PROVIDENT MEDICAL TELEMESSAGING
Glossary of Terms
Access Charges: Fees placed on long-distance providers by local telephone companies for the use of exchange facilities that connect local callers to long-distance networks.
Alphanumeric: A paging system in which a set of characters containing both letters and numbers, is displayed on a pager or telephone console.
Answer Phrase: The actual words the operator is instructed by the customer to use when a client's line rings in. "Thank you for calling Dr. Jones office, may I help you," is an example.
Answering Machine: A magnetic tape recorder serving as a telephone answering device.
ATSI: Founded in 1942, the Association of Telemessaging Services International (ATSI) 800 of the most sophisticated telemessaging service bureaus in the U.S. and abroad.
Auto Answer: A recorded message that can automatically put the caller on hold if all operators are busy.
Auto Check-in: A feature that many computerized answering service systems provide that switches a client calling in for messages to an operator ONLY if the client in fact has messages waiting.
Automatic Call Distribution: A computer answering system function which routes calls to available operators.
Beeper: Used synonymously with pager. A pager is a one-way FM receiver capable of being signaled.
Caller ID: Caller identification technology allows the recipient of a telephone call, when the phone rings, to learn the phone number or name of the caller before picking up the receiver.
Call Forwarding: A service available in many central offices, and a feature of many PBXs and some hybrid PBX/key systems, which allows users to program incoming calls to be automatically transferred to another number.
Calling Card: A sort of credit card issued by Bell operating companies, AT&T, MCI and others and used to charge long-distance calls.
Call Transfer: Allows you to transfer a call from your phone to someone else's phone.
Call Waiting: A custom calling service which informs a user if a second party is trying to reach him while he's on the line.
Central Office: The telephone company facility which houses telephone switching equipment for tenninating and interconnecting subscriber lines and trunks within a given geographical area from which exchange service is provided.
Central Processing Unit (CPU): That part of computer hardware which uses instructions in its memory, to control data transfer, input/output (I/O) and logical operations.
Check In: The client calls in to the messaging bureau to check for messages.
Check Out: The client calls to notify the messaging bureau that he will not be taking his own calls and that the message center is "on."
Class of Service (COS): A set of parameters defining the functions available to a subscriber.
Conference Call: A call consisting of a connection among three or more callers participating in a simultaneous discussion.
Configuration: Composition of hardware, software, and communication facilities selected to implement a system.
Connect Time: The length of time a caller accesses the system. From the time the system comes off-hook to answer a ring signal, until the call ends and the line is back on-hook.
Direct Inward Dialing (DID): The ability for a caller outside a company to call an internal extension without having to pass through an operator or attendant. It is a special type of seven digit number which can only receive calls. They can be purchased by messaging bureaus in blocks at very low cost. By assigning a unique DID number to each customer, and having the customer call forward to the number, the bureau can identify which client's call he is receiving.
Disc Drive: A random-access mass storage device (usually magnetic) used to store programs.
FAX (Facsimile): FAX machines are telephone equipment which lets you send a copy of written or drawn material over the telephone to a receiving FAX.
Fax Board: Device allowing personal computers to send and receive fax transmissions.
Fiber Optics: A form of communications transmission that uses light to send data, high quality video and sound.
Flat Rate: A set rate amount to be billed. A flat rate will not fluctuate on number of calls, messages, or minutes.
Foreign Exchange Lines (FX): Regular central office lines furnished from a different exchange than the one where the bureau is located. FX lines enable the bureau to place and receive calls in the foreign exchange as if it were actually located there, thus avoiding toll charges.
Hard Copy: A printout, on paper, of information contained in the computer.
Headset: A telephone set worn on the head.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN): A completely digital telephone network in which voice and high speed data can be transmitted simultaneously on a single phone line to each user's premises.
Internet: An unregulated, global confederation of computer networks linked through regional, private business and educational networks.
Mail Box: Message storage space provided to a user for storing messages.
Mail Box Number: Seven digit number, or four digit extension number assigned to a subscriber's message storage space.
Message Center: A service bureau consisting of live operators and/or an automated system recording and delivering messages.
Modem: Short for modulator-demodulator. Modems connect two separate computers via telephone by converting digital signals into analog signals enabling computers to send data over the telephone networks.
Order Entry: The action of recording an order from a caller for a new product or service.
Pager: A small device, sometimes called a beeper, which signals the person carrying it that the TAS has an important message.
Patch: The connection of two parties at the messaging service switchboard.
PBX: See Private Branch Exchange
Port: A telephone circuit connection on a system.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX): Customer premise equipment usually owned and operated by a single company with telephone lines to place or receive calls to the public network and communicate with other extensions within the system.
Prompts: Audio message advising the user that the system is waiting for a command.
Ring Count: On manual and computerized concentrator systems, the ring count is the client's instructions as to how quickly the call should be answered. A standard ring count is three.
Service Charge: The charge for providing a particular service.
Setup Charge: The fee assessed for establishing or starting a service, also referred as Program Fee. Speed
Switchboards: Manual operating equipment used by telephone answering service.
T-1: A type of phone service in which 24 voice conversations can be carried simultaneously on a single telephone line using digital transmission.
TAS: Telephone answering service.
Traffic: The flow of calls (attempted and completed) across a telecommunications network.
Transcription: Conversion of voice data into written text.
Trunk: A telephone circuit or channel connecting two switching systems. (Between a telephone company central office and a TAS computerized answering service.)
Turnkey System: A communications system sold as a package with all hardware, software and facilities components designed, assembled and installed by a single supplier.
User Capacity: The number of users a system can serve.
Voice Mail: A specific voice messaging service in which users record and distribute messages among other subscribers, each of whom has a unique voice mailbox or address.