ContactQ Enhances Asterisk's Call Center Functionality

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Tom Keating
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ContactQ Enhances Asterisk's Call Center Functionality

contact-q-logo.jpgContactQ is a new call center application server created by Braxtel Communications designed to run on Asterisk that brings advanced call center functionality to the Asterisk platform. Their aim is to handle any sort of contact method and put it into their advanced multi-media queue. For instance, they plan on queuing video calls, text messages, web callbacks, and of course regular calls. ContactQ is a fully featured multi-media skills based routing ACD. In my meeting with Braxtel at ITEXPO, Lee McCabe, Director of sales said video call queuing brings up some interesting possibilities, such as the ability to play corporate video promotions while the call is on hold. The concept is intriguing and it takes traditional music-on-hold to the next level with video-on-hold.

Lee mentioned that ContactQ is currently being developed as both a commercial product and also as an open source GPL project. It supports industry standards such as SIP, Voice XML(VXML), AJAX (Web 2.0), XMLRPC and designed for inter-working with VoIP softswitches like Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, PingTel and Cisco.

I asked Lee if they leverage FreePBX at all for the front-end GUI or if they use their own and Lee stated they use their own front-end interface for configuration as well as monitoring of call center queues and call center statistics. Importantly, ContactQ sports the ability for call center supervisors to listen in on agents using DTMF/touch tones on their phone.

Features include a powerful IVR with drag and drop programming tool and  historical reporting delivered via the web browser. It features powerful dialing capabilities critical to call centers, including Outbound Preview, Progressive and Predictive dialing modes.

Other features include:
  • Fully featured ACD supporting
    • Multiple queue modes
    • Call pull back on no answer
    • Overflow to voicemail
    • Queued voicemails
    • Time / Day routing rules
    • Agent unavailable types
    • Skills based routing (9999 skill levels)
  • Telephony based agent logon
  • Web browser based system configuration
    • Multi Language support (US English only in Version 1)
    • LDAP integration
    • Multiple partition configuration
    • Role based login
  • Supervisor Monitor / Listen-in
  • SNMP support
  • Real-time Supervisor Dashboard web application providing
    • Agent and queue performance statistics
    • Agent and queue drill down statistics
  • Real-time Agent Dashboard
    • Agent performance statistics web application
Lee said their software always uses the latest version of Asterisk with nightly builds available. Installation is via a bootable .iso image which will automatically format and install ContactQ in just minutes. I tried to get some screenshots of the admin from their website, but the website seems a bit of a work in progress. But the feature-set seems pretty powerful and I hope to check it out soon.

Here's a screenshot of the admin:

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