unimaxIn a briefing with Phil Moen, CEO of Unimax and Director of Marketing, Tod Remely here at VoiceCon Orlando, I got a solid overview of the Unimax offer and business. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Hunkins who wrote an application to automate his college's large, multi-vendor voicemail environment and evolved the functionality into 2nd Nature, used by 80% of the Fortune 500.

2nd Nature is a client-server application where the server captures configuration data for each of the enterprise customers' PBXs, IP PBXs and voicemail servers. The often messy data can then be standardized, and redeployed into the remote systems so as to conform to the corporate policies for operations, security and service privileges. The PC client enables data manipulation and scripts that automate frequently used processes – password resets, voicemail box setups, telephony feature policy establishments – for multi-vendor and even multi-technology environments. Now, that's convergence value to me. 

Unified control of unified communications provisioning is a big boost in administration productivity, even enabling self-administration and enterprise security policy enforcement across enterprise communications services.

{shadowboxwtw2}Phil confirmed that there are no large companies with single vendor telephony infrastructures.{/shadowboxwtw2} 2nd Nature customers are able to enforce corporate-wide standards for voicemail management. Standards such as one mailbox per person, shutdown of mailboxes for former employees and automated voicemail list upkeep.

Large customers with many small branch offices such as Bank of America, use Unimax to synchronize services and enforce corporate policies so employees leaving the firm's payroll are purged from the communications environment too as new hires are configured with services on their first day on the job too. Another example was Intel, which funded the development of an intranet web script that allowed an employee to visit an internal IT page to self-reset their voicemail password by authenticating themselves to the Intel central authentication database and then resetting their password on the appropriate globally-deployed voicemail server.

This service capability, for Nortel, Cisco, Avaya and now AVST systems allows large enterprise telecom departments and managed service providers to use the process of abstracting and then republishing configuration data to quickly create and execute services for managing customer premise equipment. It transcends any one vendor's attempts at systems management because it would need to go beyond their own portfolio to incorporate competitors and peer systems – something they would be loathe to do or attempt. This is definitely a high value and highly loyal market space.

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