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US 20120045042A1

( 19 ) United Sta tes


( 12) Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion ( 10) Pub. N o. : US 2012/0045042 A1
Minert et a l. ( 43 ) Pub. D a te: Feb. 23 , 2012
( 54) MULTI-TIERED MED IA SERVICES FOR ( 52) us . c1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 79 /s s . 04
GLOBALLY IN TERCON N ECTIN G ( 57) ABSTRACT
BUSIN ESSES AN D CUSTOMERS
A m ulti-tiered com m unica tion s y s tem f or m inim iz ing com
m unica tion la tency f or a ca ller in a rem ote loca tion Who
( 75) Inv entors : Bna n D oug la s Mlnert> Orem > UT initia tes conta ct With a loca l da ta center. The s y s tem includes
( Us ) ; Ma tthew La wrence Pa g e, a loca l da ta center loca ted in a ? rs t loca tion including one or
Sa ndy , UT ( US) ; Scott Ka rl Curtis , m ore Intera ctiv e Voice Recog nition ( IVR) f unctions tha t a re
Sa ndy , UT ( US) con? g ured f or us e With a ca ller Who initia tes conta ct With the
loca l da ta center. The s y s tem a ls o includes a rem ote m edia
s erv er loca ted in a s econd loca tion. The rem ote m edia s erv er
is con? g ured to route a n incom ing ca ll f rom the ca ller to the
loca l da ta center, to route one or m ore IVR m es s a g es to the
( 21) App1_ N O; 12/8 6 1, 717 ca ller a nd to connect the ca ller With a n a g ent f or rea l-tim e
com m unica tion. The a g ent is loca ted in one of the s econd
loca tion or a third loca tion tha t is s ubs ta ntia lly clos er to the
( 73 ) As s ig nee: inConta ct, Inc. , Midv a le, UT ( U S)
( 22) Filed? Allg - 23 : 2010 s econd loca tion tha n the ? rs t loca tion. H a v ing the loca l da ta
center in the ? rs t loca tion ena bles the IVR m es s a g e to be
Publica tion Cla s s i? ca tion receiv ed by the ca ller a f ter a period of ex pected dela y a nd
ha v ing the rem ote m edia s erv er in the s econd or third loca tion
( 51) Int. Cl. ena bles the rea l-tim e com m unica tion between the ca ller a nd
H 04M 1/6 4 ( 2006 . 01) the a g ent to be Within a n a ccepta ble la tency .
1 0
Loca tion 13 5
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Rem ote
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Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 1 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
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Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 2 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
m
Proces s or IVR
E E
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Module
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ecor
Module ASR I;
M E 29 5
Coa ching
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Fig ure 2
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 3 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
m
End Point
Proces s or Connection
Module
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Fig ure 3
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 4 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
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Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 5 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
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Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 6 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
Fig ure 5B
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 7 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
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Fig ure 5C
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 9 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
700
Receiv e At A Rem ote Media Serv er An Incom ing Com m unica tion
720 \
D eterm ine Tha t The Com m unica tion Is To Be Sent To A Loca l D a ta
Center Tha t Is Loca ted In A Firs t Loca tion, The Rem ote Media Serv er
Being Loca ted In A Second Loca tion
73 0 ''
Fon/v a rd The Com m unica tion To The Loca l D a ta Center
Receiv e An IVR Mes s a g e Res pons e From The Loca l D a ta Center
Fonlv a rd The IVR Mes s a g e Res pons e To The Ca ller To Allow The
Ca ller To Select One Or More Functions Specif ied In The IVR
Mes s a g e Within A Period Of Ex pected D ela y
Connect The Ca ller To An Ag ent For Rea l-Tim e Com m unica tion in
Res pons e To The Ca ller Selecting The One Or More Functions Of
The IVR Mes s a g e, The Rea l-Tim e Com m unica tion Being Within An
Accepta ble La tency
Fig ure 7
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 10 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
8 0
8 10w
Receiv ing At A Media Serv er A Firs t Com m unica tion From A D a ta
Center Tha t Is Loca ted In A Firs t Loca tion In Res pons e To A Ca ller
Initia ted Ca II
8 20 -\
Routing The Firs t Com m unica tion To The Ca ller, Wherein The Firs t
Com m unica tion Includes An Ex pected D ela y
8 3 0A
Receiv ing A Second Com m unica tion From An Ag ent In Res pons e To
Input From The Ca ller, Wherein The Ag ent Is Loca ted In A Second
Loca tion Tha t Is Rem ote From The Firs t Loca tion And Wherein The
Media Serv er Is Loca ted In The Second Loca tion
Routing The Second Com m unica tion To The Ca ller, Wherein The
Second Com m unica tion Includes An Accepta ble La tency
Fig ure 8
Pa tent Applica tion Publica tion Feb. 23 , 2012 Sheet 11 0f 11 US 2012/0045042 A1
m a m m u m m m a na ? m ESm Q ESQ
US 2012/0045042 A1
MULTI-TIERED MED IA SERVICES FOR
GLOBALLY IN TERCON N EC TIN G
BUSIN ESSES AN D CUSTOMERS
CROSS-REFEREN CE TO RELATED
APPLICATION S
[ 0001] N ot Applica ble
BACKGROUN D
[ 0002] Com m unica tion a nd bus ines s s y s tem s a re becom
ing g loba liz ed f or m a ny com pa nies due to the ca pa city a nd
rea ch of the intem et. There a re connectiv ity cha lleng es in
doing this f or m a ny com pa nies When it com es to m a na g ing
s trea m ing m edia betWeen g eog ra phica lly -dis pers ed cus tom
ers , g eog ra phica lly -dis pers ed com pa ny repres enta tiv es , a nd
com pa ny s erv ers hous ed in a f eW ? x ed loca tions .
[ 0003 ] Globa liZ ed com m unica tions com m only inv olv e
long er g eog ra phic dis ta nces When com pa red to dom es tic
com m unica tions . Long er dis ta nces betWeen com m unica ting
pa rties s uf f er f rom long er propa g a tion dela y s , Which Will
of ten deg ra de the q ua lity of the com m unica tion ex perience
betWeen the pa rties .
[ 0004] The s ubject m a tter cla im ed herein is not lim ited to
em bodim ents tha t s olv e a ny dis a dv a nta g es or tha t opera te
only in env ironm ents s uch a s thos e des cribed a bov e. Ra ther,
this ba ckg round is only prov ided to illus tra te one a rea of
technolog y Where s om e em bodim ents des cribed herein m a y
be pra cticed.
BRIEF SUMMARY
[ 0005] One em bodim ent dis clos ed herein rela tes to a m ulti
tiered com m unica tion s y s tem f or m inim iZ ing com m unica
tion la tency f or a ca ller in a rem ote loca tion Who initia tes
conta ct With a loca l da ta center. The s y s tem includes a loca l
da ta center loca ted in a ? rs t loca tion. The loca l da ta center
includes one or m ore Intera ctiv e Voice Recog nition ( IVR)
f unctions tha t a re con? g ured f or us e With a ca ller Who ini
tia tes conta ct With the loca l da ta center.
[ 0006 ] The s y s tem a ls o includes a rem ote m edia s erv er
loca ted in a s econd loca tion tha t is rem ote f rom the ? rs t
loca tion. The rem ote m edia s erv er is con? g ured to route a n
incom ing ca ll f rom the ca ller to the loca l da ta center, to route
one or m ore IVR m es s a g es to the ca ller a nd to connect the
ca ller With a n a g ent f or rea l-tim e com m unica tion. The a g ent
is loca ted in one of the s econd loca tion or a third loca tion tha t
is s ubs ta ntia lly clos er to the s econd loca tion tha n the ? rs t
loca tion. H a v ing the loca l da ta center in the ? rs t loca tion
ena bles the IVR m es s a g e to be receiv ed by the ca ller a f ter a
period of ex pected dela y a nd ha v ing the rem ote m edia s erv er
in the s econd or third loca tion ena bles the rea l-tim e com m u
nica tion betWeen the ca ller a nd the a g ent to be Within a n
a ccepta ble la tency .
