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How to become Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) by using ICTBroadcast SP edition

ICTBroadcast service provider (SP) edition has all the features of enterprise-grade software application for its customers who want to become Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs) and want to provide their own broadcasting services (such as voice, sms, fax and email) to their customers. ICTBroadcast is productive, scalable, fault-tolerant and secure software and also comes with monitoring, integration, upgrading and support services. ICTBroadcast is unique communications auto dialer software that provides multi-tenancy, multi-service billing, CDR reporting, payment management, REST APIs and IVR designer features that makes it number one choice for the service providers who want to start their own broadcasting and telemarketing services. Multi-tenant For any online service provider system, an important feature is multi-tenancy. Multi-tenancy provides separate web portals for users and administrators without interfering with one another. It allows users to register at an online service for free or by paying subscription fee mostly using credit card. Once registered, user is allowed to use services until the subscription expires or balance decreases to minimum allowed to use service. It facilitates complete campaign management for every user. Each user can manage, monitor, and run multiple campaigns separately and independently. ICTBroadcast has two built-in roles: user and administrator.User: This is a user with limited privileges that can manage his contacts, manage voice recordings, manage fax documents, make payments, view his/her balance and view call detail reports. This role can also broadcast his message by creating different types of campaigns and interact with its customers/clients through voice calls, SMS messages, fax documents and emails. This user can also view campaign results and statistics.Administrator: This role manages overall resources of system like managing users, configuring trunks, making payments on behalf of the users, adding new destinations, setting routes and most importantly allocating any number of extensions, DIDs and channels/lines to users. Administrators can monitor every user, its running campaigns, number of concurrent calls (channels) used and running balance of each user. In the latest version of ICTBroadcast, administrators now can also monitor system resources and servers statistics through graphs. Multi-service Billing ICTBroadcast has an integrated prepaid billing system and allows real-time control of calls and campaigns according to available funds. REST-based API takes billing and payments to next level by binding ICTBroadcast to a third party web portal. Multi-service billing offers customers a rich and online billing interface that provides access to consolidated accounts and electronic billing information. This is a powerful feature and its reporting capabilities enable users to take control of their communications services. Multi-service billing enhances the loyalty of customers, reduces operational and support costs. Scalable and Fault-tolerant ICTBroadcast handles all the complexities of a large scalable system in the back-end and hides these complexities from the users and administrators. As a user of the system, administrators and users don't have to worry about anything in the back-end. You just have to create your campaign and start dialing your contact group. ICTBroadcast can be scaled up to blast thousands of simultaneous calls. This is achieved through multiple powerful server computers working closely together to provide scalability and load balancing. Usually a single node can handle 500 simultaneous calls efficiently. Using this distributed approach, there is virtually no limit on scalabilty. One can increase and decrease server nodes to scale up and scale down respectively immediately depending upon ones needs. Integration through REST APIs Another key feature that any enterprise grade broadcasting software should have is application programming interface (API). ICTBroadcast provides REST based APIs for third party software integration. ICTBroadcast uses REST based APIs to ensure that automation between our product and third party application is a seamless. Customers can make the most of third party applications without compromising the quality of service ICTBroadcast provides. Campaign Summary and Detail Reports ICTBroadcast has chart based reporting that makes viewing and analyzing a campaign much easier. Campaign summary report gives an overall view of the campaign with statistics and graph. Campaign statistics include percentages of answered, failed and busy calls and other useful information about Do Not Call (DNC) and answering machine detection (AMD). Call Detail Report (CDR) gives complete billing related details about every call made during your campaign, how long it lasted, and how much it cost. CDR lists are the successful calls made where as campaign summary lists numbers and percentages of calls answered, failed and busy.

