Voice Conference Manager
About Voice Conference Manager
Voice conference manager offers the following features:
- Add people to conference call by speaking their names (if registered with the system) or by saying their phone number.
- Web-based monitoring. You can log into a web page that shows, updated in real time, the status of the conference call. Future releases will let you control the conference call from a web page.
- The person who sets up the call does not have to participate in the call. VCM demonstrates third party call control.
- VCM runs on standard VoiceXML, CCXML, and web servers. It was tested on a freely-available developer server from Voxeo.
The technology is explained in some detail in the Documentation.
How to Use Voice Conference Manager
To start a conference call, a "clerk" dials a telephone number. Voice Conference Manager uses speech recognition and text-to-speech to ask the clerk the names or phone numbers of people to place into the conference. After the clerk is done — and the clerk may hang up at this point — the VCM calls each person who's supposed to participate in the call and adds them to the call. A web page shows the current status of the calls.
Status of Current Version
Choice of Two Packages
VCM has two different branches. The main branch, which is released on the download page as the plain "vcm" package, is for any VoiceXML/CCXML system. It's a gzip'd tar file. Some of the capabilities are a bit old at this point, and while it can monitor phone calls it cannot control them.
The other branch of VCM is the Prophecy branch, which is released in two parts: the "vcm-prophecy" package and the "push2web" package. These assume the capabilities provided by Voxeo's freely-licensed Prophecy server, which provides a complete SIP/CCXML/VoiceXML/TTS solution. This branch can also be used on any system that provides similar capabilities (PHP is required, and if you want web-based monitoring, you'll also need Java servlets as provided by Jetty or Tomcat). If you're using Voxeo's Prophecy, you'll want to download and use these packages. See the notes below, the Prophecy Branch page and the push2web documentation.
To allow an attendant to monitor a call in progress, Voice Conference Manager includes a component that lets you push updates to a web page. This component, which was originally available as Python scripts, is now available as a Java servlet. You can download push2web from the Sourceforge download page. The Python version of this server is described in the documentation.
One important note: push2web uses ordinary HTML and CSS to display information about the call in progress. That means you can use ordinary web-page authoring techniques to display information — you get a ordinary-looking web page.