Using Asterisk for our Call Center

Currently we have an NEC 2000 switch and some propriatary software (Zeacom SmartConnect) to manage queues, extensions, voicemail etc.

We do call center work for many different customers. Basically here is our current setup…

  1. Caller calls in
  2. If agent is available they take the call.
  3. If no agents are available (they can wait a configurable time and have different messages played to them) they then can leave a message in what we call a “Call Back Queue”
  4. Agents can log into call back queues and listen to the messages left and have the system call the caller back.

We can setup profiles so the agents can log into a “Profile” and receive in coming calls. If there are no incoming calls then the callback messages will be delivered to them.

Thats it in a nut shell.

I have a basic installation of asterisk / FreePBX now and have been experimenting with if for a couple of weeks.

Does any one have any ideas on how to accomplish this type of setup using asterisk?

We want a low cost solution as our current software is out of date and upgrades are in the 10,000 - 20000 dollars.

We also want to have to ability to change / modfiy / expand the system with incurrung outrageous fees.

Thanks in advance for you help.

Joe Ruddy

If you want to use FreePBX, post this in the FreePBX forums.

Check out the howto documents or asterisk handbook. Thats actually a pretty simple setup so you shouldn’t have a hard time with it. Also look into digiums hardware for the trunks, im assuming youll have a and or multiple PRI’s going to the machine. Another good place to look would be in the Asterisk section.

first thing i would do is decide whether the GUI is the right approach for you. in the end, i think you’ll be editing more of the dialplan manually, and you’ll question the need for the GUI.

Asterisk can certainly do all you want and a lot more. but for a professional, robust system, you’re still going to have to spend some money. maybe not as much as your upgrade, but if you have to buy phones, or channel banks to support your current phones, PRI cards, server-grade hardware, additional networking … you see where it could end up.

there are users like ‘whoiswes’ on here that are pros with call centre installations, but you might want to consider hiring someone to help you if you have tight timescales and aren’t confident about finding the information either by yourself (using google and the wiki) or with the help of this community.