Glyph Studios Uses Asterisk To Develop Popular Services
Located in the Filopino city of Manila, Glyph Studios is a software development company. Their Missed Call Alert (MCA) service was initially accessed by 100,000 subscribers but has grown to more than 12 million users in just two years.
Three primary telecom networks provide all of the business and residential Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony, SMS, Internet, and consumer-based mobile phone service throughout the Philippines. Glyph Studios was searching for a customizable voice communications platform that would provide special content and services to a large segment of those subscribers. Amisola says he looked at other platforms and frameworks while they were in the development stage. “They were both going to be very expensive for a start-up company like Glyph, building an infrastructure from the ground up.” One of Glyph’s engineers was familiar with Asterisk and suggested that an open source solution would save money. Sponsored and maintained by Sangoma, Asterisk is used by organizations of all sizes, including call centers, carriers, and governments worldwide to power IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, and conference servers. Even with its proven capabilities, there was still the question of whether Glyph could customize Asterisk to the point that they could attach their communications systems to the telecoms and then provide additional capabilities like their popular MCA and other services. MCA is essentially voicemail with notification. Because the mobile providers in the Philippines do not offer standard voicemail service, MCA provides a much-needed service. It allows a caller to leave a message if you do not answer, and then the MCA system sends an SMS text message notifying you that someone tried to call and has left you a voice message. When you call the designated number, given to you in the SMS text message, you are connected directly to the MCA message. The message remains on the server for three days. “We knew our telco partners were serious about their intent to heavily market MCA as more convenient and cheaper than standard voicemail services but I have to admit we are surprised by the adoption rate. Our carriers like it because they do not have to pay for commercial licensing fees for a voicemail system, and customers only pay a nominal fee when they retrieve their messages from MCA.”
Solutions from Sangoma
This past year, Glyph sent a team of three technicians to an Asterisk conference in Malaysia. While there, they also attended an advanced training class in Asterisk usage. There they met David Duffett, a renowned expert in setting up Asterisk-based systems around the world. Glyph reached out to Duffett regarding their plans to build a SIP infrastructure on the backend to make expansion easier and less expensive in the future. “Meeting David had a significant impact because we were able to optimize the knowledge of an Asterisk global expert who showed us new tricks to make installation easier, and how to make some of the operations more efficient,” says Amisola. According to Amisola, scaling Asterisk to handle millions of calls a day was their biggest challenge. A challenge that they are proud to say they have been able to meet. Currently, the telecom companies feed all missed calls through the E1/T1 digital connection with SS7 protocol rather than through SIP. The E1 connection handles 30 calls on one piece of wire. Glyph has nine servers, each supporting eight E1s. That is 2,160 calls simultaneously.
New and existing customers were immediately amazed at how fast 2X Communications could have them set up with VoIP services. These customers were used to having to contact a telecom and go through all the many hoops to schedule a technician to come install the line. The ability to request and connect to services in minutes, from anywhere, has helped 2X Communications shine, with many satisfied customers. In fact, the speed with which the 2X Communications team can set up a company is crucial to their bottom line. Since offering this service, 2X Communications has grown at least 30-40% every year. And 2X Communications soon found that any fears of being left unsupported and out of touch were ungrounded. When asked what functionality has been most beneficial in leading them to choose VoIP Innovations, Kala Mullney, president of 2X Communications, says this about the Support team: “Whether it’s sales, porting, or tech, every person has been extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I have said this to them before, their level of customer support should be the standard for every company’