SIP Trunking with Interactive Intelligence at Triton Technologies
Triton Technologies is a team of direct response professionals specializing in soft-offer conversion, campaign analysis, and revenue optimization. Triton's goal is to provide their customers with higher close rates, larger average tickets, and a superior return on investment. The staff at Triton is rigorously trained and is widely regarded as some of the best in the business. Headquartered in South Easton, MA, Triton has sales agents in their main office and Phoenix, AZ.
If you have ever called a toll-free number to order a product from either a TV, print or on-line advertisement, you very well may have ended up talking to a Triton Technologies agent to complete your order.
Managing this inbound call volume is the state-of-the-art SIP-based contact center based on Interactive Intelligence Customer Interaction Center (CIC). The contact center plays an important role in routing each caller to a trained agent who is knowledgeable about that product or service. Determining which product the caller is interested in is often based on the number the caller dials – Triton handles calls from thousands of toll-free numbers, each representing different products or campaigns.
Until earlier this year, Triton Technology directed all their call traffic to a number of TDM T1 PRI trunks from a major national carrier using AudioCodes Mediant™ 1000 media gateways. The media gateways terminate the TDM T1 PRI circuits and convert the call traffic to SIP for handling by the Interactive Intelligence CIC servers. This configuration was and continues to be highly reliable, but also rather costly. The toll and circuit charges for the T1 PRI circuits were an easy target for cost reduction.
Triton Technologies saw an opportunity to reduce operating costs with SIP Trunking for both the toll-free inbound and outbound long distance calling. After careful consideration, they chose two different SIP Trunking carriers – a national competitive SIP Trunking carrier for the inbound traffic and an aggressive, but smaller SIP Trunking carrier for outbound traffic. This choice and strategy were important due to the large number of toll-free numbers used and the need for national coverage for inbound calls. It was also felt that maintaining choice in selecting competitive carriers would be valuable in the future – allowing Triton to make changes in carriers as the market or needs shifted.
A significant roadblock to implementing SIP Trunking at Triton would be the cost of Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) equipment and the return-on-investment. After receiving a quote from a major SBC vendor that approached six figures, the executives at Triton were worried that the ROI would be too long and that the entire project would be doomed.
Another challenge for the effort was interoperability with Triton's Interactive Intelligence CIC system and the two SIP Trunking carriers selected for the project.
Meanwhile, the team at Triton knew and trusted the AudioCodes gateways that were currently servicing their PRI circuits. With some investigation, it was discovered that a new family of E-SBC products were now available from AudioCodes, based on the same hardware and software platforms currently in operation at Triton.
To provide an interface to the two SIP Trunking carriers, a configuration was developed (as shown in the diagram below) that utilizes two AudioCodes Mediant 1000 E-SBCs for 150 sessions per device (300 sessions in total). The dual configuration supports both SIP trunking carriers, using DNS in a round-robin load balancing technique. In this redundant configuration, if either one of the E-SBCs failed, the other would continue to handle call traffic, but at half of the total call handling capacity.
The WAN side of each E-SBC was configured with two IP groups, each group supporting one SIP Trunking carrier. The LAN side of the E-SBCs was configured using the parameter set appropriate for Interactive Intelligence CIC.
As both SIP trunking carriers and the Interactive Intelligence CIC servers supported the G.711 codec, no transcoding of the media was required, maximizing the capacity of each Mediant 1000 E-SBC to 150 sessions and minimized latency.
To maximize security, an Access Control List was configured in the E-SBC feature set, limiting incoming calls to only the prescribed SIP Trunking service providers.
Because the Mediant 1000 E-SBC uses common SIP software as the Mediant 1000 media gateway, the E-SBCs were seamlessly integrated into the Interactive Intelligence CIC servers. The CIC software "sees" a gateway and is unaware that the other side of the E-SBC is actually two SIP trunking providers.
Triton Technologies continues to utilize this configuration today, actively taking customer calls on SIP trunks and using Interactive Intelligence to route and manage their calls. The completed system with the dual load-sharing AudioCodes Mediant 1000 E-SBCs has been shown to be highly reliable and protects the CIC servers from the daily port probes and other attacks that would otherwise occur via the SIP trunks.
As Triton Technologies continues to grow, further expansion of both the contact center agent pool is expected, requiring additional Mediant 1000 E-SBCs in a "rack and stack" expansion. To accommodate a large expansion, an upgrade to an AudioCodes Mediant 3000 E-SBC with its 1000 session capacity would also be considered.
The Mediant 1000 E-SBC provides Perimeter Defense as a way of protecting companies from malicious VoIP attacks; mediation for allowing the connection of any PBX and/or IP-PBX to any Service Provider; and Service Assurance for service quality and manageability. Designed as a cost effective appliance, the Mediant 1000 E-SBC is based on AudioCodes' Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway (MSBG), which combines AudioCodes' field-proven VoIP and network services with a native host processor, allowing the creation of purpose-built, multi-service appliances with integrated quality of service, SLA monitoring, security and manageability. The native implementation of SBC functions on the Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway provides a host of additional capabilities that are not possible with standalone SBC appliances, such as VoIP mediation, PSTN Access, data routing, WAN access, data security, survivability, and third party value-added services applications. This enables enterprises to utilize the advantages of converged networks and eliminate the need for standalone appliances.