[VoiceOps] Alternative IVR Platform?

Carlos Alcantar carlos at race.com
Sat Aug 1 14:33:40 EDT 2009

Asterisk is a great alternative we used it up till recently moving
everything to the Metaswitch.  The issues we ran into is exactly what
was stated below scalability.  One thing that was a pet peeve of of mine
with asterisk was anytime a new major release was put out they always
seemed to make exten syntax changes to functions which made it hard to
upgrade and keep up with new code.  But none the less it did it's job
for a couple of years so I can't knock it.


-----Original Message-----
From: voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org
[mailto:voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org] On Behalf Of Alex Balashov
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 9:02 AM
To: Scott Berkman
Cc: voiceops at voiceops.org
Subject: Re: [VoiceOps] Alternative IVR Platform?

Scott Berkman wrote:

> Asterisk also makes for a very powerful and scriptable IVR platform if

> you are willing/able to put the work in.

I was about to say - it makes an excellent feature box.  My only major 
concern relates to its scalability;  not even so much the amount of 
concurrent calls per box that it can handle as how much that amount 
might be reduced by a weighty, complicated dial plan with database 
backing, etc.

On the other hand, the ability to stick it on commodity PC hardware far 
outweighs any of these downsides from a cost perspective;  per-port cost

with Asterisk is among the lowest for applications, especially if you 
bother to do it right (i.e. centralised logic controller, nothing too 

SEMS (SIP Express Media Server) from IPTel/Tekelec is another viable 
alternative that might scale better.  Obviously, it's a pretty bad 
choice for doing a simple SMB-oriented IVR;  it's at least 100x more 
difficult than doing it with the Asterisk dial plan, and requires using 
some poorly documented C++ and/or Python APIs.  However, if it's 
something really esoteric and requiring the flexibility of integration 
and/or data acquisition paths that Asterisk can't provide, or requires a

higher degree of real-time call control (i.e. continuous deduction of 
prepaid balances and termination of call if they have expired, for 
example), I think it's a pretty good platform.  Also makes a great 
generic signaling-only B2BUA, using ann_b2bua app for exaple. 
Definitely not the right thing for *basic* IVR, though.

-- Alex

Alex Balashov
Evariste Systems
Web    : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel    : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct : (+1) (678) 954-0671
Mobile : (+1) (678) 237-1775
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