[ 0007] Another em bodim ent dis clos ed herein rela tes to a
m ethod f or reducing la tency betWeen a ca ller a nd a n a g ent in
a com puting s y s tem including a loca l da ta center a nd a rem ote
m edia s erv er. The loca l da ta center includes one or m ore
Intera ctiv e Voice Recog nition ( IVR) f unctions tha t a re con
? g ured f or us e With a ca ller Who initia tes conta ct With the
loca l da ta center. The rem ote m edia s erv er is con? g ured to
prov ide end-point-connection f unctions con? g ured to con
nect the ca ller With a n a g ent in the s a m e or a clos e loca tion a s
the rem ote m edia s erv er.
Feb. 23 , 2012
[ 0008 ] The m ethod includes receiv ing a t a rem ote m edia
s erv er a n incom ing com m unica tion; determ ining , ba s ed on
the incom ing com m unica tion, tha t the com m unica tion is to be
s ent to a loca l da ta center tha t is loca ted in a ? rs t loca tion,
Wherein the rem ote m edia s erv er is loca ted in a s econd loca
tion tha t is rem ote f rom the ? rs t loca tion; f orWa rding the
com m unica tion to the loca l da ta center; receiv ing a n IVR
m es s a g e res pons e f rom the loca l da ta center; f orWa rding the
IVR m es s a g e res pons e to the ca ller to a lloW the ca ller to s elect
one or m ore f unctions s peci? ed in the IVR m es s a g e; Wherein
the IVR m es s a g e is receiv ed by the ca ller Within a period of
ex pected dela y s uch tha t the ca ller is una Wa re of the dis ta nce
betWeen the ? rs t a nd s econd loca tion; a nd connecting the
ca ller to a n a g ent f or rea l-tim e com m unica tion in res pons e to
the ca ller s electing the one or m ore f unctions of the IVR
m es s a g e, the a g ent being loca ted in one of the s econd loca tion
or a third loca tion tha t is s ubs ta ntia lly clos er to the s econd
loca tion tha n the ? rs t loca tion; Wherein ha v ing the rem ote
m edia s erv er in the s econd or third loca tion ena bles the rea l
tim e com m unica tion betWeen the ca ller a nd the a g ent to be
Within a n a ccepta ble la tency .
[ 0009 ] A f urther em bodim ent dis clos ed herein rela tes to a
m ethod f or reducing la tency in v oice tra ? ic betWeen a ca ller
a nd a n a g ent. The m ethod includes receiv ing a t a m edia s erv er
a ? rs t com m unica tion f rom a da ta center tha t is loca ted in a
? rs t loca tion in res pons e to a ca ller initia ted ca ll; routing the
? rs t com m unica tion to the ca ller, Wherein the ? rs t com m uni
ca tion includes a n ex pected dela y ; receiv ing a s econd com
m unica tion f rom a n a g ent in res pons e to input f rom the ca ller,
Wherein the a g ent is loca ted in a s econd loca tion tha t is rem ote
f rom the ? rs t loca tion a nd Wherein the m edia s erv er is loca ted
in the s econd loca tion ; a nd routing the s econd com m unica
tion to the ca ller, Wherein the s econd com m unica tion includes
a n a ccepta ble la tency .
[ 0010] Thes e a nd other objects a nd f ea tures of the pres ent
inv ention Will becom e m ore f ully a ppa rent f rom the f olloWing
des cription a nd a ppended cla im s , or m a y be lea rned by the
pra ctice of the inv ention a s s et f orth hereina f ter.
BRIEF D ESCRIPTION OF TH E D RAWIN GS
[ 0011] To f urther cla rif y the a bov e a nd other a dv a nta g es
a nd f ea tures of the pres ent inv ention, a m ore pa rticula r
des cription of the inv ention Will be rendered by ref erence to
s peci? c em bodim ents thereof Which a re illus tra ted in the
a ppended dra Wing s . It is a pprecia ted tha t thes e dra Wing s
depict only illus tra ted em bodim ents of the inv ention a nd a re
theref ore not to be cons idered lim iting of its s cope. The inv en
tion Will be des cribed a nd ex pla ined With a dditiona l s peci? c
ity a nd deta il throug h the us e of the a ccom pa ny ing dra Wing s
in Which:
[ 0012] FIG. 1 illus tra tes a block dia g ra m of conta ct ha n
dling s y s tem including a loca l da ta center a nd rem ote m edia
s erv ers ;
[ 0013 ] FIG. 2 illus tra tes a n em bodim ent of the loca l da ta
center;
[ 0014] FIG. 3 illus tra tes a n em bodim ent of a rem ote m edia
s erv er;
[ 0015] FIG. 4 illus tra tes the H ow of a ca ll into a rem ote
m edia s erv er Which recog niZ es by the des tina tion num ber tha t
the ca ll Will be ba ck-ha uled to the com pa ny da ta center f or
IVR f unctiona lity ; a n inbound ca ller tha t Wa s s erv iced by a n
IVR v ia ba ck-ha ul is s ubs eq uently connected to a rem ote
a g ent in order to m inim iZ e ta lk pa th propa g a tion dela y ;
US 2012/0045042 A1
[ 0016 ] FIGS. 5A illus tra tes a rem ote ca ller connected to a
rem ote a g ent a nd tha t their conv ers a tion is being recorded
rem otely f or la ter tra ns f er to the loca l da ta center;
[ 0017] FIG. 5B illus tra tes tha t a rem ote ca ller connected to
a rem ote a g ent a nd tha t their conv ers a tion is being recorded
by m ix ing their conv ers a tion rem otely a nd s trea m ing the
res ult to the loca l da ta center f or s tora g e;
[ 0018 ] FIG. 5C illus tra tes a rem ote ca ller connected to a
rem ote a g ent Where their conv ers a tion is being recorded by
s trea m ing both ca ll leg s to the loca l da ta center f or rea l-tim e
m ix ing , recording a nd s tora g e;
[ 0019 ] FIG. 6 illus tra tes a s uperv is or m onitoring a conv er
s a tion f or q ua lity a s s es s m ent, coa ching , or conf erencing ;
[ 0020] FIG. 7 illus tra tes a H ow dia g ra m of a m ethod f or
reducing la tency betWeen a ca ller a nd a n a g ent;
[ 0021] FIG. 8 illus tra tes a H ow dia g ra m of a m ethod f or
reducing la tency in v oice tra f ? c betWeen a ca ller a nd a n a g ent;
a nd
[ 0022] FIG. 9 illus tra tes a s uita ble com puting env ironm ent
in Which em bodim ents m a y be im plem ented.
D ETAILED D ESCRIPTION
[ 0023 ] Ma ny com pa nies req uire centra liZ ed com puter
f a cilities to m eet s ecurity a nd cos t req uirem ents . When tWo or
m ore s ites a re req uired f or redunda ncy , the s ites a re of ten
es ta blis hed in the s a m e country f or conv enience or to m ini
m iZ e reg ula tory req uirem ents . Of ten thes e centra liZ ed f a cili
ties hous e res ources Which need to be a cces s ed g loba lly f or
bus ines s needs , a nd ca n be v ery ex pens iv e if they need to be
replica ted to interna tiona l loca tions .
[ 0024] Strea m ing m edia is a critica l com ponent in m os t
bus ines s env ironm ents . Strea m ing m edia m a y include v oice
a nd v oice conf erencing a nd da ta s uch a s v ideo, v ideo conf er
encing , etc. Of ten thes e s trea m s m us t be recorded a nd s tored
in the da ta center of the bus ines s f or reg ula tory or q ua lity
a s s es s m ent us e. In the ca s e of v oice m edia , it is of ten neces
s a ry f or the recording to com bine a ll pa rticipa ting pa rties into
a s ing le res ult. This is of ten perf orm ed by the com pa ny da ta
center f or s ecure a cces s to com pa ny da ta s tora g e.
