Mitel and Inter-Tel announce the completion of their merger (and there was much rejoicing!)
Returning (at least for a moment) to the tried and true for group chat.... IRC

A not-very-publicized change with the Blackberry 8830 unleashes the real power of unified messaging!

There's one little feature in my Blackberry 8830 that I just discovered today that I didn't see anywhere in any of the promotional materials about it.  Put simply:

Unified messaging works!

Here's the thing... given that I work for Mitel, I of course have "unified messaging" set up so that whenever someone leaves me a voicemail message, I get an email with the WAV file attached to it.  It's truly a wonderful thing because I never dial in to check to see if I have messages.  I get an email that clues me in to that fact - and generally when I am on my desktop PC, I just play the attached WAV file and listen to the message through my email program.  I don't dial into voicemail to listen.

Before, with my Blackberry 7290 or any of the other earlier models, having this unified messaging feature enabled was really only a "half solution".  Receiving the email clued you in to the fact that you now had a voicemail message... BUT...

you couldn't listen to the WAV file!

The Blackberry operating system couldn't play the WAV file, so you had to dial into the voicemail system to listen to the actual message.  So the nice part about UM was that you got the notification... but you couldn't hear it right there.

Well today a blog post by Russell Shaw over on ZDNet pointed me to this excellent 8830 FAQ over on that contains this little gem:

Q - What are the enterprise advantages of the new 4.2 OS?
A - The biggest 4.2 feature is the ability to listen to WAV files that are attached to an email by a Unified Voice Messaging service. NOTE: The customers BES server must be version 4.1.2 or later.

Naturally I had to try it out so I called my Mitel extension and left a message (a virtue of having multiple phones around). A moment or so after I hung up there was an email msg with a WAV attachment sitting in my Blackberry inbox.  I opened it, scrolled down to the attachment area and chose "Open attachment" and... ta da!  There I was listening to the voicemail message!  (And since the 8830 has a speakerphone I could listen that way which would enable me to easily write things down were it a real message.)  Nice and easy.

Of course, I would be charged for the download of that WAV file but I'm on an "Unlimited Data" plan with Verizon which does, in fact, appear to be for an unlimited amount of data (no fine print that I could see).

So to me this is a wonderful addition to the Blackberry operating system... now I can receive my voicemail messages in my email and listen to them right on my phone.  Very cool!