Escalation Lists Support Sequential Calling for Alerts in EmailToVoice.Net

Escalation Lists Support Sequential Calling for Alerts in EmailToVoice.Net

Escalation Lists in EmailToVoice.Net are used to sequentially send a text-to-speech (TTS) message to a list of phone recipients from any business application. An alert notification needs action immediately. This may require the alert to be sent to more than one person to assure action is taken on the critical issue. EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability to send to a sequential list of people until one is reached. The feature of EmailToVoice.Net is called an Escalation List.

Escalation List Based Upon Proven List Management

EmailToVoice.Net has long provided List Management so that a customer can send a message to multiple recipients, such as an email to a voice phone call. This is done in the Customer Portal under the menu item Manage Personal Lists.

 

Recipeint Lists in Email to Phone and SMS

In the Customer Portal, you can create and maintain lists of recipients. Then in the Email, you use the tag called Lists to identify the List you want to use for the message.

Feature Addition to List Management

A feature of the List Management capability in EmailToVoice.Net is Escalation Lists.

Escalation Lists are used to sequentially send a text-to-speech (TTS) message to a list of phone recipients. The messages are sent one at a time until a person answers or takes an action to accept the call. The acceptance of the call is based upon specific criteria set by the administrator that created the list. This is unlike the standard list type, where the message is sent to all the recipients at one time.

The purpose of an escalation list is to find a recipient who can act on the message. Examples of such a message might be:

  • Perform an urgent maintenance job for a piece of equipment that has failed
  • Fill a shift vacancy for someone who has called in sick
  • Get a courier to urgently pick up a package and deliver it

How the Escalation List works

The Escalation List feature would call the first contact in the list. If they do not listen to the message for at least 10 seconds, or do not reply in a positive fashion by pressing 1 in the phone’s Dialpad, then the second contact is called. And that continues until someone listens to the message, replies to accept the offer, or the List is exhausted.

In all instances, a status report of the message is logged on the Customer Portal under View All Jobs and an email status report is returned to the main email address on the account. Further Workflow processes can be executed using the email status report with a product such as Microsoft Power Automate.

To use this feature, you set up a new list (or edit an old one) in the Customer Portal and tick the box “This list is an escalation list”.

 

Set the Escalation List identifier

When you name the List, click on the box that says this is an Escalation List

Send a Message to an Escalation List

You send your TTS message using this list in EmailToVoice.Net. For example,

  1. send the email message TO dmy@tts.message-service.org
  2. in the body of your message, include:
    <Lists>*My New Escalation List Name*</Lists> (* * replace with your list name)

The message must be picked up (not by voice mail) and listened to for at least 10 seconds, otherwise, the next recipient in the list is called. Once someone listens to the message for the required length of time, the job stops there.

If you send a two-way TTS, the recipient must press 1 on the phone’s Dialpad to accept the message. Otherwise, the next recipient in the list is called. In this case, it doesn’t matter how long the person has listened to the message. Making a TTS message a Two Way is done by merely adding the tag <TwoWay> on a separate line in the content of the email.

Phone Calls are Loud and Rare

Phone calls get people’s attention when you need them to act on a critical event. When you send an email, it just does not get the necessary level of attention for important information.

Implementation of industrial-strength solution for communication-enabling business processes such as critical alerts is a major effort. Sending a message from monitoring software or directly from an IoT device to a phone requires a specialized hardware and software solution to be installed in the client’s central data center. Connections to smart devices, CRM, PCS or ERP systems need to go through complex API’s or propriety software gateways

However, a cloud-based communications solution such as EmailToVoice.Net makes this all as easy as sending an email. The EmailToVoice.Net service does the hard stuff. It converts the text of the email message into a genuine-sounding voice (Text to Speech), then dials the phone, handles voice mail, and much more. All of this is done without the need to install hardware or use APIs. There are not even any monthly fees.

Rich on Features

EmailToVoice.Net is rich in features while being simple and effective to use for business communications and alerts. We transform an email message into a phone call or enterprise Text Message with no need to program APIs or install any hardware or software. You can send a voice phone call (TTS), Enterprise Text SMS, FAX or prerecorded Voice Message from any email program interface through your monitoring software, CRM, or Dispatch System. Contact Us and let us assist you in meeting your mission-critical business communications needs.

