Alistair Cunningham, founder of Integrics, speaks about the present and future of Asterisk call-center industry


Alistair Cunningham Alistair Cunningham is the founder and owner of Integrics, the company behind Enswitch. After graduating from Cambridge University in 1999, he worked as a telecoms installation engineer at Voicerite, an IBM partner, where he developed a taste for travel. In December 2004, he founded Integrics Ltd. The Enswitch product started in early 2005, and since then has steadily grown in features and customer base. Originally from Northern Ireland, Alistair Cunningham is now a global nomad and travels the world non-stop.

Could you summarize for our readers your profile and your role in the Asterisk community?
I'm the founder of Integrics. We're the creators of Enswitch. It's a feature rich and highly scalable softswitch for commercial telephony services such as hosted PBX, residential ITSP, and SIP trunking. It uses Asterisk and Kamailio for the telephony stack. One of the features it provides is queuing, and of course it integrates with QueueMetrics for queue reporting.

Mr. Cunningham, what's your view on the future of the Asterisk call-center industry in the next two years?
Call centers will probably be the biggest beneficiaries of WebRTC. Agent turnover is always a concern, and WebRTC allows call centers to onboard new agents faster due to reduced hardware complexity, and simpler software that's more deeply integrated with the call center's workflow.

What kind of benefits do you think professionals experience with call-center monitoring suites like QueueMetrics?
While there are obviously big efficiency, cost-saving, and troubleshooting benefits, I think the biggest benefit is simple peace of mind. Being able to sleep soundly at night knowing that things are going well is an incalculable benefit.

What are the key factors which make a successful Asterisk based call-centre?
Reliability. Always reliability. For any real-world call center, the cost of lost sales and lost customer goodwill that an outage would cause dwarfs the cost of the telephony system used.

What are your thoughts about the strategic role of call-center analytics?
Until now, analytics has always focused on call information. WebRTC also provides the opportunity to do analytics at the network and application level. Information such as source IP address, linked to geolocation services, and the ability to ask the customer questions through the browser - satisfaction surveys are just a start - can provide a wealth of business information that wasn't available before. This is doubly true if the client is using a mobile device.

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