Home Service Providers

With the introduction of electronic switching in 1960, telephone slowly went digital. The development of digital data communication such as internet, allowed digitizing data and transmitting it in real-time across networks. This system follows certain set of protocols like Internet Protocol (IP). For telephone, it is voice over internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP replaced almost all telephone networks. IP telephone uses high-bandwidth connection and special transmission equipment via internet. VoIP Voice over internet protocol is implemented in various ways through proprietary and standard protocols. H.323, MGCP, SIP, RTP, RTCP etc. are some of the protocols used today. H323 is one of the first used protocols that made its way in LAN services. However, new protocols like MGCP and SIP have replaced it. Today, Session Initiation Protocol SIP has wide spread implementation. A VoIP phone is necessary to connect to this service. It is done in following ways: 1. VoIP phones connect to IP networks using Ethernet or Wi-Fi. This is the traditional way of connecting. 2. Sometimes they use analog telephone adapter. It connects network to conventional analog phone systems. 3. It uses electronics and firmware through a modular phone jack. 4. Softphone is most modern version, which is installed on a computer that has microphone and speaker set. 5. Software has tradition dial pad on the display, which can be controlled by simple keyboard and mouse. Service Providers Almost all telecommunication service providers have now switched to VoIP and they connect old telephone network to public IP networks. This is called IP backhaul. Today, with increasing use of smartphone VoIP is handy. All smartphone and Wi-Fi supporting devices have SIP built in its firmware. There companies like Lingo, Ooma, Vonage etc. who are popular for providing VoIP services for home based customers. These companies provide services like voice, fax, SMS etc. through public internet. Early VoIP service providers offered business and technical solutions, which used similar telephone network technology. Second generation of service providers started providing services to private users like Skype. Sometimes they provide free call services and charge while accessing to other communication networks. Third generation of provider like GTalk has use federated VoIP. Advantages of these services Voice over Internet Protocols has large number of benefits over traditional PSTN. Due to bandwidth efficiency, cost is lower. Business has seen 80 percent reduction in their expenses in phone communications. VoIP solutions follow a business model, which provide unified communication services like calls, voice mails, emails, and video conference over web, and many more. There are two type of companies one who provider to large enterprise and other who provide service to small and medium range business phone services. It supports both voice and data communication using same network, which reduces the infrastructure costs. Unlike PBX and key systems, VoIP switches run on cost effective systems like computers. With VoIP, customers get good interface system for their communications. Quality of these services Today IP networks are the most reliable services for communication than circuit switched networks, which was prone to mechanical errors. However, with IP services there no loss of data over network. It uses Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to protect latency of data packets. Network router handles traffic over these networks. There is a chance of latency if traffic exceeds threshold for VoIP. But it is minimized by marking voice packets with method called DiffServ. VoIP usually wait for completion of transmission of previous packet before new is initiated. Security for VoIP services is similar to those with the internet-based devices. VoIP uses firewalls for routing traffic, which is often challenge for a hacker. They also use network address translators to interconnect networks or the internet. About The Author Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.

