When it comes to outbound call centers, answering machines are one of the biggest points of waste in an entire operation. Answering machines both delay the performance of predictive dialing systems and also bog down live agents unnecessarily. To that end, Sangoma has today announced, at the AstriCon event in Atlanta, its new Sangoma AMD for Asterisk system, an answering machine detection system that promises high accuracy and a great chance at decreased waste.
The Sangoma AMD for Asterisk software offers backward compatibility with Asterisk 1.4 and also offers the features typically seen on dialer packages that are both high-end and higher priced than the Sangoma AMD for Asterisk system. Also on hand is native support for Asterisk, as well as support for both TDM and SIP-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling, which is a plus for mixed-technology environments where the adjustment to a completely VoIP-based environment hasn't happened yet for any of a variety of reasons.
Perhaps best of all, Sangoma is promising both incredible accuracy--the ability to distinguish between an answering machine and an actual human fully 95 percent of the time in under 300 milliseconds, and that accuracy goes up to 98 percent when allowed two seconds--and a reasonable price, offering what is described as "a price-point aligned with the open source marketplace."
Sangoma's director of professional services, Frederic Dickey, provided some further insight on the new Sangoma AMD for Asterisk software with his remarks.
"Sangoma is strongly committed to the open source community and is continually developing cost-effective hardware and software solutions for open source developers looking to incorporate new features and leading-edge performance into their solutions,” Dickey said. “We expect that the Sangoma AMD for Asterisk solution will give open source call center system developers the ability to stand toe-to-toe with big, proprietary system providers at a very attractive price."
Indeed, having proper answering machine detection software is important for any outbound call center. Live agents need to be spending as much time as possible--ideally, all of it--talking to real people who can make decisions and thus yield sales. Any time spent with a gatekeeper, be it a human being or a machine, is time that could have been spent more productively but is instead lost or at the very least reduced in value.
Sure, that answering machine message may prompt sales down the line, but it's nowhere near as likely as getting to agreement with a real person who can answer questions and provide the necessary information at the scene to get a customer to the yes point. That's why having a machine to handle the work of identifying answering machines is important; a machine's time is seldom wasted because they have as much of it as there is power to run it. If the machines can clear the way of impediments and gatekeepers, it gives the live reps more time to deal with the decision makers.Sangoma's AMD for Asterisk system may not guarantee better sales, but it will offer a better chance at them, and in an economy like this one, most chances are worth taking if they mean better sales.