 

Author

Director at EmailToVoice.Net: CISSP – Solutions Architect for Industrial IoT Alerts and Business Communications. LinkedIn

 

 

How to make a phone call using an email interface

How to make a phone call using an email interface

What alternative is available to make a phone call using email? This is especially useful for sending a voice message to a phone from an alert system or business application. A cloud-based messaging service called EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability to convert an email to a phone call with no need to install special APIs, hardware or software.

Why Send a Phone Alert

Email is the typical mode of communication for alerts from the monitoring software, CRM or other business applications. But, few of us immediately respond to email, especially after-hours and when we are sleeping. A phone call, however, will get our attention at all of hours of the day.

Immediate response to the message is not the only reason to use a phone message for communication. If recipients are driving a truck, or any vehicle, an email is unacceptable. The message should not be read by the driver of a moving vehicle. A message coming across a hands-free phone may be an accepted alternative.

How to send an Alert to a Phone

EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability to make a phone call using any email interface. This can be tested using a personal email mailbox. However, the production use of this capability is by utilizing the email capability within Alert Software, CRM, ERP or any enterprise application.

How to Use EmailToVoice.Net

First, a user should subscribe to EmailToVoice.net. A free trial is available with a value of $4.95 USD allowing about 55 message units to be sent within a 28 day trial period. The user will be able to immediately make a phone call using their email by following the simple instructions below:

FROM Field

The email must be sent from the same email address as was specified during the free trial subscription process.

TO Field

The TO field will specify the phone number to be dialed. The TO field would look something like 2145551783@tts.message-service.org. (if the number is not a USA or Canadian number, then the TO field would look something like +6155551243@tts.message-service.org) The number can be any phone number in the world, with some exceptions due to international regulations, and does not have to be preregistered.

SUBJECT Field

The SUBJECT field can be anything brief. It is used for reporting.

Content of Email

The content of the email is converted to a pleasant sounding American English voice. (Leave at least 4 lines after the content of the email and before the email signature, so the Email signature is not converted to voice.)

Send the Email

That’s it. The EmalToVoice.net service will dial the number, play the voice rendition of the email content, handle voicemail, etc.

Advanced Features

There are many advanced features of EmailToVoice.Net. Those features will be covered in future posts. So, subscribe to our blog and stay updated. We also provide some very useful information in our Blog regarding Industrial Internet of Things, Monitoring Software and much more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are There Alternatives to the Internet?

Are There Alternatives to the Internet?

The impact of a lost Internet is becoming more important to each of us everyday. The expanding Internet of Things and Services-on Demand are becoming an integral part of our every day lives. In addition, cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, will continue to play a more significant role in the global economy.

We need to be connected to businesses and individuals. However, the Internet, as we know it, has shown to be vulnerable. The Internet has innocently developed a central point of failure, even though it was meant to be distributed and resilient. The central point of failure has become the domain servers that reconcile domain names into IP addresses. This centralized weakness was exploited in the 2016 attack on the DYN servers.

We can continue to get better at protecting the Internet by predicting and protecting its vulnerabilities. At the same time, we should accept that an attacker could get through our defenses. In that case, we need a ‘plan B’. But, is there one? is there an alternative to the Internet that can provide some or all of the value the Internet provides us today?.

The solution would be an alternative networking capability. This alternate network model would not need to provide all the services we have grown to depend upon initially. But, as time went by, the number of applications and services would be duplicated. The first priorities would be best limited to what is necessary for basic existence. For instance, this would be message alerts and, also, currency to acquire food and supplies. Then there would be access to shelter and safety; and so on.

Mesh Network

Necessity has already caused innovative alternative solutions to the present day Internet. One example was when the Chinese government shut down access to the Internet during the Hong Kong demonstrations of 2014. The demonstrators used FireChat to communicate. Firechat is a mobile app by Open Garden that does not require the Internet. It communicates to others on the Mesh Network. Open Garden states:

Our revolutionary peer-to-peer mesh networking technology enables communities, organizations and app developers to create resilient, people-powered networks and services, extending the reach of the Internet.

