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Rich Tehrani

[April 19, 2004]

Help With Services From IP Unity



Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of short articles from Rich Tehrani based on recent visits with a number of VoIP vendors. The previous article is available here.

Services are the differentiator of tomorrow�s telephony. You hear me harp about this and I have been saying it for years� If you are just providing telephony (IP or legacy) you are on your way out of business unless you provide some genuine and exciting services that differentiate you from others while reducing churn.

A company like IP Unity comes to the service providers' rescue by aiding in providing tomorrow�s services with more ease than ever. First of all, they provide service migration tools in the messaging space -- tools that today�s carriers really need. Their Harmony6000 media server is in release 2.7 now, and as such supports migration tools from legacy to IP. Using an XML architecture, they are able to manage existing voice mail accounts and port them over to the IP Unity platform.

A toolset like this has to take into account many different types of voice mail systems with their varying prompts and other nuances. The company feels that this new release is important because of its scalability and reliability. With over 100 million boxes out there, there is certainly lots of opportunity. To the end user, the whole voice mail migration process is seamless.

With manufacturers discontinuing messaging products, the industry needs a solution that allows them to port messages to a more open system. Sure you can say that you are going from one proprietary system to another but IP Unity allows messages to be exported so you aren�t really locked in to a single vendor solution.

Consider now that you have an XML based messaging system that the world is your oyster. You can use the flexibility inherent in XML to tackle issues of customization where different customer bases have different preferences such as storage limits, call flows and the use of auto-attendants of varying levels of complexity.

So what we have here is a way for service providers to easily allow their customers to change their messaging preferences via the Web. A solution like this can be accomplished by having IP Unity provide you with turnkey VXML or you can hire out the company�s professional services team to help you build your solution.

Using an Oracle database for personal information and NAS for storage, you are talking about the ultimate scalability solution.

Customers are further able to self-provision services using the APIs included in the system. This is great as it increases ARPU or average revenue per user by allowing your customers to modify their voice mail systems, manage conferencing and also manage prepaid solutions. IP Unity tells me that they have seen many cases where bundling and customization dramatically reduce churn. The future of service providers is new and exciting services. IP Unity is a company allowing tomorrow�s service providers to more easily take advantage of the future of telecom.

Please talk back to me in our forums.

Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments. Participate in our forums.

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