Voicemail’s Back, and it’s Time to Start Feelin’ the Love

So you hear the word “voicemail” and you’re thinking “Wasn’t that something people did back in the 80s?” 

At its inception, voicemail technology revolutionized the way business people communicated, freeing both caller and call recipient from the dreaded “phone tag” spiral.  The popularity of voicemail has since been greatly diminished by the relative ease and convenience of email, text messaging and chat exchanges.

But here’s the dilemma. When you have a really pressing business issue you need to discuss, you reach for the phone, right? But according to a recent AT&T survey, 75% of all business calls fail to reach their intended recipient. You’d love to just leave a voice message, if only you were sure the person on the other end would get it and respond right away.

The fact is, traditional voicemail is the quickest and easiest way to leave a message, but among the most cumbersome ways to retrieve it. People just don’t want to watch for that red light, dial in and listen to a queue of long rambling messages to find the one that actually matters. Talk about an annoying waste of time! Even Coke took the drastic measure of disabling its enterprise voicemail system in an attempt to improve employee productivity. I, for one, think that was incredibly short-sighted.

Because the fact is, we now have the technology to transform voicemail from a necessary evil into a truly powerful strategic asset, building on the capabilities we already have to transcribe the voice message to text and deliver as an email and/or text message to the intended recipient. Mutare’s EVM3 takes it a step further, adding links to the transcribed message that allow the recipient to remotely control the content of their voicemail inbox. Mutare’s solution also includes a mobile app that provides a visual summary of all waiting voicemail messages with their text transcriptions, so users on the go know immediately when a message is left and can quickly scroll through and priority response to the most urgent. It’s the best of both worlds, preserving the caller’s choice to simply leave a voice message while giving the recipient the ease, convenience, and increased responsiveness of retrieving voice messages delivered as text to the devices of their choice.

If you’re still thinking, “Yeh, but you still need an enterprise voicemail system and they are a pain to administer and expensive to maintain,” think again. Companies with legacy systems have much to gain by replacing their outdated hardware with today’s new cloud based solutions via SIP trunking, that can be SAS-delivered. It’s a win-win, saving administration time and cost while providing state-of-the-art functionality and capabilities for their employees.

And now you’re saying, “OK, but what about the security of my data in the cloud?”  Of course the level of security required depends on the organization. Some, like defense contractors, go so far as to put enhanced voicemail capabilities behind their firewall as part of their private cloud.  For others, ensuring that the voicemail data has a high-level of security with data encrypted both in transit and at rest make sense.  When considering a hosted voicemail solution, be sure to talk with your provider about your organization’s security needs and the various encryption options available for your specific IT systems and configuration.

The bottom line – rumors about the death of voicemail have been greatly exaggerated. Forward-thinking companies are seeing voicemail, in its latest and still developing incarnation, as an indispensable tool for enhanced employee productivity, business collaboration and customer responsiveness.