• What is IVR?

    Hosted Interactive Voice Response

    IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and it is a term used to describe a set of technologies used to enable customers to interact via telephone. This interaction can be inbound or outbound and can be conducted using DTMF (touch tones) or speech recognition. Although it is usually associated with inbound IVR used for self-service, there are a number of outbound IVR applications which are used to communicate with customers and improve customer satisfaction. IVR can be deployed on-premise usually connected to a PBX or it can be provided as a service usually called – hosted IVR.

    Cloud-based Hosted Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services enable you to realize all the benefits of having a front-end IVR to handle your incoming calls and enable customer self-service, without having to invest into expensive equipment, licenses and professional services.

  • What is SIP?

    Session Initiation Protocol

    Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It can be used for VoIP as well as other types of multimedia communications. The details regarding the protocol are described in RFC 3261, although there are subsequent RFCs covering various functionality related to SIP including DTMF, Privacy, Early Media and more.

  • What is SIP Trunking?

    SIP Trunking is used to describe connectivity between a SIP enabled PBX or SIP enabled dialer and the carrier using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Most recent versions of popular PBX equipment including Avaya, Cisco and Nortel and predictive dialer equipment such as Aspect, Altitude, Asterisk, Vicidial and Interactive Intelligence, just to name a few, natively support SIP Trunking.

    Star Telecom provides SIP Trunking services for Canada, USA, UK, Australia and internationally.

  • What are CDRs?

    Call Detail Record (CDR) is a data record containing detailed information about a call. It can contain details such as call date and time, call duration, caller ID, caller name, called number, country/region of the called number, source IP address, billing rate applied to the call, the cost of call and other details pertaining to the call. The data is usually provided in a flat text, CSV or other file format suitable for transmission and handling of large number of records. A monthly CDR file for a busy contact center may range from several hundred thousand to several million records.

    Star Telecom provides CDRs for connected calls in CSV format via FTP – on monthly or daily basis. Please speak to your account manager about getting access and instructions on how to access your CDRs.

  • What is VoIP?

    VoIP – Voice over IP, is a set of technologies and protocols which allows transmission of voice over Internet Protocol (IP).This includes proprietary protocols such as Skype as well as open protocols such as SIP, IAX2 and H323.

  • What is Resource Based Routing?

    Resource Based routing is similar to Percentage Based Routing (see What is Percentage Based Routing?) and it allows call distribution to multiple queues in a single location, or more commonly in multiple locations. The benefit of resource based routing approach is to distribute call volume based on number of resources (agents) logged into each queue. It eliminates the abstraction of resources into percentage of calls, which makes it easier for operational managers to configure the routing directly.

  • What Does SIP Enabled Mean?

    “SIP Enabled” indicates whether the device or equipment such as A PBX or Dialer supports the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Most recent PBXs and dialers support SIP natively.

    Star Telecom has successfully deployed our SIP Trunking, SIP DID, SIP Toll Free and SIP Long Distance services with the following:

    • Avaya
    • Cisco
    • Dialogic
    • Asterisk
    • Vicidial
    • Altitude
    • AudioCodes
    • FreePBX
    • 3CX

  • What is Decimal Rounding?

    Along with Billing Minimum / Increments carriers also use cost rounding to manipulate the cost of each call and the net effective rate you are billed. In call centers, where vast majority of calls are under 30 seconds, this can make a significant impact on the overall bill. If we use an example of a 7 second call billed at the rate of $0.015 per minute, we can see that decimal rounding can increase the net effective rate by over 470% or more:

    Rounded To:Cost of CallNet Effective Rate
    2nd decimal$0.01$0.0857
    3rd decimal$0.002$0.0171
    4th decimal$0.0018$0.0154
    5th decimal$0.00175$0.0150

    Based on the example above, it is clear that rounding can make an otherwise ‘great’ rate, offered by your carrier, actually be a mediocre rate at best. We have seen CDRs from other carriers where billing was rounded to 2 decimals. The minimum charge per call was $0.01 (1 cent). This may not seem like much but in contact centers where median call duration may well be 7 seconds, this type of rounding increased the overall bill by 20-30%. Star Telecom rounds all calls at 5 decimals ensuring your net effective rate IS the rate we quote. Contact us to help you review your CDRs and provide a free savings estimate.