What Is Virtual Voicemail?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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Virtual voicemail is a type of communication tool that makes it possible to create and utilize a voicemail account in an online environment. With this particular type of solution, there is no need for an answering machine or office telephone system with voicemail capability. Instead, the virtual voicemail account is set up to connect with a remote server where inbound messages are stored. With most applications, it is possible to access and review those messages using a telephone equipped with touch tone service, or any computer or handheld device with Internet capability.

With virtual voicemail services offered by a number of providers today, the basic function of the service involves the ability to redirect inbound calls to the voicemail service, if the call is not answered within a number of pre-determined rings. The caller is greeted and provided with the opportunity to leave a message. Once the message is recorded and the caller disconnects, the system will generate an email notification to the client. Typically, the message will include basic data, such as the date and time the message was left. More advanced virtual voicemail systems may include information such as the caller ID data related to the message, including the telephone number of the caller.


Any message captured using virtual voicemail can be retrieved in more than one way. One approach is to use a telephone to dial into the server housing the voicemail service, enter the proper access codes, and listen to the messages using prompts entered into the touch tone keypad on the telephone. Another strategy is to log into an online site that is associated with the voicemail service and listen to an audio stream of the message over the Internet.

Using virtual voicemail for business purposes is a smart move, since this type of communication tool can be very handy in a number of instances. Employees who are traveling receive timely notification of a message left in voicemail, and can use whatever method is most convenient to access the message. At the same time, if a company’s telephone system is damaged or otherwise rendered inoperable for a period of time, inbound calls can go directly to the virtual voicemail accounts of key employees. From there, employees can utilize mobile phones to retrieve the messages and either respond with emails or using cell phone services to connect with the callers.


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