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Who Manages the Messaging Topology? - Administration

Unified messaging breaks down the barriers between various forms of communication, such as voice, mail, email, and fax machines. Read on to learn more about the concept and the ways in which this technology has evolved.

  1. About Unified Messaging
  2. Unity as a Pure UM Product
  3. Comparison of Unified and Integrated Messaging
  4. Who Manages the Messaging Topology?
  5. Managing Perception Issues When Combining Voice Mail with E-mail
  6. Usage and New Security Issues
  7. Encrypted Messages, Encrypted Calls
  8. Remote Users, End Users, and Accessibility
  9. Solutions and Deployment
  10. Changes in End-User Behavior (the Turnpike Effect)
  11. The MAPI Pro
By: Addison-Wesley Prentice Hall PTR
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February 09, 2005

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Organizations that want to deploy unified messaging must start with determining who internally manages the messaging topology. The messaging topology includes everything necessary for managing the messaging systems including dependencies. From the perspective of legacy voice messaging, the first response is that the voice team owns the voice-messaging solution. Is this still true with unified messaging? Absolutely. However, because UM focuses on centralizing different types of messages into the same messaging store, the voice team must actively be a part of the group managing the messaging topology.

Having the voice team join the e-mail team is a good start, although this is not perfect. An ideal scenario is one in which voice and electronic messaging skills, roles, and responsibilities are given to both teams as they join together. This might be considered just a certain way to look at the situation, but the emphasis is important. Bringing both groups together or making both groups messaging-centric moves the emphasis from e-mail services and voice-mail services to messaging services.

Figure 1-4 shows a centralized messaging team with the responsibility for all aspects of messaging within a given organization. This includes voice messaging, fax, and e-mail— all parts of unified messaging.


Figure 1-4.  Organizing a Centralized Messaging Team

So, why is merging the voice-messaging team and the e-mail team so important? It comes down to placing the emphasis on the core expertise required to maintain unified messaging, and it de-emphasizes the core competencies of separate e-mail and voice-mail teams. It is important to note that unified messaging puts new burdens on the e-mail infrastructure that require attention from the e-mail team. Unified messaging also builds a dependency between the voice-mail system and the e-mail system that the voice-messaging team needs to understand and manage. The benefits of merging both teams into one are numerous: Their joint expertise enables the effective support of unified messaging as a convergence technology. Many times, all team members must have IP telephony skills because when IP telephony is part of the deployment, the changes required can fuel changes to the voice-messaging legacy deployment and support team as well. Another benefit is that merging the two teams’ expertise prepares this same team for other types of messaging services in the near future, such as video messaging.

This is just one way that a cross-functional organization can be put together to properly support unified messaging. To maintain Unity as an application, the team must understand more than voice messaging: It also needs a core knowledge of the telephony integration methods that Unity uses. Within an organization that emphasizes messaging services— where voice messaging is just as crucial as electronic messaging—it is easier to manage the core competencies of the separate groups and allows them to share commonalities in their areas of responsibility. These common areas include second-tier end-user support, administration, and the common use of the messaging backbone and its directory service by all these different types of messaging.

This chapter is from Cisco Unity Deployment and Solutions Guide by Todd Stone (Addison-Wesley, 2004, ISBN: 1587051184). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

>>> More Site Administration Articles          >>> More By Addison-Wesley Prentice Hall PTR

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