The UnPBX Revolution - Ed Margulies

The Great UnPBX Roundup
By Ed Margulies

Calltrol (Hawthorne, NY- 914-747-8500) is the maker of the Open Architecture Predictive Dialing Engine (OAPDE), Object Telephony Server (OTS) and Open Architecture Voice Logging Engine (OAVLE). The OTS is an NT-based UnPBX. It's configured more like an ACD or predictive dialer owing to Calltrol's roots in call center products. Calltrol's OTS and OAPDE (Open Architecture Predictive Dialing Engine) is the platform on which Drextec's (Marlton, NJ -- 609-596-8285) DPTS app is based. It's an outbound call center app used for verification, prospecting and surveys.

Nothing proprietary here. Calltrol uses standard, off-the-shed CT gear to build its Object Telephony Server (OTS) platform. It's not a plug and play UnPBX, but you can add your own software and get exactly what you want. They've put years into its development. You get an industrial grade computer, LPIN connectivity and a multi-user telephony engine with an API. This platform is built for call centers. Calltrol has solid Predictive Dialing and Power Dialing software built-in. Comes in both NT and DOS versions.

Calltrol says OTS is the basis for many call center apps such as market research, fundraising, customer service, telemarketing, collections and lead generation. Calltrol concentrates on the core dialing component and leaves the client software to its VARs.

You buy the platform and dialing engine and add your own client apps. The company's API works with any type of computer or OS supporting TCP/IP or NETBIOS. Apps can invoke the telephony server for any call coordination and control task. In addition to predictive dialing, the platform handles speech recording and playback, DTMF detection, fax, conferencing and ACD.

You can get a DOS version of OTS. It supports up to four Tls (96 lines) and 72 agents. The NT version increases capacity to "the limits of the SCSA architecture." This means thousands of lines. A DOS-based OTS at 16 trunks and 24 agents is $24,000. 48 x 96 is $70,000. Add $2,000 for the NT versions. Extensions are analog phones driven by Dialogic's MSI/SC board (eight to 24 extensions). Trunks come in analog loop start, T-l / E-l and DID (VoicePro and Exacom units). The whole solution is housed in a single PC. This includes a three-way NIC for NETBIOS or TCP/IP networks.

OTS systems are assembled with industrial grade computers. Calltrol mixes and matches the appropriate telephony components for your desired configuration. They add the OTS software layer so you get a high level API on top. The company says this makes connectivity with computer applications on a network or multi-user system a snap. You can do computer to telephone integration with minimal risk. Calltrol supports Dialogic's CT-Connect middleware so it's easy to add OTS functions to CSTA compliant switches.

The main job of the NT-based OTS is sharing call control between multiple apps. Compliant applications may transfer calls between one another using OTS as the common telephony platform. You can run an off-the-shelf IVR application alongside your ACD code. Run a legacy app modified to do ACD screen pops when receiving calls from the engine. The IVR app can send calls to the legacy client application, both served by the same OTS/SCSA telephony platform (but written by different parties). Call data is transferred between the two apps while OTS handles SCSA resource management. This means code written for one app can work with others transparently. You can do call handoffs between apps without making code modifications.


Obtained with permission from Computer Telephony Magazine, Originally Published September, 1997