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November 29, 2007

Skunkworks Launches Telco Perl for Enhanced IVR

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


As a widely accepted solution used by millions throughout the world, Perl eliminates the need to train staff in a single purpose and usually limiting proprietary language. Telco Perl is designed to empower IVR technology developers to eliminate the typical technical restrictions of proprietary systems in order to create new services in a shorter time and lower cost.

Telco Perl was created by software developer Skunkworks Australia not as a Perl module, but rather as a serious telephony application engine written in C language for high performance, high density systems shipped with their Whirlwind telephony middleware.

With the freely available Perl language, users simply write telephony scripts such as play, answer, and check PIN from data base. The Telco Perl then automatically complies and caches these scripts to run in the telco grade Whirlwind middleware, also written in C.

The advantage with this solution is that unlike proprietary IVR systems, Telco Perl leverages the endless flexibility of Perl. The ability to build services in a language that has no technical limitations reduces the complexity and cost of the build as well as ongoing support.

Many traditional IVRs use a drag and drop graphical interface to build services as necessary. When the developer needs a function that is not built-in, they have to break out into another language such as Java, Perl or C.

"You have to ask yourself why am I paying to train staff to learn a proprietary IVR language when they also have to learn yet another language to address the shortcomings which adds complexity and cost to supporting these services", said Bill Oborn, Director of Skunkworks Australia, in a Thursday statement.

Telco Perl is freely available with Whirlwind telephony software supporting call control, voice, fax, conference, text to speech, connectivity with external devices, monitoring, provisioning, billion and reporting.

The system is designed to run on Linux OS and Aculab (News - Alert) Prosody X cards with interfaces to VoIP, ISDN, SS7, CAS and SMS all in the one easy to manage environment.

Skunkworks focuses on providing an extensive suite of functions and example code, plus thousands of Perl modules are freely available to use in a target application. A needed function that doesn’t exist can simply be written quickly and easily without having to break out into another language or rely on the IVR vendor to custom develop the new feature.

Skunkworks has done well to recognize the shortcomings of many proprietary IVR systems and what is necessary to improve functionality and usability. The company made the Telco Perl available to ensure developers have the tools that they need all within the same system. This ease of use and performance will help to drive increased demand for the solution, better positioning Skunkworks as the premier provider.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
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