Top 5 VoIP Mobile Apps

VoIP mobile apps are in vogue and there are specific apps for different types of VoIP services. The smartphone market holds great potential for the VoIP technology and it is with the mobile apps that this market can be tapped. There are several VoIP apps that have become popular among the mobile phone users. In this article, we are going to look at some of the most popular apps that hold a lot of promise for its users: Viber One of the best applications for android smart phone is to use VoIP. This app routes the calls made by the user through data network instead of the service provider. Viber is considered among the best ones and the popularity of this app is just touching sky. At first it was regarded as the replacement of texting services, but now Viber allows its user to place a voice call anywhere in the world for free using data or Wi-Fi network; although the person to whom the call is placed must also be a Viber user. If you want to place calls to a landline phone using VoIP, then it also can be done by using Viber Out feature but these calls are charged with a minimal rate and vary according to the country you are calling. Viber is available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone etc. Google Hangouts The next one in the list the app called Google Hangouts. This is an interesting app in development and this app offers free voice calls to some its users and some are charged for the voice calls. The users, who are using iOS version of the app, can place voice or video calls to any user of Hangouts but who are using the Android version of the app can only place video calls for free and the voice calls will be diverted back to the carrier and they will be charged with normal plan. This app is available for iOS and Android platform. Using Hangouts, you can call from your computer and if you are calling directly to a landline, it is free as long it is domestic and the international calls are chargeable and affordable. Skype It is among the first ones in the market. This app is much discussed than the others. It offers its users to place free video and voice calls all over the world. It is among the most reliable apps to use VoIP for calling. This application is completely free and it is available for desktop OSes along with other platforms like android, iOS and windows phone. The one feature that is totally unique about this is that it supports large group video calls which other applications of this category do not offer. It also offers free texting services. MagicApp MagicJack is the app that makes a home phone transported to a phone that can use VoIP. But this MagicJack also has launched a mobile application with the name MagicApp. This app is the apps in the market which routes voice calls over data or Wi-Fi network and it also offers very low rates for calls for the citizens of US and Canada. But the calls made to other users of the same app are completely free. The app offers a special number to its users. Vonage Mobile The Vonage Mobile app is also one of the most popular apps in the market to place calls routed out of the carriers’ barrier and connect through Wi-Fi or data network. But the main feature is that this app allows its users to retain and use their own numbers. Voice, video calls and texting to other Vonage users is completely free while domestic calls to US numbers are also free but international calls are minimally charged. About The Author Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.

ICT Innovations working to release ICTFax Version 3.0

ICTFax Version 2.0 was released based on Plivo communictions framework but later on plivo has postponed supporting their project causing serios issues to community members those were using plivo in their systems as well as ICTFax users . ICTFax users faced many issues those were releated to plivo communications framework but there was no support . We , at ICT Innovations observing all this started working to replace plivo with our own custom framework so that ICTFax users will not face problems in future and now time has come to announce that we have completed most of work and we are testing new framework with ICTFax and will release it soon . ICTFax Version 3.0 will be released replacing existing plivo framework with our own code that will make ICTFax a more flexible, stable and powerful solution.

