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Migrating Your Messaging System

WHITE PAPER

Unified Messaging’s Role in the Migration from Traditional Messaging to Unified Communications

PUBLISHED: August 2007

........... 4 Unified Messaging and its Obstacles of Market Growth……………………………...... 5 Why Unified Messaging? Why now?.......6 Choosing the Right Vendor…………………………………………………………………… 7 The Process of Migrating Your Messaging Systems…………………………………….Migrating Your Messaging System Table of Contents: Executive Overview……………………………………………………………………. 9 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………… 10 Page 1 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 ...................................... 8 The Technical Side of Migration……………………………………………………………................... 3 Business continuity and the new need for redundancy……………………………4 Unified Communications—What Is It?.....……… 3 The evolution of messaging……………………………………………………………......................……… 2 Situation Analysis……………………………………………………………………….................…. 3 Mobility and the distributed workforce………………………………………………........ 8 Phase 1—"UM-Capable" Voice Mail…………………………………………………… 8 Phase 2—Staged Unified Messaging Implementation………………………………8 Phase 3—Staged Unified Communications…………………………………………....................................

communication can be the key to success or failure for any company. call center management. This paper examines the role of Unified Messaging in the migration toward Unified Communications. faxes and phone calls. and video from a single inbox using a single set of management controls. efficiency and customer responsiveness has become one of the most significant trends in business operations. Additionally. faxes. disparate communication methods to fully integrated. and a greater return on existing telephony and messaging investments. Adding to the challenge of communicating effectively is the growing number of voice messages.Executive Overview In today's competitive environment. content management and mobile data access. improved customer responsiveness. as well as the disparate tools used to manage them all. and discusses the importance of business continuity. and offers immediate and tangible benefits—increased productivity. Unified Communications (UC) promises to solve many of these challenges. email. Unified Communications is too great of a leap—financially and technically. versatility and innovation in the successful deployment of critical applications. large or small. Page 2 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . for many companies. companies have deployed a myriad of tools to help improve the customer experience—tools for online collaboration. Unifying these tools for improved productivity. But. Unified Messaging (UM) is the pivotal piece in the migration to Unified Communications. emails. Unified Messaging allows companies to manage voice mail. migrating from traditional.

Companies in the face of rapid growth – and those wanting to attract top talent to the organization – often find their employees dispersed across town. Many companies are also faced with the challenge of what to do with aging and obsolete voice mail systems. so has the way in which companies work and utilize these applications. Companies today must deploy versatile and flexible applications to respond to an increasingly mobile and dispersed work environment. 1 IDC “Worldwide Mobile Worker Population Forecast and Analysis 2005 – 2009 (IDC #34124)” (October.Situation Analysis The evolution of messaging In the early 1980's. today's workforce is more mobile than ever before. 1 This increase in mobility has also raised the expectations of responsiveness. email. mobility. Missed calls and missed messages often result in lost business opportunities. both voice mail and email remain mission critical to business communication. with limited ability to migrate to newer technology or integrate with business systems other than the PBX. Today. the US mobile worker population will reach 113 million in 2009—growing nearly 3% in EACH of the next three years. and quickly became the de facto standard in business communication. and quickly became a widely used communication tool. the predominant voice mail technology was proprietary in nature. The challenge for companies today is finding innovative solutions to unify the increasingly complex mix of business communication tools and technology. Additionally. across the country. At that time. 2005) Page 3 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . voice mail was introduced to the corporate world. Mobility and the distributed workforce Not only has messaging technology evolved over the last 25 years. And in today's competitive marketplace. collaboration. and with it. missed messages communicate an image of complacency or even incompetence. The 1990's saw the introduction of the Internet. Added to the mix of communication tools are VoIP. The intuitive email interface surpassed voice mail in terms of popularity. According to IDC. and customer interaction applications. or across the globe. content management.

