Voice mail is a system used for storing telephone messages for a large group people. It is a very important system for busy individuals who cannot answer their calls every time. The advent of such systems came about due to the need of corporates and bigger companies, to have an economical and simple method to store telephone messages for their employees. The simple answering machines were not viable because that would need one answering machine per telephone.
When a person calls another on their cell phone, and if the dialed person is busy, the voice mail message service is activated. The caller can then store their message, in what is called a 'voice mail inbox'. VMS has the ability to make a call to a telephone or a cell phone, in order to inform the user that they have a message. The dialed person can then retrieve these messages from their inbox later, by clearing some simple, pre-determined security procedures, commonly a password.
Voice mail systems (VMS) may be available with residential phone networks, however they are a standard network feature with most cellular networks. Today, these systems are most commonly associated with office telephone networks and private branch exchanges (PBX).
Voice mail uses a telephone machine for its user interface, and is connected to a central computer system. VMS can answer multiple phones at the same time. They also enable users to forward messages to another mailbox. Further, voice mail stores incoming messages in private and personalized mailboxes, which are generally associated with the user's phone number. This service also allows its users to forward the received messages to another mailbox.
The service also allows the user to send messages to one or more voice mailboxes, and it enables the user to greet the caller with a personalized message. It also allows the user to add a voice introduction to a forwarded message. It also allows the user to play different greeting messages to different callers. This can be done by simply feeding and registering the said numbers into the inbox.
VMS consists of a central processing unit (CPU) and a software program. The program gives the look and feel to this system. It is this software that consists the various prompts and commands which make up the crux of the system. VMS also consists of disk controllers and many disks, which are used to store the messages. They also have system disks which contain data pertaining to the entire working of the system, including pointers to each of the messages that are stored on the disk drives.
Voice mail messaging, single-handedly solved the communication problems in the corporate world. A few years ago, there was a huge loss of productivity because of individuals not being able to contact other individuals. This was mainly because of the decrease of the ratio of secretaries to employees. Some studies showed that almost one in four phone calls did not require a conversation and was simply a message of either work done, or work about to start.
Voice mail enables people to leave detailed and long secure messages across the world. It also systematizes the flow of communications in the corporate world. Separate surveys have noted that companies can save up to a thousand dollars, per employee, per year, with the use of these messaging systems.