I work in a telesales phone center, and we have a request from a couple clients to provide “answering machine” capability for customers. We currently are using real answering machines attached to a single POTS line for two of them, but obviously we are limited by the capacity of the hardware, storage space for the equipment, and ever-increasing cost as we get more of these requests.
Can Asterisk provide that capability in a single machine format, so that I can connect all the relevant POTS lines to the computer? As I am new to this course of action, please give me a thumbnail sketch of what hardware I would need to connect the POTS lines, and how one of our agents would be able to access the machine to retrieve messages.
Also, a slightly different question. Can Asterisk support complex IVR? We would like to implement a “weather hotline” via toll free numbers routed to a POTS line (or maybe a toll free T1). We would need to IVR to identify which of 6 centers and inside that, which of 3 shifts, playing a message at each layer of the IVR and prompting for a response. An option is to also be connected to the center operator, so we would need the ability to transfer to another phone number.
Thanks for your guidance and direction.