The European Commission's global call for proposals was won by European Service Network (ESN - www.esn.eu) as contractor. It proposed to build the VoIP part of Europe Direct around Open Source software Asterisk in partnership with Eyepea (www.eyepea.eu)
Redundant Asterisk servers will route calls in 23 languages
One of the essential elements for the European Commission was the significant availability of the contact center; calls cannot, in any event, be lost. That required a high-performance infrastructure able to receive calls in the 23 languages and forward them to the proper operators. It was therefore decided to build a redundant Asterisk cluster based on HP servers with instantaneous failover in the event of a component or connection failure. In addition, a 23-language IVR (Interactive Voice Response) supporting several possible scenarios was also built around Open Source software.
Open Source code makes application integration easier
The contact center management tool was developed by ESN around Open Source technologies (Python, MySQL, etc.) and was interfaced with the VoIP platform based on standard APIs. ESN was coached by Eyepea to understand those APIs and integrate the Asterisk platform with the management software.
"We deployed a layer of Open Source Web Services on top of Asterisk in order to communicate with the software developed by ESN," explains Jacques Gripekoven, Managing Director of Eyepea. "The major advantages of the Open Source approach are, among other things, the fact that the source code is open and its strict compliance to communication standards. It was therefore easy for ESN to connect to the VoIP platform Eyepea had set up."
Choosing Open Source: a civic gesture for large institutions
According to Jacques Gripekoven, the Open Source approach was an important aspect for the Commission. "Large institutions and administrations are increasingly aware that it is more advantageous and ethical to choose economic, intelligent Open Source solutions that keep jobs local rather than to involve technology companies on the other side of the world. The big winners are the citizens, whose money is better spent."
Luc Engelbos at Blue Chilli
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Mobile: +32 495 30 29 99
Eyepea is a VoIP (Voice over IP) system integrator building solutions around Open Source platforms such as Asterisk, sipX, and OpenSIPS. The company was created in 2005 by a group of managers who had significant experience in the telecommunications sector (Motorola, Fore Systems, UB Networks, Xylan, Alcatel, Nortel, etc.) and wanted to provide a breath of fresh air and more openness in a very traditional universe. Eyepea headquarters are in Saintes (Walloon Brabant – Belgium) and the company also has offices in Lille and Paris. Composed of a team of specialized consultants (telecommunications engineers, Linux specialists, software developers, and project managers), the company is one of the leading European Open Source VoIP solution integrators. For more information, please visit: www.eyepea.eu.