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voicemail glossary

This glossary lists terms or phrases unique to voicemail.

Glossary of terms

A pre-recorded message heard by system users.

Automated Attendant
The computerized replacement for a human operator that answers and directs calls by playing greetings and responding to touchtones. An automated attendant acts like a "super receptionist" who works at computer speed 24 hours a day.

Automatic Number Identification (ANI)
The name used by U.S. exchanges for the system that identifies the calling number. (See Calling Line Identification).

Call Blocking
This gives a system subscriber the option to block all calls to his or her numbers.  Callers are automatically sent to voicemail and are given the option to leave a message.

Call Center
Any location within a company where quantities of incoming and/or outgoing calls are handled by people, telephones, and computers.

Call Processing
The technology whereby telephone and computer systems work together to handle incoming calls; including receiving the call, transferring it to the proper extension, and/or taking a voice message.

Call Queing
When an extension is busy, the callers are given the option to hold, leave a message, or try another extension.  

Call Screening / Call Whisper
Call screening will ask the caller for a name before forwarding the caller to you. When you answer, the system announces that you have a caller waiting and plays the name. You then have the option of taking the call or not.

Calling Line Identification (CLI)
The name used by exchanges outside of the U.S. for the system that identifies the calling number. (See Automatic Number Identification).

Computer Telephone Integration (CTI)
The technology that connects a computer to a telephone system and lets the computer take control of the commands.

Enhanced Services Platform. A communications platform that enables network service providers to offer enhanced services, such as voicemail, unified messaging and personal assistants.

Integrated Messaging
A communications solution that integrates proprietary groupware databases and directories with a client application to deliver all voice, fax, and e-mail messages into a single inbox. Users can manage all their messages from one inbox, however, their messages are housed in disparate stores, and they must access separate directories to address different types of messages.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
A voice processing system that interfaces with a database to provide callers with specific information. Callers input their unique identifying data—either by pressing certain digits on the touchtone telephone or via speech recognition—and the system responds with the requested information. Banking by telephone is an example of an IVR application.

Live Connect / Follow Me / Find Me
When a caller attempts to reach you via live connect, the voicemail calls you at your home, office, cell phone, or any other number you specify and connects you with the caller.  The voicemail will either call all numbers simultaneously (shotgun) or will try each number in sequence (cascade).  While you are being located, your caller is on hold listening to your selection of hold music.   When you are contacted, the voicemail has the option to announce the name of the caller and let you choose to talk to the them or send them to voicemail. 

Message Notification
Your voicemail system will locate you at your office, home, cell phone, or at any other telephone and immediately deliver new messages the minute they arrive.  This feature can be configured so that it accommodates your schedule.  You have complete control over the time of day and day of week that each number is called.  When the system finds you, it will request that you enter your password for verification, and then it will deliver any new messages that have arrived.  This feature will also work with your pager for message notification

Private Branch Exchange. A private telephone switching system located on a customer premises that slows calls from outside to be routed directly to the individual instead of through a central number. A PBX also allows for calling within an office through 4-digi extensions and provided pooled access to a group of access lines typically by dialling 9 form an internal, station set.

A point of access to a telephone system, a computer, or a network.

Prerecorded messages or instructions within a voice messaging system that are designed to guide the caller through the system, e.g., "If you know your party's extension, you may enter it at any time during this message."

Public Switched Telephone Network. The circuit-switched telecommunications network commonly accessed by ordinary t telephones, key telephone systems, PBX trunks and data arrangements.

Small Office Home Office. A business with very few employees usually a one, from home.

Speech Recognition
The ability of a voice messaging application to understand human speech and transfer it into digital or analog signals.

Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI)
A set of guidelines developed by Microsoft and Intel Corporation for connecting individual PCs directly to telephones. TAPI is designed for small business networks.

Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI)
A set of guidelines for software developers, produced by AT&T and Novell, Inc., connecting a corporate telephone system with a computer network's server. TSAPI is designed for use in large business networks.

Toll Saver
When you call to retrieve your messages and hear two rings, it means that there are no new messages. Simply hang-up during the second ring and save the toll charges. If there are new messages, you will hear your own greeting pick up after the first ring.

Unified Messaging/Universal Mailbox
A single point of access for all messages, including voice, e-mail, and fax communications. By having all messages stored in one location rather than three separate ones, users can better control and manage their communications.

Voice Mail
A message that is left in the caller's own voice and retrieved by the user at their convenience from any touchtone telephone. Voice mail has been found to be more effective than written messages because it keeps calls confidential, simplifies decision making, saves time and money, eliminates inaccurate messages and telephone tag, and allows people to use their time more productively.

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