What is Virtual Access?

VA is the world's only messaging tool designed and built with common-sense; designed from the very first to handle mail news and conferencing messages in much the same way that you hold conversations.

When you answer the phone and say hello, the person you are talking to replies to you - not to your boss in the next office, and you in turn answer them by speaking directly to them rather than to their assistant who's sitting at the next desk. The conversation between you builds up over the length of the phone call. If you speak to that person regularly then you build up a relationship. So why do you suppose it is that the mail software you use doesn't support or make clear the structure of your conversations, or of your relationships?

When several people are talking together at a party they don't usually take it in strict turns to speak, and they certainly don't all reply to the person who said the first word or sentence. So why do you suppose that your mail or news software doesn't make clear the nature and timing and relationship of messages in such a conversation?

Imagine for a moment a world in which - when you get to work - you find that there are only two filing cabinets; one labelled IN and the other labelled OUT. The IN cabinet holds all the messages letters and documents other people and other companies have sent to you and your employer. The OUT cabinet holds all the messages and documents you have sent to other people and companies.

Imagine a world in which - if you want to hold a phone conversation - you have two telephone lines, one which only permits you to speak, and another which only permits you to listen. Can you imagine how crazy and chaotic that would be?

Imagine that one of your customers is complaining about something that happened six months ago, and you're trying to make sense of all the messages and documents exchanged between you and them, so you can resolve the problem. Imagine the historical chaos you now need to unravel in the company's two crowded filling cabinets in order to understand exactly what has happened.

Isn't that a crazy way to live and work? But it's how almost all the internet mail and news software you have ever seen forces you to work.

Virtual Access cuts through that craziness at a single stroke: instead of storing messages as In and Out baskets or Sent and Received folders, or as completely disorganised and unrelated folders, Virtual Access stores your messages by relationship, in a coherent visual display known as threading. Threaded and related messages are chained together into a conversation, so that you can always see exactly who replied to who, who said what, and when they said it.

Think of how you use Explorer or similar tools on your computer desktop: at the very highest level is the computer itself, below that you can see each of the disk drives in your computer, and below each disk drive you can see each of the folders on that disk. You can expand and collapse each disk, each folder, and each sub folder whilst you look for the files you want.
Virtual Acccess treats the entire store of your messages in much the same way. At the very top of the tree are the different ISPs [and mail addresses] you connect to, below that are the mail and news folders that you create or that Virtual Access creates automagically. At each level in that tree you can expand or collapse the display. Inside each folder, at the very bottom of the tree, just like the individual files in your Explorer window, are the hundreds or even thousands of conversations you have had with other people. When you select one of those conversations you can expand it to see the entire conversation displayed on screen: highlight any message and it pops into the message window. Wherever you are in the thread itself, you can always see exactly how that specific message fits within the conversation. When you've finished reading the latest message in that conversation and click on to the next conversation, the previous thread closes up and the next one with unread messages opens up.

Got lost whilst reading a message from someone and need to know how the content of their message actually relates to what you said in the message they are answering? Your original message is just one mouse or keyboard click away because you can see the history of the entire conversation on-screen in the "thread" window. And it doesn't matter if that conversation is only a couple of messages long, or many thousands of messages spread over many years.