How asterisk saved our lives aka Howto save yours

In 2005 after many years of using a standard hardware EPABX, we shifted to Asterisk. This post details why we did so.

We had over the course of providing business VoIP services built up a home grown MIS and customer care system we were proud of. The problem was that it was impossible to integrate this with our PBX. Worse, call logging was difficult to the point of being unusable, so we had no visibility on dropped / unanswered calls, durations, type of calls etc. We had to manually analyze call patterns by asking everyone to write down details of each call for a week.

We found the that as many as 70% of calls were routine  and could be automated. Chief amongst these were directory inquiries, credit balance inquiries, requests for emergency credit, payment collections etc. Also, our helpdesk agents had developed specializations over time. We needed to divide calls into queues so as to route them according to these skills.

One statistic we found hard to accept was that almost 20% of total employee time, or upto 50% of phone facing employee time was spent answering automatable calls. The math done was however convincing, and from there on it was easy to calculate savings possible with a more capable phone system such as asterisk. The savings were in the same order of magnitude as our profits!

Despite our familiarity with Asterisk, it took us almost 6 months to setup our PBX. The results were spectacular. 3/4th of automatable calls were answered by the phone system, leading to a dramatic increase in agent availability. The number of calls answered by agents as a proportion of total has dropped regularly over the years. 

OwnPages does not on its own deliver all savings we were able to get for our selves. However it does give you a fast start and provide you the platform on which to build further. Post your specific requirements that are not catered to by OwnPages on the PBX forum and lets see what we can do for you.

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