2.13.4  Voice Messaging System

Manual Transmittal

July 02, 2013


(1) This transmits revised IRM 2.13.4, Enterprise Networks, Voice Messaging System (VMS).

Material Changes

(1) This IRM has been prepared in accordance with requirements resulting from the IRM restructuring and IRS modernization efforts. It provides guidance and directions for telecommunications services and knowledge of the processes and standards that are in place.

(2) This IRM has been revised to reflect new operational procedures and editorial changes to the following sections:

  1. Enterprise Voice Messaging Services

  2. Enterprise Voice Messaging Operations Center Responsibilities

  3. VMS System Administration

  4. Local VMS Node Coordinators

(3) Enterprise Networks was changed to User and Network Services throughout the document.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 2.13.4, dated August 26, 2008 is superseded.


The Information Technology organizations and other divisions and functions needing telecommunications services.

Effective Date


Terence V. Milholland
Chief Technology Officer  (07-02-2013)

  1. This IRM describes the Voice Messaging System (VMS) provided by User and Network Services (UNS) at the IRS. It provides guidance and the processes used by IRS employees and contractors for using VMS. It also describes how to use the VMS and the features and functions associated with it.

  2. If there are any questions or if additional guidance is needed with this IRM, contact UNS at 202-283-4567.  (05-31-2013)
Enterprise Voice Messaging Services

  1. The Enterprise VMS Services provides a voice messaging, and call coverage service to the IRS. It is a nationwide network for the IRS and call coverage service to local users connected to a variety of Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems.

  2. As part of the Enterprise Voice Messaging Services, all VMS' are centrally managed by the Enterprise VMS Group located at the New Carrollton Federal Building in Lanham, Maryland. The Operations Support Customer Assistance Line operates 24 -hours a day, 7-days a week, and can be reached at 866-743-5748. The Enterprise VMS Operations Center website is located at: http://vms.web.irs.gov/index.asp .  (05-31-2013)
Procurement of VMS

  1. IRS procures VMS through the Department of Treasury’s Treasury Messaging Solutions Support (TMSS) contract or through the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule of competed contracts for small voice mail systems.

  2. If organizations have a need to procure a voice messaging system at a Post of Duty (POD), they must include the request in their budget for the fiscal year of the planned purchase. Procuring a new VMS must be done in coordination with the projected installation of new and planned replacements of voice messaging systems by Enterprise Voice Messaging Services.  (05-31-2013)
Request for VMS

  1. All requests for Voice Messaging Systems must be submitted by e-mail to the local Information Technology (IT) Manager, then to Enterprise Voice Messaging Services for processing.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Funding

  1. The Modernization Information Technology Services (IT) organization telecommunications budget, funds VMS implementations, and upgrades for each fiscal year. Enterprise Voice Messaging Services establishes implementation schedules based on customer requirements and funding availability.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Purchasing Equipment

  1. The TMSS VMS contract is mandatory for consideration of all Voice Messaging Systems, and must be the vehicle of choice where it is cost effective and meets service requirements. All requirements must be coordinated with the local IT Management staff and submitted to Enterprise Voice Messaging Services for approval and submission.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Management

  1. Any organization with a new VMS requirement must submit their requirements to Enterprise Voice Messaging Services for approval and ordering. If this requirement is not in the Enterprise Network VMS projected budget plan, funding for the new system will be required from the local IT budget requesting the system.  (05-31-2013)
Ordering VMS

  1. Organizations may order a VMS with a requirement of under 200 mailboxes when they have a critical and immediate need for this type of service. Prior approval must be obtained from Enterprise Voice Messaging Services. Funding of this equipment will be from local budgets.

  2. All requests for a VMS must be submitted by e-mail to the local IT Manager, then to Enterprise Voice Messaging Services for processing.  (05-31-2013)
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative

  1. The TMSS VMS Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) works in conjunction with Enterprise Voice Messaging Services on the following responsibilities:

    1. Developing the contract specifications or Statement of Work (SOW).

    2. Coordinating funding, and changes in the scope of work with the program office.

    3. Monitoring the contractor performance to ensure that it is strictly within the scope of the contract.

    4. Confirming all technical instructions with the contractor.

    5. Informing the Contracting Officer when a contractor is behind schedule.

    6. Coordinating corrective actions to restore the contract schedule with the Contracting Officer.

    7. Monitoring financial management controls.

    8. Reporting suspected procurement fraud, bribery, conflict of interest, or other improper conduct to the Contracting Officer.

    9. Reviewing the Contractor's invoices to ensure accuracy and compliance with the contract requirements.  (05-31-2013)
Enterprise Voice Messaging Operations Center Responsibilities

  1. The Enterprise Voice Messaging Group is responsible for the following:

    1. Providing quality Voice Messaging Service to all IRS employees 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, and 365 days a year by performing nationwide management, administration and monitoring, system security, and vendor and Contract Management.

    2. The Operations Support Customer Assistance Lines provides customer assistance and after-hours support.

    3. Providing direction to local VMS Node Coordinators on the management and administration of the systems connected to the IRS VMS Network.

    4. Producing and distributing Management Information Reports.

    5. Providing customer service by analyzing user requests for VMS equipment and services and by developing, distributing, and analyzing survey feedback from users.

