WALTHAM, Mass. - Furthering its commitment to make communications easier for customers, GTE Internetworking, a division of GTE Corporation, announced today the launch of its nationwide Unified Messaging service. GTE's Unified Messaging (SM) offering provides subscribers with a consolidated inbox for voicemail (both wireline and wireless), e-mail and faxes, with PC, cellular phone and pager message notification.
Customers can now view and retrieve all messages anytime, anywhere via any telephone or a PC with Internet access. This new Unified Messaging service is delivered over GTE's nationwide Global Network Infrastructure (GNI), a high-speed, high-capacity, private fiber network, providing a means for local access in over 50 major metropolitan markets nationwide. Rather than charging a monthly service fee with additional costs for message retrieval, notification and paging, GTE'S Unified Messaging service is available for a fixed-fee monthly price.
"The time business people spend checking their office voicemail, pagers, e-mail and cellular phones has increased dramatically over the past years. Unified Messaging will save time by consolidating all forms of communication into one central repository," said Matthew Kovar of The Yankee Group. "The cost savings, associated with a unified messaging service, provisioned on GTE's GNI, will be from 20 to 50 percent of a home grown solution."
Ideal for Resellers
GTE's Unified Messaging is primarily an outsourced solution for resellers such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), wireless service providers and Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). By re-selling GTE's service, organizations have an opportunity to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn by enabling them to offer enhanced services to its current and future customers without the high capital expense, infrastructure investment or maintenance costs - while still producing an enhanced revenue stream.
Resellers who sign up to offer GTE's Unified Messaging service by July 31, 1999, will be eligible to participate in GTE's "quick-start" marketing program. This program is designed to help resellers provide immediate service to their subscriber base. Components of this program include assigned GTE technical support for implementation, a GTE-funded advertising campaign to generate end-user demand and free trial subscriptions. To get additional information or to sign up to resell GTE's Unified Messaging, please visit http://www.bbn.com/umnow.
About GTE's Unified Messaging
GTE's Unified Messaging allows subscribers to have one-stop messaging, eliminating the time and hassle involved with remembering multiple access numbers and checking multiple message sources. With one consolidated in-box for basic voicemail, fax and e-mail, users can access messages locally or while traveling by using a Web browser or a telephone. The in-box receives and stores voice, fax and e-mail messages, allowing the end user to be notified via pager, cellular telephone or over the PC that a new message has arrived. As this is an outsourced solution with a unique Web-based client, end users will not have to download, install or upgrade any special messaging software in order to use the service.
"A year and a half of market research, customer trials, human interaction studies and design and development work with best-of-breed technology vendors that include Cisco, Amteeva, Telcordia, Software.com and EMC have resulted in this exciting new service offering. GTE has brought to market the first totally outsourced solution that unifies the multiple communication and messaging devices we have come to be dependant upon as part of our everyday lives. What had become increasingly difficult to manage is now simplified through GTE's Unified Messaging service," said Paul O'Brien, vice president of GTE Internetworking and general manager of IP Telecom. "Unified Messaging, along with our previously announced IP Fax and Internet Call Manager services, is clear evidence that GTE's investment in the Internet is paying off with real services, available today. These enhanced IP services, supported by a state-of-the-art transport facility such as the GNI, reinforces GTE's role as a next-generation telecommunications provider."
In addition to the single in-box for voicemail, e-mail and fax, other features of GTE's Unified Messaging service include:
The use of your current phone number as your unified messaging number for voice and fax messages
Nationwide local access to messages while travelling outside of the "home" area
One universal password for security and access to all messages retrieved by phone or PC
E-mails read over the phone via text-to-speech technology
Visual voicemail providing the ability to listen to voicemails over the PC
Capability to receive faxes while on the road and send them to local fax machines at no charge
Flexible message organization and review capabilities
Message notification via PC, wireless phone and pager
A low flat-rate, all-inclusive price; no hidden or additional charges, no access charges, no faxing, and no additional notification charges
Pricing and Availability
GTE Internetworking's Unified Messaging offers the most compelling and competitive service on the market today and is available nationally to select Internet Service Providers (ISP), wireless service providers and other resellers. Most unified messaging products on the market utilize traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) lines and charge customers a per-minute fee for accessing messages. However, by utilizing the Internet and its GNI to provide this service, GTE's Unified Messaging service is available for a low fixed monthly fee regardless of how often or how long the customer accesses the in-box.
With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents.