Voice-Mail Alert!

Calls to office voice-mail systems make up about 10% of all cellular calls placed by mobile workers, says Traq-wireless. Is there a way to make checking office voice mail easier and cheaper?

In October, Verizon Wireless started offering a service called Office Message Alert to organizations that house their voice mail on central private branch exchange (PBX) systems. Office Message Alert takes an incoming voice mail and sends it out to a cell phone as a 20-character Short Messaging Service (SMS) message.

Once the cellular subscriber receives the message, all he has to do is hit the Talk button on the handset of his phone to be connected to the person who left the voice mail.

Bedminster, N.J.-based Verizon Wireless uses software developed by TeleCommunication Systems Inc. in Annapolis, Md., for its Office Message Alert system. The software serves as a bridge between the office PBX system and the Verizon Wireless network, automatically forwarding the messages from corporate customers who sign up for the service.

Traq-wireless started offering a service called Voice Mail Alert System in September. Like the Verizon Wireless system, the Traq-wireless service is tied into an enterprise PBX and automatically forwards details of voice mails via SMS messages. But the Traq-wireless system is connected to a database that performs lookup functions on the identity of the caller and can forward not only the number, but also the name and address of the caller.

Besides providing a wealth of detail about office voice-mail messages to mobile workers, the systems also save valuable airtime and can help cut cell phone bills.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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