Thanks to Robert @ Intellipool for alerting me to this one.
Intellipool, as many of you may already know, is an excellent web based network monitor. One of the problems it has had, and its competitors for that matter, is the difficulty of informing off site duty IT personnel when things really go wrong.
Many people rely on email for alerting purposes. And that works fine whilst people are on site because email server or network failure will be noticed pretty fast or your SMS alerting will work okay.
The problem comes when the on-call support staff are off-site. Maybe they are even asleep. In those circumstances it is much less likely that SMS messaging will be effective.
That’s where voice alerts or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can play a part. Voice alerts are sent straight to one or more telephones (including mobiles) as regular phone calls.
As a regular phone call, a voice alert is much more likely to be answered and acted upon. In addition, in case of network loss voice alerts only depend upon your phone system still being operational, which in most companies, is a reasonable bet.
For a detailed tutorial please read the INM and IVR alerting tutorial.