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Title: Introduction%20to%20Telecommunication%20Equipment:%20PBX,%20ACD,%20IVR,%20CMS,%20CAS%20and%20Workforce%20Management

Introduction to Telecommunication Equipment PBX,
ACD, IVR, CMS, CAS and Workforce Management
or How to Select Telephone Systems Services to
Fit Your Needs Bill Brackin Program Director,
North Sound 2-1-1 And Telephone Systems
Manager Volunteers of America Western Washington
  • Telephone Services
  • Dial Tone
  • Long Distance
  • Networking
  • Telephone Systems
  • Centrex with Single Line Phones
  • Software as a Service with Single Line Phones
  • Switches
  • Digital Switch
  • VoIP Switch
  • PBX
  • Optional Special Features

  • Telephone Services
  • Dial Tone - POTS Lines
  • POTS Plain old telephone line
  • POTS lines are the simplest telephone line you
    can buy.
  • They are often referred to as business lines.
    Even in complex applications POTS lines have
    their place. They provide backup lines, fax
    lines, and other simple applications. They are
    usually delivered as analog lines.

  • Telephone Services
  • Dial Tone T Carrier Lines
  • T1 means any data circuit (including voice
    packets) that runs at the 1.544 Mb/second line
    rate. T-1s are point-to-point digital lines that
    can have multiple unique numbers (DIDs) assigned.
    Each T-1 is a dedicated leased digital line that
    is connected to a Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
    from the central office (CO). Features are
    provided by your telephone system.
  • T2 and T3 circuit channels carry multiple T1
    channels multiplexed, resulting in transmission
    rates of 6.312 and 44.736 Mbit/sec, respectively.

  • Telephone Services
  • Dial Tone T Carrier Lines
  • T1s come in a couple of versions
  • T1, which has 24 paths for incoming and/or
    outgoing traffic.
  • T1 PRI, which in North American includes 23 voice
    channels 1 data channel. The D channel carries
    control and signaling information, including
    caller ID.
  • Fractional T1 - 256, 348, 512, 768 Kbps services
    providing less than 23 voice channels.

  • Telephone Services
  • Long Distance Services 3 Classes
  • In the United States, long distance can refer to
    three different classes of calls that are not
    local toll-free calls. The most common class of
    long-distance is often called interstate
    long-distance, though the more accurate term is
    inter-LATA interstate long distance.
  • Another form of long-distance, increasingly
    relevant to more U.S. states, is known as
    inter-LATA intrastate long distance. This refers
    to a calling area outside of the customers LATA
    but within the customer's state.
  • Often, in large LATAs, there is also a class
    known by the oxymoronic name local long distance,
    which refers to calls within the customer's LATA
    but outside of their local calling area. This is
    sometimes also referred to as intra-LATA long

  • Telephone Services
  • Long Distance Services Purchasing
  • Before buying any long distance services make
    sure you know what rate will be charged for each
    of these three categories. Intra-LATA calls can
    legally be billed at a much higher rate than are
    Inter-LATA calls, and often are. This may be a
    point of negotiation.
  • It is also very important to know the approximate
    minutes of each of these categories of calls that
    your agency makes, so that you can evaluate the
    financial impact of a long distance proposal on
    your agency specifically.
  • You can buy long distance services from your dial
    tone provider, or anyone else you want to do
    business with. You will need to tell your dial
    tone provider which long distance carrier you are
    going with, because they need to program that
    into their systems.

  • Telephone Services
  • Long Distance Services Slamming and PIC Freezes
  • Slamming is the illegal practice of changing a
    consumer's telephone servicelocal (intra-LATA),
    toll (inter-LATA intrastate), long distance
    (inter-LATA inter-state), or internationalwithout
  • To prevent slamming you can arrange in advance
    with the local exchange carrier (local telephone
    company) to initiate a PIC Freeze to prevent
    unauthorized changing of the long distance
    telephone carrier. It stipulates that your
    carrier may not be changed without your written
    consent. This feature is free of charge. If in
    the future you want to change carriers, remember
    to submit a written request to remove the PIC
    Freeze before placing your change order.

