Lots of things have changed since the last patch, and we have been slacking on updating our version number! The reason for the jump in the version change is two-fold. TLDialer VICIDIAL Cluster Support, and the rewrite of the TLDSIP Softphone. Most other changes had to do with reports and minor bug fixes as well as quite a few changes and additions to the Lead Post system. Thank you for your patience with us during open enrollment as we have been slammed beyond measure and have been working hard to keep the system running smooth, fast and secure.
TLDialer Cluster Compatibility – Automated Multi-Server / Multi-Phone Management for VICIDial
For our agents running more than 50 concurrent agents on the Dialer, as well as multiple Carriers, Inbound Calls, Dialer Outbounds and tons of transfers, we have added VICIDial Clustering support to the TLDialer system. This required a full analysis and modificaton of changes needed to the TLDialer system as well as a rewrite of the softphone to support registering to multiple phones and managing those connections.
What is a VICIDial Cluster?
A VICIDial Cluster is a VICIDial system that has multiple Asterisk PBX ( Phone System ) Servers connected to one Main Central Database and Application Server, which can also be a Cluster Server itself, and is usually the main cluster. Most all of our TLDialer Accounts are using single Cluster Mode as throwing more “Power” to the AWS Instances we used seem to suffice for 50 Agents or less. Once we hit 50 Agents however, things started to get screwy. We kept getting random Audio Issues, Crashing or One Way Audio on IAX Channel Transfers ( Conferences ), Crashing on the Music Server for On Hold Music, Broken, Seized or Crashing IP Relays (ip_relay) as well as a ton of other Stability issues. The systems didn’t go down, but during peak hours transferring to Verification departments and such was hit or miss, causing issues with call floors.
As you may know, TLDialer uses VICIDial as the Dialing system, but we have an integrated interface that controls and synchronizes data between TLD and VICIDial seamlessly. This is our own invention, and we were hoping to keep to the single server model as long as possible, we however hit our limits early.
Clustering is not simple. It requires quite a bit of configuration, and normally through VICIDial itself it requires you do a ton of maintenance to the Phones and Users to make sure they get logged into the system on the proper Cluster that has the least load. This can be manually done by the Agent who can choose to login to one of X servers, or VICIDial itself can do the load balancing via Phone Aliases, with the Caveat of having to Create and Manage a Phone Per Server per User, and keeping those settings in sync manually. Otherwise you have to change which server the Phone is on at the beginning of the day to load balance based off which of your Staff is actually logging in for that day. It’s a nightmare of management. Enter TLDialer’s Auto Balancing Management system.
TLDSIP & TLDialer Automated Cluster Balancer
Our cluster balancer requires no work on your end. Your agent logs into TLDialer as Usual, click connect and BOOM, they are logged into the lowest load server.
We do this by Automatically Creating a Phone Alias ( EX: 1111ALIAS ) for the Agents Primary Phone (1111), we then Create or Update Multiple Phones that are not the Primary by appending their Server ID’s, which we have Standardized as A1, A2, A3, etc. ( A = Asterisk ). so when you Update 1111 it looks at all the servers available, then creates 1111A2, 1111A3, 1111A4, etc (Primary Server is considered 1111 so there is never an A1 ). It then Creates or Updates the Phone Alias with the list of possible logins for Load Balancing for that Alias. So 1111ALIAS has a Login List of 1111,1111A2,1111A3,1111A4.
We rewrote the TLDSIP Softphone from the ground up, using newer best practices. By doing so we were able to have it manage and handle multiple registrations. Normally on a Cluster Setup, using the Phone Alias Load Balancing method, you would need to go configure all your softphones with the accounts and credentials of EACH Servers Phones that are part of the Alias. You can imagine that this is a bit of a headache, especially when agents play round robin. The More Servers, the more setup. Enter the new TLDSIP.
