Best Way to Get an Emergency Alert Delivered and Recognized

Best Way to Get an Emergency Alert Delivered and Recognized

People pay more attention to voice calls these days than email. A phone ringing gets the attention of the person that needs to be alerted in an emergency. The reason is that email and other forms of text messaging have swamped us to the point we do not pay attention to them, anymore. A phone ringing still makes people pay attention. They are loud and rare.

In the John Brandon article Why Millennials Don’t Like to Make Phone Calls, he states as one of the many reasons phone calls are rare is;

In a phone call, there’s a chance the person on the other end of the line might have an opinion.

An alert phone call is not a conversation. It is the delivery of critically important information. A phone call with a voice message is the perfect delivery method for time-sensitive critical information.

Critical Alerts from Applications

Implementing critical alerts delivered from business applications is a major effort. Sending a message from monitoring software or directly from an IoT device to a phone requires specialized hardware and software solutions 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.

How EmailToVoice.Net Works

All you have to do is subscribe to the EmailToVoice.Net service and then make the TO field in the Email look something like 5551234567@tts.message-service.org

The recipient will receive a call on their phone. The text in the email is converted to a nice-sounding voice. If the recipient answers, they will hear the message right away. If they do not answer, the message will be left on their voice mail system. You can even leave a different message if the call goes to voice mail! There are many mission-critical features in the service.

Industrial IoT Needs To Send Alerts

An IoT device is any device connected to the Internet. In an enterprise environment, monitoring these devices is commonly done through Monitoring Software, like viewLINC, or SolarWinds to name just a couple – there are many.

These IoT devices need to communicate with people through alerts and integration with mission-critical applications. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) needs to be given a voice. An IIoT device that has only the ability to send an email must now be enabled to dial a phone. The number may be repair truck or used to wake people in the middle of the night or cut through all the mundane communications received during the regular business day.

Since people are not making phone calls as much as they used to, the voice phone call now becomes the perfect way to deliver a critical alert to an individual.

Supply Chains Require Communications

Supply Chain communication is critical to the success of the Supply chain and its stakeholders. The importance of effective communications for internal stakeholders and external suppliers cannot be overstated. An enterprise must have a well-planned communication strategy to ensure the resilience of the Supply Chain.

As part of a Supply Chain communication plan, multiple channels and methods should be taken into consideration,. An alternative communication channel is a voice phone call. This is an effective communication channel in regular Supply Chain processes because phone calls get the participant’s attention. Supply Chain Communications is critical to the resilience of critical processes. Using multiple channels during the process is imperative to success.

The fact that Phone calls are rare has made them an excellent communication channel to convey important information and emergency alerts. We are inundated with text communications coming from SMS, Email, and a multitude of chat Instant Messaging platforms. To cut through all of that noise with an important alert, a loud and reliable channel needs to be used. That channel is the common voice phone call.

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 messaging capability within the monitoring software or business application.

How to Use EmailToVoice.Net

First, a user should subscribe to EmailToVoice.net. A free trial is available.

FROM Field

The Email must be sent from the same Email address as was specified during the free trial subscription process. A Send-Only Email address can be added later for the production implementation.

TO Field

The TO field should 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. Optionally, the Subject field can also be made part of the voice message.

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.) There are additional dialects to accommodate other languages or accents.

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.

Most Commonly Used Features of EmailToVoice.Net

Most Commonly Used Features of EmailToVoice.Net

You have become a user of EmailToVoice.Net. So, now what?

First Things First

Let’s make sure we all understand the basics of how EmailToVoice.Net works. Our cloud messaging service converts the text in the email message to a genuine-sounding voice or formatted SMS text message and then delivers that message to a phone anywhere in the world without preregistrations. No need to install hardware or use APIs.

