Voice Processing and Unified Messaging

Inter-Tel was one of the first companies to introduce the 'server to server' link with its voice processing platform. Inter-Tel have maintained the lead today over its competitors in providing a tightly integrated yet hugely powerful voice processing engine. From simple voice mail for each user through to remote message retrieval and single button record-a-call. Whatever the application Inter-Tel's voice processing platform can offer the solution. Add to this already powerful voice solution the unified messaging capability and you can view your e-mail, fax and voice messages from the same network access point.

Enterprise Messaging Overview

Inter-Tel’s new Enterprise Messaging application is a scalable, speech-enabled messaging and call routing tool that combines voice and data communications for a unified user experience. The messaging application provides a unified presentation for voice, fax and/or e-mail communications.

Optional speech recognition and text-to-speech support enrich message access when users are away from the office through an e-mail reader application. Fax library support, record-a-call and group distribution lists empower end users with flexible communication tools to communicate to groups of one or many.

With the automated attendant functions, the caller experience can be optimised based on time criteria, enhanced through customised routing tables, and simplified with speech-driven technology. Inter-Tel Enterprise Messaging is a centralised messaging solution designed to effectively address the needs of both single-site or distributed network systems.

Ideal solution for businesses:

With up to 400 employees

Needing over 200 call routing applications

Requiring a scalable foundation for messaging solutions on their networks

Looking for the benefits of speech technology

Requiring unified view of messages with multiple interfaces

Highlights of the Enterprise Messaging System:


Enterprise Messaging provides the features Inter-Tel customers are familiar with,
as well as several new enhancements:

Speech-enabled directory, automated attendant routing and voice mail access with speech recognition option

E-mail reader ability through Text-To-Speech option

Unified view of messaging types: e-mail, voice and fax

Enhanced reporting categories for improved management

Improved Operations Administration Management (OAM) commands and event reporting

Industry standard protocols for database and message store support

Scalable from 4- to 32-ports

Software licensed for fax, voice and speech technology

Fax and speech resources are dynamically used across the same voice boards

Additional platform PC configurations to address higher reliance

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional or Server operating system




Enterprise Messaging

The Enterprise Messaging system can be licensed and programmed to serve as all of the following:

Automated Attendant with Recall 

Automated Attendant is a programmable feature providing an automated answering service. This tireless, virtual “employee” eliminates callers being lost in a voice mail maze, and callers can have the choice if an extension is not available to leave a message or dial another extension.

Directory Service with Speech Recognition 

The directory is the listing of all the company employees with voice mail or extension IDs. This service is used through the Automated Attendant to provide access to employees, departments and hunt groups. Callers need to spell employees names on the keypad to be connected to the desired destination. Speech recognition can further empower this application—allowing callers to speak a name to reach directory listings. This eliminates the need to know how to spell any directory name. There are additional features such as unlisted numbers, private extensions and screening options for each listing.

Call Routing Application

Enterprise Messaging provides flexibility to create custom call routing allowing the caller to press a single digit for access to a mailbox, a Fax On-Demand function, or a station or hunt group. In addition, the Call Routing Application can be used in place of a playback device to provide an announcement to callers who are waiting to be answered through a hunt group. Call Routing Applications ensure an enterprise routes calls effectively and communicates the “right” information to its customers at the correct time. The Call Routing Application can be further enhanced by enabling callers to speak key words to simplify their connection to the right company resources.

Scheduled Call Routing 

The Scheduled Time Based Application Router (STAR) enhances the programmability of the Automated Attendant application’s greetings. With STAR, applications can be programmed to play alternative greetings for holidays, weekends and other scheduled events. This scheduling application serves as a “routing table” with up to 20 entries to efficiently route calls based on the day and time information in the table.

Combined Mailbox 

Users can now experience a combined mailbox to access voice, e-mail and fax messages. All user functionality can be enhanced with optional speech recognition to create a voice activated interface to receive, retrieve and manage all messages.

