Virtual Telephony, developed by Octel, used voice-mail to provide phone service rapidly in emerging countries without wiring for telephones.
Use multiple telecommunications methods, permitting recipients and callers to retrieve or leave messages through multiple methods such as PCs, PDA, Cellphones.
Function as a remote answering machine using touch-tones as the user interface. More complicated systems may use other input devices such as voice.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems may use digital information stored in a corporate data base to select pre-recorded words and phrases stored in a voice-mail.
Message center or "message desk" was a centralized, manual answering service inside a company staffed by a few operators who answered all incoming phone calls.
Tape-based telephone answering machines had come into the residential telephone market, but they weren't used much in the corporate environment.