[ 0025] When a m edia s erv er is deploy ed to a rem ote a rea , it
is of ten done a s com puter s erv er ha rdWa re pla ced in a hos ted
or pa rtnered da ta center. There is of ten a s ig ni? ca nt cos t f or
initia l purcha s e a nd ins ta lla tion of the ha rdWa re, a s Well a s a
m onthly cha rg e f or ra ck s pa ce, ? oor a rea , poWer us a g e, net
Work ba ndWidth, etc. The cha lleng e is com pounded by ha rd
Wa re a nd s of tWa re m a intena nce is s ues , Where 3 d-pa rty tech
nicia ns m us t of ten be pa id to do technica l Work on the rem ote
m edia s erv er under the direction of bus ines s da ta center
a dm inis tra tors . N ot only ca n the cos ts be s ig ni? ca nt, but the
dura tion of tim e inv olv ed ca n be a s ig ni? ca nt ba rrier to com
pa ny tim e-to-m a rket g oa ls .
[ 0026 ] Rem otely -deploy ed m edia s erv ers tha t Will be
a cces s ed by ca llers f rom the Public SWitch Telephone N et
Work ( PSTN ) or intem et-ba s ed telephony protocols s uch a s
Ses s ion Initia tion Protocol ( SIP) req uire s ecurity m ea s ures to
prev ent una uthoriZ ed a cces s . If the rem ote m edia s erv ers
req uire reg is tra tion or da ta ba s e s erv ers to be deploy ed With
them f or a ccount look-up, a ccount v a lida tion, ca ll routing or
other f unctiona lity , cos ts a nd com plex ity a g a in g o up.
[ 0027] Ma ny bus ines s es m a ke us e of a n Intera ctiv e Voice
Res pons e ( IVR) Unit a s pa rt of their ov era ll cus tom er ca re
of f ering . An IVR ty pica lly pla y s m us ic-on-hold a nd pre-re
corded v oice m es s a g es , a nd a cces s es bus ines s da ta f rom the
da ta center to of f er inf orm a tion to the cus tom er or of f er
Feb. 23 , 2012
choices to the ca ller. Recording f unctions a re a ls o a ty pica l
f unction of a n IVR, a nd m a y be us ed to record the ca llers
na m e or record a m es s a g e f rom the ca ller. Other s erv ices m a y
a ls o be a s s ocia ted With a n IVR. A Tex t-to-Speech ( TTS)
s erv er m a y be us ed to conv ert a n a ccount to s peech a ndpla y ed
to the ca ller. Choices of f ered to the ca ller m a y be detected
f rom the ca llers v oca l input by a n Autom a ted Speech Rec
og nition ( ASR) s erv er ra ther tha n rely ing on the tra ditiona l
pres s ing of dig its on the ca llers ha nd-s et. In m a ny ca s es , the
ca ller m us t ev entua lly be connected to a com pa ny repres en
ta tiv e, Which req uires telephony routing f a cilities .
[ 0028 ] The interna tiona l ex pa ns ion of a bus ines s of ten
inv olv es the es ta blis hm ent in the ta rg et country of com pa ny
repres enta tiv es perf orm ing f unctions s uch a s cus tom er ca re,
s a les , or other intera ctions With cus tom ers in the ta rg et coun
try . The connection betWeen cus tom er a nd com pa ny repre
s enta tiv e m us t of ten be initia ted by ? rs t routing the cus tom er
to a n IVR, a nd therea f ter connecting the ca ller to a com pa ny
repres enta tiv e ( of ten ref erred to a s a n a g ent) , the ca ll being
recorded by a m edia s erv er, a nd a ll this While m inim iz ing the
propa g a tion dela y ( s hortes t netWork dis ta nce) betWeen ca ll
ers a nd com pa ny repres enta tiv es a s s ig ned to help them . If
ea ch ca ll leg of the conv ers a tion is ba ck-ha uled to a com pa ny
da ta center it Will of ten a dd s ig ni? ca nt propa g a tion dela y s
a nd thus ha m per ef f ectiv e intera ction. On the other ha nd, it
ca n be prohibitiv ely ex pens iv e to ? eld the a ncilla ry IVR,
TTS, ASR, a nd da ta ba s e s erv ers needed to prov ide a loca l
s olution tha t prov ides m inim iZ ed propa g a tion dela y s , a nd a t
the s a m e tim e thes e of f -s ite s erv ers trig g er increa s ed reg ula
tory a nd s ecurity req uirem ents , a udits a nd m a intena nce.
[ 0029 ] Ref erence Will noW be m a de to the ? g ures Wherein
like s tructures Will be prov ided With like ref erence des ig na
tions . It is unders tood tha t the ? g ures a re dia g ra m m a tic a nd
s chem a tic repres enta tions of s om e em bodim ents of the inv en
tion, a nd a re not lim iting of the pres ent inv ention, nor a re they
neces s a rily dra Wn to s ca le.
[ 003 0] FIG. 1 illus tra tes a block dia g ra m of a conta ct ha n
dling s y s tem 100 Which a lloWs f or reduced propa g a tion dela y
in da ta com m unica tions . The conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100
includes a loca l da ta center 110 a nd rem ote m edia s erv ers 13 0
a nd 140. FIG. 1 a ls o illus tra tes tha t a ny a dditiona l num ber of
rem ote m edia s erv ers 150 ( s hoWn by ellips es ) m a y be
included in the conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100. One s killed in
the a rt Will a pprecia te tha t there m a y be a dif f erent num ber of
rem ote da ta centers tha n tha t depicted in FIG. 1.
[ 003 1] In one em bodim ent, the loca l da ta center 110 is
con? g ured to prov ide IVR f unctiona lity to a ca ller v ia the
rem ote m edia s erv ers a s Will be ex pla ined in m ore deta il to
f olloW. According ly , the loca l da ta center m a y be coupled to
the rem ote m edia s erv ers 13 0, 140, a nd 150 by a netWork 120.
As s hoWn in FIG. 1, the loca l da ta center 110 a nd the rem ote
m edia s erv ers 13 0, 140, a nd 150 m a y com m unica te With ea ch
other bi-directiona lly ov er the netWork 120. The netWork 120
m a y be a ny netWork tha t is com pa tible With the loca l da ta
center 110 or the rem ote m edia s erv ers 13 0, 140, a nd 150. For
ex a m ple, the netWork 120 ca n include a telephone netWork. A
telephone netWork ca n a lloW a cus tom er to pla ce a telephone
ca ll to, or receiv e a telephone ca ll f rom , the conta ct ha ndling
s y s tem 100. For ex a m ple, the netWork 120 ca n include the
public s Witched telephone netWork ( PSTN ) . The PSTN is the
netWork of the Worlds public circuit-s Witched telephone net
Works , or the netWorks s et-up by telephone com pa nies a nd
g ov ernm ents to prov ide telephone a cces s to hom es a nd bus i
US 2012/0045042 A1
nes s es . The PSTN ca n include a na log or dig ita l s y s tem s a nd
ca n include ? x ed or m obile telephones .
[ 003 2] Additiona lly or a lterna tiv ely , the network 120 ca n
include a com puter network tha t a llows em a il, cha t, or v oice
ov er intem et protocol ( V OIP) . VOIP ca n include a f a m ily of
tra ns m is s ion technolog ies f or deliv ery of v oice com m unica
tions ov er IP networks s uch a s the Internet or other pa cket
s witched networks . The Internet includes a g loba l intem et
work f orm ed by log ica l a nd phy s ica l connections between
m ultiple wide a rea networks a nd/or loca l a rea networks .
