On Call voicemail notify

I’m trying to put together a simple on-call notify system that will allow a group of docs/techs/property managers to easily change the notify number as they commonly swap days, etc. I don’t want them using a GUI, and it should all be IVR based.

I found this post: http://www.freepbx.org/forum/freepbx/tips-and-tricks/change-destinations-for-day-night-toggles-without-using-the-web-interf

I figured that may be a good start, but in the second part, an external file would be created that would be read by a cron script, that would actually generate the call file. Really just need to output the notification number before/after for auditing, and I think i can handle the rest from a bash script.

For the call file, I’m trying to find the best way to get the called party directly into the vm prompt for the voicemail. I figured a small ivr as the destination would be good, forcing the person to press 1 to listen to the vm.

Anyone have any insight?



You can purchase our VM Notify module for $195 and in the notification have an extension that you can use feature codes to change the unconditional call forwarding number.

More info on the commercial VM Notify module can be found here:


For anyone in the service business the VM Notify module is a must have.

You can’t possibly create anything as nice as this 10x the cost.

The VM Notify seems ok, and would work for technical folks to make changes, but I need a system that a doctor can call into and make a change to who is on call. Too many people swap schedules when last minute things come up. Much simpler to allow them to dial in, and change the person that is on call. Most, if not all of our installs are 3-4 people that adjust the schedule themselves.

The multi-layer call this person first, etc. may work for certain industries, but for doctors, it doesn’t work. The doctor that’s not on call doesn’t want to get the call. They currently get the voicemail on their phones, but if the call comes in at 2am on Thanksgiving, they need to be called to check the VM.

Currently have it working with a simple script, just need a way to automate the change.

It needs to follow the KISS principle for changes. I was even going to get some SMS/email notification to both parties (current/new) so that everyone knows who is now on call.

Did you look at the Commercial Module? It fits all your requirements.

I looked at the description/screenshots, and didn’t see any options in the screen shots for any IVR to allow call in to change notification number…unless it’s elsewhere and not listed/shown.

If the commercial module is overkill for you or you’re more of a roll-your-own type of person it’s not that difficult to do what you want. There are three basic points that you need:

  1. A way to execute your “notify” script when a VM is left
  2. A way for your notify script to call the appropriate person and let them know there’s a message
  3. A way for a person to call in and change the notify to point to somebody else instead

For 1) it sounds like you’re using a cron job right now, but you probably want to take a look at the “externnotify” setting in voicemail.conf; it will allow you to specify a script that Asterisk will run automatically whenever voicemail is exited for a user. The script gets arguments like current user, number of messages, etc, so you’d have to setup your script to handle that.
For 2) Sounds like you have a script that you wrote which generate the call file. Question would be how does the script know which number to call?
3) This relates to #2. All you need is some custom dialplan code that will allow the person to update the value that #2 uses to call out. If it’s in a file, you could use a system call to update it, or if it’s in the ASTDB then a database call. Then you setup an inbound route (or option from an existing IVR, whatever) to go to your custom code.

Definitely doable (I have a customer where we set this up for them recently).

[Also as a side note, the original reply contains the key to using the Commercial Module to do what you want: “have an extension that you can use feature codes to change the unconditional call forwarding number.”. In other words, the commercial module doesn’t give you any way to change the Notify number, but the suggestion is to notify a local extension which has CallForward to your real “notify” number setup. Then use some kind of DISA/feature codes to update the CF value)]