TLDSIP auto registers to every servers on Login and waits for an Incoming connection. For Blind Dialing it automatically uses connection 1. When an incoming call comes in, it auto accepts and then UNREGISTERS the other Devices. When the Call Hangsup, it Reregisters all the phones to be ready to login to the Dialer Again. As a side effect of this Channel Management, the system can now Re-register and even Reconnect a call if it was lost due to a blip or a timeout, which should increase call stability.
The Ethernet Icons on the bottom left of your screen will show you if your phones are registered or not. They will all be Teal when they are ready, and then Change to Green when in a Call. Unregistered Phones will show White. Phones that should be Registered will try to Reregister automatically if they lose connection.
So as long as you ONLY use TLD to Manage your Dialer Users and Phones, and not the VICIDial Admin interface, these phones will always stay in sync and up to date. You can open the User on TLD, set the Caller ID for Example, and those changes will reflect on all the associated phones in the Cluster. Tada!
Automatic IP Authentication Across Clusters
Yes! This works now too! If you have an IP Unlocked user, or if you add an IP to your authorization table, all clusters should now authorize that IP, not just the main TLDialer server. This makes management even easier!
Update and Changes
- Now Supports Multiple Registrations
- New Icon at bottom left which shows you which lines you have avialable and their status. White is Unregistered, Blue is Registered. Green is In Call, Yellow is Unregistered while in a Call.
- TLDSIP will Auto Register on Load, and Auto Unregister other Phones that are not part of the Current Call when on a Call.
- Hovering over the Icons will tell you the Server ID and Status.
- As a side effect of the new TLDSIP, when a blip happens or a timeout occurs on registration, the phone will now auto re-register. This should solve some long standing issues with people on shoddy connections timing out but still on the phone and losing the call.
- Fixed TLDSIP Not working on iPadOS. Thanks Apple.
- Monitoring actions now log properly in TLDialer. We have enabled “Monitor Logs” so you can run queries to your hearts content on the Monitor logs.
- Changed Monitor Icon to look like a CCTV instead of an Eye.
- Changed Whisper button to look more like an ear.
- Added Monitor Logs to TLDialer Logs on Contact Form.
- Fixed bug where address was not being synced to Vici Lead if it existed on creation. We had address instead of address1 selected
- Fixed Ingroup Ranks not Editing due to limiting to over 100 ingroups. Some of you have way too many ingroups.
- Added a 5 Second Timer between clicking Monitor in the Live Agents Page to prevent people from double monitoring.
- Added a 5 Second Timer before Manual Dials to prevent agents from smashing the button and calling the same person multiple times.
- Fixed an issue with external transfers where it would incorrectly “Remember” the external number set. This did not affect presets.
- Fixed Set Monitor to search for the agents current conference instead of using possibly stale data from the interface not refreshing. Apparenly Dialer conferences change for the agent when you leave a conference.
- Added “Show Load” Option for the Real Time Report to monitor all your servers at once when using Multiple Clusters, but this also works with a single server.
- Fixed an Issue with timezone settings for West Coast clients in the TLDialer System causing initial login to be a few hours behind.
- On Multi-Cluster setups, TLDialer will autocreate an Phone for every server as well as a Phone Alias for the User. Updates to Phones on a TLDialer User will be copied to every phone they have, but you will be editing the primary phone / extension. We have removed the ability to choose the server the phone is on as we use the Primary server for the Primary phone and the rest is handled by the system automatically.
- Added Support for IP Whitelisting for multiple servers.
- Added new “Survey Type”: User Performance Survey
- This forces the user doing the survey to choose a User they are reviewing which is attached to all subsequent questions.
- We have added User Reviewed into all logs and added groupings for Users Reviewed in the Survey Report.
- Surveys can now be limited by role, abilities, user group and user level
- Fixed Survey Answers for Answer Scale Type.
- Added First Name and Last name of the Lead to some survey logs.
- Converted Survey Reports to Data table.