  • Telephone Services
  • Networking
  • If you plan on tying together multiple locations
    into a common telephone and/or data system, you
    will need to design a networking system.
  • Your specific telephone system may dictate the
    options that you have available to you. Some
    systems wont work well with DSL networks, for
    example. Some work very well with them.
  • Networking is a very technical area, and your IT
    staff or consultant should help you make this
    choice. Dont be afraid to ask lots of dumb
    questions. This is complicated stuff, and each
    option comes with good and bad features, security
    considerations, installation and operational
    costs, maintenance and support issues, and more.

  • Telephone Services
  • Networking
  • Here are some, but not all, of the many items to
  • Is your telephone system VoIP capable or not?
  • Size of the data packets that your VoIP telephone
    system sends across the network.
  • The reliability of each type of networking
  • Is the proposed network point-to-point,
    cloud, or some other design?
  • Who manages the maintenance, security, and
  • Do you need to purchase the routers, or are they
    provided as part of the service?
  • Does your telephone system have the capacity to
    add the networking service, and if not, what will
    it cost to add that capacity?
  • How long of a contract must you sign in order to
    get a reasonable price?
  • Is the provider using compression, and if so,
    how much?
  • Can the vendor give you access to existing
    customers who are using the proposed system in a
    similar way to what you are proposing?

  • Telephone Systems
  • Centrex with Single Line Phones

Switching Software is Located Here
Call Center or Agency
Agent at Home
Local Central Office (CO)
Centrex lines are analog lines provided by the
local telephone service provider that provide
programmable features on the line. The cost is
based on usage and features programmed for each
line and monthly service fee. Hardware and
software maintenance is included in the monthly
costs. No technical staff is required to operate
such a system. Agents can easily be set up to
work from home.
  • Telephone Systems
  • Software as a Service with Single Line Phones or
    Telephone Systems

Switching Software is Located Here
Call Center or Agency
Local Central Office (CO)
Agent at Home
SAAS Provider Switch (s)
Software as a Service rides on analog or
digital lines provided by the local telephone
service provider. It includes additional
routing, call center management, voice mail, etc.
provided by a different provider than your local
telephone company. The cost is based on usage
and features programmed for each line and a
monthly or per-call service fee. Hardware and
software maintenance and upgrades are included in
the monthly costs. There may be an initial setup
fee. No technical staff is required to operate
such a system. Agents can easily work from home,
and center can easily be relocated during
emergencies and disasters.
  • Telephone Systems
  • Switches

A telephone switch is a system of electronic
components that connects telephone calls. It is
hardware that is controlled by software in modern
telephone systems. In the past switching was
often done manually. A switch can be located in
a local or long distance telephone companys
office or on your premises. Telephone switches
are a small part of the large telephone network.
When a switch is in-house, it is often referred
to as the telephone system or PBX (Private Branch
Exchange). In-house switches require you to pay
for maintenance and hardware and software
upgrades as needed. They are more challenging to
set up for at-home agents, and are not as easily
relocated during emergencies or disasters. They
usually need you to hire technical staff or to
contract with a maintenance provider to make
changes, upgrades, or maintenance. In large
agencies, where IT staff is already available,
they may provide a lower cost solution.
  • Telephone Systems
  • Digital Switch
  • A digital switch is a type of switch that
    connects two or more digital circuits together.
    It is a type of switch that has been used by
    telephone companies, agencies, and businesses for
    a long time. They operate on time tested and
    reliable telephone engineering. If you have a
    switch that is five or more years old, you
    probably have a digital switch.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to
    communications servicesvoice, facsimile, and/or
    voice-messaging applicationsthat are transported
    via the Internet, rather than the public switched
    telephone network (PSTN). The basic steps
    involved in originating an Internet telephone
    call are conversion of the analog voice signal to
    digital format and compression/translation of the
    signal into Internet protocol (IP) packets for
    transmission over the Internet the process is
    reversed at the receiving end.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch
  • Other terms frequently encountered and synonymous
    with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony,
    voice over broadband (VoBB), broadband telephony,
    and broadband phone.
  • Because these systems connect telephones and
    switches by way of the Internet, they are
    typically easier for IT staff to deal with than
    digital switches. They do require firewall
    security systems, as do computer networks.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch Quality of Service Considerations
  • The underlying IP network is inherently
    unreliable, in contrast to the circuit-switched
    public telephone network. It does not inherently
    provide a mechanism to ensure that data packets
    are delivered in sequential order or provide
    Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. Because of
    this VoIP implementations face problems
    mitigating latency and jitter.
  • The receiving node must restructure IP packets
    that may be out of order, delayed or missing,
    while ensuring that the audio stream maintains a
    proper time consistency. Variation in delay is
    called jitter.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch Power Considerations
  • Traditional residential and business analog POTS
    line services are usually connected directly to
    telephone company phone lines. They provide
    direct current to power most the basic analog
    handsets independently of locally available
  • In a VoIP installation you must plan for power
    and power backups, since the phones, servers, and
    switches will not work without local power being

