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The Evolution of Voicemail - Dialogic - Blog

The Evolution of Voicemail

Is voicemail doomed to the dustbin of history or will it evolve?  

Voicemail is widely recognized as one of the great telecommunications applications.  Starting with its launch back in 1980 by VMX and others, voicemail’s use quickly became ubiquitous in business and soon turned into a multibillion-dollar business as an add-on to business PBX systems, home telephone service, and later mobile services.  Ideal for brief messages, voicemail automated message services and eliminated the pink “While you were out” slips.

It also spawned “voicemail tag” and the “daily” greeting. Remember recording daily greetings?  (I bet some do).

More recently, voicemail is losing its luster as other applications take over short message delivery responsibility. Email, instant messaging, SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and other mobile applications are often the go-to solution to delivering short messages. 

As noted in a blog by Dave Michels on NoJitter, large corporations, including Coca-Cola are giving their employees the option to go without a corporate voicemail box (which I suspect is being replaced by either a mobile voicemail box or SMS messaging).

But based on a podcast interview I did with Karel Bourgois, Founder and CEO of voxist on the topic, voicemail isn’t dead, it’s evolving to be part of a new generation of omni-channel business applications.  “There are times when voice is the best medium, like when you are driving or on a subway train,” noted Karel.  Recognizing that the reality is you can’t always use the keyboard on a device to safely send a message.  Driving and texting continues to be a serious risk factor.

It seems the issue with voicemail is that it’s not integrated with the way people consume their messages.  We experimented with Unified messaging almost 20 years ago, allowing recorded voice message to appear as a WAV file attachment in your email, but that turned out to be pretty inconvenient and not very private. 

As Karel notes, “If you are in a situation where you can’t take a call, you are like also not in a situation to listen to a voicemail.” In many cases it would be much more convenient to receive a transcription of the message delivered on the messaging application chosen by the recipient, not the sender. “A Facebook Messenger user wants their messages on Messenger, not some other application.”

Of the new innovations driving the evolution of voice messaging, a key technology is the cloud-based speech-to-text engines that can accurately convert a voice message to text.  Past attempt created almost comical text interpretations of messages requiring the recipient to listen to the original recording to understand the contents of the message.  IBM’s Watson is an example of a very high quality speech-to-text engine available to developers on the cloud using open APIs.

Other innovations include the Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) offerings and open APIs, allowing developers to build the next generation applications using powerful APIs without the burden of infrastructure costs.  Karel’s voxist application is an example, using Telestax’s Restcomm open-source platform to develop and deliver his next-generation voicemail offering as an over-the-top application for mobile and consumers.

It does appear that there is a future for voicemail and it will evolve to meet new user needs.  I also suspect we’ll ditch the old name, calling it something else and positioning it as an add-on to the other social or messaging applications.

The daily greeting?  That’s headed to the dustbin of history.  “Today, December 9th I’ll be in the office…”


Publish Date: December 9, 2016 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!
PH: 833-427-7488


Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.
PH: +91 9702626568

Nuxiba Technologies

Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!


OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.
PH: (514) 731-6878

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.

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