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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
The TO field should specify the phone number to be dialed.
The TO field would look something like email@example.com. (if the number is not a USA or Canadian number, then the TO field would look something like +firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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