To send a message, the Email Fields would look something like this:

TO: phonenumber@NNN.message-service.org  (The recipient’s cell phone, NNN can be TTS, SMS, LinkInSMS, Voice or FAX)
FROM: emailaddress@yourcompanydomain.com  (The authorized email address to send messages through our service)
SUBJECT: Anything  (Used as a job name for reporting purposes, but can be used as the message or part of the message)
CONTENT (For TTS, this will be converted to a voice message. For SMS, this becomes the text message)

Those are the fundamentals. So, now let’s cover what more we can do to meet your enterprise business needs. (Note that this is not an inclusive list. These are the most commonly used advanced features.)

Send a Voice or SMS message from Monitoring Software, CRM, ERP, PCS, or any business application

Integrating communications with business applications is the most common use of EmailToVoice.Net. Applications can send an email, but it is so important in today’s sensory-filled world to get the important messages out as a voice phone call or an SMS text message. Merely change the recipient’s email address to the format of the TO as described above, and you are now sending live communications from your applications without the need for APIs, coding, etc.

What Email Addresses are Authorized?

The main email address specified during the Subscription process on the account can always send messages through our service. That email address also receives reports, password changes, and billing:

You can request us to add an additional email address to your account that will be authorized to only send messages through our service. Just Contact Us.

There are many security features to identify items such as a whitelist of IP addresses. Let us know what you need.

What Phone Numbers Can I Send To?

You can send messages to any number in the world. If the number is in the USA or Canada, then the country code is not needed. When the number is outside of the USA and Canada, then specify phonenumber in the TO field to be something like +6155555555, where 61 is the country code. (Note that there are some global regulations that may exclude some phone numbers.)

Can I Have Only Part of the Message Converted to Voice or SMS?

You can parse the email message by specifying where the important part of the text starts and ends. This eliminates the irrelevant parts of your email, such as the top Header part, and the bottom of the email, such as the Signature, leaving only the important part of the message. Set these parameters in the Customer Portal / My Details / Change Details. It is great to keep the message short and more succinct.

Can I Set a Window of Time for Delivering the Messages?

If you want to send alerts out to your staff as phone calls or SMS text messages only during a specific time of day, you can specify the times in Customer Portal / My Details / Change Details / Email To Broadcast: Active Window.

Can I have the Sending Number be From My Company?

You can have the Caller ID for TTS and Voice messages be from a number that you own. Just Contact Us. It is important that you are able to provide proof that your company owns the phone number. We cannot guarantee that the Caller ID will display in all regions of the USA and globally because carriers throughout the US and the world have to meet varying regulations regarding Caller ID.

You can specify an SMS Sender ID number in Customer Portal / My Details / Change Details. If you are not in the USA and Canada, you can specify a number you own. Within the USA and Canada, you will need to request a number (a Long Code) from us and we will update your account with that number. There will be a minimal monthly charge for that Long Code.

Can I Send to Multiple Destinations?

There are several ways to send to more than one destination.

Multiple Destinations in the TO Field

Multiple destinations can be specified in the TO field by separating them with a “#”. IE;:
2145551234#2145551235#2145551236@tts.message-service.org
OR, multiple destinations can be entered as multiple full email addresses:
“2145551234@tts.message-service.org, 2145551235@tts.message-service.org

NOTE: When stringing destinations in the TO field of the Email, there is a standard general length restriction of about 64 characters for the TO field.
NOTE: The type of messages, such as TTS or SMS, cannot be mixed in a single message.

Multiple Destinations in the Email Content

Multiple Destinations can be In the body of the message in the following format:
<Numbers>
2145551234
2145551235
2145551236
</Numbers>

NOTE: The destination phone numbers are included in the body of the message. So, the TO field should be: msg@tts.message-service.org

Multiple Destinations Using a Pre-Loaded List

Multiple Destinations can be through pre-setup lists by using the format:
<Lists>
First ListName
Second ListName
</Lists>

NOTE: These lists are created and loaded through the Customer Portal
NOTE: The TO field should be: msg@tts.message-service.org

Can I Have the Subject Field be Part of the Message?