Voice Mail

Outside callers coming through the attendant or operator to a users extension with a mailbox will have the option to leave a message. An internal user can forward or transfer calls directly to other mailboxes. The voice mail system also allows a user to pick up messages anytime, from anywhere, in and outside of the system with control to play and manage their message volume.

E-Mail Messages 

Users of Enterprise Messaging now have the option to access all message types while away from their desktop environment. E-mails can be read to the users through Text-To-Speech capabilities. For e-mail messages, mailbox users can reply to one or all with voice messages, forward to local fax machines, as well as use playback control for easy review.

Fax Messages

Fax messages can be received stating source, pages, date and time. Fax messages can be forwarded to a local fax machine for viewing.

Message Notification and Retrieval 

The Enterprise Messaging system provides the convenience of remote message notification so users are alerted, via a pager or telephone, of voice mails when they’re away from the office.


Record-A-Call provides a record of important calls for quality assurance purposes, security, employee training and more. Recorded conversations are stored in the user’s mailbox for future reference. The voice mail application is robust and feature rich for any size business application. The following sections of this paper will review the detailed features of the voice mail application.



Enterprise Messaging Voicemail Features

Accessing Voicemail

Users can access voicemail by: Dialling the telephone or extension number assigned to the voicemail application Being transferred to voicemail by the automated attendant Being forwarded (using manual or system forward) to voicemail when the called phone is unavailable Responding to message waiting indications left by voicemail at the user’s desktop phone When accessing voicemail, users hear recorded instructions that prompt them for their password and once entered, they’re able to review the available messages. Most of the prompts are interruptible, and a user can press the desired key or speak the key word with speech recognition at anytime during the prompt, causing the prompt to stop and act on the requested choice.

Types of Mailboxes

With Enterprise Messaging, up to 10,000 mailboxes can be programmed for a networking and non networking environment. There are three types of mailboxes on system:

Standard Mailbox: features include: listening to new messages, recording/sending messages, forwarding messages, deleting messages, saving messages, programming personal options and, if authorised, setting up remote messaging.

Receive Only Mailbox: the user can only listen to new messages, save or delete them and program personal options. This type of mailbox is restricted from recording and sending messages, and has no access to remote messaging.

System Administrator: It has all of the Standard Mailbox options, plus the ability to record and send broadcast messages, perform mailbox and group list maintenance and record/select custom recordings, import fax documents and customise voicemail prompts. Additionally, there can be Extension IDs, which are stations that do not have mailboxes, but are included in the recorded directory. Miscellaneous parameters can be programmed for each mailbox including: mailbox capacity, allowed message lengths, greetings, envelope settings and directory information.


Inter-Tel Voicemail Features

Once a user has logged into the voicemail system, a number of options are made available, including:

Listen to Voice, Fax and E-mail

Hear New or Saved

Send a Message

Personal Options

Remote Message Options

These options can be enabled with speech recognition to allow users working at offsite locations such as, home offices, hotels, airports, and more, to use speech to drive message retrieval and management.

Voice, Fax and E Mail Messages

Each mailbox on the Enterprise Messaging system can be configured to support voice, fax and/or e-mail messages. Each message type can be found in its own queue to enable users to easily access messages that are more time sensitive or require more time to review.

A user will see a choice to select messages from the following categories:


E mail



With the addition of e-mail and fax messages in the mailbox, user will now have the flexibility to review all message types while away from their desktop, respond to urgent needs and even forward e-mail or fax messages to an accessible fax machine for more detailed review.

For each category, the messages are further grouped as new or saved for efficient management of incoming communication. Users can easily go in to messages and review and respond immediately, or save a message to archive or address later.

