A little over two years I ago I asked for recommendations on systems
capable of dialing a list of phone numbers and delivering a voice
message. There were a few suggestions then but the customer never acted.
Now they are looking at the situation again. So far I again haven't
found much searching the internet for "Voicemail broadcast" or " Voice
Message Broadcast" that sounded like a good fit. The specifically do not
want to use a service. They want it to be in house using their phone lines.

iMessaging Systems was one hit because it specifically mentioned
iSeries. But it has a lot of inbound features that wouldn't be used as
well as "outbound telemarketing" type features that wouldn't be used either.

They are currently using a system from UsNetCom but are not satisfied
with it and their unwillingness to provide software or data protocol
specs to write our own and eliminate having a PC in the middle. It also
requires human action to retrieve the reports and they do not go to a
file that can be returned to the System i for automatic customer records

This is for calling customers to let them know that they will be
disconnected in two days or that due to an emergency there will be/is an
interruption to services.

What they would like to accomplish is:

1) Have the System i send a list of phone numbers and customer IDs
directly to the dialer. 200 to 1500 numbers for an evening's work 1
maybe 2 phone lines.
    * Bonus would be if they can send multiple numbers for a customer
(work, home, cell...) and the dialer will try each until one answers and
skip the others for that customer.
2) Record the outgoing message either on the dialer via the phone or via
a PC and transfer it to the dialer.
3) Set a starting/ending time or *immed.
4) Have the System i retrieve a result file of:
    a) each customer dialed.
    b) which number was answered for each customer.
    c) whether it was a live voice or machine that answered.
    d) what time the message was received.
    e) if it was always busy during the time window.

Extra features they would like to look at are:
    a) The System i could specify a pre-recorded message file in the IFS.
    b) The System i could send a text file to the dialer and it would
convert it to voice.
    c) Recipient can replay message during the call.
    d) Recipient could provide a touch tone response of either 1 digit
(confirm or a question answer) or a 10 digit phone number that would be
included in the retrieved result file.
    e) If using a converted text message file have it customized from
the dial list (text from column N inserted) during each call.
    d) Access by the System i via TCP rather than RS232. (FTP?)
    f) Rack mount of the equipment. Directly or if small enough on a
shelf unit.

They really want this to be as automated as possible so that in case of
an emergency a field person can activate a notification list by a single
System i application and maybe a voice call to record the message.

When I mentioned that the iMessaging Systems unit could record a voice
message from the recipient or be transfered to a live person they
expressed less than zero interest.

Thanks for your recommendations and any testimonials.

Roger Vicker, CCP

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