- Emails and Marketplace Emails can now have their individual “From” and “Email” in the Reply To set. This will default to account settings if not set.
Relays, Vendors, Upload & Lead Post System
- You can now add a Relay Filter so that Relays do not get sent if certain data in a specific field is set with specific values. This only prevents the relay from firing if it comes in via FTP, Post or Upload, this does NOT prevent the use of Relays in Campaigns or via Direct Send. . This is helpful when using a single relay with referrers or campaigns where some should be dialed and some should not.
- Added “Prevent Converted Phones” from being relayed so you don’t bother your clients when vendors give you bogus data.
- External Lead Updates can now run Update Lead Status automatically when present to stamp things. This also updates Dialer leads associated.
- Fix preventing leads coming in with 0000-00-00 or 00/00/0000 for date fields
- Allow Post System to Skip “Front” status which was causing errors on external update.
- Reorganized Vendors Data pane to have its own Tabs as it was getting unwieldy.
- Added Import ID to Post System Error Exports
- Fixed Validations for Decimals in the Vendor Post system when people were sending things with commas.
- If a State field comes in and are greater than two characters in length we now grab that data from our meta table and insert the right state. It still needs to be spelled correctly.
- Added Inbound Price and Inbound Status to override the Default Status and Default Price. This allows you to mix inbound and outbound vendors into a single Vendor Source.
- Updated Vendor Performance Report with new Metrics, including Fronts to Vendor Performance Report. Should be a lot cleaner now.
- Vendor Logs got some Love. They now have the option to show what products ( comma separated ) and carriers ( comma separated ) and total sales made on a lead in the Full Report log so your vendors can keep an eye on you if you want. This is useful for Vendors that you are doing revenue share with.
- Added Passthrough Logs Option to pass the logs for a Vendor into the Passed through Vendor instead of the Passthrough Vendor.
- Added Custom Status code to Statuses and made these statuses able to send with Relays for external systems that transfer calls that we update status on Disposition.
User Interface Changes
- Add Click to Copy to the following things:
- Policy ID on the Policy on the Contact.
- Name on the Contact.
- Lead ID on the Contact.
- Dialer ID’s on the Contact.
- Now Trimming Name on Leads with extra spaces.
- Now Ordering Products by Description instead of Name so they should be alphabetized if the default order is set to Description not name.
- Made Countries order by Description instead of Name,
- You can now Reschedule CSR’s. The amount of times a CSR is Rescheduled is kept as a counter, as well as by who and when.
- Renewals vs Rewrite
- This used to be a Yes or No value but now is No, Rewrite or Renewal.
- The Contact form has been Updated to state what type it is if selected.
- You can also search by these types now.
- Added “Is Renewal” to Campaigns
- Touches should now work properly. They were always set to 1. Touches means how many times an agent has “Viewed” the page. We went back and resynced all touch values to the total amount of Views in the log for each lead. This took a while but it is worth it. Now whenever you open a lead it will automatically increment the touched by 1. Leads now properly come in as 0 too, they were coming in as 1.
- Added View Others Notes Ability
- New Feature: Autocomplete Only Mine or Global Callbacks, to prevent completing callbacks set by someone else automatically.
- Household Income no longer filters out excluded dependents.
- Fix to reset commissions paid when recalculating commissions.
- Added Campaign Checker Agents Available Path in the Egress API. This allows you to use External Systems to Query whether they should send a call or not.
- Created newer more effective way to serve you JS Without getting you stuck with the cache. Finally! All of our JS files are rewritten based on the version and revision number when we update the codebase, so you are guaranteed to get the latest changes on Refreshing the page.
- Fixed Explore issue with 7th non-existent column.
- Statuses on Fields table now shows TLDialer Status and Custom Status Mapped.
- Made Massive Improvements to Quick Search by adding some new key indexes and querying data slightly different. On large accounts with 2 million+ leads the searches went from 8 seconds to less than a second.