Changes in End-User Behavior (the Turnpike Effect) - 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.
When trying to determine how to map features and functionality from your legacy voice-messaging system to uniﬁed messaging, consider a few important facts. First, to ease the transition, it is a good idea to attempt to closely match functionality between your legacy voice-messaging system and Unity. When you do, you can identify the gaps or differences in Unity’s functionality with that of your legacy system. The gaps are areas where you will identify key training points for all end users.
In addition, end users might not be familiar with new features and functionality. These new features and functionality are the strict UM characteristics; they include technologies such as TRaP, TTS, and the capability to access personal settings (including settings such as notiﬁcation devices and greetings) over the web. When subscribers begin using some or all of these features frequently, you will see a change in the performance of your solution. Thus, it is important to be aware of this up front so that you can plan for it. You can end up with a turnpike effect: End users might access the system more than they used to. So, at the beginning you might see the subscribers using the phone more often, or using the phone to record and play back messages using TRaP because controlling the phone from the computer is an exciting and new opportunity to use old technology. In this scenario, it is important to monitor port usage and call volume so that you can adjust accordingly. Again, as with all the critical issues listed in this chapter, do not ignore the possibility of the turnpike affect. Doing so can spell disaster for your new deployment.
Of course, you might ﬁnd a complete change of habit over time. It is possible that phone usage will drop off drastically as subscribers become familiar with using the GUI interface to manage all their messages (see Figure 1-6).
Does this means that the subscribers will stop using the phone altogether? No, but it might mean that they will stop using the phone in the same way they used it previously, when the legacy voice-messaging system was in place. Figure 1-7 shows the difference between TRaP usage and legacy phone usage.
Figure 1-6.Phone Usage Over Time
Figure 1-7.Different Types of Phone Usage Over Time
Administrative, Management, and Help Desk Considerations
Part II discusses how to plan for supporting your end users. The process that accompanies this planning is called an end-user feature/function analysis, and it includes identifying the feature differences between the legacy voice-messaging systems and Unity. This becomes the basis for support along with the new functionality that is provided to the subscribers over time.
On top of determining how to put a support structure in place, there are other considerations for administration and management of the uniﬁed messaging infrastructure. Most of these considerations are addressed in Part III, “Solutions, System Management and Administration,” and include how to administrate multiple Unity servers and also how to do so programmatically. Take a look at the chapters in Part IIIto understand how you might build your support and administration structure around a new Unity deployment.
Other chapters in this book discuss the messaging technologies that Unity uses; speciﬁcally, see Chapter 5. To give you a good idea of how Unity uses these different technologies, they are presented here brieﬂy.
Unity’s Messaging Technology
Unity’s use of Exchange is based on the Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI). The MAPI implementation focuses on accessing subscriber mailboxes to retrieve messages on their behalf, sending messages on their behalf, and notifying subscribers when they receive messages.
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.