Altem a tely or a dditiona lly , the network 120 ca n include one
or m ore cellula r RF networks a nd/ or one or m ore wired a nd/ or
wireles s networks s uch a s , but not lim ited to, 8 02. x x net
works , Bluetooth a cces s points , wireles s a cces s points , IP
ba s ed networks , s a tellite networks , or the like. The network
120 m a y a ls o include s erv ers or other s witches tha t ena ble one
ty pe of network to interf a ce with a nother ty pe of network. In
s om e em bodim ents , network 120 m a y be a priv a te network or
v irtua l priv a te network.
[ 003 3 ] As s hown in FIG. 1, the loca l da ta center 110 is
loca ted in a loca tion 115. In one em bodim ent, the loca tion
115 is a ? rs t country s uch a s the United Sta tes of Am erica . As
f urther illus tra ted in FIG. 1, the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 is
loca ted in a rem ote loca tion 13 5 while the rem ote m edia
s erv er 140 is loca ted in a rem ote loca tion 145. In the cla im s
a nd in the s peci? ca tion, the term s loca l a nd rem ote a re
de? ned f rom the pers pectiv e of the da ta center 110. This
m ea ns tha t a rem ote m edia s erv er a nd the loca tion of the
rem ote m edia s erv er a re rem ote f rom the loca l da ta center
110. For ex a m ple, the rem ote loca tion 13 5 m a y be a s econd
country tha t is not the United Sta tes of Am erica , while the
rem ote loca tion 145 m a y be a third country tha t is neither the
United Sta tes of Am erica or the s econd country .
[ 003 4] In one em bodim ent, the rem ote loca tion 13 5 m a y be
loca ted on a dif f erent continent tha n the loca tion 115. For
ex a m ple, the rem ote loca tion 13 5 m a y be the United King
dom , which is loca ted in Europe, while the loca tion 115 is the
Untied Sta tes of Am erica , which is loca ted in N orthAm erica .
[ 003 5] In s om e em bodim ents , the rem ote loca tion 145 m a y
a ls o be loca ted on a dif f erent continent tha n the loca tion 115.
In f urther em bodim ents , the rem ote loca tions 13 5 a nd 145
m a y be loca ted on the s a m e continent, s uch a s the United
King dom a nd Fra nce, or they m a y be loca ted on dif f erent
continents f rom ea ch other. It will be a pprecia ted tha t the
rem ote loca tions 13 5 a nd 145 need not be rem ote f rom ea ch
other, but only need be rem ote f rom the pers pectiv e of the
loca tion 115 a nd the loca tion da ta center 110.
[ 003 6 ] In s om e em bodim ents , the rem ote m edia s erv ers
13 0, 140, a nd 150 m a y be coupled to one a nother. In this wa y ,
the rem ote m edia s erv ers a re a ble to route both v oice a nd da ta
to ea ch other.
[ 003 7] The rem ote da ta s erv er 13 0 is a ls o connected to, or
a cces s ible by , a ca ller 13 6 a nd/or a n a g ent 13 7. The rem ote
da ta s erv er 140 is connected to, or a cces s ible by , a ca ller 146
a nd/ or a n a g ent 147. The ca llers 13 6 a nd 146 repres ent ca llers
who des ire to com m unica te with the loca l da ta center 110
a nd/or one of the a g ents 13 7 or 147.
[ 003 8 ] According ly , the ca llers 13 6 a nd 146 m a y initia te
v oice or da ta com m unica tion with the rem ote m edia s erv ers
13 0 a nd 140. As will be ex pla ined, the m edia s erv ers a re a ble
to route the v oice or da ta com m unica tion to the loca l da ta
center 110, receiv e IVR da ta in return, a nd then prov ide loca l
s erv ices a s directed.
Feb. 23 , 2012
[ 003 9 ] The a g ents repres ent a pers on or s erv ice tha t m a y be
prov ided to the ca llers 13 6 a nd 146 a nd tha t a re in the s a m e
g enera l g eog ra phic loca tion a s the ca llers 13 6 or 146 . For
ex a m ple, the a g ents 13 7 or 147 m a y be a repres enta tiv e of a
com pa ny tha t s pea ks in rea l tim e with the ca ller 13 6 or 146
a nd prov ides inf orm a tion, products , or other s erv ices to the
ca llers . In s om e em bodim ents , the a g ent m a y be in a dif f erent
country tha n the ca ller, s uch a s a g ent 147 m a y be in a dif f erent
country tha n the ca ller 13 6 . H owev er, the a g ent will ty pica lly
be a s g eog ra phica lly clos e to the ca ller a s pos s ible.
[ 0040] The conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100 ta kes a dv a nta g e of
a n ex pecta tion of dela y whenev er a ca ller a cces s es a n IVR
s y s tem . For ex a m ple, whenev er a ca ller dia ls into the IVR
s y s tem , he or s he does not know how long it will ta ke to hea r
a g reeting s uch a s Plea s e pres s 1 f or Sa les a nd 2 f or Cus
tom er Serv ice. Ra ther, the ca ller only knows tha t s om e tim e
period will pa s s bef ore the g reeting beg ins .
[ 0041] In a ddition, the ca ller a ls o ex pects a dela y between
when a button on his or her phone is pus hed a nd the nex t
a ction beg ins . For ex a m ple, when the ca ller pres s es the 1
button f or Sa les , he or s he ex pects a dela y bef ore hea ring a
new m es s a g e with a dditiona l options . Likewis e, when the
ca ller pres s es a button to be connected to a liv e a g ent, the
ca ller ex pects a dela y until the liv e a g ent a ns wers .
[ 0042] Beca us e the ca ller ha s a n ex pecta tion of dela y , the
ca ller g enera lly ha s no wa y to determ ine the loca tion of a
loca l da ta center tha t includes the IVR f unctiona lity or the
rem ote m edia s erv er. In other words , ev en if the ca ller is in a
country tha t is on a dif f erent continent tha n the loca l da ta
center, the ca ller will be una wa re of this f a ct. Tha t is , intro
ducing s om e dela y into the tim e f rom when the ca ller initia tes
the ca ll a nd when the IVR res pons e is receiv ed does not
deg ra de the ca ll ex perience of the ca ller s ince the ca ller is
ex pecting the dela y . For ex a m ple, when a pers on dia ls a
num ber, he or s he ex pects a dela y prior to hea ring ring -ba ck,
a nd a f urther dela y prior to a ns wer. When a pers on dia ls a
toll-f ree num ber ( of ten to a n IVR) , he or s he ex pects a dela y
prior to hea ring the initia l g reeting . This dela y perha ps m a y be
up to 4 s econds . H owev er, once IVR intera ction beg ins the
ex pected dela y between a key pres s a nd a udible f eedba ck or
prog res s drops to perha ps two s econds . When a n IVR is a long
dis ta nce f rom a ca ller, a propa g a tion dela y of 3 00 m s , when
a dded to a dela y of 2-4 s econds , is a s m a ll percenta g e a nd
im perceptible beca us e the ca ller does not know wha t to
ex pect f rom this pa rticula r IVR.
[ 0043 ] Thus , a loca l da ta center 110 tha t is pla ced in one
country , f or ex a m ple the United Sta tes , is s till a ble to prov ide
IVR f unctiona lity to ca llers a ll a round world throug h the
rem ote m edia s erv ers . Adv a nta g eous ly , the a dditiona l cos ts of
pla cing da ta centers tha t include IVR f unctiona lity in m ore
tha n one or a f ew countries ca n be a v oided. In a ddition, the
need to com ply with reg ula tions in m ultiple countries is a ls o
reduced.
[ 0044] H owev er, when the ca ller 13 6 or 146 is com m uni
ca ting with the a g ent in rea l-tim e, perceptible la tency is not
ex pected. Tha t is , if there is too m uch la tency or s ig na l propa
g a tion dela y , then the ca llers ex perience will be deg ra ded a s
the conv ers a tion between the ca ller the a nd a g ent will ex pe
rience ta lk-ov er, where one pa rty of the conv ers a tion beg ins
s pea king when the other m a y not ha v e ? nis hed. According ly ,
by pla cing the rem ote m edia s erv ers tha t ha v e the f unction
a lity to connect the ca ller a nd the a g ent in a loca tion tha t is in
the s a m e country or in a nea rby country a s the ca ller, the
rea l-tim e ca ll la tency or propa g a tion dela y ca n be m inim iZ ed
US 2012/0045042 A1
When com pa red With conta ct ha ndling s y s tem s tha t m us t
ba ck-ha ul the connection between the ca ller a nd the a g ent to
a s ing le country . Thus , the ca llers ex perience is not deg ra ded.