The Subject field of the email coming into our service is always used as the Job Name for reporting purposes. However, sometimes the Subject Field has valuable information in it. So, you can choose to concatenate the Subject field to the message or have only the Subject field be the entire message. You specify this in Customer Portal / My Details / Change Details.

Can I have an SMS Message Deliver Large Amounts of Formatted Data?

An Aert text message sometimes needs to deliver a large amount of formatted data (HTML). This can be done by sending the SMS message with the TO field as phonenumber@LinkInSMS.message-service.org. For instance, the formatted data may be the section of a user manual on how to perform the repair for the failed device. Our ‘Enterprise SMS’ feature, which uses LinkInSMS, is explained in more detail in our post called “Sending Enterprise Text Using a Simple Email Interface “.

How Does Reporting Work?

Every time a message is sent from your account through our service, the main email address receives a detailed email providing the status of the message. This can be changed in your account so that the main email address receives messages only if there are exceptions, such as a failed job. Just  Contact Us.

You can specify additional emails to receive reports, or specify that no email reports are sent at all.

Is There A Customer Portal To View Job History?

We have mentioned the Customer Portal previously regarding Account Details and Lists. However, it has much more, such as ‘View All Jobs’ to see the jobs history on any date range you choose.

In Summary

There are many advanced features of EmailToVoice.Net. These are merely a few of them. We love to share our many years of experience in this industry and provide easy no-code solutions for your workflow communications needs. Do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Setting Message Delivery Times In EmailToVoice.Net

Setting Message Delivery Times In EmailToVoice.Net

EmailToVoice.Net provides the user with the ability to set a window of time for the delivery of voice phone calls and SMS messages using any email interface.

This feature is extremely useful for departments that need their staff to be alerted by voice or SMS when they are off their primary working hours. When staff are at their desks, they may not need voice and SMS alerts. However, when the staff is not on their primary shifts, the messages must get the attention of the staff members. To get that attention, the messages should be delivered as a telephone call and/or SMS text message. Email is not an effective way to get the attention of essential support staff.

We created a user option so an active window of time can be designated for voice phone calls or SMS text messages to be delivered by EmailToVoice.Net.

Although setting a window of time for voice or SMS messages to be delivered can be accomplished by using no-code alternatives like Microsoft Power Automate, we provide this ability without the need for any third-party capability. The customer merely needs to sign-in to the Customer Portal and modify these parameters in the ‘My Details’ section.

Easily configure your delivery start time and end time

Email to Voice Active Window

The parameters in Customer Portal / My Details provide the ability to block or allow the messages to go through. The parameters allow the user to set different rules for the Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and the Weekdays (Monday through Friday). The time can either be blocked or allowed. The time is according to the timezone set in the account under My Details.

If you have any questions about this feature of EmailToVoice.Net, please contact us so we can help you meet your mission-critical business communications requirements.

We have recently added other features that assist our customers in adding workflow processes to their business communications needs. An example is designate the beginning and the end of a voice or text message sent using email. This is valuable when you want to send only the pertinent information in your alerts and mission-critical messages.

The customer can designate the beginning and end of all messages by logging into the Customer Portal and then going to My Details / Change My Details. The fields in the account details are

Email to Broadcast-Start of Message Text:

Email to Broadcast-End of Message Text:

How EmailtoVoice.Net works

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 an SMS message with no need to program APIs or install any hardware or software.

For making a voice phone call, you merely make the TO field in the Email you are sending to look something like 5551234567@tts.message-service.org (international calls require a +CountryCode in front of the local number). The recipient will receive a call on their phone. The text in the email is converted to a nice-sounding voice. If the recipient answers, they will hear the message right away. If they do not answer, the message will be left on their voice mail system. You can even leave a different message if the call goes to voice mail.

You can also send an Enterprise SMS, FAX or prerecorded Voice Message from an email program interface, like from an application, Internet of Things device (IoT / M2M), or through your CRM and Dispatch System.

Contact Us if we can provide further assistance in helping you meet your business communications requirements.

