Voice Mail – never miss a message
Voicemail is a software application which when linked to telephone systems enables callers to leaver voice recorded messages for individuals, workgroups or the company.
More sophisticated voicemail systems offer a raft of user applications such as: Auto Attendant – dial 1 for sales, 2 for accounts… etc, and cascading of calls, where the voicemail tries to locate the person by calling user defined numbers in sequence and voicemail to email. ‘Broadcast’ is another popular feature where one message left in a mailbox is disseminated to workgroups. In networked applications a centralised voicemail system may be able to handle all the voice messaging of a branch network.
Why have it?
At the basic level voicemail is better than post-it notes and scraps of paper messages. Voicemail is a time shifter; field based personnel can call in at anytime from anywhere in the world to leave messages and collect their own. Auto Attendant, whilst an irritant to some, actually increases productivity and enhances customer services if used properly with the right staffing levels.
Some voicemail systems require hardware as well as software, which can increase cost. Hardware based solutions often use voice interface cards which have a user capacity measured in ports and hours. Ports refer to the number of simultaneous calls that can be handled by the system. Recorded file format is important if you want to consider Unified Messaging where Windows .wav is the norm as some system use proprietary file types that can only be played by the host phone system.