[ 0045] In one em bodim ent, ca ll la tency betWeen the ca ller
a nd the a g ent of 3 00 m illis econds ( m s ) Will be the m a x im um
a lloWa ble to ens ure tha t the ca ller a nd the a g ent do not ex pe
rience ta lk-ov er f rom too m uch propa g a tion dela y . Adv a nta
g eous ly , keeping the propa g a tion dela y a t or beloW 3 00 m s
prov ides f or a dv a nta g es ov er conv entiona l conta ct ha ndling
s y s tem s . As m entioned, it is v ery ex pens iv e to pla ce da ta
centers in m ultiple countries a s this increa s es the eq uipm ent
cos ts . In a ddition, s ince ea ch country ty pica lly ha s its oWn
reg ula tions , pla cing da ta centers in m ultiple countries
increa s es reg ula tory cos ts . H oWev er, ta king a dv a nta g e of the
ex pected dela y a lloWs f or a s ing le da ta center in one country
to com m unica te With rem ote m edia s erv ers in m ultiple dif
f erent countries Without deg ra ding the ca llers ex perience.
[ 0046 ] FIG. 2 illus tra tes a n ex a m ple em bodim ent of the
loca l da ta center 110. As illus tra ted, the loca l da ta center
includes v a rious opera tiona l m odules a nd com ponents tha t
a lloW the loca l da ta center 110 to control v oice a nd da ta
com m unica tion With one or m ore rem ote m edia s erv ers .
Althoug h not neces s a rily s hoWn a s being coupled, s o a s to not
dis tra ct f rom the em bodim ents dis clos ed herein, it Will be
unders tood tha t the v a rious opera tiona l m odules , com po
nents , a nd da ta ba s es of the loca l da ta center 110 m a y be
coupled to ea ch other by a ny rea s ona ble m ea ns s uch a s a
com puter bus , other Wiring , or Wireles s connection a s circum
s ta nces Wa rra nt. In a ddition, it Will be unders tood tha t
a lthoug h the v a rious opera tiona l m odules , com ponents , a nd
da ta ba s es of the loca l da ta center 110 a re s hoWn a s being
s epa ra te, this need not be the ca s e. In s om e illus tra tiv e
em bodim ents , the one or m ore m odules or da ta ba s es m a y be
included Within a nother m odule or da ta ba s e.
[ 0047] The loca l da ta center 110 includes a proces s or 210.
The proces s or 210 m a y be a ny rea s ona ble proces s or a nd in
opera tion a lloWs the loca l da ta center 110 to perf orm v a rious
opera tions . In s om e em bodim ents , the proces s or 210 m a y be
a cces s ed by the v a rious opera tiona l m odules of the loca l da ta
center 110 to prov ide the m odules proces s ing res ources .
[ 0048 ] The loca l da ta center 110 a ls o includes a da ta ba s e or
m em ory 220. The da ta ba s e 220 m a y be a ny ty pe of rea s ona ble
non-v ola tile or v ola tile m em ory . The da ta ba s e 220 is a ble to
prov ide da ta s tora g e f or the other m odules a nd com ponents of
loca l da ta center 110.
[ 0049 ] The loca l da ta center 110 f urther includes a n Inter
a ctiv e Voice Recog nition ( IVR) m odule or com ponent 23 0.
The IVR m odule 23 0 prov ides IVR f unctiona lity to incom ing
v oice com m unica tions . For ex a m ple, a n incom ing v oice com
m unica tion f rom one of the rem ote m edia s erv ers Will ca us e
the IVR to a ctiv a te. The IVR m a y then prov ide a n IVR m es
s a g e to the ca ller tha t Will direct them to m a ke a s election. For
ins ta nce, a n IVR m es s a g e m a y s pecif y Plea s e pres s 1 f or
Sa les , 2 f or Cus tom er Serv ice . D epending on Which s elec
tion the ca ller m a kes , the IVR m odule 23 0 Will then direct the
ca ller to the nex t m es s a g e or to a n a g ent f or f urther s erv ice.
[ 0050] The IVR m odule 23 0 m a y Work in conjunction With
a Tex t to Speech ( TTS) m odule 240. The TTS m odule 240 is
con? g ured to g enera te a v oice repres enta tion of tex t. For
ex a m ple, the TTS m odule 240 a lloWs a tex t m es s a g e to
becom e v oca liZ ed a nd then pla y ed to a ca ller a s pa rt of the
IVR f unctiona lity .
[ 0051] The loca l da ta center 110 a ls o includes a n Auto
m a tic Speech Recog nition ( ASR) m odule 250, Which m a y
Feb. 23 , 2012
Work in conjunction With the IVR m odule 23 0. The ASR
m odule 250 is con? g ured to recog niZ e a res pons e tha t is
s poken. For ex a m ple, a ca ller m a y be prom pted by a n IVR
m es s a g e to m a ke a s election. The ca ller m a y then res pond
With a s poken s election. The ASR m odule Will interpret the
s poken s election a nd prov ide the res pons e to the IVR m odule
23 0 s o tha t the ca ller m a y be directed to the nex t m es s a g e or
to a n a g ent f or f urther s erv ice.
[ 0052] The IVR m odule m a y a ls o Work in conjunction With
a D ua l Tone Multi-Freq uency ( D TMF) m odule 26 0. The
D TMF m odule 26 0 is con? g ured to recog niZ e the v a rious dia l
tones of ea ch button on a s ta nda rd telephone. In this Wa y ,
When a ca ller pres s es the 1 button on the phone in res pons e to
the IVR m es s a g e, the D TMF m odule is a ble to recog niZ e tha t
the 1 button ha s been s elected. The res pons e m a y then be
prov ided to the IVR m odule 23 0 s o tha t the ca ller m a y be
directed to the nex t m es s a g e or to a n a g ent f or f urther s erv ice.
[ 0053 ] The loca l da ta center 110 f urther includes a record
ing m odule 270. The recording m odule 270 is con? g ured to
a lloW f or v a rious ca ll leg s to be recorded a nd then s tored on
dis k or in the da ta ba s e 220. As Will be ex pla ined in m ore deta il
to f olloW, in one em bodim ent, tWo ca ll leg s m a y be receiv ed
f rom one or tWo of the rem ote m edia s erv ers , one ca ll leg
being f rom the ca ller a nd the other f rom the a g ent. The record
ing m odule m a y m ix the ca ll leg s into a s ing le ca ll ev ent a nd
then s tore the ev ent in the da ta ba s e 220. In a nother em bodi
m ent, the m ix ing of the tWo ca ll leg s into a s ing le a udio s trea m
m a y occur a t the rem ote m edia s erv er. The s ing le a udio
s trea m m a y then be s trea m ed to the recording m odule 270 a nd
then s tored on dis k or in the da ta ba s e 220.
[ 0054] The loca l da ta center 110 m a y a dditiona lly include a
coa ching m odule 28 0. In opera tion, the coa ching m odule 28 0
is con? g ured to a lloW a us er, s uch a s a s uperv is or, to s pea k
ins tructions to a n a g ent Who is ta lking to a ca ller Without the
ca ller hea ring the s uperv is or. In a ddition, the coa ching m od
ule 28 0 a ls o a lloWs the s uperv is or to becom e a n a ctiv e pa r
ticipa nt in the phone conv ers a tion s o tha t ca ller is a ble to hea r
both the a g ent a nd the s uperv is or. In this Wa y , the s uperv is or
is a ble to directly ta lk to the ca ller a s circum s ta nces Wa rra nt.