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch 911 Considerations
  • A fixed line phone has a direct relationship
    between a telephone number and a physical
    location. If an emergency call comes to 911 from
    that number, then the physical location is known.
  • In the IP world it is not so simple. A broadband
    provider may know the location where the wires
    terminate, but this does not necessarily allow
    the mapping of an IP address to that location.
  • IP addresses are often dynamically assigned, so
    the ISP may allocate an address for online
    access, or at the time a broadband router is
    engaged. The ISP recognizes individual IP
    addresses, but does not necessarily know what
    physical location to which it corresponds.
  • The broadband service provider knows the physical
    location, but is not necessarily tracking the IP
    addresses in use.
  • Since IP is portable, the location may be a
    moving target. 911 calls will often mis-locate
    the caller. This has resulted in known deaths
    because of responders being directed to an old or
    incorrect address. It is critical that you
    maintain tables in your VoIP phone system to
    locate all extensions.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch
  • With all of these considerations VoIP has still
    become the standard. Why?
  • Low cost, especially when combined with Internet,
    cable TV, and computer data networking.
  • Easily transportable. Software can be placed on
    a laptop to mimic a telephone set. This is
    called a softphone.
  • VoIP service is nearly indistinguishable from the
  • VoIP phones allow VoIP calls without the use of a
    computer. Of course, Internet connectivity is
    still required.
  • VoIP allows for more flexibility and
    interchangeability of software and hardware in
    many cases.

  • Telephone Systems
  • VoIP Switch

Fractional T1 512k
Remote Agent
Internet Cloud
Call Center
Central Office
256k committed rate
Full T1 1.544m
384k committed rate
Central Office
Call Center
Central Office
Call Center
VoIP Hardware and software that allows people
to use Internet protocols to make telephone calls.
  • Telephone Systems
  • PBX
  • A private branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone
    switch that serves a particular business or
    office, as opposed to one that a telephone
    company operates for many businesses or for the
    general public.
  • PBXs make connections among the internal
    telephones of a private organization and also
    connect them to the public switched telephone
    network (PSTN) via trunk lines like T1s.
  • PBXs are differentiated from key systems" in
    that users of key systems manually select their
    own outgoing lines, while PBXs select the
    outgoing line automatically. Hybrid systems
    combine features of both.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Optional Special Features
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Skills Based Routing
  • Voice, Email, Fax, Chat
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Speech recognition
  • Call Center Software
  • Call Recording
  • Call Accounting
  • Voice Mail
  • Workforce Management (WFM)
  • Online Hiring Software
  • Integrated Training Tools
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
  • Work at Home or Remote Agents
  • Contact Management System (CMS)
  • And more.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Routing incoming calls is the task of the ACD
    system. ACD systems are often found in call
    centers or offices that handle large volumes of
    incoming phone calls from callers who have no
    need to talk to a specific person but who require
    assistance from any of multiple persons (e.g.,
    customer service representatives) at the earliest
    opportunity. The routing strategy is a rule-based
    set of instructions that tells the ACD how calls
    are handled inside the system. This capability
    may include e-mail, fax, and/or chat as well as
  • Many switches already include an ACD in their

