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November 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 11
Open Source

Cloud Call Center Spreads like CallFire

By: Paula Bernier (News - Alert)

In this day and age of the mobile worker, a desire for quick response, and polarized politics, CallFire has come out with a solution called the Cloud Call Center that addresses all of the above.

Cloud Call Center by CallFire can enable an organization to set up a call center with large numbers of agents in just a few hours.

It allows people to get calls at home and then get a screen pop on their PCs with a call script and choices for call outcomes. The system also offers APIs for customers who want to customize the interface. And CallFire will analyze data garnered from those calls and provide the results in real time.

The CallFire Cloud Call Center, which has seen about 15,000 users – from mom-and-pop operations to large enterprises, won the Best Call Center award at the recent ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2009 show. We hope this Q&A with CallFire’s energetic CEO and Co-Founder Dinesh Ravishanker illustrates why.

Ravishanker, who has focused his career on VoIP integration consulting, says his passion is developing VoIP-driven startups and creating unique online growth strategies. Before starting CallFire, Dinesh served as president of Skyy Consulting Inc. and led business analysis and user interface design projects for Pfizer, Unisys (News - Alert) Corp. and the U.S. Navy.

For those not familiar with CallFire, what does the company do?

CallFire is a telephony platform that allows businesses to create scalable outbound power dialing campaigns, build hosted IVRs, buy on-demand phone numbers and use voice broadcast on a pay-as-you-go basis.

One of our most popular services is the Cloud Call Center. This solution creates a hosted power-dialing environment in minutes and works for agents at home or the office. It can quickly scale to support hundreds of agents, on-demand.

Administrators can view call details, listen silently on active calls, play recorded calls and can even run reports on campaign efficacy.

When and how did the company get started?

CallFire got started over five years ago. Our organizational vision originally focused on enterprise open source VoIP consulting. We developed hosted call centers and built significant open source frameworks that could support tens of thousands of simultaneous calls. By leveraging open source, we could build customized telephony solutions that cost a small fraction of what existing telecom companies were charging.

Eventually, our enterprise clients demanded that our platform be highly available, redundant over multiple data centers, and that it be able to handle thousands of simultaneous calls. These requirements made the case for developing high-availability clusters, intelligent queuing systems across multiple data centers, and self-healing media servers. This platform is the present-day CallFire.

Who is your target customer?

SMBs, call centers and non-profit organizations that require outbound telecom.

Can you offer a specific name or two of companies or organizations that use your solution?

CallFire was recently used by NoOnProp8 to enable over 10,000 volunteers to work from home to help increase gay-rights awareness. Other non-profits like commonly use our hosted IVR platform for political polling analytics. We also help many small businesses like Dave the Shoe Guy create success stories in a challenging economic environment.

What does CallFire have to do with the open source movement?

CallFire is proof that highly available cloud services can be cost-effectively implemented using open source. The platform is an ideal example of how open source can be used to develop profitable and sustainable (non-service based) businesses.

PB: What’s next for CallFire?

CallFire will continue to build next-generation communications tools using the latest in open source technologies. We’re investing in mobile app development, Google (News - Alert) Wave integration and much more. IT

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