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Fox 9 to phone/email/text system

Posted on 2013-07-01
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Last Modified: 2013-07-18
I have to come up with a solution for a medical office who contacts patients once a month to notify them to come in for an office visit.  The patient list is stored in Fox Pro. It currently prints post cards which has become too costly.  Can have up to 300 patients to notify per month.

Any one know of a way to access a fox table and make outgoing phone calls--play a wave file-or send an email or a text message.  Method of contact based on patients preferences.

There must be some interface available that fox can talk to that will make this possible. Can export out of Fox to another application or format if need be.

I know there are companies out there that do this but they are somewhat limited. They also can charge per contact which can get excessive.

Any one have any experience with this ?

Thank You
Dan
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Question by:Malibucompany
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by:pcelba
pcelba earned 668 total points
ID: 39290390
1) E-mail from FoxPro.
Many ways exist, see http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~AutomatedEmail
I would recommend CDO which is easy and reliable

2) SMS from FoxPro.
Many ways exist... See, e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rvVqAMkl3I
SMS is possible to send as an e-mail: http://www.example-code.com/foxpro/sms_send.asp
SMS is also possible to send via web page (http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~SmartSMS) or web service or via phone connected to the PC. So depends what service do you use and what API the cell provider offers to you. You should start with the provider possibilities given to you.

3) Voice call
Many...  This depends on hardware or software used. It should be possible to use e.g. VoIP software API and text to speech (TTS) software which will call any number and read the message prepared as a text. You may also record the message as WAW or MP3 file etc.
Look e.g. here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps1860/products_data_sheet09186a0080092436.html
Or ask your VoIP service provider for the recommendation.

You may also use a standard PSTN phone line and appropriate dialer hardware or software etc. Notebook modems allow voice calls obviously but the software isn't so easy to find... Some phone companies can also deliver SMS to a standard PSTN phone using TTS software.

VoIP is better probably because providers are open to new technologies and they can offer more than PSTN dinosaurs obviously.

I cannot give you specific code and/or specific recommendation for SMS and Voice calls because I don't know your local conditions and possibilities.
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by:jrbbldr
jrbbldr earned 1332 total points
ID: 39290708
VoIP is better probably because providers are open to new technologies

I may amend Pavel's comment above to say:  SOME providers are open to new technologies.

I have worked with Avaya on their "Open Office" in-house SIP phone system and their only support was to tell me that the interface can be done via TAPI.  
But how to use the TAPI interface and what needed to be done with it was left totally un-answered.

As such my client's Click-to-Dial functionality within their VFP application never got off the ground - let alone any other additional automation with the phone.

Can it be done?  Absolutely !!!
Who can advise you?   I am Not Sure.

Actually one thing you might consider would be to use a 'cloud' based dialer vendor.  They have generally have interface-able 'gateways' and support for IVR/Voice Messaging/etc.

Good Luck
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by:
jrbbldr earned 1332 total points
ID: 39290719
Just an short addendum if you were to consider this approach....
   Another name for 'cloud' based dialer vendors might be:
      Hosted contact center solutions
           or
      Cloud based contact center

Good Luck
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