Easily Parse the Beginning and End of an Email To Voice Message

Easily Parse the Beginning and End of an Email To Voice Message

EmailToVoice.Net has the ability to designate the beginning and the end of a voice or text message sent using email. This is valuable when you want to send only the pertinent information in your alerts and mission-critical messages.

Send Voice and Text via Email

EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability to make a phone call or send an enterprise text message by merely using any email capability. This is a requirement for mission-critical processes in many industries. Our customers can send alerts directly from monitoring software, like Vaisala/viewLinc, ServiceNow, Nagios, SolarWinds, and more. If the alert message is concise and complete, then the complete message can be converted and delivered to the recipient as a voice phone call or text message without change.

However, there are situations when our customer has information in the content of the email that does not need to be converted to a voice message (TTS) or SMS message.

Examples When Email Parsing Is Desired

Food Delivery Services

A person may order food from a web site which creates a Delivery Order form. That Order form may need to be sent to the delivery person or the restaurant via a voice phone call or a text message. The Delivery Order form will often have information that does not need to be converted to voice or a text message. EmailToVoice.Net allows our customers to specify, at the account level, the characters that designate the beginning and the end of the message that needs to be delivered by voice or text message.

Industrial Device Alerts

Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) devices are generally out in the field. When a monitoring service detects a failure or scheduled maintenance, an alert is sent to the Service department. The alert can also be sent directly to the Field Repair person. The alert may contain information that does not need to be converted. Our customers can merely specify the characters that identify the beginning and the end of an alert message that needs to be converted to voice or text.

Important Email Messages

Emails do not always get the attention that is required for important messages. Most of us are overloaded with email messages. So, to get people’s attention, companies will send a voice phone call or text SMS message. However, the original email will often times have an Email Signature that is not necessary for other forms of communication. Or sometimes the email is forwarded and that creates extra header information that does not need to be converted to voice or text. EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability for our enterprise customers to eliminate the top and bottom portion of the email before conversion to voice or text occurs. Then when the message is played over the phone, only the important part of the message is heard by the recipient. The same occurs for the person receiving the important Email message in text across the SMS channel.

The above three examples are only a few of many where this feature of EmailToVoice is so valuable. The recipient of alerts and other mission-critical information should be hearing or reading only that which is of the utmost importance.

How To Enter the Beginning and End of a Message

Change My Details Account Information

The customer can designate the beginning and end of all messages by logging into the Customer Portal and then going to My Details / Change My Details. The fields in the account details are

Email to Broadcast-Start of Message Text:

Email to Broadcast-End of Message Text:

There is an additional capability that is extremely useful. The customer can specify if the text designated as the Start of the Message is to be included in the text of the outgoing message. This is a checkbox. See the Customer’s “My Details” section below:

Email to Voice start and end of message

Enter Tags into the Message

You can also enter the “Begin Message” and “End Message” tags directly into the email message to control what is converted to voice or text.

Start message indicators
Instead of starting the outgoing message content at the beginning of the email, there are  methods of skipping the start of the email and starting the relevant message further
down.
1. A line containing just the tag “<Begin Message>” can be included in the email, and the
outgoing content will start on the line AFTER this.
2. If the user has the option “Start of message text” set, then the outgoing content will
start where this text is found (including the text itself)
End message indicators
The end of a text message to be sent can be indicated in a number of ways:
1. A line containing just the tag “<End Message>” can be included in the message.
2. A blank line followed by “– ” (two plain ascii dashes and a space) which must then be on
a line by itself
3. Four empty lines
4. The text entered in the users “End of Message Text” configuration field

Alternatives for More Detailed Parsing

Our customers can choose to do more elaborate parsing of the email before sending the message through our service for conversion to voice or text. There are many Email Parsing services available. In the past, we have written about Microsoft’s Power Automate as one example. These email parsing services provide the customer with the ability to extract and reformat information before being sent through our Email to phone call cloud service for conversion and delivery.

