Using Microsoft Flow with EmailToVoice.Net to Forward an Alert to a Phone

Using Microsoft Flow with EmailToVoice.Net to Forward an Alert to a Phone

Using Microsoft Flow with EmailToVoice.Net answers the challenge of sending phone alerts from a general-purpose email address. EmailToVoice.Net can send voice phone calls as alerts from any Monitoring Service or application. A phone call is necessary when the alert is urgent. Or, when it is not appropriate to send a text or email to the person needing the information. This is the case if the person is in a vehicle or traveling, for instance.

EmailToVoice.Net converts the content of an Email to a nice sounding voice and calls a phone number. This is possible with no need to install special APIs, hardware or software. So, EmailToVoice.Net works well with Monitoring Services when a phone call is needed, rather than just an email.

Most of the time, a Monitoring Service will send the email from a customer assigned unique email address. If this is the case, a customer can merely set the Monitoring System’s email address as a Send-Only email address in their EmailToVoice.Net account.

The Challenge of a General Purpose Email Address

Sometimes, however, the Monitoring Service sends the email from a general purpose email address, which is the same for all of the Monitoring Service customers. For strict security purposes, EmailToVoice.Net restricts messages to come from only an authorized customer-owned email address. The customer of EmailToVoice.Net must have the exclusive rights to sign-in to this authorized email address. You can learn more from this short How-To video.

So, what is the solution to the dilemma of needing to make a phone call from a general purpose email monitoring service.

One solution is to use Microsoft Flow with EmailToVoice.Net. Following is an example of steps to set up a Microsoft Flow that will accept the alert from the Monitoring Service from a general purpose email address into the customer-owned email address that is authorized to send messages to EmailToVoice.Net. When Microsoft Flow detects an arriving alert message into the customer’s email, Microsoft Flow will trigger an email to be sent from the customer’s email (forwarded) to the EmailToVoice.Net with the same alert message generated by the Monitoring Service.

The setup is straight forward, as is shown below. The steps used in this example are using the Microsoft Flow features of the free Web-based product. Here are the different pricing plans for Microsoft Flow.

Acquire Microsoft Flow

If your company does not have a license for Microsoft Flow, then sign up for a free Microsoft Flow account. When signing up for the service use the email address that will receive the alert and is authorized by EmailToVoice.Net to be able to send messages through EmailToVoice.Net. Or, when you setup your connectors use the email address authorized by EmailToVoice.Net. For the USA, the URL is

NOTE: This is merely an example that uses Gmail connectors and fictitious destinations. The purpose of these steps is merely to give you an idea of how to setup your Microsoft Flow. Contact Microsoft to learn how to meet your specific requirements using Microsoft Flow or Contact Us at EmailToVoice.Net. We will help to the best of our ability.

Microsoft Flow sign up

Go to Connectors and connect to Gmail

Select Trigger

When a new email comes into your email mailbox from the Monitoring Service, Microsoft Flow will be triggered. Choose the “Forward Gmails that meet a certain criteria” action for this example. But there are many templates and you can also just choose to create your own without using a template.

Assure Microsoft Flow You Own the Email Account

Sign-in to the Gmail account that will receive the alerts that need to be forwarded to EmailToVoice.Net, as Flow requests.

Set the Flow

This is where you specify which emails are entering your email mailbox that are to be forwarded to the EmailToVoice.Net.

Set Flow Part 1

The From criteria specifies the email address from the Monitoring Service.

Create the Flow part one

Set Flow Part 2

Set the SEND criteria. The TO field should be like: nnnnnnnnnn@TTS.MESSAGE-SERVICE.ORG For more information, refer to How Email to Voice Works

Create the Flow part two


That is it. When a message comes in from the monitoring Service into your email address, a Microsoft Trigger will occur forwarding that message to EmailToVoice.Net from your email address. This handles the issue of a general purpose email address being used by a Monitoring Service needing to send messages through EmailToVoice.Net. EmailToVoice.Net will convert the content of the email to a nice sounding voice, dial the phone number, etc. Learn more at EmailToVoice.Net

Featured image : Patrick Amoy   – Screen captures of Microsoft Flow

Why the Internet is becoming even more important to us

Why the Internet is becoming even more important to us

The Impact of The Internet

We had a wake up call on Friday, October 21st.. We were shut out from some of the most widely used services on the Internet. This came as Internet-dependant technologies are growing in importance to us everyday.

Admittedly, the failure on the 21st did not affect the entire Internet. But, it was proof to everyone that the Internet was vulnerable. As we now know, it could have been worse (see below). But, it was bad enough to give us a glimpse of what it would be like without the Internet – to not have the ability to communicate or even to fulfill our basic needs. The services that we rely upon more and more were not there, for what seemed like a very long time.

