VoIP Call Center Featured Articles
VoIP Call Centers Built on Asterisk: All the Features without the High Cost
One interesting trend is that companies with VoIP infrastructure already in place, or those which are making the transition to VoIP, are increasingly considering call center platforms based on Asterisk (News - Alert), the open source PBX. Asterisk provides greater flexibility for the VoIP call center, as it allows for the building of any number of call center applications. It is a powerful, flexible telephony platform that can be used to cost-effectively build ACDs, IVRs, gateways and so much more.
Asterisk got its start as a PBX (News - Alert) and today can claim 18 percent of the global market for business telephone systems. The base feature set offers many of the most popular and powerful features and functionality often found in proprietary PBXs.
A common misconception is that open source call center platforms don't deliver the same degree of functionality or features as proprietary systems. Nothing is farther from the truth. With an Asterisk-based ACD, for example, calls can be intelligently routed to agents based on caller input, dialed number, load, and a range of other factors, just the same as the leading proprietary call center platforms from the major vendors. An ACD on Asterisk is not only powerful it can also be used with a wider range of server hardware and phones.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is now a standard application in most VoIP call centers as it allows customers to take advantage of self-service options to find answers to routine questions and solutions to repetitive tasks. It can also be used for call routing and even advanced database-driven business applications. When the IVR is built on Asterisk, the open source platform allows for the integration of different applications to drive efficiency in self-service.
DOW Networks offers a full-featured and highly flexible hosted call center platform based on Asterisk. This highly-scalable call center platform offers skills-based routing for inbound calls, digital voice recording and full outbound functionality. It also allows a supervisor or other quality control personnel to monitor an agent live through a Web-based management interface from anywhere in the world.
While these features alone make the DOW Networks solution impressive, the cost savings are significant. Comparable systems can cost more than $5,000 per seat, but with open source it's possible to deploy a full-featured VoIP call center for well under $1,000 per seat, which is quite a value when one considers that this includes the PBX.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard
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