Call Centre Setup


#1

Hi Peeps,

I am a person who is looking at a business view of using Asterisk to a production line plug I am also a fulltime consultant and techncal developer. All I am reading about Asterisk is computer to computer communication. There is no mentioned item about talking to an existing telephone (calling and receiving). I want to setup a call center which connects to PSTN. I searched how to setup a call centre using Asterisk and found one in digium’s site case study about Aheeva. What intrigues me is how exactly did they implement this. Here is some extract.

Implementation:
Aheeva needed to simplify the configuration and administration of the existing Asterisk dial plan (Asterisk normally uses text-based configuration files to handle this). Additionally, Aheeva had to expand the ability of Asterisk to handle load balancing over an array of multiple Asterisk servers and switches, without losing track of the channel in which each individual call resides. This improved Asterisk’s quick deployment and scalability.

AGI, or Asterisk Gateway Interface, is patterned after the Web’s Common Gateway Interface so that the programmer can use his or her favorite programming language to create Asterisk applications, then communicate with Asterisk through STDOUT, receiving Asterisk’s response through STDIN.

In the process of adding new features to Asterisk and testing its limits at the time, Aheeva discovered and fixed two bugs within the Asterisk code that show up when you scale it to installations of this size. They submitted patches back to the community, which was well benefited.

My questions are:

  1. What hardware and servers do I need
  2. Do I need a telephone connection
  3. I already have a DSL internet connection Can I use it?
  4. What gateways do I need to setup?
  5. LAN setup

Also I want to know the architecture on how to mix these things.

If anybody could help me on this, pls lend me your kind heart.

Thanks
Wilson :smile: :frowning:


#2

Take a look at the astguiclient/VICIDIAL project:
astguiclient.sf.net

VICIDIAL is a GPL call center software suite that is designed to run on top of Asterisk. It is currently in use by over 50 companies around the world on over 2000 agent seats.

As for hardware, you just need an Asterisk server and can use PSTN/E1/T1 telco lines or IAX2/SIP VOIP trunks, so yes DSL would be fine to start testing it. It also works with Zap/IAX2/SIP phones(hardphones or softphones).

MATT—


#3

Hi Matt,

Thanks. I really appreciate your reply. I got a quick look at the site and it describes what exactly I need. But I have few questions left. Sorry because I am a just a new here.

Here are my questions

Problem:
I need to setup a call center for new 10 computers and one Asterisk Server.

Scenario:
I have new 10 computers which will be used by agents who will place or receive calls.
I have an existing LAN which is composed of 20 computers.
I have one big Asterisk Server.

  1. I have a router linksys box setup already here at our office. The router serves as my connection to my DSL connection. I have an existing LAN (10 computers) which is basically the default installed by Redhat 8 desktop.
  2. Where should I plug the digium telco adapter? to the Asterisk server? or the agents who will accept the calls which is a Redhat 8 linux desktop?
  3. When you mean telco lines do you really mean an ordinary and old style telephone connection line.
  4. How do I connect the my Asterisk server to the agent clients. Do I need a separate hub for this or to connect to my existing LAN (20 computers).
  5. Is that diguim card comes with an ethernet port which could I plug to my hub or my router.

Pls give me the architecture if you have some time.

Many Thanks.
Wilson :smile:


#4

The Digium telco adapter, which can be an analog line connector(PSTN) or T1/E1 connector, would be a PCI card inserted into the Asterisk server.

The agents should either use a softphone on their computers or a hardphone next to their computers, it really doesn’t matter which, they will both work.

As for the client computers connecting to the Asterisk server, that’s what the VICIDIAL suite does, it controls the calls and sends them to the agents.

The agents can be on the same network hub/switch that the rest of your network is on.

Digium cards do not have Ethernet ports, they are meant to be added to an Asterisk serer and allow for telco-line connectivity.

You might want to contact a consultant to help you through the setup. Here’s a list of approved consultants that have done VICIDIAL installs:
astguiclient.sourceforge.net/consultants.html

MATT—


#5

First, you need a copy of this book:

voip-info.org/wiki/view/Aste … +Telephony

What is the up/down data rate of your DSL connection? If you are planning to use a VoIP provider for your PSTN interconnection this will be a key point to determine if you have the required bandwidth. The biggest concern is the up data rate which tends to be small on DSL.

The alternative would be to get a Digium (digium.com) card and connect to the TDM, but then you would need to obtain seperate E1/T1 lines from your favorite telco provider.

To the Asterisk server.

An Analog line is a ‘plain old style telephone connection’. While you may also obtain digital E1/T1 from the telco provider to carry your voice traffic via TDM, depends on which Digium card you purchased/are planning to purchase and what your needs are. Another alternative is to get a data line (ie - a dedicated E1/T1) from a telco that provides an MPLS server and then connct to some VoIP trunks.

This depends on your data traffic on the existing LAN. Will it support the new traffic with Asterisk pumping voice onto the same network? What codec do you plan to use between these machines? Remember, voice is realtime and must have a clear channel/priority (QoS) on the LAN to perform well.

No, it sits in a PCI slot on your Asterisk server, your Asterisk server in turn has a NIC.

As an aside, have a look here as well:

voip-info.org/wiki/view/ICD