Telco Ltd. Blog

Taking ESI Mobile Messaging for a test drive

We got a chance recently to take ESI Mobile Messaging for a spin.  This is ESI’s new voicemail-to-email solution, available on all ESI Communication Server phone systems (the ESI-50L model must be upgraded to an ESI-50 to take advantage, which we are told is a painless process that does NOT require reprogramming the phone system; existing ESI-50, ESI-100, ESI-200, ESI-600 and ESI-1000 phone system owners can participate without a model upgrade).

ESI Mobile Messaging requires the addition of an ESI Applications Card to the phone system, as well as a Mobile Messaging license, which is site-wide and allows any normal phone user or Guest mailbox user to participate. The card itself incorporates two RJ-45 Ethernet connections, only one of which is required for this application (also unused for now is a USB port on the card; it should be interesting to see what all ESI comes up with as uses for these extra connections).  After plugging the card into our LAN and doing the initial configuration (which included telling the system about our ISP and email SMTP settings), we found we were able to go in through any of the office phones and specify for each user where to send email notifications to.  Of course, not all users require this feature, so we were able to specify on a per-user basis who was to get Mobile Messaging functionality. We noted that each user can have up to two email addresses set up, one of which can be active at any given time.  For each email address, we were able to specify whether to send an email notification only that a voicemail was received in the office, or to actually attach the voicemail message itself to the email.

We were pleased with the performance of Mobile Messaging.  In our tests, we left several voicemail messages for office users, and received a copy of the voicemail in our email literally a couple of minutes later.  The voicemail attachment itself is a WAV file (standard computer format), and played easily using software that was already on the computer.  The WAV files must be compressed in some way, because they are approximately the same size as an MP3 file, which is normally about 1/10th the size of a WAV file.  Despite the compression, the audio quality was great.

This application strikes us as perfect for people who are on vacation or who are often on the go and who have smart phones or check their email through a laptop computer.  It would also be great for those people who often need to archive voicemail messages, or forward them to individuals outside of their organization.  We’re pleased to see this tool in ESI’s arsenal, and it serves to cement our belief that ESI is the best business phone system manufacturer there is.  We undertand that, while Mobile Messaging is the first application that the Applications Card supports, it certainly won’t be the last.  We look forward to trying out new applications as they become available.

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