We lost access to some of the world’s most popular websites on that day, like;

  • Twitter,
  • Amazon,
  • Netflix,
  • Paypal,
  • CNBC and others.

The outage was a sampling of every part of our lives, such as

  • payment services,
  • online goods,
  • news
  • entertainment.

The impact could not be ignored. There had been attacks on individual corporations before, like Bank of America and other financial institutions back in 2012. But, this attack was especially broad because it channelled through DNS servers, the servers of domain names. These servers are, in essence, the heart of the Internet.

Could It Have Been Worse?

The attack effected the most highly used Internet sites. To add to the drama, the weaponry used to carry out the attack was the most prolific technology of modern times, the Internet of Things (IoT). Included in the attack arsenal were cameras, DVR’s and routers. These IoT devices are fast becoming a part of everyone’s everyday life – and there will soon be millions of them, everywhere. Yes, it could have been worse.

This attack may have been just a sign of what may come in the future. According to Computerworld in its post DDoS attack on Dyn came from 100,000 infected devices

“Given that Friday’s disruption involved only 100,000 devices, it’s possible the hackers could have launched an even more powerful DDoS attack, said Ofer Gayer, a security researcher with Imperva, a DDoS mitigation provider.

“Maybe this was just a warning shot,” he said. “Maybe [the hackers] knew it was enough and didn’t need their full arsenal.””

The attack was to the Dyn servers, the centralized part of the distributed Internet. DARPA had originally designed the Internet as a distributed network that was immune to total destruction. But the Domain Services have become a centralized function. This function may be acting as a single point of failure. Even the control of security keys of the domain services consist of seven keys in the hands of 14 people. Alright, that is not just one person, but, it still represents a form of centralized control that may be surprising to some. Especially when the Internet is only getting more relied upon everyday.

The delivery system was a platoon of IoT devices. This time, the vulnerability used was the manufacturer’s password, that thing people forget to change when they install the device. However, these devices are inherently simple in their computing capabilities. So, the idea that there are more ways to exploit these devices for malicious purposes in the future seems quite plausible.

Reliance On the Internet Grows

The adoption of services-on-demand is growing everyday. Amazon is delivering everything from entertainment to groceries right to our home. If the product can be delivered in bits and bytes, we get it immediately. If it is a physical item, we may just have to wait for a drone to drop it on our front lawn. Also, if we plan to go to our friends house, we will merely tell the AI attendant in our home to call a Uber self driving car and the nearest free one in the neighborhood will be sent immediately, ready to take us anywhere we want to go. No more paying for a car as it sits in the garage.

I understand that my examples are a little ahead of regulatory approvals and some technology capabilities. However, if we were on the streets of New York in 1899, we would have seen almost nothing but horse driven carriages and carts carrying people and goods. In less than a 20 year span, New York was filled with combustible engine and electric-powered vehicles. When technology advances, it is not a slow evolutionary process. It is a bit more like a cataclysmic event.

Blockchain Is a Game Changer

Then there is that 15 page white paper written by a person named Sitoshi Nakamoto that may have a bigger impact on this planet than the Internet, electricity or the printing press. It is most commonly called Bitcoin. But that is just the currency. And I do mean ‘just’. because the cryptocurrency may have turned out to be just the ‘proof in concept’ product. The truly valuable component of the design was the underlying technology that Sitoshi developed called Blockchain. Blockchain is to Bitcoin like a database is to an enterprise application. But, Blockchain is not a database. It is a journal. A journal with entries that cannot be changed; is not in just one place; and can be viewed by anyone. What a concept!

The technology of Blockchain has spawned incredible technology platforms, such as Ethereum and RSK (Rootstock) to name just a couple. These are frameworks that can be used to develop real-use applications using the Blockchain design such as

  • business transaction processing,
  • public and private governance,
  • identity authorization,
  • property ownership and so much more.

The impact may affect world cultures as people will have access to currency, governing power, and global services that do not have it today. Blockchain may very well change the world as we know it.

Cloud Services Need One Thing – The Internet

So, we have discussed the expanding Internet of Things, Services-on-Demand and Blockchain. These growing technologies are in addition to the online services we have learned to rely upon over the past 2 to 3 decades. As they continue to expand, we must ask ourselves “what do they all depend upon?” They rely on the Internet.

But, the Internet has shown itself to be vulnerable. Its evolved structure has left it vulnerable. I am not saying that we cannot take further steps to protect it. We surely made great strides regarding its security and free access in just recent years. Also, what if there was an alternative to the Internet as we know it? Actually, there are alternatives. Their viability is just starting to be recognized.

We will be covering network and security alternatives in future posts on this Blog. We must keep up the discussion. The impact and risk of a lost Internet are only getting greater everyday.

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.