Today's leading vendors of Unified Messaging offer cost effective points of entry with "UM-capable" platforms. terrorist attacks. and the sunk costs into existing technology. experts agree that Unified Communications is rarely delivered by a single vendor. interoperability concerns. However. companies must have both disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place. According to a recent survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan. business continuity was ranked as one of the top five business priorities of enterprise decision makers 2 . Unified Communications lies at the heart of a company's ability to ensure business continuity. In the global environment today. While Unified Communications offers the ultimate solution for streamlined communication. Business continuity focuses mainly on customers and employees. According to a recent Frost and Sullivan survey of enterprise decision makers. the top barriers for deploying Unified Communications were cited as upfront costs. Unified Communications—What Is It? Unified Communications has been defined differently by different vendors offering discrete parts of the overall solution. These systems allow companies to deploy Unified Messaging in a phased approach." Despite differing definitions. Unified Communications solutions built on scalable and redundant architectures are a critical component for both of these requirements. beginning with voice messaging and moving toward a gradual migration to full Unified Messaging.Business continuity and the new need for redundancy Following the natural disasters and terrorist attacks of the recent past. Unified Messaging offers a relatively low cost of entry into Unified Communications. 3 Unified Messaging is an ideal "stepping stone" on a company's path to Unified Communications. 2007 Frost & Sullivan Survey. many deployment barriers exist. security concerns. One leading industry analyst has defined Unified Communications as. 2007 Page 4 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . Disaster recovery focuses mainly on restoring internal operations. companies are making business continuity plans a priority. "products that enhance enterprise productivity by enabling and facilitating the user's management of enterprise communication systems and the integration of these systems with business processes. Disaster recovery implies the need to "recover" from a significant disaster that has halted business operations—natural disasters. while addressing many of the primary concerns of Unified Communications. severe power outages or other devastating events. It is the best example of a practical application offering the benefits of increased productivity and improved responsiveness. and the ability to support and communicate with these individuals as if business was operating as usual (even when it's not). Not only does this 2 3 Frost & Sullivan Survey. business continuity should not be confused with disaster recovery.

Companies looking to replace these systems should look for platforms that are versatile. when applied across the organization. Additionally. flexible. video. Nearly half (47%) of all respondents estimated that Unified Messaging saved them at least one hour per week. while 14% estimated that UM saved as much as three hours per week. Leading Unified Messaging platforms today are built upon existing network and messaging systems. because these systems connect directly to traditional PBX and key systems. Today. as well as IP PBX systems. Mobility. however. the return on investment for UM was difficult to quantify. email. 4 A staggering 73% of respondents felt Unified Messaging greatly enhanced their mobility. This level of time savings. fax. Additionally. and many of these systems have reached their full depreciated value. tangible cost savings for the organization. So why hasn't UM been more successful? The primary reason is the lack of ROI.approach simplify the migration process. Users simply use the intuitive email interface with which they are already familiar to manage all message types—voice. to Unified Messaging. more than 85% of organizations are familiar with Unified Messaging and Unified Communications. Finally. because Unified Messaging applications "unify" all messages within the email client. Before the significant growth in the mobile workforce. it avoids any disruption to business continuity that an abrupt cutover might cause. requiring minimal training or knowledge for the IT staff to administer. and enable a gradual migration from voice messaging. yet only 22% have deployed these applications. and extend the ROI of the company's telephony investments. 4 Unified Messaging: A case study on implementing a Unified Messaging solution at Intel Page 5 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . Intel conducted a seven-month trial usage of Unified Messaging to determine the productivity gains that could be achieved by Unified Messaging. Unified Messaging and its Obstacles of Market Growth According to several major studies. and ultimately to Unified Communications. while 68% of respondents felt Unified Messaging improved their responsiveness. responsiveness and saved time topped the list of productivity gains among respondents. translates into clear. Recently. many voice messaging systems today were purchased or upgraded prior to the market hysteria fueled by Y2K. little or no user training is required. Unified Messaging also leverages the knowledge and expertise that exists within the company today: the data messaging and network expertise of the IT staff and the telephony knowledge and know-how of the telecom staff. Unified Messaging offers an opportunity to leverage the knowledge of the telecom staff. the tangible time and money savings as a result of increased productivity for the mobile worker are real. and of course.