Let Us Help

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.

 

 

 

Sending Enterprise Text Using a Simple Email Interface

Sending Enterprise Text Using a Simple Email Interface

Sending formatted text messages for industrial communications can be done easily with just a simple email interface using EmailToVoice.Net. SMS Messaging is a reliable means to get important information to employees or business partners immediately. However, the limitations of SMS text messaging often keep it from being used in mission-critical business processes. Text messaging is limited by the lack of formatting and low text character limit, which is necessary to convey detailed information. MMS and RCS attempt to address this issue. However, they too have limitations that cause barriers to wide adoption for mission-critical applications.

EmailToVoice.Net Provides Enterprise Text

EmailToVoice.Net provides the ability to send formatted data to a cell phone using SMS from monitoring software or business applications. Messages with the formatting requirements of an HTML Web Page can be automatically sent to just about any cell phone in the world as easily as sending an email.

Enterprise Text is a feature of EmailToVoice.Net, which creates a custom HTML Web page from your business email alert and then delivers it as a simple SMS message. For each SMS recipient, a custom web page is created and inserted in their SMS text message, allowing viewing of the page of HTML with a simple tap. This allows a single text message to communicate large amounts of formatted data.

To send an Enterprise Text message,

  1. the TO field merely needs to have the recipient’s phone number and specific email domain provided by EmailToVoice.Net.
  2. Our cloud-based messaging service will convert the email content into a custom web page and insert the link of the automatically created Web page into the text message.
  3. The recipient can then tap the link in the text message and see the entire email content formatted as a Web Page on their smartphone.

The Email Fields would look like this:

TO: 5551231234@linkinsms.message-service.org       (The recipient’s cell phone – no preregistration required)
FROM: emailaddress@yourcompanydomain.com    (Subscribed to EmailToVoice.Net)
SUBJECT: Anything (Used as a job name for reporting purposes)

The content of the email is converted to an HTML Web page. The Web page of data is hosted by our service and a link to the Web page is substituted into the outgoing SMS text message so that the recipient can easily view the data with a tap.

Integration with Business Applications

The implementation of industrial communications is critical for premier customer support, business continuity, and process efficiency. However, integration projects can become a major effort. Sending large amounts of data with special formatting from monitoring software or directly from an IoT device to a phone could require program development with specialized hardware and software. Connections to smart devices, CRM, PCS or ERP systems need to go through complex API’s or propriety software gateways.

Enterprise Text is a feature of EmailToVoice.Net that creates a custom HTML Web page delivered through a simple SMS message. For each SMS recipient, a custom web page is created and inserted in their SMS message, allowing viewing of the page of HTML with a simple tap. This allows a single text message to communicate large amounts of specific data.

Enterprise Text is excellent for automating labor-intensive, time-sensitive tasks generated from monitoring software, ERP, or CRM applications. The messages can be two-way and integrated with complex workflow processes. EmailToVoice.Net allows a single text message to communicate large amounts of data. For example, a text message could deliver detailed technical information for device repair or financial data accessed by a simple click in their SMS text message.

Features of Enterprise Text from EmailToVoice.Net

Enterprise Text provided by EmailToVoice.Net is rich in features to meet any business requirement. Below are some examples of these features that can be set up in the Customer Details in the Customer Portal.

  • You can add a Header and a Footer that will be used in all Text messages from your account. For example, you can add a logo, an introductory message, disclaimers, and links using HTML
  • You can specify a specific SMS Sender ID so the recipient can recognize the sender of the text message.
  • You can enter a default email address for SMS replies. So, if the recipient replies to the text message, the reply will go to this email address. You can then alternatively use Microsoft Flow to continue a complex business workflow process without any coding. (Contact us for assistance in developing workflow processes)

There are many more features of the Enterprise Text Messaging feature in EmailToVoice.Net. Let us know if you would like to learn more. Contact us. We love to share our experience in industrial communications, workflow, and alerts.