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doug_coulter
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Asterisk FreePBX Dialplan

We are looking for a VOIP Dialer system to support several Use Cases including:
1. Call and play recorded message for a list of numbers
2. Same as #1 with Press 1 to talk to live person, Press 2 to decline
3. Insert specific time/day/event information into message played
4. Call a list of numbers in the order provided and do a screen pop of profile for person called and order referenced

We have heard Asterisk and FreePBX are popular but have no experience with these or other systems such as Vicidial, vTiger, plivo, etc and so we are looking for some guidance from someone who works with this technology.
ProgrammingTelecommunicationsVoice Over IP

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tigermatt

8/22/2022 - Mon
agonza07

Personally I would outsource this. Since you have no experience running your own PBX, let alone being able to handle the programming you require, its best to give this to a vendor.

Here are a couple sites I found for you. The problem is that since they are not onsite software, they will not do #4 for you.

http://www.spitfiredialers.com/index.php/spitfire-products/spitfire-autodialer-spx.html

https://www.callfire.com/common-uses/autodialer

For what you want to do, contact the people above first and see what they can do. If they can't then you may need to bring in a company to set you up with the programming and PBX/Call Center system you require.
doug_coulter

ASKER
Yes, we can outsource this, but each contractor has their own favorite solution, usually based on what experience they have, and we are looking for guidance on selecting the best PBX and related items, e.g. Text-To-Speech, and THEN outsourcing to a professional that has that background.
agonza07

Asterisk is gaining some ground, so everyone is gettig familiar with it. If you got a couple of contractors that know this system in your area, you should be set. Keep in mind that there's lots of vendors on the net too.

FreePBX is just the graphical interface for Asterisk, and you'll find that lots of systems out there like Digium and Trixbox are just versions of Asterisk.

If you can find a vendor that can program the system to your specs with Asterisk, I would go that way. If you are talking about a large call center deployment (1000+ users,) then maybe you should go with an Avaya or Cisco solution.

Make sure to get some documentation on the set up, this is very important since the system will be highly customized to you and you want to make sure you are not stuck with one vendor.
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agonza07

BTW, there are commercial versions of Asterisk that are commercially supported. I think Digium makes Switchvox.... which means your system is supported by the company and not the community.
tigermatt

Digium is the firm which produces Asterisk. Yes, they create the open-source Asterisk PBX, Switchvox (a Unified Communications system based on Asterisk), AsteriskNOW, plus assorted hardware and software components to complement an Asterisk or Switchvox install.

There is no reason that Asterisk cannot do what you are asking of it. However, it should be emphasised that Asterisk is a toolkit, and not a fully featured solution which will work out of the box. As a PBX, this can make start-up time to installation prohibitive for a novice, which led to the creation of GUIs such as FreePBX to allow a PBX to be installed without having to understand the underlying configuration files. However, for custom tasks such as a dialer which implements business logic specific to your organisation, you are likely going to be best placed to use a base Asterisk install, upon which either you or some external consultant implements the necessary code to achieve what you are after. You will also need to supply some means of outbound telephone connection (SIP trunks, or a T1 line etc.) as well as computer hardware capable of running as a Linux server and with sufficient resources for the number of concurrent calls you wish to make.

But, once again, Asterisk is a free package, which means you will either need to engage the services of a consultant to code what you require or spend time learning Asterisk, the underlying Linux platform and shell scripting from scratch to achieve what you are after. Either way, you will pay for the support to configure it, either in the money shelled out on consultancy fees or in the time you will spend learning and configuring yourself.

FWIW, everything you need is included. One way of "auto dialling" is the use of call files, the options the callee hears are simply dialplan statements, and the notification on connection to a live person can be implemented using an XMPP IM server and Asterisk's module which integrates with IM.

-Matt
doug_coulter

ASKER
Matt,

thanks, this is helpful. So assuming Asterisk is the underlying technology is FreePBX the way to go for a GUI ? I have heard of others, some newer, but have no basis for selecting one.

also is Text-To-Speech built in or how is that handled?

and finally for a "screen pop" is it necessary to install something on our PCs so that we can view the caller's profile and related info?

Doug
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