Users can access voicemail by: Dialling the telephone or extension number assigned to the voicemail application Being transferred to voicemail by the automated attendant Being forwarded (using manual or system forward) to voicemail when the called phone is unavailable Responding to message waiting indications left by voicemail at the user’s desktop phone When accessing voicemail, users hear recorded instructions that prompt them for their password and once entered, they’re able to review the available messages. Most of the prompts are interruptible, and a user can press the desired key or speak the key word with speech recognition at anytime during the prompt, causing the prompt to stop and act on the requested choice.
Types of Mailboxes
With Enterprise Messaging, up to 10,000 mailboxes can be programmed for a networking and non networking environment. There are three types of mailboxes on system:
Standard Mailbox: features include: listening to new messages, recording/sending messages, forwarding messages, deleting messages, saving messages, programming personal options and, if authorised, setting up remote messaging.
Receive Only Mailbox: the user can only listen to new messages, save or delete them and program personal options. This type of mailbox is restricted from recording and sending messages, and has no access to remote messaging.
System Administrator: It has all of the Standard Mailbox options, plus the ability to record and send broadcast messages, perform mailbox and group list maintenance and record/select custom recordings, import fax documents and customise voicemail prompts. Additionally, there can be Extension IDs, which are stations that do not have mailboxes, but are included in the recorded directory. Miscellaneous parameters can be programmed for each mailbox including: mailbox capacity, allowed message lengths, greetings, envelope settings and directory information.
Inter-Tel Voicemail Features
Once a user has logged into the voicemail system, a number of options are made available, including:
Listen to Voice, Fax and E-mail
Hear New or Saved
Send a Message
Remote Message Options
These options can be enabled with speech recognition to allow users working at offsite locations such as, home offices, hotels, airports, and more, to use speech to drive message retrieval and management.
Voice, Fax and E Mail Messages
Each mailbox on the Enterprise Messaging system can be configured to support voice, fax and/or e-mail messages. Each message type can be found in its own queue to enable users to easily access messages that are more time sensitive or require more time to review.
A user will see a choice to select messages from the following categories:
With the addition of e-mail and fax messages in the mailbox, user will now have the flexibility to review all message types while away from their desktop, respond to urgent needs and even forward e-mail or fax messages to an accessible fax machine for more detailed review.
For each category, the messages are further grouped as new or saved for efficient management of incoming communication. Users can easily go in to messages and review and respond immediately, or save a message to archive or address later.
Listen to a New or Saved Message
When the user is listening to a message the following options are available:
While the message is playing:
Lower the volume
Play the envelope
Increase the volume
Save the message
Delete the message
Skip to the end
After the message has been played:
Replay the message
Reply to the message – via voicemail or return call
Forward a copy
Listen to the previous message
Play the envelope again
Listen to the next message
Save the message
Delete the message
Additionally, the user has the ability to recover deleted messages (timing is determined by programming, but can be up to 24 hours). In those instances when the user accidentally deleted a message, would like to access deleted messages, and/or respond or forward deleted messages to other users on the messaging system, Enterprise Messaging enables a recovery of these messages.
Send a Message
When the user has recorded a message, the following options are available:
Once the message has been recorded:
Replay the message
Add to the message
Erase and re-record
Select delivery options
Delivery Options include
Private – prevents the recipient from forwarding to others.
Certified – provides notification to the sender once the recipient has picked up the message.
Priority – places the message at the top of the recipient’s voicemail queue. Destination options are also available, so the user has the ability to send the message to another mailbox or exit to the main mailbox menu. Additionally, the user has the ability to retrieve sent messages prior to a recipient playing the message. This is a useful feature in those instances where information changes quickly or the user feels “regret” for sending a message that he/she wishes had not been sent.
Once the user is logged into the voicemail system, a number of personal options are available. These options allow for each individual to customise voicemail to his/her personal preferences. The personal options include:
There are three types of voicemail greeting options available:
The user can select any one of the greetings to be used. These options allow the user the ability to have three recorded messages that he/she can switch between based on personal preferences. For instance, the user may have a primary greeting stating that he/she is in the office, but currently away from the desk or on another call. The user may also have an alternate greeting stating he/she is travelling on business and is unavailable to return voicemail messages. Having two generic greetings allows the user to simply select the option that is appropriate. The third option is to select the system greeting that allows the user to have a non-personalised voicemail, which may be ideal for temporary workers and guest phones.
