AT&T Unified Messaging Now Available to Mid-Sized Businesses

AT&T released its AT&T Unified Messaging product suite for medium businesses with up to 100 access lines. This IP-based service helps employees manage and access their wireline and Cingular Wireless voicemail, e-mail and fax messages.

Rather than having to check fax machines and multiple mailboxes, AT&T Unified Messaging enables businesses to manage their messages via a single electronic mailbox accessible from any touchtone or wireless phone or from any Internet connection.

AT&T Unified Messaging, available since 2004 to small businesses, is a network-based integrated messaging service. Voice messages (both wireline and Cingular Wireless), faxes and e-mails are integrated into a common mailbox, allowing employees to retrieve, forward and reply to any or all of their messages from a single source.

Based on varying business needs, the AT&T Unified Messaging (UM) product suite includes the following product offerings:

  • UM Lite - Provides an electronic mailbox to manage and access messages, including wireline voicemail, email and faxes, from anywhere using an Internet connection, touch-tone telephone or wireless handset. It is for customers without Cingular Wireless phones.
  • UM Standard - Offers same capabilities as UM Lite, plus ability to combine Cingular Wireless voicemail.
  • UM Message Director - For customers needing an auto attendant; features the same capabilities as UM Standard plus an auto-attendant for call forwarding and hunting arrangements of a small to mid-sized office.
  • UM Fax Plus - Offers the same capabilities as UM Standard with a separate line for sending and receiving faxes.
  • UM Extension Mailboxes - For customers with more employees than telephone lines; provides the same capabilities as UM Standard and is designed for businesses with employees or departments not needing a dedicated phone line.

In addition to an integrated message center, other key features of AT&T Unified Messaging include:

  • Text-to-speech - The text-to-speech technology reads e-mails over the phone and allows users to listen to voicemail messages over their computers. Customers can view and print faxes in their entirety from their computer or check fax message headers from their phone.
  • Message indicators. When business customers receive new e-mails, voicemails or faxes, message indicator alerts can be sent to their online mailbox, and wireless and wireline phones.
  • Pager notification. Customers who want to be notified immediately about incoming messages can activate the pager function, which sends a notification of a new message to their pagers or wireless phones.
  • Online storage. AT&T Unified Messaging comes with 100 MB of online storage; customers can purchase 50 MB increments of additional storage space for a total of 200 MB.

AT&T Unified Messaging, targeted at new or existing business customers who wish to replace their traditional voicemail service, is available in the company's former 13-state local service area (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin), with plans to extend into the former BellSouth's nine-state local service area (Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee).

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