Unified Messaging technology has evolved and work environments have changed. disparate voice messaging systems. Why Unified Messaging? Why now? Over the last decade. email servers. Finally. And products with advanced capabilities in this area.Technical complexities have also hindered deployment. such as Kinesis™ from Active Voice. the UM applications from these vendors are built to work specifically with those telephone systems. increasing system administration time and requiring the management and maintenance of multiple user directories. And independent vendors of Unified Messaging—those vendors who do not develop applications for a single telephone system—ensure the UM application purchased today will seamlessly integrate within the existing and future telephony environment. such as video messaging and "Find Me Follow Me" presence management. and telephone systems. For companies with large user populations. one of the biggest barriers to the widespread deployment of Unified Messaging has been user training. System level integration with email servers. And. leading UM vendors have addressed the user training obstacle head-on with innovative technology that emulates the telephone user interface of the voice mail systems already in place. message stores. proprietary voice mail systems that have been in operation for decades. some Unified Messaging vendors made deploying UM difficult due to lack of integration with disparate networks. and network environments simplifies the job of the system administrator. Early Unified Messaging applications lacked integration at the system level. the cost of retraining those users on a new telephone user interface is simply too costly. lack of adequate compression technology and network bandwidth made companies fearful of moving large. Page 6 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . IP PBX. justify the ROI for the mobile worker—and in-office employees who communicate with their mobile coworkers—even further. multimedia messages across the network. Because many vendors manufacture telephone systems as their primary offering. and allow individual users to choose the telephone user interface of their choice. New applications. Many companies invested heavily in early. The increasingly mobile work environment makes it easy to justify the ROI of Unified Messaging. Finally. and leverages the expertise already existing within the organization. For any organization with multiple PBX. also address the real-world environments of companies using multiple. In the past. both of which address many of the key issues which prohibited its widespread deployment. or key systems in place—or with plans to migrate or upgrade their telephony equipment—choosing a UM solution that is independent of the telephone system is imperative. user directories.

and B) migrate to future technologies. Choose a partner with a significant installed base of messaging customers and with proven customer successes—and then talk to those customers. and admittedly. August 2007 Following are key criteria to consider when choosing a Unified Communications vendor: Look for experience. Choose only industry standard technology—avoid proprietary technology that will limit the ability to A) integrate within the existing infrastructure or a particular telephone system. and a vision and understanding of the future. Choose a partner who understands the issues and best practices of migrating traditional communications systems to Unified Communications. the most important decision to be made is the vendor with whom to partner. and who understands the evolution of messaging—the past issues and obstacles. experience and expertise in this field. Choose a vendor that offers flexible telephone user interface options to minimize user training time and cost. the size of the organization does not necessarily equate to a high level of innovation. Choose a vendor that is a technology leader as measured by "firsts to market. and analyst accolades. many companies are considered "giants" in this space. the best solutions for today. and who offer solutions to accomplish this migration in a controlled and cost effective manner. Look for innovation. Choose a company with proven history and success in the Unified Messaging space." industry awards. Many companies position themselves as "experts" in the Unified Communications world. Page 7 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 .Choosing the Right Vendor When the time comes to begin the migration from traditional messaging to Unified Communications. Percentage of Enterprises Choosing a Non-Incumbent Unified Communications Provider PROVIDER CHOSEN: Microsoft Cisco Active Voice* Avaya IBM 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Global Region *Independent UM/UC Solutions Provider Source: IntelliCom Analytics. Look for credibility. Look for a vendor that offers “best of breed” solutions and the greatest breadth of integration capabilities across all data and telephony technology. But.

