Cisco’s Voice Messaging
Cisco Unity (Unity) is Cisco’s voice messaging platform. There are different flavors of Unity (Unity Express, Unity Connection, and Unity) but this is not what I am writing about today. Today I would like to write about the different types of voice messaging available from Cisco.
- Voicemail only – this is the basic voicemail delivery system. Users must use the Telephony User Interface (TUI) to access their voicemails. The users may, or may not, have the ability to retrieve their voicemails remotely by dialing in to an access number or by manipulating the call flows to gain access to a sign-in prompt.
- Unified Messaging – this is the integration of your voice messaging platform with your email platform. In Cisco’s case, Domino or Exchange. This type of messaging gives the users access to their voicemails via their Exchange account or via the TUI. Some organizations have found this integration to be the way they want to move their environment, others have found that the dependencies between Exchange, Unity and Active Directory to be cumbersome and a chore to deal with. This is due to the administrators of Exchange and Unity are usually not the same people and therefore you do not have the overlapping skill set to work both efficiently.
- Integrated Messaging – this is the “middle ground” between voicemail only and Unified Messaging. This provides the users with the TUI access and with IMAP access to their voicemails. The delivery of the voicemails will be in a separate account in Outlook instead of delivering directly to the users email inbox. This keeps the separation between voicemail and email in both the perspective of the users and to the administrators. No longer does Unity need to tie in to Exchange and/or Active Directory in order to deliver voicemails to your mail client.
As you can see from the above, there are multiple ways to implement Cisco’s Unity platforms. The question is – what is your preferred method and why?
-Emilio Rivera, PEI