Bulk Notification (Emergency Notification) via VoIP?
As many of you know, I'm the IT guy for a vacation rental company that manages 160+ homes in Sunriver (but if I can find a solution that works, I might implement this with 400 others as well). Anyway, on rare occasions, we need to send out a phone message to our homes (the only time I can remember having to do it is when a nearby forest fire was threatening evacuation of the area). While we've been using an outsourced provider for this, I've been told to try to find something cheaper (as our provider raised their rates).
While I can find windows software that will dial-up via the modem and play a pre-recorded message (which is what I'm looking to do, and that's it), I'd rather have something that will work on multiple platforms and won't require me to dedicate a bunch of analog phone lines to the task (as each phone call would potentially take a minute or so, and with that many homes, it could take quite a while to get the message out). So that's why I thought of VoIP.
Any thoughts on software/hardware for this? Can skype handle something like this? I just need basic notification service, and have an extra server I could throw at it, if need be (would prefer Linux as I have other Linux-based plans for that extra server, but I'm open to options). We so rarely have to do something like this (and technically, we do it as a service), but I just want it to work and not have to pay monthly fees to some other provider.