Setup a CATI system

Hello everyone.

I work for a government company which makes statistics. To be able to improve our methods, we are going to install a CATI (computer assisted telephone interview) system, which mean that we will have interviewers calling at people’s homes to ask them questions.

How we do that is what we need to decide.

I’ve been searching the web and I found this project and immediately liked it. I like it is free software so we can change whatever we need and we won’t be paying any licensing.

The problem is: Do a system based on asterisk is capable of doing what we need? Would be it expensive to buy the hardware?

I’ve got many many questions and I hope somebody will kindly help me.

To summarize: We have a switchboard (in spanish centralita, I hope I translated it correctly) through all calls are received and sent. This switchboard is a MD110 (I’ve been told so, this is a very common switchboard for companies).

We want the software to automatically call a phone list and when someone answers, this call would be transfered to a free interviewer, which will be prompt with the informant profile and the questionnaire to be filled. We want it to be able to keep a log of what each interviewer has done and optionally to record the calls. I guess it is pretty simple what we need. We don’t need top-notch stuff, just a simple way to make surveys with a phone.

My primary concern is about the hardware we need and with the software to be compatible with our switchboard. I guess the functionality is out there, as we don’t demand much.

As we are a government company, we probably would need some technical assistance, so possible solutions with such assistance (paid, of course) would be great, but would need to be in spain and in spanish.

Well, that’s all I think. Let’s see if someone can help me or point me where I can find help.

Asterisk is a choice that could work for you. As far as the hardware required that depends on your needs. I have built asterisk to run on many platforms, Standard PC equipment, A gamecube, Netbooks and even on a gumstix. The technology you wish to use to make and recive calls is also a big factor. what you speak of can be done with VOIP trunks, Queuing is very possible. Recording calls and managers listening in on active calls are possible too. Just about anything you can think of is possible.

Check out FreePBX. It helped me understand asterisk alot more. And a good book for asterisk is one published by O’Reilly called “Asterisk The Future Of Telephony”.