Synonymous with integrated messaging and multimedia messaging.The integration of voice, audio, text, facsimile, image, and video messaging, ideally on a single messaging platform or on a suite of platforms interrelated in such a way as to be transparent to the end user. Unified messaging is intended to provide an end user with a single interface to a messaging system or suite of messaging systems that support all types of messages in all formats, and that can adapt the message format to match the limitations of the terminal device and network that the end user employs to access the messaging system. For example, a unified messaging system could convert a fax message into a voice message if the user calls from a conventional telephone over a landline, or into a text message if the user has access to a cellular telephone. Ideally, unified messaging works in both directions, enabling the recipient of the message to respond in an inverse manner. If, for example, a unified messaging system converted a fax message into a text message for a user who has access to a cellular telephone, unified communications allows the user to respond with a text message that the system will convert into a fax that it will send to the originator of the message. See also unified communications.
Having access to e-mail, voicemail and faxes via a common computer application or by telephone. For example, unified messaging may send faxes and digitized voicemail to a mail server that turns them into e-mail attachments. Audio-based systems convert e-mail messages to speech (text-to-speech) in order to deliver messages to a desk phone or cellphone. See unified communications and text-to-speech.