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How Services Work

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 other way.

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 maintains all 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. 

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