voice mail system
The main task of voice mail system is to store and retrieve messages. There are large and small systems as per requirements. The large systems support multiple locations while small systems are PC based and integrated as cards in the telephone system.
Large voice mail system providers include Cisco, Avaya, Toshiba and Nortel. These helps customer get support for both phone as well as messaging system from one single vendor. The latest voice mail systems will have unified messaging capabilities. Many manufacturers are promoting this new concept. Unified messaging system makes it possible for the users to receive email,fax message and voice mail from a PC or touch screen phone.
Figure depicts components of a voice mail system. It consists of CPU, codecs, software, cards and storage devices as explained below.
CPU: The CPU is the heart of the system. It executes application software as well as operating system software.
It takes care of overall working of the voice mail system.
codec: It does analog to digital and vice versa conversion. It compresses voice and removes pauses and store voice mail messages on the storage devices.
software: There are various softwares installed which takes care of recording of time for various events in the system. It also houses automated attendant software.
Cards: There are various cards for different applications such as I/O cards, network interface card, line interface and telephone interface cards and so on. There are usually 4 ports on each board. Each port provides one person to leave ot pick up the voice mail message. There are cards along with software for speech recognition purpose.
Storage: There are hard disks and disk drives for storage of mails and for back up need.
Other than the above components voice mail systems will house serial ports and high speed data buses. There is connectivity among different voice mail systems distributed across in a organization.
Automated attendant system
The concept of automated attendants is most widely adopted as one of the application of voice mail system. Here automated attendant is programmed to answer the calls, calls to specific telephone numbers and departments etc. The first system was manufactured by the company called Dytel. Now automated attendant feature is available in the voice mail system itself as software. This need to be checked while purchasing the system in the feature list. These systems save money on the labor cost.