Meet EVM: Get campus voicemail at the click of a mouse

You've heard of one-click shopping, but what about one-click voicemail?

On May 8, the Communications Resources unit of Information and Educational Technology will make Enabled Voicemail (EVM)--a new, free, optional feature--available to anyone who has a campus voicemail account. EVM sends voicemail messages to a user's email inbox, where he or she can play the messages as audio files. Users may also receive text messages on their cell phones notifying them when the voicemails come in.

The goal is to offer users increased access to their campus voicemail, and greater ease of use when checking their messages, by creating access to those voice messages through email. If you don't use EVM, your campus voicemail will work the same as always.

The EVM software works by automatically checking the user's voicemail, sending alerts, converting the recording to an MP3 file, and forwarding the voicemails to the user's email address.

A caller ID function will be added in July. It will capture IDs from calls placed from campus voicemail subscribers--in other words, largely from campus phones linked to voicemail accounts.

Communications Resources first tried Enabled Voicemail as a pilot for its own employees and for the School of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, which happened to be upgrading a similar voicemail system. The results were good. "The email notification is nice," said Katie Douthitt, animal health tech supervisor at the hospital, adding that she appreciates the ability to play voicemail messages on her email.

EVM also:

--eliminates the button-pushing usually required to access voicemail by phone--such as dialing in, punching in a password, and pushing keys to save or erase messages. Users no longer have to repeat or skip messages in sequence to get the one they want. They just choose the sound file they want, and play it.

--makes it easier to reach people through their office phon es, even if they're rarely in the office to use those phones, because their messages will be forwarded to their email.

The ability to see and choose a single voicemail message resembles the Visual Voicemail feature of Apple's iPhone. Introducing this functionality is part of the shift toward integrating different communication media into the core campus network capabilities. Communications Resources is trying to acclimate its voicemail clients to the merging of voice and IP (Internet protocol) technologies throughout the telecommunications industry, said Dave Klem, director of Communications Resources.

Once the economics and standards are firm, the campus will probably move toward VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones that can also provide notices and voice messages via a variety of delivery paths, including email, Klem said.

Enabled Voicemail is available to both basic and advanced voicemail box users. Learn more or sign up here.