Bits & Bytes
THE PC: A JACK OF ALL PHONE TRADES
WITH ALL THE E-MAIL, voice mail, faxes, phone calls, and the like inundating offices everywhere, life at work sometimes feels like communications hell. AT&T thinks the personal computer, though, can be the path to salvation. It just announced that by yearend its Intuity Message Manager software will allow customers to use their desktop computers to manage phone calls--incoming and outgoing--voice mail, E-mail, and faxes, all employing a single graphical interface.
Currently, Message Manager gives AT&T customers point-and-click access to voice and electronic messages. They can choose which message they want to see or hear first, save messages to files, and forward them. With the phoning option, users will also be able to use their keyboards to dial calls, set up conference calls, or transfer calls. If a call is received, a window opens on the screen announcing available information on the caller, such as the phone number.
Various call-handling options will be offered, and the PC operator can take notes on the screen during the conversation. In addition, personal directories can be created and used for automatic dialing. The integrated software package works by linking Message Manager to servers in a computer network that are able to support the phone company's Intuity software interface.EDITED BY IRA SAGER