In Part-I, we covered the four generations of the messaging industry – this industry has quickly moved through three generations - segregated messaging, through integrated messaging, through unified messaging(UM) and further leading to the fourth generation, unified communications (UC).
The key tenets of the unified messaging would range from message screening, returning, cross mechanism messaging, and providing groupware capabilities such as calendaring and scheduling as part of unified mailbox portal. Routine functions like calendars, schedules, contact list, etc. from their inbox, as well as over the phone via text-to-speech capabilities shall be made available. These voice enabled groupware capabilities shall allow users to access them not only from a PC, but also from the telephone. Thus, the UM infrastructure or messaging server will become the portal to all enterprise information and applications .The traditional voice mail industry shall get verticalised Forward-thinking messaging enterprises will create packages and features to capitalize on the needs of specific industries. This could dramatically improve communication in education, hospitality and in general all service industries. In the enterprise arena, UM is fast becoming a reality.
Andy Clark once wrote that we absorb and rely on technologies and learn to make them "natural self-extensions". We incorporate technologies into our ecosystem. We are all digitally woven and wired to the hilt and all appendages like blackberry’s and mobiles are becoming commonplace and part of every moment of life. Clark points out, "the mind is just less and less in the head"; when we need information, we usually fire up our PC and access it elsewhere. content creation, pervasive presence and contextual awareness become the fundamental elements of effective collaboration, and these presence enabling technology and devices shall become very important in the day-to-day interactions and activities. Pervasive awareness encompasses the emerging world today and how we can control the publishing of awareness of your location, "projecting" to others your interruptability and the modes of communications most appropriate in a given context For instance while swimming you'd rather suggest to others that they call you rather than "texting" or "emailing" you. Projecting your accessibility / interruptability to others might be really easy if we integrated our handheld wireless devices with our varied communication services. Truly effective messaging and collaboration lives at the intersection of technology, organizational dynamics, and social dynamics.