How Voicemail Services Work
Voicemail services are hosted by
companies called service bureaus, also known as
communication service providers. Voicemail
service bureaus will typically host voicemail services
for many companies, large and small. By
providing these services in bulk, they are usually
reliable, robust offerings at an affordable rate.
Enhanced Service Platforms
Service bureaus operate call
processing or communication platforms that can handle
large call volumes for their customers. These
platforms are also known as "Enhanced Service
Platforms". Most are computer-based and can
cost anywhere from tens of thousands up to hundreds of
thousands for a single platform. These platforms
are complex systems that integrate directly with
telephone company high-capacity lines such as T'1 or
more commonly, ISDN PRI trunks. A single T1 can
handle 24 simultaneous calls and a given customer
could have their calls received on any or all of the
T1's at any given time.
Your Unique Telephone Number
Just like the telephone company,
service bureau's will assign you a unique local or
toll free telephone number. Instead of that
number ringing a single telephone line at your
location, it will ring into the bank of communication
servers on the high capacity trunks. As your
call is delivered to the server, the telephone company
sends a data-packet telling the server which telephone
number this call should be delivered to. The
communication platforms will then answer the caller
with your personal voicemail system. Due to the
sophisticated trunking capabilities, they are
engineered to accept multiple simultaneous calls to
your telephone number so that your callers should
never receive a busy signal.
How Callers Reach Voicemail
Your callers are directed to your
voicemail system through one of the following:
a) your callers can call your voicemail system
directly by dialing the assigned telephone number.
b) your telephone lines are configured to forward
calls to voicemail when the lines are all busy, or
when the telephones are not answered.
c) you transfer callers into voicemail.
After reaching your voicemail
system, callers will be handled differently depending
on the configuration you have requested.
Twenty-four (24) hours a day, callers can listen to
pre-recorded information, receive fax documents, be
transferred to you, leave you a message, have you
paged, or interact with your voicemail system in some
No Equipment To Buy
One of the most attractive
features of voicemail services is that there is no
equipment to buy. The service bureau owns and
of the equipment at their facilities. You never
have to worry about hiring an I.T. person, maintaining
service contracts, performing upgrades, backing up the
system, or any other routine maintenance. They
will handle all of these routine issues for you.
You are also under no obligations to stay with a given
solution. If at any time you decide to cancel
the service, you simply cancel and switch to another
service (or to an onsite system).
No Busy Signals
Voicemail services differ from onsite systems in that
they enable you to guarantee that callers never receive
a busy signal. An average office has 4 telephone
lines that are connected to a telephone system.
When using onsite voicemail equipment, if all 4 lines
are busy or if there is a power or equipment failure,
callers won't reach your voicemail but instead get a
busy signal. This never happens when using
voicemail services. If your lines are busy or are
not answered, the telephone company can route calls
directly to the voicemail service. This assures
you that your callers will never experience a busy
signal or an unanswered call.