Can anyone here develop this?


#1

I am willing to make an investment. I sent this as a PM to one person but thought I should open it up:


Automated calls in political campaigns is a huge business. It has a lot of advantages over other forms of communications (though there are limits as well).

Recorded messages from celebrities or candidates motivating people to go vote or show up at a rally or meeting make up the bulk of the calls.

A second market is for research - you ask people yes/no questions. While participation is really low and the survey results are scientifically specious, it is much less expensive and much faster than using live operators (even Indian ones) and if your goal is to find 10,000 people that say ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you own an SUV’, there is no better way.

A new market I am also looking to get involved with is a ‘phone push’ where after an organization sends out a direct mail fundraising piece, we follow-up with a brief recorded message reminding them to send that piece back in or to just go to the website and make a contribution there.

Another new market I want to explore is using this for fundraising alone. Just give a recorded message making a quick pitch for your cause and then drive that to a website.

The first two markets are dominated by firms using traditional T1- 24 channel (or whatever) methods and proprietary systems.

I believe that using VIOP, Asterisk, and a relationship with a major hook-up (and I think I have found one that will give me access to a large number of channels at a sub-cent rate), I will be able to sell a lot of calls.

I am currently a pretty successful political consultant and I provide a lot of services that are related to this. I want to use the ‘Standard Oil’ process of expanding my control of the supply chain.

Most of my competitors offer calls at around 6-10 cents per connect although I have gotten as low as 3 if I press. However, in the political consulting field, low prices aren’t enough - you need relationships, the ability to offer referral fees, and other value-added services. I have all of that.

What is the budget? Geez - what does it need to be. How cheap would the hardware I need to have to push enough calls to control, say, 50 channels (which means maybe 13 live calls) through a T-1. I can get the T-1 at around $500 a month.

I have a lot of marketing opportunities but need to figure out my cost structure first.

Anyway, those are my thoghts. I have a tremendous ability to sell this stuff - and often have sold it but only by brokering someone else’s hardware. I want my own.

What do you think?


#2

I do know it’s illegal to make fully automated calls (so the people on the called end only hear a computer) for example in the Netherlands.


#3

US FCC Regulations do allow for automated dialing systems to play pre-recorded messages as long as they:

[quote=“US FCC”]All artificial or prerecorded phone messages must: (1) identify the business responsible for the call at the beginning of the message; and (2) provide a phone number for the company during or after the message. The call recipient must be able to use the phone number to add her name to the company’s do-not-call list. 47 CFR § 64.1200(b).

Telemarketers cannot block caller-identification information. 47 CFR § 64.1601(e).[/quote]

Source

The question becomes if the company is entirely offshore if indeed it then needs to worry about any of these regulations. But, as described, it appears that this is a legitimate business that may derive value.

In terms of development on the Asterisk side this is a fairly straightforward endeavour. The trick will be with list management and maintaining an effective cost structure with healthy margins.


#4

I know what I am doing and I know the law and I know the lists. What I do not know is asterisk.

Because these are political phone calls, the DNC list does not apply.

I have all of the lists - the best lists available. That is one area of my firm’s specialties.

The rest of it…

I am pretty sure I can probably learn Asterisk. I ordered a book in the mail and I’ve learned a lot of other technologies. What I am a little unsure is what kind of hardware will be required.

There is also the possibility it would be better if I had one of you (?) help me set this up as I could get it done faster. I want to be ready for primary season and general election season next year.


#5

asus k8n mb
+sempron 2500+
+1 Gb ram +hdd+ cas ~ 300$
can handle upto 50-120 calls) as you wish

  • cost of software setup + cost of T1 hardware card(do you realy need it? maybe you shell use ip?)

#6

i can do it in a week i think(all, and system setup too). without hardware card. and with database-driven automatic cals.


#7

we have a system doing just that for some customers. Let me know if you are interested so we can talk in real time. jwhlee@gmail.com


#8

We have done this with VICIDIAL before:
astguiclient.sf.net

It’s GPL and free to use. It even comes with a sample political survey script in the release.