We have been a big beneficiary of the development and evolution of Asterisk, the leading next generation telephony switch. It probably has by far the largest deployed of PBX around the world. Like every good telephone switch, Asterisk has found its way into many different business applications. It is ubiquitous in the contact center industry today. Sometimes you will have to peel the outer layers of a telecom entity to realize that the underlying telephony platform has some Asterisk based application. There are very good reasons for all this. It is as powerful and flexible as you get when it comes to a telephone switch and a PBX.
The early Asterisk version 1.2 gave us the impetus to include a development initiative for a contact center ACD using Asterisk, to take advantage of its hybrid VoIP/TDM switching capability. As we anticipated, the next significant version Asterisk 1.4 blossomed into a powerful telephony platform that did so much more than a conventional PBX. With SIP becoming mainstream, the rampant adaptation of Asterisk 1.4 into contact centers was a sight and delight. The enormous demands of contact center industry and the large scale deployments exposed many little deficiencies in Asterisk. Considering the amount of demand placed on the underlying switch, Asterisk evolved very nicely into a stable platform by version 1.4.3x. Indosoft call center software Q-Suite versions 5.6 and 5.7, deployed around the world, use Asterisk 1.4 and benefit from its features and functionality.
Like everything good in life, Asterisk 1.4 will give way to Asterisk 1.8, the next long term version. Asterisk 1.8 may have some ways to go before we can start deploying it in large call centers but we are starting to use it in a small way to test it out. The biggest concern is the bugs that may have crept into it. As with any software development, this is something unavoidable. With bug fixes and patches, it will become as good as 1.4.3x. Call Center ACD is a separate software layer that leverages Asterisk as the PBX and depends on it for stability and robustness. The hope is that Asterisk 1.8 will mature at a faster than 1.4 for deployment in larger and mission call center applications. Asterisk also has some inbuilt call center ACD capabilities for small offices but in conjunction with a powerful call center software like Q-Suite, you can setup a feature-rich, cost effective contact center platform for Cloud and premise based installations.
Q-Suite 5.7 is now available for Asterisk 1.8. It is a Cloud enabled software offering the flexibility to setup either a multi-tenant contact center platform or a single tenant exclusive contact center solution for your organizational needs. It scales to multiple Asterisk servers and provides full control over themes. Inbound call center operations will appreciate it’s powerful and flexible ACD which provides Skills Based Routing, Queue Prioritization, Virtual/Personal Queues, Agent Hot-Desking and Customizable IVR. Outbound call center operation will benefit from it’s efficient self-pacing Predictive Dialer along with Preview and Progressive dialing for multiple concurrent outbound campaigns. It has an inbuilt Script Builder for developing powerful agent-customer interaction scripts and a Dialplan Call Flow Builder to develop powerful IVR.