Telephone user interface emulation will also make initial cutover to the new system virtually transparent to users. A gradual and phased approach to this migration is the best approach to ensure business continuity and widespread acceptance of the technology across the organization.The Process of Migrating Your Messaging Systems When the time comes to begin the migration from traditional messaging systems to Unified Communications. a system that allows for the gradual addition of UM features without a "forklift" upgrade. Many companies today choose to implement basic voice mail functionality with a system that is "UMcapable"—that is. companies can introduce Unified Messaging functionality in a gradual process. Page 8 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . the top priority is maintaining business continuity. serve as "proof of concept. Phase 3—Staged Unified Communications Like the phased approach to Unified Messaging. implementing these intelligent messaging features within controlled groups will ensure a smoother transition. a key criteria in selecting a Unified Communications platform is the platform's ability to provide simple capabilities initially. and innovative features. such as VideoMail from Active Voice. Additionally. implementation of any UC functionality should reflect the priorities of the organization and ensure the highest level of business continuity. implementing intelligent messaging tools with specific user groups who have the greatest need. implementing Unified Communications is best achieved in stages. Most importantly. Phase 2—Staged Unified Messaging Implementation In this phase. Phase 1—"UM-Capable" Voice Mail As discussed earlier. Good examples of this are the implementation of mobility and presence management features such as "FindMe FollowMe" for mobile workers." and create momentum for these applications across the organization. which help bridge the gap between in-office and remote employees. the implementation of call management features such as ViewCall from Active Voice. the migration process should be done at your own pace. Whether this includes the introduction of IP telephony and/or the integration with other business communication systems. and grow with enhanced functionality as needed. Look for products and solutions that are built to seamlessly integrate with or emulate the infrastructure already in place. Choose a system which emulates the system you are using today to eliminate the need for user retraining.

—and build on the administrative functions of those applications. Novell GroupWise. leveraging the knowledge and expertise of the company's IT and Telecom staff. And finally. fax. ensure the application you choose can be configured to meet your company's requirements. callout privileges. This is particularly important for rich message types such as VideoMail.. notification options.) While this is rarely an issue today. and video messages to reside in the email message store? Do you require a separate store for that data? Do your needs vary from one location to another? Ensure the solution you choose offers the flexibility and versatility required within your organization. Do you prefer voice. when it comes to the message store. Unified Messaging applications should also leverage the existing user directories and extend the user profiles to include application-specific settings (e. Incompatibility with email applications. Decision makers should look for applications which seamlessly integrate within the existing messaging environment—Microsoft Exchange.g. Lotus Notes.The Technical Side of Migration One of the issues that hindered more widespread deployment of Unified Messaging is the technical challenge many companies faced when attempting to implement the application. however. etc. network environments. along with concerns over message storage and network bandwidth were common barriers to implementation. leading providers of Unified Messaging applications have addressed all of these issues. and made integration of Unified Messaging into the network and telephony environment nearly seamless. Page 9 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . Best of breed applications integrate within the existing data and telephony environments. etc. and user directories. it is wise to ensure the application you choose utilizes sufficient compression technology to minimize the size of messages being stored in the message store and moved across the network. Today. and extending the ROI of those investments.

further justify planned VoIP investments. powering the communications infrastructure of businesses worldwide. the UM/UC market is expected to reach nearly $20 billion by the year 2010 as vendors continue to introduce innovative and versatile solutions that solve real business problems and deliver tangible ROI. About Active Voice Active Voice.000 Active Voice systems have been installed in more than 60 countries. For more information. visit www. Active Voice’s products are sold and supported through a network of independent telecommunications manufacturers. LLC. The Seattle-based company has offices in the United States.com. visit the Active Voice Web site at www. or contact Active Voice's Sales Support at 1-800284-3575 or by e-mail at sales@activevoice.com. responsiveness. Over 200.com. and voice messaging solutions. computer resellers and strategic partners. For more information.Conclusion According to analyst projections. Page 10 Migrating Your Messaging System White Paper – August 2007 . and bridge the gap between traditional messaging and full UC implementation.activevoice. Successful companies will look for innovative technology that delivers on the promises of productivity. is a global provider of Unified Messaging. and business continuity. dealers.activevoice. from technology leaders with experience and know-how in this market. Companies should look to Unified Messaging as a way to extend the ROI of the existing data and telephony infrastructure. computer telephony. a subsidiary of NEC Unified Solutions. Australia and the Netherlands.