Text messaging to administrators

Christian Stredicke
CEO of Vodia Networks

Last year we have introduced a feature for sending text messages to admin users. This is useful for example to know when a system has been started or when a registration got lost. We were using HTTP for doing this. There are many service providers out there that support HTTP to short-messages services.

However there is a way to make it even simpler, at least for the administrator users. Many cell phone operators offer an email to text service. All the PBX needs to do is to send a short email to the email address, and then the cell phone provider takes care about sending that message to the cell phone. We have tested that with T-Mobile USA, and it worked well. I assume that it will also work with many other service providers. The advantage of this solution is that there is no subscription necessary. All it takes is knowing the right email address, and it requires no additional setup or subscriptions.

We did not add this feature for users, yet. The reason is that it requires knowledge about which cell phone provider services the number. This might be challenging for the end-user. We’ll see how it goes with the administrators and then we can see if we can add this to the user-level as well.

The way it works it simple: In the places where the cell phone numbers for the admin were put, you can now also put email addresses. The PBX automatically checks if there is a @-sign in the address and if yes, it sends the text message by using email. The email itself is restricted to a certain number of characters, so that the email to text converter can stay with simple messaging. This feature was added to version 5.2.0. Try it out.