I am new to Asterisk, and I am thinking about using it to build a birthday greetings service for a client. I am familiar with linux, mysql, asp and php, and feel comfortable diving into this project head first, but I have a couple of questions…
With Asterisk, would I be able able an application where customers call in to choose and schedule a birthday greeting, then the application calls the birthday boy/girl on the day of their birthday at the scheduled phone number at the scheduled time of day? Would I need two servers (one for incoming, one for outgoing)?
Would I need to buy a T1 card, or could I use a SIP Provider/ITSP Provider over an internet line?
If so, which would be some recommended SIP Providers/ITSP Providers to use in this scenario? I know BroadVoice does not allow this type of automated calling setup according to their terms of service. I think we can start with no more than 4 simultaneous incoming calls, and 4 simultaneous outoing.
Please excuse my newbiness, and sorry if my terms are not 100% correct.
That’ll be a very simple application for Asterisk. There are many time based applications. The only part I’m really confused is: why ask customers to “call in”? Wouldn’t it be much cheaper to build a Web-based interface? (Yes, Asterisk can easily interface with other systems.) I would bet that end user experience is also much smoother. (Does the hotel IVR to set up wake-up calls leave you wishing for better?) Not to mention much more simultaneous requests.
This is really a business decision only you can make. It mainly concerns cost and reliability. Birthday greetings is not the most mission critical application you can build, so if an ITSP provides competitive pricing, I’d definitely go with them.
You probably want to read some fine prints, and possibly sit down with them to discuss details. Automated out-going calls are often associated with out-going telemarketing. That could be their concern. Or it could be shear volume. In particular, BroadVoice is a consumer oriented service, of course they don’t want you to use them for commercial purposes! You cannot set up such a service on residential/small business land lines, either. Find some commercial provider and they’ll welcome your business.
On the other hand, calling people on their birthdays could easily raise privacy AND security eyebrows. (You would have to store such data on your computer.) You really need to work this out, including seeking legal advice.
Thanks for the informative reply, I appreciate it. Since this will be a small scale project, we will probably go with an itsp/sip provider then.
Can any of you recommend an itsp/sip provider for this type of project? I am looking for 4 simultaneous incoming/4 simultaneous outgoing. Hopefully a monthly rate for unlimited incoming calls on those channels, and cheap outgoing minutes for local in-state calls…