Mobile Telephony Channel Feature Article

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Mobile Telephony Feature Article


April 20, 2006

Voice Mail for the Mobile Professional: When Voice Mail Isn�t Good Enough

By Michelle Pasquerello, Associate Editor

Checking and responding to voice mail can be an unwieldy process, particularly for the mobile professional who may or may not acknowledge what could be an important message in a timely manner.
The earliest form of voice mail, the answering machine, was initially a novel idea. But the times have changed, particularly in an era of always on, instant communications. Newer technologies are being implemented to assist companies, particularly large enterprises, in communicating with their remote and mobile workers. But voice mail has become the enemy, especially when a call is urgent, making e-mail seem like the last viable resource to reach out.
“People often forget that the mobile professional isn’t readily available simply because they have a mobile phone. The mobile professional will spend a significant amount of time away from their desk, whether they are in meetings or traveling. Consequently, a mobile professional will miss 60 percent of all calls, most of which end up in voicemail limbo,” said John Drewry, vice president of marketing, Orative in an interview  
Orative develops software solutions for the mobile professional and addresses the trials mobile workers face; from the management of multiple mailboxes to overcoming the constraints of traditional voice mail systems.
“For mobile employees, one of the greatest challenges is the fact that they need to manage different voice mail boxes. This doubles the burden when employees are out of the office by forcing them to call in to their office voice mail, as well as mobile phone voice mail systems to ensure that they have not missed important messages,” Drewry told TMCnet.
The Orative solution approaches the mobile challenge, helping people coordinate how and whey they reach one another. By layering intelligent software on top of existing mobile phone technology, Orative turns a regular mobile phone into a true business phone.
“Unlike standard voice mail, it uses a visual interface that lets me see who is trying to reach me at any given time,” noted Drewry.
Delays in communication could become costly for an enterprise, particularly when a key decision is on the line or important information is needed to aid a customer.
“What many people accept as typical delays in getting hold of one another may be entirely unacceptable from a business process and execution perspective.”
Orative Enterprise Software is an end-to-end solution that runs at the core of the system, operating securely behind the firewall in the enterprise data center. Connectors to Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange and corporate directory servers allow integration with personal and corporate contact information. Orative Client Software runs on standard mobile phones supporting open application environments.
“Employees can easily select and playback messages on the mobile phone or simply press the dial button to call a person back. The alerts provide a list of incoming messages as “visual voicemail”, making it easy for the user to review when they are in a meeting so that they can determine which calls are important,” said Drewry.
While voice mail originally addressed the needs to simply leave a message for an unavailable person, the technology has far surpassed our ability to deal with it. People will devote a significant amount of time to merely managing incoming messages, taking time away from their work, halting productivity.
“The future of voice mail will be adapting the technology to the changing needs of business communications. This will require not only tighter integration with other enterprise systems, such as e-mail and other messaging systems, but it will also add increased intelligence and context around the basic features,” concluded Drewry.
Michelle Pasquerello is Associate Editor for TMCnet’s Online Channels. To see more of her articles, please visit Michelle Pasquerello’s columnist page.


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