall of 2011, the project team implemented an upgraded version, and the service rollout began in limited release. Following the success of the limited release, the continued rollout to the entire Enterprise IPT customer base started in March 2012.

The first phase of the service deployment made Unity voicemail available to Enterprise IPT customers with two service choices – the synchronized mailbox or stand-alone voicemail.

Unity voicemail replaces the Octel voicemail systems for Enterprise IP Telephony users. The Octel platform has reached end of life according to the manufacturer, although support and spare parts are still available to its large customer base during the transition period.