Listen to a New or Saved Message

When the user is listening to a message the following options are available:

While the message is playing:



Move forward

Lower the volume

Play the envelope

Increase the volume

Save the message

Delete the message

Skip to the end

After the message has been played:

Replay the message

Reply to the message – via voicemail or return call

Forward a copy

Listen to the previous message

Play the envelope again

Listen to the next message

Save the message

Delete the message


Additionally, the user has the ability to recover deleted messages (timing is determined by programming, but can be up to 24 hours). In those instances when the user accidentally deleted a message, would like to access deleted messages, and/or respond or forward deleted messages to other users on the messaging system, Enterprise Messaging enables a recovery of these messages.

Send a Message

When the user has recorded a message, the following options are available:

Once the message has been recorded:

Replay the message

Add to the message

Erase and re-record


Select delivery options

Accept recording


Delivery Options include

Private – prevents the recipient from forwarding to others.

Certified – provides notification to the sender once the recipient has picked up the message.

Priority – places the message at the top of the recipient’s voicemail queue. Destination options are also available, so the user has the ability to send the message to another mailbox or exit to the main mailbox menu. Additionally, the user has the ability to retrieve sent messages prior to a recipient playing the message. This is a useful feature in those instances where information changes quickly or the user feels “regret” for sending a message that he/she wishes had not been sent.

Personal Options

Once the user is logged into the voicemail system, a number of personal options are available. These options allow for each individual to customise voicemail to his/her personal preferences. The personal options include:

Greeting options

Envelope options

Recording options

Greeting Options

There are three types of voicemail greeting options available:

Primary greeting

Alternate greeting

System greeting


The user can select any one of the greetings to be used. These options allow the user the ability to have three recorded messages that he/she can switch between based on personal preferences. For instance, the user may have a primary greeting stating that he/she is in the office, but currently away from the desk or on another call. The user may also have an alternate greeting stating he/she is travelling on business and is unavailable to return voicemail messages. Having two generic greetings allows the user to simply select the option that is appropriate. The third option is to select the system greeting that allows the user to have a non-personalised voicemail, which may be ideal for temporary workers and guest phones.

Envelope Options

The Inter-Tel mailbox allows a user to determine which options he/she would like enabled when messages are received into his/her mailbox. Those options include:

Time and date

Message source

Message length

Source of message (e-mail address or Caller ID)

Pages of message (for fax)

Subject of message (e-mail)

Recording Options

Inter-Tel’s Enterprise Messaging allows a user to create, add or erase greetings. Recording options enable the user to personalise his/her voicemail to the extent that when a message is sent from the mailbox, the recipient of the message will be notified of the source, if he/she has that option enabled. The specific options available include:

Replay greeting/name

Add to greeting/name

Erase and re-record

Additional Options

The Inter-Tel Enterprise Messaging application offers unique features at the desktop to allow users to better manage the flow of calls. These additional standard features include:

FAX destination – ability to divert faxes to an extension or e-mail address

Call screening transfer method – “Announce Only”, “Screened Calls” and “Unannounced”

Announce Only – The caller is asked to state his or her name. Then, the call is transferred. When the user answers the transfer,

Enterprise Messaging plays the caller’s name and completes the transfer.

Screened – The caller is asked to state his or her name. Then, the call is transferred. When the user answers the transfer, Enterprise Messaging plays the caller’s name. The user has the option of replaying the name, sending the call to voicemail, transferring the call to another extension, accepting the call or rejecting the call.

Unannounced – The call is transferred after Enterprise Messaging checks the station to determine its status. This is the default programming.

Message order – enables the user to select the preferred order in which to receive his/her messages, i.e., First In/First Out or Last

In/First Out The user has the ability to enable or disable all of the above personal options.


Remote Messaging Options

Remote messaging is a feature that can be enabled by the administrator through programming. If the user’s mailbox is enabled, the user or administrator can program a remote programming “cascade” (a series of up to nine telephone numbers) for the voicemail to call when the user’s mailbox receives a new message. Remote messaging allows users two notification options: primary notification and alternate notification.

