Web Call Center
This work describes the Web Call Center - an Internet-based extension to the concept of classical call centers in the PSTN. The Web Call Center offers coordinated interworking between the PSTN and Internet. Hence, it allows for new forms of call center-like communication adding value to the installed PSTN base.
The system is economically very attractive since it requires only standard PSTN and Internet technology to link both types of networks.
A special feature of the Web Call Center is joint, full duplex Synchronized Web Surfing. This feature allows for communication between several distributed parties forming a so-called Surf Group. Surf groups use separate communication channels for voice and Web content and are initiated very easily via a Web browser based GUI.
The Surf Group concept is very flexible. It can be applied not only to fields such as value-added communication in e-commerce, but also to distance learning, multimedia enhanced hotlines, telemedicine, etc. The paper describes the basic architecture of the Web Call Center and the concept of Synchronized Web Surfing. Next, it explains in detail the corresponding service in the context of e-commerce. It discusses the benefits of Internet-based call centers and comments on the relation to other new areas such as Internet telephony and the IETF PINT working group on PSTN-Internet Interworking.
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