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RIM Corporate PBX Visual Voicemail.

January 28, 2010

Welcome back to SeriousMobile.

Just last week I took another of those efficient, relative, and insightful RIM Market Research survey’s that asks professionals what they are currently working with BlackBerry’s or smartphones along with their current infrastructure, costs, and thoughts on current trends and future directions. Although the BlackBerry Presenter has a specific use, its of hardly any use to consumers. That was the point of it, and this was lost on a few bloggers. Rest assured RIM is looking toward the future.

Some questions within this survey provoked some interesting thoughts to me, and I hope it will for you out there as well.

AT&T BlackBerry Visual Voicemail

AT&T BlackBerry Visual Voicemail

One of the questions revolved around how are professionals using video conferencing in/out of the office and how would they feel about using this on their BlackBerry. This got me thinking Video Calling around the world, although has some decent niche uses, it has not taking off. Over in China, Japan, and Korea video sharing did very well, yet has also tapered off below MMS/SMS use in favor of TV/Movie streaming content/service. Should RIM offer a series of high end BlackBerry’s using a 3.2MP camera for video-conferencing calls (say WVGA resolution) which is tied into BES & Microsoft/IBM Lotus/Novell Groupwise Unified Mobile Communications then it could have some traction – behind the next step.

Another question, something that will come much quicker – and is more tangible than a simple pondering – is Visual Voicemail. Yes I’m fully aware of Visual Voicemail, pioneered by Glenayre ICE, and first major provider released with AT&T on the … yeah that “phone”. Unfortunately I’m on the only major provider that does NOT offer it in North America; Rogers Wireless. RIM, with their corporate expertise is going further than just retrieving your voicemail at random choice, read on dear friends.

AT&T BlackBerry Visual Voicemail 2

AT&T BlackBerry Visual Voicemail 2

Visual Voicemail. Think of using your BlackBerry on existing BES+MDS Communications Servers along with your existing PBX infrastructure – which already works very well, tightly integrated. Now imagine having Visual Voicemail built into the BlackBerry via Service Books that allows retrieval not just over the voice/voice+data 3G networks, but also over WiFi … not too dissimilar to how UMA works. RIM had poised the question(s) of would you want notifications of visual voicemail into your unified “Messages” application, or a separate Home Page Icon/Application?!

I chose to respond that I wished for the option of inside unified Messages, and outside with its own notification. I also fielded a thought to RIM asking to have a separated notification listing of normal provider/personal visual voicemail account access/notifications from the corporate listing along with separate LED/Ringtone behaviors from the norm with some tweaking ability. The reasoning of course was quick identification from us, the end user, receiving and seeing the visual voicemail notifications, and getting access to them efficiently without the need to decipher them inside a unified Messages application that is already doing heavy duty with Emails BIS/BES, calls, FaceBook, BBM, and MMS/SMS if you’ve enabled those. Don’t forget about your roots RIM, efficiency in delivering powerful solutions!!

RIM Corporate Headquarters

Now if RIM could deliver a personal software suite for VoIP online services, or Hardware/Firmware solution for end users – consumers to purchase as an Add-On to say Rogers HomePhone to retrieve a missed call that is left on voicemail and sends out the notification via BIS internet relay … and now you have HUGE retail potential ;!

What if the latter two thoughts & seemingly hinted initiative from RIM’s survey was to go one further and combine visual voicemail with video calling?! After all Glenayre already has this software/provisioning stack available for any 3G provider to work with phones using video calling … a video-mailbox if you will. Unfortunately due to huge initial deliver costs, and marketing expenses I believe that only 1 provider in the world initially implemented this. But for the business traveler just coming off a plane – already giving notice of the delayed arrival in the shared calendar (and attachments sent off by the mailbox delegate to the other attendees), having to catch a limousine taxi and retrieve the visual voicemail, is powerful. Think of yourself, as a business professional in such a scenario – viewing the meeting minutes not just in hard copy via email, but tying specific importance to a visual face! This gives you insight power to read & understand facial recognition and stress or weakness to those within the meeting that is opposed to any of your company’s proposals (even if the words & language is lost from what is conveyed, and intentionally so). You then arrive after the recess, and schedule a more relaxed meeting at say a 3-4 star restaurant with live Jazz/Classical music playing. Now you’re at an advantage!

Just because tools don’t work as originally intended for the mainstream, doesn’t mean their not powerful for the business user.

RIM Corporate Headquarters Shinning

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