  • Telephone Systems
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Skills Based Routing
  • Call routing can send calls to the agent best
    suited to handle that call. For example, Spanish
    speaking callers can be routed to agents who
    speak Spanish if they are available. A person
    with disabilities can be routed to an agent who
    specializes in services and resources for persons
    with diabilities.
  • Call routing can also be based on other factors
    such as the caller ID of the caller, the number
    that was dialed by the caller, a database that
    establishes priority of certain callers, etc.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • IVR is an interactive technology that allows a
    computer to detect voice (speech recognition) and
    keypad inputs.
  • IVR allows customers to access a companys
    database via a telephone touchtone keypad or by
    speech recognition, after which they can service
    their own inquiries by following the
  • IVR systems can respond with pre-recorded or
    dynamically generated audio to further direct
    users on how to proceed. IVR systems can be used
    to control almost any function where the
    interface can be broken down into a series of
    simple menu choices.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Call Center Software
  • Many telephones systems come with ACD built in,
    but if you want more than just call distribution,
    you will need to add call center software, and
    possibly a server, to your telephone system.
    These usually provide a better agent interface
    through their computer screen, a customizable
    real-time supervisor screen, statistical reports,
    and more.
  • Call Recording
  • Call recording software or call logging software
    allows a party to record a telephone conversation
    to a digital file, usually in .wav or mp3 format.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Call Accounting
  • A Call Accounting System is a software or
    hardware application that captures, records, and
    costs telephone usage events. Call accounting
    systems detect outbound and inbound calls, call
    ring outs, call routings, abandoned calls, and
    other activities.
  • Voice Mail
  • Voice Mail is a centralized system of managing
    telephone messages for a large group of people.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Workforce Management (WFM)
  • Workforce management software provides a tool to
    manage scheduling needs for the agency. WFM
    collects information on the number, length and
    time of day of calls and calculates the number
    staff needed for each shift. It also provides
    trends from historical data with a variety of
    reports. Managers use Workforce software for
    planning meetings, time off or vacation time for
    staffing based on service levels.
  • Online Hiring Software
  • Some systems offer optional hiring management
    software that pre-screens candidates, introduces
    the applicants to your company, gives online
    tests, and introduces the candidates to the
    position that is being offered.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Integrated Training Tools
  • Call centers often have slow times. Integrated
    Training Tools can observe slow periods and feed
    short training modules to idle agents to make the
    best use of the time. These trainings can be
    linked to assessment tools in some systems so
    that the training modules are the ones that will
    be most helpful to that specific agent.
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
  • CTI enriches your callers experience by
    retrieving caller-specific information and
    matching it with the best agent to help them.
    Also, the screen pop feature saves both the
    callers and the agents time by automatically
    opening the right screen directly to the agent's
    desktop.  Finally, CTI lets a caller utilize
    self-service by getting or setting his own
    account information over the phone without
    talking to a live agent.

  • Telephone Systems
  • Work at Home or remote Agents
  • Functionality in your telephone system or
    services that allow agents to work from home,
    relocate to another location, or to work in a
    mobile environment. Check with your vendors to
    see what you need to do to add this
  • Contact Management System (CMS)
  • A Contact Management System (CMS) is an
    integrated solution that allows organizations to
    record relationships and interactions with their
    callers. This information includes all emails,
    documents, jobs, faxes, calendar and more.

  • And more..
  • If you can think of it, a telephone systems
    manufacturer has probably already developed a
    system to handle it. Ask your vendors.
  • Questions???

More Information
Bill Brackin, Program Director North Sound
2-1-1 (425) 609-2213
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