Sunday, September 04, 2005

Project update and direction

Time for me to do another project update now that the web-based client apps are released and we have started thinking about what new features we want to start working on now.

The client web apps(especially the VICIDIAL web-client) have generated a lot of interest in the project and I have received many phone calls from people and companies that are looking at implementing VICIDIAL at their companies. Some of the places I've heard from are:
- A company in India looking to potentially set up 500 agent seats across their several locations all with VICIDIAL after they do a test setup.
- A small company in Los Angeles that hand-sews traditional Indian clothing, using astGUIclient internally as well as using VICIDIAL to contact clients and resellers.
- A large financial services company in the USA that has been testing VICIDIAL for the last two months and is looking to convert all 200 seats at their company to VICIDIAL in the next two months. They are very excited about the web-client and have accelerated their implementation schedule. We have received a lot of good feedback and bug catches from them and we thank them very much for their input.

As for what we are working on for the next several releases.
- We have fixed several bugs releated to changes in Asterisk 1.2 and we even have one of our production servers up and running on it and everything works very well. A little while after 1.2 is released we will add a few little features that are now capable due to new features in Asterisk 1.2.
- We have fixed several bugs in the VICIDIAL web-client and plan on releasing at least a code update for those scripts in the next week. we need to do some more testing but we have added a way to hangup calls in manual dial mode before pickup(or if they are busy,disconnected, etc..). we have also added a lead preview option that allows an agent to see the lead information and choose to either dial the lead or skip it and go on to the next one.
- We are working on Internationalization, meaning offering the client apps and admin apps in multiple languages. This requires some changing of the code and creation of more graphics and a language conversion script that are still in the development stages. All code and comments would still be in English but duing the installation process versions in other languages would be created from translation files and placed in subdirectories from the originals allowing multiple language options for users. This is still in the development stages but we do hope to at least have our first translation(Spanish) finished before Astricon in mid October.
- We are working on Localization, meaning adjusting some of the scripts to better work with country codes for users in places other than North America. This will require less work than Internationalization and we hope to have it completed before Astricon as well.
- We have started thinking more about optimization of VICIDIAL in multiple server environments. This is a very difficult one to deal with and have work well, but since our main office is moving in a few months and we are consolidating another office in with us we will have more agents and servers in one place and more incentive and ability to test ways of making the dialing even more efficient across multiple servers. No release date because this one could take quite a while to get working right, but small elements may be folded into releases in the future.
- I will be at the Astricon conference in Los Angeles October 12-14, 2005. The project will have it's own booth where we hope to have astGUIclient and VICIDIAL up and running on laptops for people to try as well as some basic photocopied handouts to give people that come by.

That's it for now, the development items are certainly not the extent of what we are working on, but they are the ones that stick in my mind at this moment. Good bye for now.


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