A mesh network connects to the nearest device that is cooperating in the network. This connection can be using a short distance method, such as Bluetooth or WiFi. Messages can be bouncing from one device to the next with a destination of getting out to the wider Internet. Or it can be fulfilling its goal within the short distance through connected devices sharing critical information with the participants.

Using a Mesh Network on a broad and more permanent way is under development in different locations. An example would be the NYC Mesh project.

NYC Mesh is a community owned network. Our network consists of Wi-Fi router “nodes” spread throughout the city. The network has no central server and no single internet service provider. All nodes cooperate in the distribution of data, also serving as a stand-alone network in case of emergencies or internet shutdown.

The Tor Network

There are other networks available that do not rely upon the native Internet. One is Tor, the network used in the Deep Web. Tor relies on participants to pass on your request of a service to other participants until the request is satisfied. The request is wrapped in encrypted layers so that the participants do not see what the request or response actually is – only the information necessary to pass on the information. Decryption does not occur until the packet arrives at its destination. The O in Tor is for ‘onion’. The network packet is like an onion with many internal layers.

Blockchain Inspired Networks

There are also peer-to-peer networks being developed using Blockchain, such as the Ethereum Virtual Machine;

Like any blockchain, Ethereum also includes a peer-to-peer network protocol. The Ethereum blockchain database is maintained and updated by many nodes connected to the network. Each and every node of the network runs the EVM and executes the same instructions. For this reason, Ethereum is sometimes described evocatively as a “world computer”.

The Internet of Sound

There are many ways to transmit information. Sound was the first in our evolutionary history and now is often forgotten as a viable alternative. However, it is making a comeback. The Internet of Sound uses sound itself as the network. Transmitting information may be restricted at this time to small pieces of information, but it does not take much to transmit a URL. Sound can travel through the air or across telephone lines, of which there are still plenty. This natural duplicity of networks, line and cellular, is attractive when developing a resilient communications method.

Using a cloud service, such as EmailToVoice.Net, allows application to convert the content of an email to a voice and then transmit it as a voice call to places that cannot be reached through other means.This is not a network, but applications such as this can assist in accomplishing tasks through alternative means. Presently, Email To Voice is a popular communications service in Industrial IoT applications.

One or More of These

As the Internet gets more important to our daily needs, we should continue to explore these alternative methods of networking and communications to ensure our security. A comprehensive solution may not be the best solution to explore first. The activities most crucial to our sustainability should be sought initially; then followed by the less critical, but convenient, aspects of our daily lives. One or more of these technologies may evolve into a complete alternative to the Internet.

This is a discussion we should continue to explore.

 

Denis ONeil CISSP

Denis ONeil CISSP

Founder of OLinks Corp, Creator of EmailToVoice.Net

Denis O’Neil is the Founder of OLinks Corporation and creator of EmailToVoice.Net. Denis has extensive experience in customer engagement and business communications having held leadership positions in several international companies.

The Phone That Receives IIoT Alerts Should Not Need to be Preregistered

The Phone That Receives IIoT Alerts Should Not Need to be Preregistered

An Industrial IoT device often needs the ability to send a voice alert to a person. That voice alert will need to go to a telephone that may be a call center, a support person, or a repair truck. In any case, the telephone number cannot always be pre-registered or verified to the messaging service. Pre-registering the number with a service has the potential of halting the process – just at a time that is most critical.

EmailToVoice.Net is a cloud messaging service that allows a simple email interface to make a voice call to any telephone number. Unlike other services, the number does not have to be pre-registered or verified with EmailToVoice.Net.

IIoT Needs to Communcate

Industrial IoT devices often must communicate with human agents throughout the process. Gateways and business applications communicating with edge devices may have an email capability built into them. But, there are situations that require an alert or event communication be sent over a phone line as a voice message. Making a phone call is much more complex than sending an email.

EmailToVoice.Net solves the problem by converting the content of an email to an easily understood voice message and making the phone call. The service also supports pre-recorded voice, SMS and FAX. EmailToVoice.Net does this as a cloud service, so there is no hardware or software to install.

IIoT Communcation Solution

EmailToVoice.Net converts email content to voice so the recipient of your choice receives an easy to understand voice message on their phone or voice mail. There is no requirement for the receiving phone number to be registered or verified before the call is made. This is one of many enterprise-strength features of EmailToVoice.Net