[ 0055] In s om e em bodim ents , the loca l da ta center 110 m a y
f urther include a n a g ent m odule 29 0, Which m a y be a n Auto
m a tic Ca ll D is tributor or a n Autom a tic Conta ct D is tributor
( ACD ) . The a g ent m odule m a y include a lis ting 29 5 of a g ents ,
s uch a s a g ents 13 7 a nd 147, a nd their g eog ra phic loca tions . In
opera tion, the a g ent m odule 29 0 m a y determ ine, ba s ed on a n
incom ing ca ll or da ta , the loca tion of the ca ller. The a g ent
m odule m a y then us e the lis t 29 5 to determ ine the a g ent clos et
to the ca ller a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er tha t is a ble to
connect the clos es t a g ent to the ca ller. For ex a m ple, if the
ca ller Where in Eng la nd, the a g ent m odule 29 0 Will us e the lis t
29 5 to determ ine if there a re a ny a v a ila ble a g ents in Eng la nd
a nd if s o, Which one is clos es t. If there a re no a v a ila ble a g ents
in Eng la nd, then the a g ent m odule 29 0 Would determ ine
Where the clos es t a v a ila ble a g ent is loca ted, f or ex a m ple in
Fra nce. Once the loca tion of the clos es t a v a ila ble a g ent is
determ ined, the rem ote m edia s erv er tha t ca n connect the
ca ller to the a g ent is a ls o determ ined. This inf orm a tion m a y
be prov ided to the IVR m odule 23 0 s o tha t is ca n be s ent to the
rem ote m edia s erv er f or connection of the ca ller a nd the
a g ent.
[ 0056 ] FIG. 3 illus tra tes a n ex a m ple em bodim ent of the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0, a nd m a y corres pond to a ny of the
rem ote m edia s erv ers 140 or 150 of FIG. 1. As illus tra ted, the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 includes v a rious opera tiona l m od
US 2012/0045042 A1
ules a nd com ponents tha t a llow the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0
to m a na g e endpoint connections betWeen a loca l da ta center,
a nother rem ote m edia s erv er, a ca ller, a n a g ent, a nd/ or a
s uperv is or. Althoug h not neces s a rily s hoWn a s being coupled,
s o a s to not dis tra ct f rom the em bodim ents dis clos ed herein, it
Will be unders tood tha t the v a rious opera tiona l m odules , com
ponents , a nd da ta ba s es of the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y
be coupled to ea ch other by a ny rea s ona ble m ea ns s uch a s a
com puter bus , other Wiring , or Wireles s connection a s circum
s ta nces Wa rra nt. In a ddition, it Will be unders tood tha t
a lthoug h the v a rious opera tiona l m odules , com ponents , a nd
da ta ba s es of the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 a re s hoWn a s being
s epa ra te, this need not be the ca s e. In s om e illus tra tiv e
em bodim ents , the one or m ore m odules or da ta ba s es m a y be
included Within a nother m odule or da ta ba s e.
[ 0057] The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 includes a proces s or
3 10. The proces s or 3 10 m a y be a ny rea s ona ble proces s or a nd
in opera tion a lloWs the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 to perf orm
v a rious opera tions . In s om e em bodim ents , the proces s or 3 10
m a y be a cces s ed by the v a rious opera tiona l m odules of the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 to prov ide the m odules proces s ing
res ources .
[ 0058 ] The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 a ls o includes a da ta
ba s e or m em ory 3 20. The da ta ba s e 3 20 m a y be a ny ty pe of
rea s ona ble non-v ola tile or v ola tile m em ory . The da ta ba s e 3 20
is a ble to prov ide da ta s tora g e f or the other m odules a nd
com ponents of rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0.
[ 0059 ] The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 f urther includes a n
endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0. In opera tion, the endpoint
connection m odule 3 3 0 is con? g ured to determ ine, ba s ed on
the incom ing com m unica tion da ta , Where a pa rticula r ca ll leg
s hould be routed. For ex a m ple, if the des tina tion num ber
s peci? es tha t the ca ll s hould be routed to a n IVR, the des ti
na tion is the loca l da ta center 110, a nd the endpoint connec
tion m odule 3 3 0 Will route the ca ll leg to the loca l da ta center
Likewis e, if the endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0 determ ines
tha t a ca ll leg s hould be routed to a n a g ent or to a nother rem ote
m edia s erv er, the endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0 Will route
the ca ll leg to the intend pa rty .
[ 006 0] As m entioned in connection With FIG. 1, the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 is loca ted in a rem ote loca tion, Which is
of ten in a country on a nother continent tha n the loca l da ta
center 110. As s uch, it m a y of ten be the ca s e tha t the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 a nd the loca l da ta center 110 Will em ploy
dif f erent v oice a nd da ta s ta nda rds . According ly , the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y include a f orm a t conv erter m odule 3 40
tha t m a y Work in conjunction With the endpoint connection
m odule 3 3 0. The f orm a t conv ers ion m odule m a y be con? g
ured to conv ert a n incom ing ca ll leg into a f orm a t tha t is
a ccepta ble to the receiv ing endpoint. For ex a m ple, if the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 Were loca ted in Europe a nd the loca l
da ta center Were loca ted in the United Sta tes , then the f orm a t
conv erter m odule 3 40 Would conv ert a ca ll leg f rom a Euro
pea n a udio s ta nda rd to a United Sta tes a udio s ta nda rd prior to
routing the ca ll leg to the loca l da ta center 110.
[ 006 1] The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 f urther includes a
recording m odule 3 50. The recording m odule 3 50 is con? g
ured to m ix tWo ca ll leg s into a s ing le a udio s trea m a nd then
route the res ult to the loca l da ta center f or s tora g e. The IVR
23 0, recoding m odule 3 50, or other m odules m a y include
rules or polices 3 55 tha t indica te When the s ing le a udio s trea m
s hould be s trea m ed to the loca l da ta center 110 f or s tora g e.
For ex a m ple, the rules orpolices 3 55 m a y s pecif y tha t a s ing le
Feb. 23 , 2012
a udio s trea m s hould be s trea m ed to the loca l da ta center 110
im m edia tely a f ter being m ix ed.
[ 006 2] In a nother em bodim ent, the s ing le a udio s trea m
m a y be s tored in the da ta ba s e 3 20. The rules or policies 3 55
m a y then s pecif y tha t the s ing le a udio s trea m s hould be
s trea m ed to the loca l da ta center 1 10 Whenev er the ba ndWidth
is beloW a des ig na ted a m ount or during of f -pea k hours s uch a s
ov ernig ht. In this Wa y , ba ndWidth is pres erv ed a s the recorded
res ult is only s trea m ed during thos e tim es Where ba ndWidth is
plentif ul or les s cos tly .
[ 006 3 ] In s om e em bodim ents , the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0
m a y include a n on-hold a udio m odule 3 6 0. The on-hold a udio
m odule is con? g ured to include m us ic, recorded ins tructions ,
a dv ertis ing , or other content tha t m a y be pla y ed to the ca ller
While the ca ller is on hold. For ex a m ple, a ca ller m a y be put on
hold While the endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0 connects
With a nother rem ote m edia s erv er or a loca l a g ent. D uring
s uch tim e, the on-hold a udio m odule 3 6 0 m a y pla y m us ic to
the ca ller. Adv a nta g eous ly , ha v ing the on-hold a udio m odule
3 6 0 s tored a t the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 ra ther tha n jus t a t
the loca l da ta center 110 m a y pres erv e ba ndWidth a s the
content of the on-hold a udio m odule 3 6 0 need not be tra ns
m itted f rom the loca l da ta center to the rem ote m edia s erv er
prior to being pla y ed to the ca ller.
