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Lucent strikes unified messaging deal with Sun

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Lucent and Sun have teamed up to develop unified messaging systems that will combine voicemail, email and faxes on a single network. This is not the first unified messaging system, but the two technology companies claim to be the first to try to make it work on a corporate scale. Customers will be able to access a three types of message from a single mailbox. The system would improve the efficiency of communications, said Sun, since a user would be able to access any type of message - fax, voice, e-mail - from any type of device, including cell phones, PCs and pagers, or the seat phone in a plane. Products are not due until 1999, and the companies have no plans to develop applications for the systems. Service providers will want to design their own applications to distinguish themselves from their competitors, said the companies. The infrastructure the two companies provide will include Sun Solaris servers, Sun Internet Mail Server and Lucent's Octel voice-mail technology. Speech recognition technology will also be wrapped in, officials said, and in the future, speech to text translation could be made part of the infrastructure.

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