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Thursday, March 17, 2005
Several industry developments are strongly influencing the emergence of unified communication.Among others, these include Internet Protocol (IP) convergence, the spread of wireless messaging, and the emergence of third-party message stores. IP is fast becoming a universal communications platform on which voice and data technologies are converging. This convergence is taking place in areas such as telephony and messaging platforms. Telecommunications carriers are beginning to migrate their voice telephone traffic—from traditional circuit-switched networks like the PSTN—to the IP networks that handle their data traffic. Networks no longer distinguish between different types of traffic. Internet messages, are increasingly beginning to carry text, voice, and multimedia content. A similar convergence is happening across messaging platforms. - faxes, pages, voicemail, and e-mail have traditionally been handled by separate messaging systems. Emerging standards like the new Voice Profile for Internet Mail (VPIM) and the Fax Profile for Internet Mail (FPIM) standards enable e-mail based on Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to transport voice mail and faxes. and also provide interoperability as well. In such an IP environment a voice mail message becomes an audio attachment to an e-mail, and a fax simply becomes an image attachment to an e-mail. In short, the next-generation e-mail “inbox” will manage all kinds of text, audio, image, and video messages.
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