We need to have a virtual pbx with a virtual number for the netherlands and belgium. With this we want to set up a telephone interpreting service with conference calls.
I'm thinking about the following solution. Let me know what do you think about it, and where do you have a different opinion. Please also take into account that forwarding the numbers is cost effective. We also looked at virtual pbx in usa but that is too expensive as the dutch number has to route to the USA number then the call has to be set up with in most cases a translator here in europe.
I'm thinking that this can be made with a server that has a normal modem, and an internet connection. I'm not sure that all of this is technically possible, but we can investigate it further. We prefer to have some kind of system that will keep the calling cost as low as possible. The virtual pbx has to be connected with a our webbased registration system for the client and the translator.
On the server, we should have an application that listens on the modem for incoming calls and is able to do the following:
- process all the messages from the caller (like account number, source and target language)
- check the website database if the caller has enough credit etc.
- connect to a different application which is like a translators server, where all the translators are connected online, with a small application that rings when they are requested to answer a call. If there is a translator available, the first application connects to the translator and start
Then, what happens:
First of all, the client has to create an account on our website, and he receives a customer number. Then, he buys credit for his customer number (like a prepaid card).
To make it simple for us (and also for the clients I think), we will ask the client to call his other party, and then call us in order to make a three-way conversation.
When he dials our number, he is prompted for the account number. The software checks if it has enough credit and, if yes, it continues to an answering machine like "Please select your language: Press 1 for English, 2 for Dutch etc."or voice interactive like please tell us the source language you want.... Of course, these numbers can be on the website too, so a Dutch customer knows it has to dial our number and then "2".
Then, another message comes with "Please select your party's language: etc.".
The software looks if there is any translator with that combination connected to the system, and if yes, it starts the conversation. Every few milliseconds, it records the sound from the modem and sends it to the translator's application as a sound stream, and the translator's application does the same thing with the input of the translator's microphone and sends it back to the modem.
At the same time, the software can count the minutes, to know how much to bill the client, and can do everything with the database.