[ 006 4] In s om e em bodim ents , the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0
m a y f urther include a n a g ent m odule 3 70. The a g ent m odule
3 70 m a y include a lis t 3 75 of the a g ents , s uch a s a g ents 13 7
a nd 147, Which a re clos es t to the rem ote m edia s erv er. In this
Wa y , the rem ote m edia s erv er is a ble to connect a ca ller tha t is
loca l to the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 With the a g ent tha t is
clos es When directed by the loca l da ta center 110. In s om e
em bodim ents , the a g ent m odule 3 70 m a y Work in conjunction
With the a g ent m odule 28 0 prev ious ly des cribed.
[ 006 5] H a v ing des cribed em bodim ents of a loca l da ta cen
ter a nd a rem ote m edia s erv er, a ttention is noW g iv en to
des cribing v a rious a s pects of the conta ct ha ndling s y s tem
100. Attention is ? rs t g iv en to FIG. 4, Which illus tra tes the
H ow of a ca ll into a rem ote da ta center tha t Will be ba ck
ha uled to the loca l da ta center. In FIG. 4, the netWork 120 ha s
been om itted s o tha t the a dditiona l f ea tures of this ? g ure m a y
be s een m ore clea rly . As illus tra ted, a ca ller 13 6 initia tes a ca ll
leg 410. The ca ll leg 410 is receiv ed by the rem ote m edia
s erv er 13 0, s peci? ca lly the endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0.
The end point connection m odule determ ines , ba s ed on the
des tina tion num ber of ca ll leg 410, tha t the ca ll req uires the
s erv ices of the loca l da ta center a nd theref ore is to be ba ck
ha uled to the loca l da ta center 110. As illus tra ted, the ca ller
13 6 a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y be in a loca tion 13 5
tha t is a country tha t is on a dif f erent continent tha n the
loca tion or country 115 of the loca l da ta center 110. For
ex a m ple, the loca tion or country 115 m a y be Eng la nd a nd the
loca tion or country 115 m a y the United Sta tes . As m entioned
a bov e, the term s loca l a nd rem ote a re de? ned f rom the
pers pectiv e of the loca tion of the da ta center 110.
[ 006 6 ] The endpoint connection m odule 3 3 0 then routes
the ca ll leg 410 to loca l da ta center 110. In s om e em bodi
m ents , the f orm a t conv ers ion m odule 3 40 m a y conv ert the
ca ll leg 410 f rom a f orm a t us ed in the loca tion or country 13 5
to one us ed by the loca tion or country 115.
[ 006 7] The ca ll leg 410 is then receiv ed by the loca l da ta
center 110, Where the IVR m odule 23 0 g enera tes or a cces s es
a n IVR m es s a g e 420 to be s ent ba ck to the ca ller 13 6 . As
prev ious ly des cribed, the other m odules of loca l da ta center
US 2012/0045042 A1
110 m a y Work in conjunction With the IVR m odule 23 0 in
interpreting the ca ll 410 a nd/or g enera ting or a cces s ing the
IVR m es s a g e 420.
[ 006 8 ] The IVR m es s a g e 420 is then s ent to the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0. If needed, the f orm a t conv ers ion m odule
3 40 m a y conv ert the IVR m es s a g e 420 to a f orm a t tha t us ed
by the telephone or other s y s tem tha t ca ller 13 6 is us ing . The
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y then route the IVR m es s a g e 420
to the ca ller 13 6 .
[ 006 9 ] As dis cus s ed a bov e, the ca ller 13 6 ha s a n ex pecta
tion of s om e dela y betWeen the tim e he or s he initia tes the ca ll
410 a nd When he or s he receiv es the IVR m es s a g e 420. This
ex pected dela y ens ures tha t the ca ller 13 6 is una Wa re of the
dis ta nce betWeen the loca l da ta center 110 a nd the ca ller.
Thus , the cos t s a v ing s a nd the ba ndWidth s a v ing s prev ious ly
dis cus s ed m a y be a chiev ed.
[ 0070] The ca ller 13 6 m a y then s elect a n option f rom the
IVR m es s a g e 420. For ex a m ple, the IVR m es s a g e 420 m a y
tell the ca ller 13 6 to pus h the 1 button on his or her phone to
conta ct a liv e a g ent. This res pons e ( i. e. pus hing the 1 button) ,
s hoWn in FIG. 4 a s m es s a g e 43 0, is then s ent to the loca l da ta
center 110.
[ 0071] Since the ca ller 13 6 s elected a n option tha t indica ted
a des ire to s pea k to a liv e a g ent, the a g ent m odule 29 0 of the
loca l da ta center m a y determ ine Where the nea res t a v a ila ble
a g ent is loca ted. As m entioned, it is des ira ble to connect the
ca ller 13 6 With a n a g ent in the s a m e country or a t lea s t a
nea rby country to m inim iZ e ta lk pa th propa g a tion dela y . This
is es pecia lly bene? cia l if the loca l da ta center a nd the rem ote
m edia s erv ers a re loca ted on dif f erent continents a s tra ns
continent com m unica tion ty pica lly req uires a m uch la rg er
ba ndWidth tha n loca l com m unica tion.
[ 0072] Thus , if the ca ller 13 6 Were in Eng la nd, then the
a g ent m odule 29 0 Would try to s elect a n a v a ila ble a g ent in
Eng la nd. In s om e em bodim ents , the a g ent m odule 3 70 of the
rem ote m edia s erv er is us ed by the loca l da ta center 110 to
help determ ine the nea res t a g ent. In the illus tra ted em bodi
m ent, the a g ent 13 7 is the nea res t a g ent a nd is loca ted in
loca tion or country 13 5.
[ 0073 ] Once the nea res t a v a ila ble a g ent is s elected, the
loca l da ta center 110 Will s end noti? ca tion to the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 to connect the ca ller 13 6 With the a g ent 13 7.
This is illus tra ted a s m es s a g e 440 in FIG. 4. As m entioned
prev ious ly , the ca ller 13 6 a ls o ha s a n ex pecta tion of dela y
betWeen the tim e he or s he s elects the option to connect With
a liv e a g ent a nd the tim e tha t he or s he is a ctua lly connected.
[ 0074] In s om e em bodim ents , there m a y be a need to dela y
the connection of the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7 bey ond the
ex pected dela y . For ins ta nce, the a g ent 13 7 m a y be eng a g ed
With a nother ca ller or m a y be otherWis e una v a ila ble. In s uch
em bodim ents , the ca ller 13 6 m a y be pla ced on hold by the
loca l da ta center 110 or the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0. While
on hold, the on-hold a udio m odule 3 6 0 of rem ote m edia
s erv er m a y pla y m us ic or the like to the ca ller 13 6 until the
a g ent 13 7 connects With the ca ller. Adv a nta g eous ly , the a bil
ity to tra ns f er a ca ll ba ck a nd f orth betWeen the loca l da ta
center 110 a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 ca n s a v e cons id
era ble ba ndWidth While the ca ller 13 6 is on hold a nd lis tening
to the m us ic.
[ 0075] The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y then connect the
ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7. The conv ers a tion betWeen the
ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7 is illus tra ted in FIG. 4 by ca ll leg s
450 a nd 46 0. As long of the la tency or propa g a tion dela y of
3 00 m s or les s is m a inta ined, Which is a chiev ed by ha v ing the
Feb. 23 , 2012
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0, the ca ller 13 6 , a nd the a g ent 13 7 in
the s a m e country or in nea rby countries , the ca llers ex peri
ence is not deg ra ded.
[ 0076 ] In a n a lterna tiv e em bodim ent, it m a y be tha t the
nea res t a v a ila ble a g ent is a g ent 147. In s uch em bodim ents ,
the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y route the m es s a g e 440 to the
rem ote m edia s erv er 140. The rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 a nd
the rem ote m edia s erv er 140 m a y then ens ure tha t ca ller 13 6
a nd a g ent 147 a re connected to one a nother.
