Voicemail is just voicemail, right? Except it’s not. If you ask 10 people what they expect from voicemail, you’ll get 5 different answers, and 2 of the answers will undoubtedly be “send a text instead.” Voicemail has come to be seen by many as a ubiquitous communication tool with virtually no avenues for collaboration. Compared to other forms of communication, most people now look at voicemail as a cumbersome burden requiring too much hassle to set up greetings, keep mailboxes empty, check incoming messages, and update outgoing ones.

When we set out to design RingRx, we knew voicemail would be a core component of the platform. It is a staple of contemporary hosted communications, and it is also the repository for most PHI (Protected Health Information). From the start of our process of building every aspect of RingRx from a blank sheet of paper, we knew that no commercially available voicemail solution was capable of doing everything we needed.

What We Required

  • Security and Redundancy: Voicemails had to be able to be completely encrypted and stored in multiple geographies simultaneously to eliminate any single points of failure. In the era of cloud services, availability is king.
  • Auditing: Messages are PHI, so we need to show who touched them and when.
  • Collaboration: The ability listen to, read and annotate messages in shared mailboxes helps to avoid duplicated efforts and improve efficiency.
  • Many to One: Medical practices often have numerous general mailboxes in addition to user’s personal message stores. This is a complicated arrangement to maintain since it can lead to one user managing many mailboxes, each for different purposes, and doing so with poor tooling.
  • Transcription: Transcription used to be premium, but these days if you aren’t transcribing voicemail you aren’t keeping up. Employees and employers see that reading messages is a force multiplier. Not only does it save time, but also makes it easier to share with co-workers.
  • More than Voicemail: Users wanted to keep secure archives of multiple types of messages including SMS, faxes, and any piece of info that transited the system.
  • Extensibility: We didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, so we had to design a system that allowed us to easily extend it for new info and workflows as the customer’s needs evolved.

That’s a long and well-distinguished list of goals, for sure. Since we found no commercial vendor able to accomplish everything we required on the list, we had to build it. We designed and built our first-in-the-industry PHIlo (PHI Silo) storage layer for the RingRx platform on top of Apache CouchDB and other open source technologies chosen for:

  • Loosely Coupled Clustering: We could deploy cluster members across long geographies and failure in one could not cause a cascading failure.
  • Eventual Consistency: Messaging data can be large, and it’s important that storage mediums be able to operate with a store-first sync in the background methodology so throughput is not hamstrung by distance or cluster quorum.
  • Master-less Truly Shared-nothing: All nodes are equal, and the loss of one matters just as little as another. Consumers will just move on.
  • Web-scale: As this is built on top of well-understood web technologies such as REST, scaling the platform requires no special handling beyond scaling many other elements. All of a sudden, our data layer scales just like any other website.

Now armed with a truly web-scale storage infrastructure, we designed and built the mouthpiece of RingRx Voicemail on Adhearsion and Ruby, giving us full control to free our system from needing any local access to storage. We now had the power to scale our system with no geographical relevance to the storage backend, and we could include any workflows we wanted.

The results are revolutionary. Our system allows layers to be anywhere—fully distributed—in relation to each other. With our new infrastructure, we now had complete control of the workflow. We could cache the prompts and greetings close to the voicemail mouthpiece for efficiency and could guarantee no PHI was left behind after processing. Ephemeral footprints at its best!

Because our solution demanded encryption at every single layer, we wrapped every component in best-of-breed encryption utilizing bi-direction authentication. Like everything else at RingRx, the RingRx Voicemail is truly cloud-scale, fully orchestrated and designed to be automatically scaled up and down on a seconds notice. The RingRx Voicemail system operates with minimal human hands to minimize security exposure. With RingRx the issue of capacity management is solved.

We’ve done the research. We’ve implemented a superior all-encompassing voicemail solution that delivers. Contact RingRx for a free trial of our groundbreaking technology. We have all of the solutions to help you find 100% HIPAA compliant, VOIP healthcare phone systems that protect confidential health information and improve patient communication.