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How Many Voicemail Boxes Is Too Many? Anything Over One

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January 16, 2009

How Many Voicemail Boxes Is Too Many? Anything Over One

By Richard Watson, Director of Product Management

For about a decade now, basic cell phones have been the de facto communication device for highly mobile corporate decision makers and field sales/support teams. But while cellular phones meet the immediate need of voice communications there are, however, major pitfalls mobile users have to contend with.

These pitfalls come in the form of missed calls between parties because it results in increased costs (wasted time and cellular minutes). Voicemail — having to continually check one or more inboxes — plays a major role in human latency issues.
By definition, when the cell phone is off, or is out of range, the user is no longer accessible. In such cases, the standard fallback is voicemail. However, voicemail is both a blessing and a curse:
  • Upside: It is comforting to know that the cell phone’s reliable voicemail system will record messages. And it will log caller ID and time of call.
  • Downside: Taking time to listen to a long list of stored messages, returning calls, and missing those individuals (so-called telephone-tag (News - Alert)), robs valuable time from the mobile worker.
Furthermore, mobile workers must also maintain messages left in the corporate voicemail system (on their deskphones) as well as their cell phones. And if they are carrying multiple devices, each with its own voicemail box, they need to juggle that many more inboxes.
Which voicemail has priority when you find a moment to check messages? 
To make sure they haven’t missed any calls, the mobile user is then forced to check all voicemail inboxes: corporate deskphone and cell phone(s). This is a time consuming process that is accessed via two distinct operations where the two systems are completely decoupled with no level of integration. This multiple-voicemail scenario erodes the efficiency that was intended to be gained with the mobility provided by cell phones. What, oh what to do?
The DiVitas (News - Alert) Mobile Unified Communications solution eliminates the issue of managing multiple voicemail boxes by presenting unified access to voicemail. DiVitas was developed with the knowledge that the mobile user has a dual-mode phone (WiFi (News - Alert)/Cellular) which implies that they must have a valid service agreement from the wireless carrier (and voicemail). Additionally, DiVitas provides mobile access to the corporate PBX (News - Alert) voicemail.
The mobile worker now only has one voicemail to manage because the corporate cell phone and corporate deskphone inboxes are one and the same. Because of the tight integration between Mobile UC solution and the corporate PBX, if there is no answer on the cellular phone, that call will be directed to the PBX voicemail and not the carrier voicemail. Having a single voicemail box to check greatly simplifies the mobile workers life both off and on campus. Furthermore, Visual Voicemail provided by Mobile UC allows the mobile user to eyeball the messages sitting in his inbox, and decide which should be read first. This saves time and cellular minutes.
Such an architecture is also a value add to the enterprise because now all voicemails are under corporate control instead of being written to the carrier voicemail.
Richard Watson, Director of Product Management at DiVitas, writes the Unified Communications (News - Alert) Mobilized column for TMCnet. To read more of Richard's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by
Greg Galitzine

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