Visual Voicemail – What a wonderful thing!

By: Emma McCormack, Marketing Director, ShoreTel APAC

You know that moment when something changes your life, and you didn’t see it coming? I had another one this week. I was driving somewhere and had missed a couple of work calls. I knew theoretically there was a way to call into my voicemail remotely, but it was going to involve passwords, prompts and a phone number that for the life of me I couldn’t remember. Even checking voicemail on my mobile phone is painful. Different phone numbers, a different set of prompts – who has the time? Luckily, or embarrassingly, I’d been having a conversation with Ed Wright, our director of product management, about what features or functions a non-technical end user on the other end of the world might like to see in future ShoreTel applications. I’m not usually any good at predicting the future but in this case, as I was becoming increasingly frustrated by how hard it was to get my voicemail, I tapped out a text message (see below). And then I had my moment. All I wanted was a button that I could press to access, play and then delete my work voicemail. A single button that would show me what messages were waiting. I wouldn’t need to identify myself because it magically already knew who I was. I didn’t need to remember different prompts because The Universe had made voicemail smart. In fact, because it’s quicker to read something than listen to someone, why couldn’t I just read a summary of who the messages were from, when they arrived and how long they were. And then make a decision about whether I needed to listen to them or not? You know where this is going, don’t you? As I tried to avoid the unicorn that was racing me to the rainbow at the end of the road, Ed very graciously sent me a text. “Wouldn’t you prefer to use the visual voice mail in Mobility?” I really hesitated to write this, because while I’ve been with ShoreTel for nearly 12 months, I have somehow missed the fact that my imaginary, utopian voicemail already exists. And without trying to overstate it, my voice mail reality has totally changed the way I work.  I don’t use my desk phone to listen to my voicemail anymore. That angry little red light can blink all it wants – I’m not reacting to it. And calls I miss while on the road that make me feel vaguely guilty – no more. I know I’ll get to them if they’ve left a message, and even better, I can see immediately if three of the messages are my mother calling about lunch on Sunday. I am quite sure there are reams of documentation about the technical blah behind how it works and creating a more responsive workforce (yawn). But, my one button voicemail that is easy and smart and fast is my new favorite thing. Ed said he’s sending me a ShoreTel Dock to try out next week