A few days ago my friend Sridhar emailed me a voicemail message he had received. I played the voicemail right from my email client. Cool. Thankful was I for the message, but how did he do that? Turns out the SBC Unified Communications service lets you combine all of your email, voicemail, and faxes into one online message center. If you use Cingular wireless you can even combine your cel phone voicemail in with your landline voicemail. And you can get your email read to you with a text-to-speech technology if you are on the road and call in to your voicemail box. I’m not interested in having my emails read to me. However, what I really really need is to have my voice messages emailed to me, as audio files. So I can pick them up wherever I am as soon as they come in, not when I happen to remember to call in and check my voicemail. This last feature is a godsend to people like me who are online all the time, often away from the main phone and are terrible at remembering to pick up messages.
Here’s the good news.
If you are already signed up with SBC for your phone service, and already use their $8/month voice mail service, Unified Communications is only an additional $3 per month. Cheap!!