Save the State: Data Synchronization Between Master and Backup Services

When the center is actively handling calls, minimizing any disruptions is key. You don’t want to have your agents stop, log out, log back in, then attempt to continue as they were. Doing that is an efficiency killer. To avoid this, multiple copies of a single service can be set to run on different servers. However, data has to be kept current in order to avoid losing information when switching services from backup to master.  Synchronization of information is absolutely required when we are attempting to set up redundancy for high availability in the call center.
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Tradeoffs with Answering Machine Detection on Asterisk

Answering Machine Detection (AMD) is something that interests everyone running a predictive dialer or other automatic dialing.  As discussed previously, the changing world of outbound dialing and telephony leaves call center software users looking for ways to wring additional efficiencies from their lead lists and call floors, and AMD appears to be one of those ways. Continue reading Tradeoffs with Answering Machine Detection on Asterisk

Managing your call center software technology stack

The economic impact of Linux and Asterisk are immeasurable. Contact center software built to run on top of this powerful technology stack can offer a greatly superior platform at considerable cost savings. Technology managers are starting to realize the benefits of Asterisk, a powerful hybrid PBX that can also serve as a media server and a protocol gateway. This VoIP switch runs on Linux, the dominant server operating system. For many years now, Linux has dispensed away the need for endless licensing costs enforced by the proprietary operating system software of the earlier decade.

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High Availability with Load Balancing for contact centers using Asterisk

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.

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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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