Surely you have often heard this phrase when you tried to call the delivery in order to clarify with the courier how things are with your parcel. Or when you received a call from the call center of an online store confirming your order.
It’s good when these companies have enough experience and expertise to handle their flow of phone calls.
And if the number of calls is several million per … minute? To grow out of yourself as a telecom operator?
We help businesses solve problems of any complexity related to telephony, handling tens of millions of calls using our B2S Beeline platform. My name is Evgeny Kovalev, and under the cut I will tell you what kind of platform it is, what it can do and how it differs from the solutions available on the market, and also why we consider what we do is important.
A couple of years ago, we began to meet with requests from clients creating web services and mobile applications that needed to quickly scale to tens of millions of users, and preferably without investing in infrastructure, but with guaranteed quality of service. Initially, these were mainly requests from callbacks and call tracking, and then entire industries began to go into digitalization.
We began to think and decide how Beeline could organize a service that would provide an open API to our operator’s switching infrastructure for subsequent implementation inside the business logic of Internet services.
At first, we tried (unsuccessfully) to write a technical specification for a new call management platform (for a tender, of course), which could be given to clients as a separate service, but it was so long and expensive that it was impossible to decide.
And then suddenly (now it is already clear that fortunately) they contacted us … several of the largest services that create popular bulletin boards, and taxi services with a specific request: we want a normal and full-fledged API for hanging their services on your infrastructure.
And it was proposed to do this in 2 months, and not in several years, as we are accustomed to when selling other products. That is, “there is no time to swing.”
We switched from thinking about something global and abstract to a high-speed implementation of basic functions with access via API.
By the way, about the basic functions of that time. The request was for redirect functions in different implementations:
- taxi services asked to make a connection between a taxi driver and a passenger by forwarding millions of calls to one phone number.
- message boards have asked for millions of dynamically controlled forwarding numbers to be allocated as virtual numbers.
For us, as an operator, there is no difficulty in transferring a call. The question is that it should be dynamically managed by the client and work already “yesterday”. We looked at examples of such implementations for the internal needs of VimpelCom and it turned out that we are doing such a service for ourselves by managing calls from our own CRM system on the platform (which we call ServiceNode). This system has already served millions of calls from our customers who have contacted us on 0611 numbers, distributing them among thousands of support operators.
It took literally several weeks of work of our best engineers (Ilya, Alexander, Pavel, Dmitry, respect!) And some new gray-haired managers to agree on the withdrawal of new APIs for access from the external network for client software.
As a result, we received (judging by customer reviews) a good technical solution, which already knows how not only to forward calls in various externally controlled scenarios, but also:
- initiate calls to implement the Callback function;
- play various sound files before starting a conversation;
- record and transfer recordings of a conversation via API;
- collect conferences and switch participants in a conversation according to different scenarios;
- defining a time zone by number, so as not to accidentally call a client at 6 am;
- well, the machine itself can talk to the client (using the synthesis and recognition modules from Yandex), working out the conversation scenarios that are transmitted to us via the API.
Another of the non-obvious advantages, there is the “Voicemail Detection” function – it helps to save time (and money) if you do not get through to the subscriber and his voice mail turned on.
We detect voicemail with an 85% probability, and the automatic system will not talk to the “subscriber’s phone off” auto answer. A high percentage of detection of such situations is achieved by the fact that we have access to error analysis at the level of inter-operator signaling (SS-7 and so on).
We have written a detailed guide on how to work with these functions, you can see here.
Who is useful
In principle, any company that communicates with customers by phone – from logistics firms (delivery, couriers) and retail to online stores, ad services and large corporations, we have clients from almost all industries and each collects a specific set of our options for your needs. And most importantly, it provides helpful feedback.
A lead generation platform is especially useful. For example, the platform itself calls a potential client, conducts a boring conversation, finds out that the request left on an external website is relevant. And the customer receives ready-made calls from potential customers, for which consent has already been obtained, for communication, and full detail, recording of the conversation directly into his CRM system and can process it using analytics solutions.
– And yet, why do you need your platform if you can do everything yourself?
OK, any reputable company can raise their decision, let’s calculate what is needed for this.
For example, you need to handle millions of calls from couriers. To create your own call center that will pull like this, you will need not only to purchase many numbers and expand trunks with operators, but also to carry out impressive work on:
- Prescribing the routing logic of all incoming calls to these numbers on the PBX
- Installing IMS for intelligent call control or upgrading PBX to a similar level
- Protect all this stuff from unauthorized access
- Educational work with female operators, who will have to equally politely answer even the hundredth call a day and transfer each call in the right direction
- Moving part of the voice infrastructure API from a closed loop to the open web for future integrations if you have a mobile application (otherwise in 2020).
In general, there will be something to do in the next couple of months and where to attach an impressive amount of money.
With our B2S platform, you can simplify everything in terms of both time and budget.
It works like this. Take your CRM. Write a small script in it that will catch requests from the B2S platform to provide information about where and how to forward calls.
At the same time, you do not spend money on equipment, your closed circuit is safe, you reduce the level of routine of call center employees and the cost of voice calls. After all, the connection establishment time is not charged. And if the final redirection did not happen, then there is nothing to redirect.
Visually, call management looks like this
In general, our largest clients do not even think about changing the operator’s cloud infrastructure for something of their own. Investments in infrastructure and staffing will not bring anything new, except for problems and costs. Therefore, we are actively expanding our capacity and expect new requests.
– So why are you better than your peers?
By itself, such a telephony platform is not some kind of killer feature or a unique service.
Therefore, we decided to focus on the possibility of quick integrations and obtaining any numbering in any quantity for the implementation of high-load scenarios. We have a lot of numbers, Beeline is everywhere, both with a fixed network and with a mobile one.
For existing analogues, the situation often looks like this:
- the client connects himself to a similar service, but for one reason or another, standard APIs are not suitable for him;
- at the same time, he is not ready to refine something on his own and orders new functions from the service provider;
- it means that hello, a large folder with a technical assignment, then its approval and the work itself;
- in total, a couple of three or four months pass.
We just quickly write the required API method and even made a special thing for this that helps to write all the connectors necessary for connection in WYSIWYG format (by the way, if you need such a thing, it is also provided as a service). And everything works. Even if the client needs something not quite standard for a classic telecom, for example, some complex modules to ensure the work of electronic document management for legal entities or the like.
A separate advantage here is the fact that among colleagues in the market, such platforms are usually presented precisely in the form of products, initially sharpened to be provided as a service, read – for external clients. We sell the platform to business, and actively use it inside Beeline, our call centers are customers, and we immediately offer our clients our own experience of working with interaction automation. This helps us to identify any bottlenecks and bugs much faster, because we receive feedback and requests for new opportunities not only from outside, but also from our own employees.
The traffic on the platform is growing exponentially. We switched to a new architecture and new, high-speed databases, multithreaded query processing, and more.
We are also developing the direction of robotic calls. There are successful cases.
We also have dedicated work on integration with other systems in a separate area. For example, situations when you need to help a client to rate something or connect two different systems together so that they begin to exchange data normally. This is a separate layer for a separate article. There we will tell you how, unexpectedly and almost by accident, we made an industrial BSS stack for an FVNO operator in 1 month.
Where to connect