Siemens Business Communications Systems Inc and Active Voice Inc have inked a deal to jointly develop an NT-based multimedia messaging system that Siemens will sell as an add-on to its PABX systems. The two are brewing up a unified messaging system that will handle voice mail, electronic mail, facsimile and mixed- media files, with the first release penciled in for late 1997. The as yet unnamed program will support just about every common de facto or de jure standard in the book including MAPI, SMTP/MIME, Java, VPI, LDAP and Microsoft Corp’s MMC. It will also work with Exchange, Notes, GroupWise or any other MAPIcompliant message system. The Seattle-based Active Voice has been around since 1983 and, as its name implies, it’s a specialist in voice mail that has migrated its technology into the jazzier multimedia arena. It looks to collect at least $50m in royalties from Siemens over the first six years of the deal.