The Inter-Tel mailbox allows a user to determine which options he/she would like enabled when messages are received into his/her mailbox. Those options include:
Time and date
Source of message (e-mail address or Caller ID)
Pages of message (for fax)
Subject of message (e-mail)
Inter-Tel’s Enterprise Messaging allows a user to create, add or erase greetings. Recording options enable the user to personalise his/her voicemail to the extent that when a message is sent from the mailbox, the recipient of the message will be notified of the source, if he/she has that option enabled. The specific options available include:
Add to greeting/name
Erase and re-record
The Inter-Tel Enterprise Messaging application offers unique features at the desktop to allow users to better manage the flow of calls. These additional standard features include:
FAX destination – ability to divert faxes to an extension or e-mail address
Call screening transfer method – “Announce Only”, “Screened Calls” and “Unannounced”
Announce Only – The caller is asked to state his or her name. Then, the call is transferred. When the user answers the transfer,
Enterprise Messaging plays the caller’s name and completes the transfer.
Screened – The caller is asked to state his or her name. Then, the call is transferred. When the user answers the transfer, Enterprise Messaging plays the caller’s name. The user has the option of replaying the name, sending the call to voicemail, transferring the call to another extension, accepting the call or rejecting the call.
Unannounced – The call is transferred after Enterprise Messaging checks the station to determine its status. This is the default programming.
Message order – enables the user to select the preferred order in which to receive his/her messages, i.e., First In/First Out or Last
In/First Out The user has the ability to enable or disable all of the above personal options.
Remote Messaging Options
Remote messaging is a feature that can be enabled by the administrator through programming. If the user’s mailbox is enabled, the user or administrator can program a remote programming “cascade” (a series of up to nine telephone numbers) for the voicemail to call when the user’s mailbox receives a new message. Remote messaging allows users two notification options: primary notification and alternate notification.
Each cascade can be programmed for use during specific days and times. For example, if the user wants to be paged when he/she receives a message from 5:00 to 10:00pm on weekdays, the primary cascade can be set up accordingly. If the user wants to receive pages for messages marked priority on the weekends, the alternate cascade could be set up for all day on Saturdays and Sundays. There are programmable timers for each of the nine levels of notification within each notification table.
Retry Attempts – The mailbox can be programmed to retry notification calls when it encounters a busy trunk or trunk group. Each cascade level can be programmed with a number of call attempts ranging from one to 1000.
Number Called Busy – This timer determines the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts whenever a busy signal is encountered during a remote notification attempt to a personal number or pager.
Personal Number No Answer – This timer defines the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts whenever a message notification to a personal number is unanswered.
Pager Notification Retry – This is the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts when the notification number is a pager.
Voice Processing Additional Options
The Voice Processing Unit for the Inter-Tel Converged Communications System also offers additional functionality required by many businesses. The following are brief summaries of these additional features:
Fax On Demand – an optional feature that is installed in the Enterprise Messaging system. This feature provides fax services to callers who wish to select documents to be faxed to them. When the request is completed, a call to the caller’s fax machine to deliver the requested documents.
Multilingual Capability – provides a choice between English and Spanish prompts and displays. Two languages can be selected. The system selects the language to use for each call, as determined by the trunk, station and messaging programming.
Group Lists – are programmed in the database. Enterprise Messaging can support up to 1000 group lists with up to 1500 members per group. With Unified Messaging Software, users can have unlimited group lists through Microsoft® Outlook®.
Report Generation – includes reporting capabilities to print reports, such as Application and Channel Statistics, Directory Listings (by first name, last name or extension), Group List, Fax Delivery and Fax Document Usage reporting.
The convergence of voicemail, e-mail and faxes into a consolidated, single mailbox is a mainstream business application that can help a business maximise employee productivity, facilitate mobility and improve customer service. Telephone, fax and email have become indispensable tools for communication within companies. However, because these media vary so greatly, information monitoring poses a problem. Unified messaging allows an organisation to incorporate these different modes of communication into a single system. The role for Inter-Tel’s Unified Messaging Software is to supply a single integrated queue for multiple message types. Whether a user is in the office or on the road, Unified Messaging provides easy access to information anywhere, anytime. Additionally, Unified Messaging can help an organisation save time and lower the total cost of ownership of messaging services. Long distance expenses are minimised because with just one call, users can access all messages.
Inter-Tel offers one Unified Messaging application with two choices for deployment: Integrated Messaging and Microsoft Outlook Client integration. Integrated Messaging delivers basic unified messaging, by routing voicemail messages to an e mail client, for unification of e-mail and voicemail in one universal inbox. The Outlook Client installation expands the Unified Messaging solution by adding support for inbound fax calls and outbound fax origination. The client integration provides fax viewing support, as well as voice message record and playback controls. Users can respond to voice messages with a return voicemail completed through their desktop interface. System distribution lists for voicemail can be used with the Unified Messaging client to deliver timely reminders through voicemail. Users can store messages on their desktop for portable access or use both the voice interface and desktop to fulfil communication needs based on their location.