If the folks that developed Asterisk had approached the companies
that create on hold messaging content and asked how the Asterisk platform could
best be designed for on hold messaging flexibility, the answer and wish list
would have been nearly identical to what is in place today with Asterisk.
Not all emerging phone system technologies that tout VoIP as a leading benefit
have in effect benefitted the on hold messaging industry. In fact, many
hosted IP offerings are a clear step in reverse in terms of providing
flexibility for the end user customer. Some Hosted IP offerings will not
offer the end user ANY option for customized on hold content. They offer
canned music only.
So what’s so special about Asterisk? It’s simple and can be explained in
the form of 3 major benefits.
1. More content choices:
While a clear majority of phone systems offer only one source for providing
content, Asterisk supports multiple sources in the form of audio file slots per
customer. This means that the on hold content can vary per
customer. Human Resources, Sales, Customer Support can ALL have their own
unique messaging programs playing for their callers. This greatly
improves the effectiveness of how a company can educate callers on products and
services by applying the content directly to why the caller is calling in the
first place. Marketing professionals know the value of playing
appropriate content to a captive audience (callers on hold are highly
captive). This sort of flexibility allows the phone system to truly
function as a value business tool in terms of branding and marketing a company
and its capabilities. Additionally, there are many companies that
happen to allow other companies in their multi-tenant building ‘space’ on their
phone system. This can be a huge problem if the phone system only
offers one source for messaging content as you may imagine. With
Asterisk, the programmer can easily assign the proper content to the
appropriate company and department.
2. Lower Cost:
The Asterisk platform allows for simple loading of audio files, eliminating the
requirement for purchasing 3rd party equipment.
3. Ease of
Management: Customers that subscribe to frequent updating of their on
hold messaging can do so easily without the intervention of service
personnel. This saves in time and hassle and money in the long haul.
In summary, Asterisk is about as flexible as it gets for the ability to cost
effectively create an effective marketing and branding tool for a
company. This flexibility is most likely overlooked during the
sales process, as the audience that benefits from this flexibility is not
typically the telecom or IT professional as much as it is the executive or