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I have some leads to whom I want to make outbound calls. Along with the phone number, I have additional information like Name, Query Source and Query Category.

"John W. Lead", "+43 780 004711", "Trade Portal Online Form", "Purple Widgets"

My ideal calling process is tailored towards remote agents - A call is initiated by me using the Asterisk API. Asterisk calls my agent; my agent picks up, they hear the lead's phone ring, and they are then connected to John W. Lead.

When the call starts, I want my agent to be aware of the other pieces of information like the lead's name, where they signed up to receive this call, and what they are looking for.

What is the standard way to send this information in real time?

I prefer the information is passed over the same channel (not a strict requirement) and is guaranteed to reach the agent before the call is initiated (this is a strict requirement). I would like the solution to remain standard over Android Softphone, Desktop Softphone, and other SIP devices.

Some approaches which my research has suggested:

  1. Use the Digium IP Phone Javascript API to display this information on-screen on IP Phone when the call is initiated. I don't know if there is an equivalent channel for any Android Softphone.
  2. Use Text to Speech on the Asterisk box to insert a voice prompt containing the information and to play it to the agent before connecting to John W. Lead.
  3. Use OS or Browser Notifications to deliver the info to the called Agent
  4. ...?

What is the most common or reliable way, if any, to pass such info to an agent?

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I've never worked with the Digium Phones myself, but if they can pull SIP Headers in, and they are directly connected to your phone system, you can always pass custom headers like 'X-Lead-Name: John W. Lead' with SIPAddHeader() and then use the Javascript API you mentioned to attempt to display it. Anything beginning with 'X-' is going to be a custom header.

Using AGI() is probably going to be your best bet for this one. I've used C\C++ in tandem with libcurl to send POSTs to certain places to create screen pops. You can use pretty much any language. I've seen it accomplished with BASH and PHP many times as a lot of people seem comfortable with one of those two.

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I'll add to the list:

  1. "Access-URL" header - supported by Polycom phones (able to display small xml page on screen: http://documents.polycom.com/topics/80391), tSIP softphone (opening specified page in default web browser). Not a standard but part of asterisk "Dial" command since 2009 or so.
  2. Running query against some http server with caller number passed as parameter (supported by few softphones) - opening CRM page.
  3. Some desk phones have "URL-hit" function that may be used to pass call event to CRM.
  4. Just passing information as Display Name. May require some softphone customization to display whole content.

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