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Disaster recovery abilities sweeten cost/benefit equation for unified messaging

Its role as a communications hub makes unified messaging a natural for companies improving disaster-recovery plans, and for solution providers pitching VoIP as more than just a cost saver.

Unified messaging – connecting all of a company's communications media using a centralized system that presents email, voice mail, instant messages and other information through one interface – is becoming globally popular, partly because of its advantages in disaster recovery.

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There are about 40 million users of unified messaging systems worldwide, compared to barely one million five years ago, according to Info-Tech Research Group Inc. in London, Ontario.

Part of that growth is due to growth in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, which makes it easier to unify phone and computerized communications.

Unified messaging makes it easier to marshal the troops in time of trouble by providing a single point of contact, but it also cuts hardware, software and telecommunications costs while improving support for distributed workforces, analysts said.

Those cost savings seem to be the major reason customers move toward unified messaging; but its benefit in disaster-recovery planning can be the impetus that pushes customers that are thinking of a migration into actually launching a project.

The original version of this story appeared on TechTarget's

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