Open source and ICT working together for social justice

The recent phenomenon of Information Communication Technology (ICT) – and in particular Open Source (OS) – as a tool to reach community goals such as social justice and public vigilance has reached new heights during the past couple of years. ICT4D, or Information Communication Technologies for Development refers to the use of ICT and OS in socioeconomic, international or human rights development projects. All major areas of development work can be enhanced by the appropriate deployment of ICT and a cursory Google search reveals the success of many of these ventures to date. The OS movement was created in response to efforts by software manufactures. These manufacturers sought to take ownership of code created by teams or individuals. However, it was argued that code should freely available for use and for modification, companies seek to prevent this by exercising copyright privilege and limiting the rights a buyer has over their product. OS software is created by individuals or team who are often not part of the same organization and the final product is distributed freely. Furthermore non-technical experts can collaborate in the development of specific solutions. Participation in OS projects stems not from a desire to enrich oneself financially but from more community orientated aims such as peer recognition or the work itself as enriching on a personal basis. Participation in OS projects is supported by academic theory – such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – that shows that people are motivated by factors other than money. Reasons cited for participation in an OS project by programmers are often ones of intellectual fulfillment or peer recognition. A central release schedule is maintained for some OS products. This ensures users are aware of potential bugs and fixes. Also these central registries provide a change history of the code and allow programmer to tackle areas that need improvement. Users of OS programs are of course free to modify the code to suit their purposes and do not have to pay the license fee or royalties to traditional developers. The primary concerns of current development projects such as water access; education, access to information and the empowerment of civil society have all received a much-needed boost from support by ICT developers and the use of OS software. Ready access to mobile technology and the lower costs involved - when compared to 10 years ago - have made mass participation more feasible and allows projects to reach a critical mass at a much more rapid rate than was historically possible. ICT and OS are a strong fit for the purposes of ICT4D because the large support infrastructure and expenses necessary to maintain the network are not present. ICT has become a permanent feature in monitoring the exploits of repressive regimes and, for drawing public attention and support to counter campaigns. The ubiquitous nature of mobile technology allow it to t become the most powerful weapon against governments who have ceased to act in the interests of their citizens. Speaking to the British newspaper, The Guardian, a spokesperson for the Non Governmental (NGO) Tactical Technology Collective said, “While computers and the Internet can be extremely powerful tools for advocacy, they also present new risks for a group that is already, in many cases, quite vulnerable. As more advocates have begun to rely on digital technology to achieve their outreach, data-collection, information design, communication and mobilization objectives, these risks have become more severe." OS components of ICT are a seemingly natural fit with this trend. The transparent nature of OS chimes well with a desire by many of these advocacy organizations to cast light onto the darker regions of government business. Examples of ICT projects in action include Daraja, an NGO operating in rural Tanzania. Their “Raising the Water Pressure” project encouraged people to use SMS to report faults with water points and to put pressure on the government to respond in more rapid manners to problems of this nature. Other examples of ICT4D include the use of the technology in areas recently damaged by natural disasters. When an earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, much the communication infrastructure was destroyed or severely damaged. Several ICT solutions were used to aid in relief efforts including crisis mapping to identify and prioritize areas of need, the use of OS tools to monitor inventory levels and co-ordinate the relief effort and restoring Internet connectivity to local NGO’s by Inveneo, a non-profit organization who deliver ICT solutions to the developing world. ICT4D provided creative solutions at a low-cost to rapidly ease the suffering of those effected by the disaster. OS and ICT can be utilized together to merge communication and information technology. This combine results in flexible solutions and the ability to customize OS programs in a manner specific to the ICT4D project. For example, data validation can serve a vital role in monitoring local elections, especially when the potential for electoral fraud is high. Monitoring projects can be established to identify unusual trends and to make the government aware that they are under scrutiny. Recent elections in Kenya, Nigeria and Georgia have used ICT4D projects to ensure adequate scrutiny. Alternatively app’s can be developed to make qualitative data more qualitative. However, caution must be exercised in these projects. Exposure of activists is a significant risk and even encryption may not always provide sufficient protection. The creation of more anonymous reporting systems is one possible route around this concern. Already one system operational in India allows users to send an SMS to a central number, which then passes on the message in an anonymous manner. Projects like this encourage the community to share solutions and then implement them via OS resources. Common objectives such as social justice are thus brought into reality.

Pick Your Virtual Doctor!

                   By Art Rosenberg, The Unified-View/ UC Strategies Expert I have long expected that health care would become an important driver for Mobile UC because interactions with health care personnel (doctors, nurses) will require all modes of contact to replace expensive face-to-face visits whenever possible. This recent article in the Los Angeles Times shows that health care is rapidly becoming able to do that. Since health care affects all consumers, once they start exploiting Mobile UC for that purpose, they will rapidly want similar capabilities for all their personalized interactions with other business activities, including financial, government, education, shopping, etc. (Or, maybe it will be the other way around, i.e., they will want to do the same with healthcare visits as they can do with online shopping!) Doctors and Nurse Practioners In “Virtual” Health Care Contact Centers? The legacy “contact center” has traditionally been a way for “agents” to handle simple customer needs, including questions, information requests, and business transactions. For anything more complicated, the agent would then involve a “subject matter expert.”  Automated online self services and “mobile apps” have started to take over that basic agent responsibility, coupled with the option to “click-for-assistance” when necessary, e.g., Amazon’s “Mayday button” for their tablets. With health care increasing demands for doctors and nurse practitioners, it is now becoming important to make interactions with patients less dependent on expensive face-to-face office visits, and more available remotely or from convenient walk-in local venues.  This is particularly practical, when a patient simply needs a prescription for common ailments. So, we are now starting to see UC becoming a fundamental capability within various forms of direct, person-to-person communications between consumers and specialists (aka subject matter experts), rather than just through an available agent. This approach must therefore also give consumers more direct control over the choice of health care specialist they need, including a listing of available doctors or nurse practitioners, their qualifications, and current availability. (This capability will fit in well with Interactive Intelligence’s OrgSpan technology, which lets customers with smartphones or tablets see such information on a screen.) Most importantly, we won’t expect doctors and nurses to work in a “contact center,” monitored by supervisors, etc., but rather independently from their home offices or wherever they prefer to work. On the other hand, we will be able to record all patient interactions to evaluate and compensate health care personnel for their services, as noted in the L.A. Times article. Summary Business communications are now becoming differentiated by the specific needs of the individual consumers/customers/patients, the self-service “mobile apps” involved, the business processes that control direct contacts between people, and the skills and availability of the individual service experts. This is becoming very important to providing more efficient and less costly health care to consumers, as doctors become less available and health care costs rise. By becoming more “virtual” and UC-flexible in interacting with patients, health care resources can now be more efficiently and cost effectively provided to the consumer public. Copyright © 2014 The Unified-View, All Rights Reserved Worldwide  

