We plagiarize for small offices!As an example, I was in my doctor's waiting room and became aware that the lady at the reception desk was spending a great deal of time calling people to remind them of their next appointment. She was still at her task when I left the office an hour later!
My mother raised a really lazy boy so of course I thought there had to be a easier and better way to do this. Before wasting my time, I looked for existing programs. I found several programs that did the appointment reminder task, but they were part of a large suite application which was overkill and cost too much for my small clients.
We wrote a modest program we named "Reminder". We keep the cost down by using cell phone text messaging and email for notification. The user does not have to buy any additional equipment or incur any cost sending text messages or emails. You also do not have to use your email program. The emails and text messages go through our Goggle accounts.
Voice calling has not been included to keep the cost and equipment requirements down. Microsoft Windows® includes code that developers can use to send and receive telephone messages. The major problem is that the code can not tell if the person picked up the telephone without an expensive piece of equipment. Telephones send a signal when they answer a call. As a human, you know a person has answered when they start to speak. Machines wait to received a piece of code which will not arrive if the call is answered by a human. There are companies that make a device that can sense if a call is answered by a person or an answering machine. They also include the ability to covert digital text into sound. Our local library system uses this type equipment to notify us when a reserved book has arrived with a rather funny voice.
If you would like to research this type of equipment, visit way2call.com.