VOIP IVR Polling

I know very little about Asterisk or other telephony software and hardware, but I’m willing to learn.

I’m looking into the feasibility of creating a server that would be able to make automated VOIP calls to specific telephone numbers to either conduct a public survey (using IVR) or encourage local civic participation (for instance inform about polling places).

I know its possible to contract for these kinds of services, but is there a relatively easy way to create a home-grown solution using Asterisk or other software? The user would be a small civic action group.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on whether or not this is possible and what I’d have to learn to make it work.

That can be done with asterisk. You may want to play a bit of asterisk before going in to creating an IVR that would call people. The way I would set it up (and have in the past) is upload to mysql a list of people to call, then have a script (in my case php) that gets the calls from MySQl feeds it to the AMI (Asterisk manager interface), have asterisk connect them to the IVR and then record their responses into mysql via an AGI.

Start with reading the book: Asterisk, The future of telephony.

and poke around on the wiki at voip-info.org