ICTBroadcast, the unified auto dialer compliant with Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The ICTBroadcast multi-tenant unified communications package is a powerful telemarketing suite that can dramatically enhance an SME’s capacity to boost efficiency or promote a product. However, the misuse of the product - or any other telemarketing solution - can cause a business to fall foul of consumer and data protection laws and regulations. Therefore, it is vital to become familiar with the local regulations to avoid substantial penalties or heavy fines. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 is most commonly referenced federal statute that telemarketers need to be aware of. TCPA includes rules such as which locations may be called and when those calls can be made. The provisions of TCPA allow for a penalty of $1,500 per violation of any of the numerous stipulations. With an auto dialer system having access to vast database of contact information the potential for significant financial damage is easily foreseeable. ICTBroadcast is fully complaint with TCPA 1991 and allows telemarketing campaigns to achieve their aims within the requirements of the law and without fear of accidental breach of the extensive regulations. The precise requirements of TCPA and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) state four distinct requirements that must be met for compliance. The exact wording is as follows: (1) prior express written consent for all autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and residential lines;  (2) allow[s] consumers to opt out of future robocalls during a robocall;  (3) limit[s] permissible abandoned calls on a per-calling campaign basis, in order to discourage intrusive calling campaigns; and  (4)exempts prerecorded calls to residential lines made by health care-related entities governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. ICTBroadcast incorporates these requirements into your system via integration with the Do Not Call (DNC) registry and user defined limits on campaign variables. The DNC registry is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission and allows consumers to opt out of unsolicited telemarketing calls. Failure for an SME to honor the DNC registry and its requirements can have a catastrophic impact. Even large corporations can fall foul of the stringent rules. In 2014, the third largest U.S telecommunications company, Sprint Corporation, were ordered to pay $7.5 million as a result of their non-compliance with the DNC registry requirements. ICTBroadcast offers global and local integration with the DNC registry to prevent such costly errors. Furthermore, contacts can be given the option to opt out from future marketing calls and have their details removed from the list by setting up a straightforward key-press operation that further prevents non-compliance with regulations. ICTBroadcast makes compliance with TCPA and other legislation designed to prevent the misuse of telemarketing products a simple task. The risks for failing to comply with local laws and regulations are substantial, and given the sizeable penalties possible the ongoing viability of an SME can be severely impacted. In addition to the previously mentioned compliance features ICTBroadcast allows the user to set a limit upon the number of times a customer will be called during a campaign. Persistent phone calls are a key factor in the decision of a customer to complain to regulating authorities. By reducing the nuisance factor ICTBroadcast can improve general public relations for your business. In summary, use of the ICTBroadcast multitenant unified communications package facilitates compliance with TCPA and comparable legislation in a number of ways. Limits upon call frequency and timing can be set, automated database opt-out can be enabled and furthermore global and local DNC lists can be intergrated to ensure consumers who have expressed a preference do not receive calls. This feature of the ICTBroadcast package is another of the many reasons more SMEs are selecting our software to facilitate their communication needs.