Archive for July, 2014

How to select a softphone in Acarda Outbound as the dialing device

Softphones are a good way to dial out with Acarda Outbound. To use a softphone you need to arrange a VoIP/SIP Service to work with them. In this blog I will cover how to select x-lite and Zoiper softphones as the dialing device but you may want to check out other softphones. The main requirement is that the softphone must support command line parameters.

We have customers using the Zoiper softphone with Acarda Outbound and the feedback is that it works really well. There is a free community edition and a paid Biz edition. The free edition is fine to start with however it only supports the dial out command so Acarda Outbound can’t hang up the call for you, you do that yourself. You can download it via http://www.zoiper.com/en/voip-softphone/download/zoiper3 For call recording, playing pre-recorded messages, and command line parameters support for both dialing out and hang up you need Zoiper 3 Biz edition, which you buy via http://www.zoiper.com/en/shop/buy/zoiper3

X-Lite from CounterPath. X-Lite is free but with x-lite it only supports dial out so you need the x-lite phone on the screen so you can end the call. You need version 3, as it supports command line parameters for dialling. You can download it via the following link: http://www.acarda.com/downloads/X-Lite3_29712.exe. You can test dial it from the command line (Run) by entering the following: C:\Program Files\CounterPath\X-Lite\X-Lite.exe” -dial=

These instructions are for both the Team and Solo Editions. For Acarda Outbound Team, in Acarda Outbound Agent click on the Tools menu up the top right side of the screen. In Acarda Outbound Solo, click on the Agent View tab and in the top right corner you will see a menu Tools. Under Tools select the Dialing Device sub-menu.

With Zoiper 3 Biz you can simply select Zoiper Biz from the Dialing Device menu in Acarda Outbound. Ensure you have first closed out of Zoiper. Once selected click on the Test Connection button to confirm it is the correct version then click Save.

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If you have Zoiper Free or an earlier version of Zoiper Biz then take the following steps:

1. In the Dialing Device menu select “Softphone Application”.

2. In the “Softphone Application File Path” box, select the Zoiper.exe filename. This is the application filename and path e.g. for Zoiper this might be “C:\Program Files\Zoiper \Zoiper.exe”.

3. Enter in the Dial box: dial_string=”[ph]”.

4. Ensure that the rest of the boxes have nothing in them unless you are using an older version of Zoiper Biz in which case you could also enter “hang” in the Hang Up box.

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For x-Lite take the following steps:

1. In the Dialing Device menu select “Softphone Application”.

2. In the “Softphone Application File Path” box, select the x-Lite.exe (or whatever your softphone is) filename. This is the application filename and path e.g. for x-Lite it may be “C:\Program Files\Counter-path Software\X-Lite\xlite.exe”.

3. Enter in the Dial box: -dial=

4. Ensure that the rest of the boxes have nothing in them.

To dial, you use the Acarda Outbound Dial button as per usual; but to hang up with the Zoiper Free edition or x-Lite, you switch to the softphone and press the hang up in it. People using the Acarda Outbound with Zoiper free or x-Lite usually have both the Acarda Outbound and the softphone displayed on their screen, simultaneously side-by-side.

One last setting, go to Acarda Outbound Solo Administrator tab, under Setup, then Settings. In the Team edition, open Acarda Outbound Manger and then under Setup, then Settings. Here in the Call Automation group (under Agent Settings), ensure that the “Auto hang up after dialling” is unchecked.

I know this all sounds complicated however once you have a softphone working feel free to contact us and we can help you get Acarda Outbound to work with your softphone and take care of these settings for you.

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How to play messages in Acarda Outbound using a voice modem

When using a voice modem card as the dialing device it is possible to configure Acarda Outbound to play a pre-recorded message when you are using a TAPI compatible voice modem as the dialing device.

The usual setting when dialing out with modems is to have the device auto-hang up a few seconds after it has dialed the telephone number. In that way it simply acts as a speed dialer and you pick up the call with your normal headset/telephone. However, if you want to play voice files through your modem, you need to keep the modem in the call and not auto-hang up until the end. This allows you, if desired, to play a pre-recorded voice message, for example to voicemail, after doing so click the hang up button to disconnect the call. To change the auto-hang up setting follow these steps:

1. In the solo edition of Acarda Outbound, first click on the Administration tab and then the Setup tab. In the team edition, open Acarda Outbound Manager and click on the Setup tab.

2. In the Setup group of icons click on the Settings icon.

3. In the left sidebar you should default to the correct location, the Agent Display then Agent Settings. In the Agent Settings panel there are four sub-panels, the last one called Call Automation consist of two check boxes. The first check box is called Automatically Hang up after Dialing. This is the one to uncheck if you want to play voice messages through a modem.

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You need to prepare your voice message. Write out the script ahead of time and practice speaking it. Then record the message in a format that you modem supports. Usually the format will be a wav file of 8000 Hz sampling rate, 16 bits, mono. Any recording tool should be fine as long as you can set the correct format and save as a wav file. You can download our free tool, Acarda WavRecorder, from our website, http://www.acarda.com/email-download.html?product=WARA

At present you can only have one pre-recorded message and it must have the file name and location of: “C:\Program Files\Acarda\Acarda Outbound\message.wav”. Future releases should improve this and give multiple recorded message file options. So take your recorded wav file and rename it to message.wav and copy it into the “C:\Program Files\Acarda\Acarda Outbound\” folder. For the team edition this file should be located on the agent computers.

Now when you have dialed out with through your TAPI voice modem you will be able to click on the Action button and then select Play Message. If you need to stop during the message you can click Stop Message.

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How to use OK To Call lists in Acarda Outbound

The OK To Call (OTC) feature in Acarda Outbound enables you to call telephone numbers even though they may be found on the Do Not Call list. In some case a business may be able to call a number, if they are for example a customer, or if the person has given the business permission to call. There will be different regulations for the permissible timeframe during which the business may call the number so you need to investigate the rules in your location. This blog will detail how to set up Acarda Outbound for OTC lists and our next blog after this will detail how to import and view the OTC lists into Acarda Outbound.

Step 1: To use OTC you must first set Acarda Outbound to use the OTC database. In the team edition do this in the Acarda Outbound Server Administrator software:

1. Open Acarda Outbound Server Administrator software.

2. In the left sidebar click on Database Settings link.

3. In the main panel, check the check box for “Use OK To Call Database”.

4. In some instances you when you only want to call numbers that are found on the OTC list then also check the “All numbers dialed must exist in the OK To Call Database”. One example when you might do this could be when you have a scrubbed list which is good for say 60 days. You can import that to your Campaign and also import it to the OTC database with Permission Use Period set to 60 days. Be careful to set the correct period, just the days that remains in the calling period at import.

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Step 2: Next in the Acarda Outbound Manager software you need to set the permission periods.

1. Open Acarda Outbound Manager software.

2. Click on the Setup Tab.

3. Click on the Settings icon in the Setup group of icons.

4. Click on the “OK To Call” link in the left tree view menu under “Call Options”.

5. Set the correct number of days for expiry of the OK To Call numbers for the Permission Use Period which is when you have been given permission to call; and also, for the Purchase Use Period which is the period of time post-purchase when you are permitted to call the customer.

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In the solo edition both step 1 and step 2 are set in one place. This is the screen shot for solo:

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Our next blog will detail how to import and view the OTC lists into Acarda Outbound. Please contact us if you have any questions via http://www.acarda.com/contact.html or call us toll free in the USA on 800 728 2050.

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