Asterisk, from its humble beginning in 1999, has evolved into a strong telephony platform, due to the contribution from thousands of volunteer software and telecommunication experts worldwide. Today, Asterisk is a proven, open source, next-generation telephone switch, that has been tested and implemented by millions of users. It has been successfully used to migrate out of thousands of legacy proprietary telephone switches. Continue reading Asterisk in Federated Contact Center Deployments
A Visual IVR Builder is an essential part of any call center ACD. The Visual Dialplan Builder within Q-Suite 5.7 allows the user to create and rapidly deploy multi-level interactive voice response (IVR) applications at ease. It is a visual call flow builder with icons to provide a graphical flow of the call. The sophisticated IVR and call distribution functions within the Builder allows vertical and horizontal call-flow development with the ability to transfer control to different pages with the IVR. It also offers revision management. Continue reading Visual IVR Builder for Q-Suite ACD
Every manufacturer has its own unique mechanism to handle human and outside interactions with the telephone switch. In most legacy systems the options are limited, restrictive and cumbersome. The advent of Asterisk changed all this with its “Dialplan”. It is tool and mechanism within Asterisk with a command language that unleashes unbelievable power and flexibility. Every Dialplan created is a set of instructions to handle inbound calls and outbound dials that come in and go out of this incredible next generation phone switch. Continue reading Visual Tool for Building Multi-level IVRs in Asterisk-based Contact Centers
Asterisk, the a game changing hybrid PBX, comes with a customizable Diaplan that allows control over all facets of inbound and outbound calling. Dialplan, an important functional component within Asterisk, offers an internal mechanism and tool to introduce, modify and control call-flow through it rich syntax.
Call center solutions for Asterisk will require a full-function ACD to provide essential features like skills based routing, queue prioritization, queue callback, supervisor dashboards, real-time and historical reporting. Larger contact center ACD additionally scale to multiple Asterisk servers in a cluster to handle the maximum concurrent call volume. In this call-flow, the calls will go through an IVR to flow into the different queues of the ACD for skills based routing.
Q-Suite offers a visual tool for the customers to develop effective and powerful Interactive Voice Response systems. Its Visual Diaplan Builder comes with a large library of functions within an intuitive GUI tool to build call-flows for effective call handling and distribution. This includes the functionality available from the Asterisk Dialaplan as well as the rich call distribution functionality of the ACD. It can be further enhanced with libraries for TTS (Text to Speech) and ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition).
Contact center software is immensely complex for a variety of reasons. The functionality required for efficient operation of modern call centers is immense. The software system needs to be convergent, capable of handling voice and data, while allowing the operators of contact centers to take advantage of the all the information available within the system. In the last decade, technology evolution and economic forces have continually pushed the cost per seat down, while features and functionality have expanded tremendously. Managed and hosted contact center services are slowly becoming mainstream because they offer just in time contact centers with very little up-front capital cost investment. Managed Hosted services also does away with the need to keep expensive in-house dedicated IT resources.
Asterisk, the leading open source hybrid telephony platform has played a central role in all this. Using commodity hardware, Asterisk does all the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) within the motherboard reducing the dependence on expensive add-on hardware. Of course, this and the commodity hardware imposes an upper limit on the total number of concurrent calls that an individual Asterisk server can handle. The ability to cluster Asterisk and scale to handle larger volume of concurrent calls is a necessity when deploying Asterisk for large contact center solutions.
Call center software has an ACD which provides the call flow, Skills based Routing, Queues and call distribution. It also offers the ability to provide IVR interactions with TTS and ASR during the call-flow. Contact center software uses the telephone switch (PBX) as the media server for voice. As one of the most powerful media servers for voice, Asterisk can be leveraged to provide extraordinary amount of features for a contact center. For larger contact center setup, the ACD should be able to scale and cluster multiple Asterisk servers seamlessly.
Once a call center ACD is capable of handling multiple Asterisk servers in a cluster, it requires a mechanism to bring large call volumes (that exceed the capacity of individual Asterisk servers) into the ACD and still retain the ability to maintain the sequence and order of calls coming to the individual queues. Here, the calls may arrive into any of the Asterisk servers in the cluster. A simple round robin load balancing, will distribute the calls evenly among the servers in the Asterisk cluster. Q-Suite, Indosoft’s call center software has a High availability SIP proxy which also provides load balancing to distribute calls to the Asterisk cluster. The call center ACD within Q-Suite controls the switching of calls through the manager interface of Asterisk. The ACD controls the order of calls as they come in, irrespective of the Asterisk server in the cluster to provide Skills based routing and call distribution as per queues.