Hosted Call Centers

Hosted call centers have become mainstream and are flourishing due to many important reasons. From a technology perspective, convergence of voice and data, growth of VoIP and SIP, and the availability of bandwidth have contributed to its wide spread acceptance. From a commercial angle, hosted call center solution as a managed service is attractive due to lower capital cost investment and reduced on-going up keep.
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ACD Routing Strategy

Call routing is a critical function of an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). Routing strategy is an abstract term indicating the measure of the flexibility available within an ACD governing its call routing capability. The strategy available within a PBX is different from the routing options within a sophisticated ACD. For an incoming call, the destination end point in a PBX is an extension. When deployed with an ACD, it is an ACD agent using the PBX extension. The ACD agents are part of different groups within the setup of a sophisticated call center software. Typically agent groups are trained to handle specific business functions.  All incoming calls for these business functions would be part of one or more queues.
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High Availability SIP Proxy

Q-Suite has gone through a remarkable product evolution. It started out as a contact center ACD using Asterisk as the voice media server in 2004 and gradually evolved into a powerful contact center technology platform with High Availability, that scales and competes feature to feature with all the established players in the contact center industry. The underlying technology stack of Linux, Asterisk, MySQL and Apache makes Q-Suite very economical to license, install and support. It  is an extremely powerful multi-channel contact center suite available in the market that uses Asterisk as the voice media server.

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Large contact center deployments

Large contact center deployment can start with an install base of few hundred seats, going all the way to thousand plus seats. Using “number of concurrent calls” is a better measure of the capacity of the contact center platform but many legacy manufacturers use agent seat counts for licensing purposes. Continue reading Large contact center deployments

Transitioning Q-Suite 5.7 to use Asterisk 1.8

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.

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ACD Real-time and Historical Reporting

Call Center ACD reporting for productivity consists of 1) Queue 2) Agent and 3) Agent-Queue reporting metrics. Typically these reports cover different facets of the call center floor performance offering real-time and historical perspective into the overall functioning of the contact center.

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Asterisk usage in Virtual Call Centers

Virtual call center solutions are direct results of growth in Cloud based services, availability of affordable bandwidth and convergence of voice with data.  This makes ‘contact center as a service’, both flexible and affordable. Such services offer feature-rich call center software on a reliable telephony platform without the upfront capital investment. With rich feature set available on demand, companies can focus on improving customer care and plan additional capacity by adding distributed call center workforce anywhere to manage calls effectively. These factors make a compelling case for the use of Virtual call center. Continue reading Asterisk usage in Virtual Call Centers

Essential Queue behavior for Multi-channel ACD

Queues are the back-bone of a modern ACD (Automatic Call Distribution). Within any sophisticated call center software, Queuing is an  abstraction of the information that represents all the various parameters and attributes of Queues and Calls. Queue management is the ability to efficiently distribute calls to the most appropriate Agent in a Call Center or an organization. The separation of queuing and queue management from the actual calls is a natural progression in the evolution of ACD. Skills based routing, Queue Priority and many other Queue manipulation features are a by-product of this progression.

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SaaS and Cloud deployments – Important considerations for Managed Services

There are a variety of reasons why companies are considering a move to Cloud or SaaS (Software as a Service) based contact center setup. The foremost consideration is the flexibility in terms of capacity and call center location. This has a bearing on the cost of the setup and on-going management. There are other aspects like on-going access to more recent technology, better functional capabilities and reducing internal IT resources for on-going upkeep. Ultimately it is the total cost of ownership and the return on investment that decides if managed services is the right option for a contact center operation. Continue reading SaaS and Cloud deployments – Important considerations for Managed Services

Asterisk based ACD to complement Softswitch solutions

Soft-switches allow service providers to unify voice and data traffic in one network. In an IP network, service providers wanting to roll-out IP-PBX, long distance services or VoIP driven services use either Class 4 or Class 5 softswitch.  With the convergence of voice and data and the emerging domination of packet switching over circuit switching, we see a lot of softswitch implementations. They are primarily geared towards offering Hosted IP-PBX solutions and long distance services. Continue reading Asterisk based ACD to complement Softswitch solutions