Building Call Centers in the Cloud

Posted on March 10, 2014 by

A few weeks ago, when I told you all about innovating your phone system with telecom apps, I mentioned Calltacular as a business built using Plivo. Well, Calltacular saw the post, got in touch, and told me the whole story about what they’re doing to modernize the entire call center industry. Here it is.

Calltacular co-founder, Anthony Bertolo, used to work in call centers as the guy they called on to make the phone systems and network infrastructure work. At that point in the evolution of teletechnology, Anthony had to “mash applications together” to get systems to work as efficiently as he knew they should. In his vision for the call center world all you would need is, “a browser and a headset.”

And so Calltacular was born.

What really made Anthony’s vision possible was the advent of WebRTC. He said WebRTC, “opens up our application to a wide range of hardware.” Up until recently, Flash was the primary way call centers could integrate customer information into calls to help reps be as responsive as possible. It was cumbersome and memory intensive. As you’re probably aware, most call centers don’t invest in expensive systems with the memory to handle that sort of application. He told me, “Once we started testing WebRTC in centers the benefit was clear. Audio quality was higher and the machines the agents were using could operate efficiently.”

From Plivo to private cloud.

The first iteration of the cloud based phone system was indeed built using Plivo. But as the company grew, they discovered they needed more control of and better access to “PBX type features” in order to serve the larger enterprise customers they were trying to attract. So they developed their own API based in Asterisk and wrapped it up in an interface that’s easy for anyone to use competently. The new Calltacular is built with a large technology stack for speed and broad interoperability.

Calltacular keeps it easy.

The main idea behind the web-based platform is, as Anthony puts it, to “make it really really easy to set up a phone system.” With many more traditional providers of call center phone systems, setup can be complex and convoluted. Calltacular has made phone systems more open and accessible, eliminating setup and interop requirements and limiting maintenance.

Anthony says, “The experience is the product.” And he’s right. Calltacular gives call centers the tools to easily setup and manage IVRs through a drag and drop interface. Automatic call routing lets reps log in and out of call queues to dynamically and responsively shift answer capacity. It even allows for order entry, tracking, and automatic calls scheduled throughout the sales process. Anthony added, “Call Center applications really need to be responsive so that the agents have the information they need as soon as they answer a call.” He said that was a big roadblock for many years, which is why the service integrates with popular CRM systems to pull and display customer details when reps answer a call.

Geography is nothing.

The web-based nature of the product revolutionizes the call center industry by tearing down all the walls, and it means there’s no expensive hardware required. Reps can login on pretty much any device from anywhere they have Internet access. The system runs completely within a browser, there is no hardware. And the newest release of Calltacular is built to handle “high loads of millions upon millions of queries per hour.”

Any good application is specific enough to address a well defined need and Calltacular does that in spades. The service is designed to work for single line businesses and massive minute gulping call centers alike. There are even plans for a desktop app.

Anthony knows struggling with phone systems can be frustrating. He believes it’s not a productive use of anyone’s time, and he’s certainly done enough of it. And that’s really why he created Calltacular. “It’s not something you need to think about using,” he explains. “It’s just something that you use.”