Each cascade can be programmed for use during specific days and times. For example, if the user wants to be paged when he/she receives a message from 5:00 to 10:00pm on weekdays, the primary cascade can be set up accordingly. If the user wants to receive pages for messages marked priority on the weekends, the alternate cascade could be set up for all day on Saturdays and Sundays. There are programmable timers for each of the nine levels of notification within each notification table.

Retry Attempts – The mailbox can be programmed to retry notification calls when it encounters a busy trunk or trunk group. Each cascade level can be programmed with a number of call attempts ranging from one to 1000.

Number Called Busy – This timer determines the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts whenever a busy signal is encountered during a remote notification attempt to a personal number or pager.

Personal Number No Answer – This timer defines the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts whenever a message notification to a personal number is unanswered.

Pager Notification Retry – This is the amount of time to wait between outgoing call attempts when the notification number is a pager.

Voice Processing Additional Options

The Voice Processing Unit for the Inter-Tel Converged Communications System also offers additional functionality required by many businesses. The following are brief summaries of these additional features:

Fax On Demand – an optional feature that is installed in the Enterprise Messaging system. This feature provides fax services to callers who wish to select documents to be faxed to them. When the request is completed, a call to the caller’s fax machine to deliver the requested documents.

Multilingual Capability – provides a choice between English and Spanish prompts and displays. Two languages can be selected. The system selects the language to use for each call, as determined by the trunk, station and messaging programming.

Group Lists – are programmed in the database. Enterprise Messaging can support up to 1000 group lists with up to 1500 members per group. With Unified Messaging Software, users can have unlimited group lists through Microsoft® Outlook®.

Report Generation – includes reporting capabilities to print reports, such as Application and Channel Statistics, Directory Listings (by first name, last name or extension), Group List, Fax Delivery and Fax Document Usage reporting.

Unified Messaging

The convergence of voicemail, e-mail and faxes into a consolidated, single mailbox is a mainstream business application that can help a business maximise employee productivity, facilitate mobility and improve customer service. Telephone, fax and email have become indispensable tools for communication within companies. However, because these media vary so greatly, information monitoring poses a problem. Unified messaging allows an organisation to incorporate these different modes of communication into a single system. The role for Inter-Tel’s Unified Messaging Software is to supply a single integrated queue for multiple message types. Whether a user is in the office or on the road, Unified Messaging provides easy access to information anywhere, anytime. Additionally, Unified Messaging can help an organisation save time and lower the total cost of ownership of messaging services. Long distance expenses are minimised because with just one call, users can access all messages.

Inter-Tel offers one Unified Messaging application with two choices for deployment: Integrated Messaging and Microsoft Outlook Client integration. Integrated Messaging delivers basic unified messaging, by routing voicemail messages to an e mail client, for unification of e-mail and voicemail in one universal inbox. The Outlook Client installation expands the Unified Messaging solution by adding support for inbound fax calls and outbound fax origination. The client integration provides fax viewing support, as well as voice message record and playback controls. Users can respond to voice messages with a return voicemail completed through their desktop interface. System distribution lists for voicemail can be used with the Unified Messaging client to deliver timely reminders through voicemail. Users can store messages on their desktop for portable access or use both the voice interface and desktop to fulfil communication needs based on their location.



EM Specifications and Capacities

System Capacity and Specifications System Capacities

Ports: 4, 8, 12, 16, 24 in pre-kitted solutions
Fax Ports: 8 ports maximum for kits 8 – 24 ports (depends on configurations)
Mailboxes: 10,000 local (plus 8,000 off-node)
Applications: 1,000
Group lists: 1,000
Mailboxes per list: 1,500
Unified Messaging Subscribers: 3,000

Minimum Platform Specifications 

Windows 2000 (Professional or Server)
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz Processor
80 GB hard drive (mirrored hard drive optional)
4 total slots for voice cards expansion
RAID I (optional)

 E-mail Reader Interoperability

Inter Tel supports IMAP standards and has validated them with Microsoft Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, and Exchange 2003






Links you may find of interest: Mitel Phone Manual | Mitel phone System