What do I need to set up a call centre?

Oceans247

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
17
Hello there,

Some advice please.

I am setting up a small home based call centre. We will have about 4-6 people with pc’s and phones.

The agents will mainly be making outgoing calls but also accepting incoming calls. We want to have one telephone number for incoming calls that any of the agents can answer. If a second call should come in, it should also be able to be answered by another agent. i.e. the line must allow several simultaneous incoming and outgoing calls.

What service do I need and who do you suggest I consider?

PS – We would very much like the agents to use headsets rather than hand held devices.

Many thanks

/C
 

yebolinux

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Mar 5, 2010
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morkhans

A MyBroadband
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Asterisk would be the way to go. ISDN lines form Telkom with hunting facilitates should handle the single number/multiple calls problem for you. Headsets, spend some money on decent USB headsets. The analogue ones are waste of time, and there is nothing more frustrating than having to fiddle with the headset all the time. Note on x-lite: Legally you are not allowed to use it in a business (this is a recent development). Counterpath suggest you buy EyeBeam.
 

webdude2000

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Aug 6, 2010
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I suggest Elastix 2.0.1 (Runs on Centos Linux) on a little server like a ML110 with mirrored drives and 2GB RAM with the Call Centre addon. Link to a VoIP leased routing provider like ourselves to save on call costs and get rebates on incoming calls.

EyeBeam is a great softphone but at $40 per license, you can test on PortGo but EyeBeam utilises the better codecs. I have not tried X-Lite although if you run your desktops on a linux OS you can also use Twinkle as a softphone.
 

Oceans247

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Mar 23, 2010
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17
Hi guys,

Thanks for the feedback. We are checking out all the options you have mentioned.
 

Imminent

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May 12, 2010
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interesting topic, so if my office is contemplating on spending over R80 000 on fitting out their offices using voip pbx sollution, it could actually be done cheaper? About 20-30 people
 

labratza

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what type of call centre is it going to be? what are you going to sell/or what support you going to provide?
 

morkhans

A MyBroadband
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interesting topic, so if my office is contemplating on spending over R80 000 on fitting out their offices using voip pbx sollution, it could actually be done cheaper? About 20-30 people
Possibly yes. Headsets will save you money over IP phones, but it's not for everyone. Some people are happy to run Asterisk on a PC based system, other want a server and the redundancy that comes with RAID and other server features. At that size you could probably get away with one of the black box solutions like Xorcom / FarSouth etc. which should just work for you out of the box.

The one thing people need to remember with Asterisk and Open Source is there is no guarantee. It does work very well and can offer a very stable solution, but when you have problems you need a solid support company to back the solution up. So while price is important you need to look at after-sales and over-all quality of the product as well.
 

Imminent

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May 12, 2010
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306
Possibly yes. Headsets will save you money over IP phones, but it's not for everyone. Some people are happy to run Asterisk on a PC based system, other want a server and the redundancy that comes with RAID and other server features. At that size you could probably get away with one of the black box solutions like Xorcom / FarSouth etc. which should just work for you out of the box.

The one thing people need to remember with Asterisk and Open Source is there is no guarantee. It does work very well and can offer a very stable solution, but when you have problems you need a solid support company to back the solution up. So while price is important you need to look at after-sales and over-all quality of the product as well.
Thanks mate
 

F111

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Mar 23, 2010
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use the Cisco uc500 full call centre. Can do whatever u want it to do and its affordable
 

Oceans247

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Mar 23, 2010
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Hello guys,

I am now a little further down the path. However I am struggling to find a decent South African VOIP provider. www.telfree.com seem totally incompetent, first the stuffed up creating my new account and now the number I have been allocated does not work from cell or landlines (or from any calling method for that matter). Their response time to support queries is also lousy.

I called Wanatel from my land line and I was not impressed with the quality of the phone call. Sounded like the person was being held under a pillow.

I am looking for the same quality as I get from my Telkom to Telkom land line at a reasonable price. Is that possible? I have a 8mbps internet connection.
 

gmza

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Mar 3, 2008
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Re local VoIP provide with land-line quality - www.switchtel.co.za.

Re small call centre - Hosted PBX from above will be the cheapest and easiest to implement. No messing around with Asterisk yourself; the configuration and support is taken care of for you and for ~R400 per month, it's way cheaper than getting 6 Telkom lines (or 3x ISDN BRI's), purchasing decent hardware for the Asterisk box, etc. If you're frightened of VoIP, keep in mind that if you take a geographic number, you have the option to port, so even if you take a Switch Telecom number, if you're unhappy, you can ask Telkom to port it accross to them.

Re the 20-30 phone site, R80k is a little steep, but not too crazy. Work on ~R1,000 per VoIP phone instrument (business class, not a cheapy) and ~R12,000 to R20,000 for a switchboard like a Farsouth Com.X1 with multiple ISDN BRI or ISDN PRI lines (you shouldn't be looking at analogue for that size installation). Then allow some cost for cabling and labour if you haven't already got existing network points wired. Do the maths and you should come in at 60% to 80% of the amount quoted. But that's just one example. If you're on a budget, you can use a FarSouth unit (cost about R14,000 including VAT) with most trunks via VoIP and only say four analogue ports for emergency backup, Yealink SIP-T20P's (R684 each) for most handsets, a T26P+expansion module (R2000 incl) for reception and an entry-level PoE switch and UPS for under R40k.

The thing with IP PBX installations is that they can range dramatically in price based on how fancy you want to go. E.g. Start using phones like Snom 820's with colour graphic displays rather than entry level phones and you can quadruple the price. So best to shop around for quotes and ensure you communicate to the company quoting exactly what your priorities are (e.g. lowest capex cost versus bling bling bells and whistles).
 

Jola

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Sep 22, 2005
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We are selling a rackmounted Siemens Hipath 3500 PABX, the company is closing down. To be had for a fraction of the purchase price (three years old).

Has been used with ISDN incoming / outgoing lines and digital as well as analog handsets.

Have a Voijavu Voice Recorder as well.

PM me if interested.
 

oscarlets

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Apr 14, 2012
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371
Hi which option did you go with? I am also trying to set up call centre for my small business but not sure which method to follow,please share your experiance and recommendations,I want to spend less than R2000 pm for call centre with 3-4 people.
 

Tim the Techxpert

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Jul 19, 2012
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Hi There,
For the operators I would make use of headsets. Nothing worse than holding a phone all day. given that the office space is usually quite compact I would make sure that if it is a free standing phone unit, it is as small a footprint as possible.
If going with softphone I have used 3CX and found it great to use. The icon is not big so you have most of the screen available for whatever info you are recording.
As for the VoIP provider have you looked at Otel?
They provide cloud hosted PBX solutions which would save on space as well. They can also port your existing Telkom lines so you won't lose the numbers. I have used them in a personal capacity. Excellent service.

Plenty of other good suggestions in the posts above so you really are spoilt for choice.

Regards

Tim
 

Paulo333

New Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
1
Hi guys,

I'm thinking of starting up a Call centre whereb people can call in from their cellphones or landlines, and I will be able t help them telephonically at the same time, if they call from eg. An MTN,Vodacom number, I want to arrange with one of these service providers if they charge 80c a minute that when teh client calls I get like 20c of a minute.

Is there anything like that in South Africa? Sort of people pay to,call you.

Thank you so much
 
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