I am having trouble finding some answers on the net and was hoping that someone on this board could help me. I have been researching opinion polls and testing how to run them for the past six months. I have been using Callfire’s IVR Cloud to send automated calls to thousands of numbers to conduct opinion research polls. The callers simply enter “1” or “2” and the data from that call is collected and later analyzed. If a voicemail or answering machine is detected, the system simply hangs up and moves on.

Here is my question: Is there a way to use Asterisk on your personal computer to handle these same activities, thus bypassing having to use another company’s services? The idea is that if I wanted to conduct polls for profit, I don’t want to have to pay another company’s fees for conducting the poll for my client. Instead, I would rather buy whatever needed to do all of this on my own, conducting a poll for my client and providing them with an interpretation of the data.

I really hope that makes sense. I appreciate any advice, opinions, or commentary regarding my question.

It should be doable with Asterisk. All of the pieces are there. You can initiate out calls. You can make the calls go to a IVR arrangement that would play a message and wait for responses, either recording what they speak or DTMF. You could log results into databases.

Unless you found a packaged system already in existence, it would take some work to put it all together.

Also, keep in mind that you would have to initiate the phone calls. So you either have to have the phone lines at your Asterisk box, or use some VOIP provider. The number of lines at your location could be a factor. Going the VOIP route, your internet bandwidth connection would be a factor. Since all of the concurrent calls would be traveling over it.

The less lines you have, obviously the longer it would take to conduct the opinion poll.

Thanks for your response. That makes a lot of sense to me. It would be easier if I could find a polling firm that has a business model available. I’m going to keep me eyes open for a all-in-one package. I’m far from being experienced enough to develop a project that big.