Sorry to bombard with so many questions. I hope my post isn’t too rambling - I got a pointless tech support call this morning, at about 3:30, for questions that are plainly answered on our website, and have been investigating how to build something to get people to read before calling since. (Or at least to get make sure I get paid when they do call.)
I’m considering using * for replacing our current phone system.
What we have today is a 2-line analog (provided by the cable company) setup with a digital answering machine that hands out a 3rd phone number for 24x7 support. The 3rd phone currently forwards incoming calls to the cell phone of the technician that is unlucky enough to be “on call.”
What I’d like to move to is something a bit more like this:
Customer calls in and is presented with friendly greeting and instructions that email is the best medium for support. If customer calls during business hours, a single keypress or perhaps no intervention on the customer’s part at all bypasses the system into our existing analog phone system, putting the person on hold if the phones are in use.
If customer calls after hours and demonstrates a need for a human, e.g., by entering a credit card number which we charge through our online credit card processor, the call is patched through to the cell phone of the person who is on call.
I would prefer not to purchase new handsets or do any major re-wiring, and cannot depend on workstations to have enough bandwidth to use a soft-phone; Hence the requirement that the keypress simply falls back to our existing system.
It looks like what I want to do is build a dedicated linux PC (3GHz P4x64, 2GB RAM, prolly Fedora 5) with something like a VoiceTronix OpenSwitch 6 configured with 4 FXO and 2 FXS ports. * would provide the menu, patch incoming calls from 2 of our FXO into an open FXS port, and in the case of the after-hours support, process credit cards and patch the call into an outbound call to a cell phone on the 3rd FXO port.
There are a few questions:
Is this a reasonable path, or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?
Can I download a web page or launch an external process in the context of a phone call, using data from said phone call? I.e., can I have the user type in some information and then relay that information to an external process via a command line? I’m thinking about credit card numbers into a wget call to charge a customer for billable technical support.
Does FXO means “normal analog phone line from the phone company or similar”?
Does FXS mean “internal phone line hooked up to 1 or more phone jacks”
Thanks in advance!