Intelligent Post Box System for International Companies with High Level Cost Savings for Unanswered Calls among different Departments
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jul-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jul-25
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International companies are often confronted with the problem of high telephone costs caused by long distance calls between distant departments. In cases where the recipient of a distant call is not available, the call will mostly be received by the answering system of the called department and lead to high fees. This invention shows a method to reduce these costs by a wide margin. Whenever a phone call is initiated, the PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) of the caller compares the called line number with database records containing the entire set of phone numbers or extensions of the called company. If the dialed number corresponds to a number of a called distant department within the same company, the PABX forwards the call after a predefined timeout – which should be shorter than the timeout of the recipient's answering machine – to a local answering machine without occupying a line and therefore without further increasing outgoing phone costs. The PABX of the called party receives the Caller ID (calling line identification), e.g. by means of a trunk line or by means of a data network connecting the calling and the called PABX. The receiving PABX stores this Caller ID and sets a flag to the recipient's mailbox indicating the existence of a waiting message from the calling partner identified by the Caller ID. The stored message is transferred in the course of a synchronization process to the recipient's answering system via a data network such as the internet. The transfer may advantageously take place in a background process.