    6. Reporting trouble and resolution.

    7. Planning for system implementations and growth.

    8. Implementing system software enhancements and maintenance upgrades.

    9. Installing new VMS equipment.

    10. Monitoring financial management controls.

    11. Setting policies and guidelines.  (05-31-2013)
VMS System Administration

  1. The Enterprise Voice Messaging System Network is managed by the Enterprise Voice Messaging Services through a Centralized Management System. VMS System Administration and Operations provides guidance, assistance, and procedures to all locations that have a Voice Messaging System on the VMS Network. The basic system administration functions include the following:

    • Operations

    • Network management

    • Subscriber database maintenance

    • System maintenance support coordination

    • After-hours emergency user support

    • System security

  2. The Centralized Management System Architecture is comprised of a Unimax System Corporation’s 2nd Nature Software, which uses an SQL database and a web browser (vmscms.web.irs.gov) interface for remote access to the application. These applications are hosted on Virtual Servers maintained by Enterprise Operations.

  3. The Enterprise Voice Messaging Services staff is solely responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing the 2nd Nature software application. The SQL database is managed by Enterprise Operations.


    Enterprise Operations (EOps) is responsible for maintaining the servers and the Active Directory domain. This includes installing security fixes and patches, and running quarterly security scans.  (05-31-2013)
Enterprise Voice Messaging Operations Center Technical Assistance Line

  1. The Enterprise Voice Messaging Technical Assistance Line is the point of contact for system support. The Technical Assistance Line is responsible for:

    1. Assisting VMS coordinators with VMS system problems, such as, researching system outages, providing resolution with major and minor system alarms, and reporting system troubles to the contractor for assistance if unable to troubleshoot and resolve the system problems.

    2. Providing 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, and 365 days a year nationwide assistance for VMS maintenance troubles.

    3. Ensuring that VMS alarms are monitored constantly, and if an out-of- service alarm is received, the system is restored as soon as possible.

    4. Reporting all outages immediately, and coordinating with the Contractor's Technical Service Center to minimize downtime.

    5. Assisting VMS coordinators with local VMS issues and concerns.  (05-31-2013)
Local VMS Node Coordinators

  1. Local VMS Node Coordinators provide support, and management assistance to their local and area users and to the Enterprise Voice Messaging Services. Their responsibilities include:

    1. Coordinating all VMS activities, such as defining their organization's requirements and maintaining VMS operations.

    2. Reporting VMS problems to the Enterprise Voice Messaging Operations Center Technical Assistance Line.

    3. Distributing and maintaining user mailboxes within their area of responsibility.

    4. Providing customer feedback to ongoing surveys and system performance.

    5. Providing local assistance in operation, training, and usage of VMS.

    6. Ensuring user adds, changes, and deletions are made through the direct on-line VMS Centralized Management System.

    7. Reporting node troubles or problems with the systems to the Enterprise Voice Messaging Group Technical Assistance Line.

    8. Acting as liaison to the Enterprise Voice Messaging Group for unusual occurrences or abnormal operational trends.

    9. Evaluating how well the VMS meets their office's needs and making recommendations for improvement.

    10. Coordinating preventive and remedial VMS maintenance, and keeping current process records.  (05-31-2013)
Management Information Reports

  1. Enterprise Voice Messaging Services provides management usage traffic information to VMS Area and Local Node Coordinators for their review on VMS users and systems upon request from the Enterprise Voice Messaging Operations Center.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Training

  1. ) All VMS training requests must be coordinated through the local IT staff using the "Order From the Product and Services Catalog" , OSGetServices at http://getservices.web.irs.gov/. The ticket request will be forwarded to the appropriate group.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Security

  1. Enterprise Voice Messaging Services monitors the security of the VMS. The VMS is not authorized for transmission of classified or sensitive information.

  2. Each site must establish security procedures for both physical and personnel access to the area where the VMS hardware resides. These procedures must prescribe the following:

    1. Physical access controls must ensure that only authorized employees, contractors, and maintenance personnel obtain entrance permission and that those who have access are monitored.

    2. Facility environment must meet fire codes and standards, have detection systems, and offer protection against water and other environmental damage.

    3. Only authorized and trained personnel shall have access to the VMS. This includes submitting an OL5081, to obtain access to the VMS System to do Moves, Adds, and Changes (MAC's).

    4. Ongoing risk assessment will be performed to determine if there is adequate security at the facility.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Directory

  1. The VMS has a name lookup feature that provides real-time directory information. This feature is available by pressing **6 within the Enterprise Network Voicemail Systems.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Customer Service

  1. Enterprise Voice Messaging Services has responsibility for the overall management, operation, reliability, and integrity of the IRS VMS Network.

  2. The Local VMS Node Coordinators are responsible for day-to-day VMS customer service delivery processes, such as:

    1. VMS customer service requests to add a new mailbox, delete or change a user's VMS service.

    2. VMS customer service trouble reporting, such as, password resets, unlocking a mailbox or any other related VMS trouble.

    3. User training or information on how to use VMS feature(s).

    4. Employee removal from VMS due to separation/termination from the Service.

    5. The Operations Support Customer Assistors share responsibility of unlocking and re-setting mailboxes.  (05-31-2013)
VMS Mailbox Assignments

  1. All IRS Managers are responsible for determining who and when their staff needs a VMS mailbox.

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