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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the Televox dept.

Duane D. Stanford reports at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."

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  • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Thursday December 25 2014, @01:39AM

    by quacking duck (1395) on Thursday December 25 2014, @01:39AM (#129024)

    I know the article's about a corporate voicemail, but others mentioned texting over leaving a voicemail so cell phone are fair game here.

    A lot of people here seem to hate voicemail, but the reasons are mostly that it's clunky, it's sequential, have to remember password/PIN, etc.

    So I'm curious what people think about the Visual Voicemail system that Apple introduced to the masses with the first iPhone in 2007. With VVM you no longer had to punch in a PIN every time, or navigate byzantine touchtone menus, or listen to new messages sequentially, or remember which key to press to jump back a few seconds (if that was even an option) to better hear something you missed, or... etc. It was almost like a receive-only email inbox but with voice. Heck even the personalized greeting message became nice to manage.

    Carriers later offered "visual" voicemail to other phones, in that you'd get a text of a message run through voice recognition, but it always mangled any uncommon words (especially technical jargon and other languages). Sometimes you could get the meaning from phonetical context, other times you'd have to dial in to the voicemail service anyway to make sense of it.

    True, iPhone VVM needed the carrier to upgrade their systems to support it first, had a minor add-on cost, and maybe it merely improving and extending a technology that's now clearly destined for the trash heap, but it seemed pretty darn ingenious and elegant at the time.

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