[ 0077] Attention is noW g iv en to FIGS. 5A-5C, Which illus
tra te ca ll leg recording a s pects of the conta ct ha ndling s y s tem
100. In FIG. 5A, the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 ha s connected
the ca ller 13 6 With the a g ent 13 7. This m a y ta ke pla ce a f ter the
a ctions des cribed in FIG. 4 a bov e, a lthoug h this is not
req uired.
[ 0078 ] As s hoWn, the ca ller 13 6 prov ides ca ll leg 510
intended f or the a g ent 13 7 to the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0.
The ca ll leg 510 m a y then be prov ided by the rem ote m edia
s erv er 13 0 to the a g ent 13 7. The a g ent 13 7 prov ides ca ll leg
520 intended f or the ca ller 13 6 to the rem ote m edia s erv er
13 0. The ca ll leg 520 m a y then be prov ided by the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 to the ca ller 13 6 .
[ 0079 ] In the em bodim ent of FIG. 5A, the recording m od
ule 3 50 is a ble to m ix the ca ll leg s 510 a nd 520 into a s ing le
a udio s trea m 53 0. The s ing le a udio s trea m 53 0 m a y then be
s tored in the dis k or da ta ba s e 3 50 f or s trea m ing to the loca l
da ta center 110 a t a la ter period of tim e. As Will be a ppreci
a ted, recording the ca ll leg s 510 a nd 520 a lloWs f or rev ieW of
the ca ll 53 0 by a s uperv is or of the a g ent 13 7 f or q ua lity
control, tra ining , a nd other us es tha t m a y be bene? cia l to the
opera tors of conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100.
[ 008 0] As m entioned a bov e, the recording m odule 3 50
includes rules or policies 3 55 tha t s pecif y When the ca ll 53 0
s hould be s trea m ed to the loca l da ta center 110. For ex a m ple,
in one em bodim ent, the rules or policies 3 55 m a y s pecif y tha t
tra ns m is s ion of the a udio 53 0 ta ke pla ce Whenev er the ba nd
Width us a g e betWeen loca l da ta center 110 a nd rem ote m edia
s erv er 13 0 is beloW a predeterm ined thres hold. In other
em bodim ents , the rules or policies 3 55 m a y s pecif y tha t the
tra ns m is s ion of a udio 53 0 ta ke pla ce during the nig ht or s om e
other tim e period When the ba ndWidth us a g e betWeen loca l
da ta center 110 a nd rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 is ty pica lly loW.
As Will be a pprecia ted, the rules or polices 3 55 m a y s pecif y
tra ns m is s ion of the a udio 53 0 in a ny m a nner tha t m inim iZ es
cos t or ba ndWidth us e.
[ 008 1] FIG. 5B illus tra tes a dditiona l ca ll leg recording
a s pects of conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100. As With FIG. 5A, the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 ha s connected the ca ller 13 6 With the
a g ent 13 7 s o tha t the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent m a y ha v e a
conv ers a tion. The conv ers a tion m a y include ca ll leg s 510 a nd
520 a s prev ious ly des cribed.
[ 008 2] In the em bodim ent of FIG. 5B, the recording m od
ule 3 50 is a ble to m ix the ca ll leg s 510 a nd 520 into a s ing le
ca ll 53 0. H oWev er, ins tea d of s toring the a udio 53 0 f or la ter
tra ns m is s ion to the loca l da ta center 110, the a udio 53 0 is
s trea m ed in rea l-tim e to the loca l da ta center 110. The ca ll 53 0
m a y then be s tored in da ta ba s e 220. As ca n be a pprecia ted,
rea l-tim e s trea m ing of the a udio 53 0 a lloWs f or rea l-tim e
m onitoring , rea l-tim e tra ining , a nd the like.
[ 008 3 ] FIG. 5C illus tra tes a dditiona l ca ll leg recording
a s pects of conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100. As With FIG. 5A, the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 ha s connected the ca ller 13 6 With the
US 2012/0045042 A1
a g ent 13 7 s o tha t the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent m a y ha v e a
conv ers a tion. The conv ers a tion m a y include ca ll leg s 510 a nd
520 a s prev ious ly des cribed.
[ 008 4] In the em bodim ent of FIG. 5C, the recoding m odule
3 50 does not record or m ix the a udio s trea m s 510 a nd 520.
Ra ther, the a udio s trea m s 510 a nd 520 a re s trea m ed in rea l
tim e to the loca l da ta center 110. Upon receipt of a udio
s trea m s 510 a nd 520, the record m odule 270 m a y m ix the ca ll
leg s into the s ing le a udio 53 0. The s ing le a udio 53 0 m a y be
s tored in the da ta ba s e 220 to a lloW f or m onitoring a nd tra in
ing a s circum s ta nces Wa rra nt.
[ 008 5] The em bodim ents of FIGS. 5A-5B a lloW f or ? ex
ibility in choos ing Where to m ix a nd record ca ll leg s . As Will
be a pprecia ted, in s om e circum s ta nces , it m a y be des ira ble to
m ix a nd record in the rem ote m edia s erv er a nd this m a y s a v e
ba ndWidth s ince liv e s trea m ing m a y not occur a nd s epa ra te
s trea m s a nd likeWis e not req uired. In a ddition, if a m onitoring
s uperv is or is loca ted in the rem ote loca tion, then there m a y be
no need to s trea m the ca ll leg s to the loca l da ta center. H oW
ev er, in other circum s ta nces it m a y be des ira ble to m ix a nd
record the ca ll a udio a t the loca l da ta center. For ex a m ple, it
m a y be tha t a rem ote m edia s erv er does not ha v e the a bility to
m ix or record. In a ddition, if a m onitoring s uperv is or is
loca ted nea r the loca l da ta center, then m ix ing a nd recording
a t the loca l da ta center m a y be des ira ble f or rea l-tim e m oni
toring .
[ 008 6 ] Attention is noW g iv en to FIG. 6 , Which illus tra tes
v a rious m onitoring a s pects of conta ct ha ndling s y s tem 100.
As s hoWn, the ca ller 13 6 prov ides ca ll leg 6 10 intended f or the
a g ent 13 7 to the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0. The conv ers a tion
ca ll leg 6 10 m a y then be prov ided by the rem ote m edia s erv er
13 0 to the a g ent 13 7. The a g ent 13 7 prov ides ca ll leg 6 20
intended f or the ca ller 13 6 to the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0.
The ca ll leg 6 10 m a y then be prov ided by the rem ote m edia
s erv er 13 0 to the ca ller 13 6 .
[ 008 7] As s hoWn in FIG. 6 , in a ddition to being prov ided to
the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7, the ca ll leg s 6 10 a nd 6 20 m a y
a ls o be f orked by the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 s o tha t they a re
a cces s ible in rea l-tim e to a s uperv is or 6 05. In this Wa y , the
s uperv is or 6 05 is a ble to m onitor the conv ers a tion. As
des cribed a bov e in rela tion to FIGS. 5, the ca ll leg s m a y a ls o
be m ix ed prior to being m onitored by s uperv is or 6 05. In s om e
em bodim ents the s uperv is or 6 05 m a y be a loca l s uperv is or
Who a cces s es ca ll leg s 6 10 a nd 6 20 throug h the loca l da ta
center 110. In other em bodim ents , the s uperv is or 6 05 m a y be
a rem ote s uperv is or Who a cces s es the ca ll leg s 6 10 a nd 6 20
throug h the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 or throug h a nother
rem ote m edia s erv er s uch a s rem ote m edia s erv er 140 or 150.
[ 008 8 ] In one em bodim ent, the s uperv is or 6 05 m a y des ire
to com m unica te With the a g ent 13 7 While the conv ers a tion is
occurring Without the ca ller 13 6 hea ring the s uperv is or. This
m a y be done s o tha t the s uperv is or 6 05 ca n coa ch or tra in the
a g ent 13 7 in rea l tim e. This a ction is knoWn a s coa ching .
According ly , the coa ching m odule 28 0 m a y a lloW the s uper
v is or 6 3 0 to prov ide a coa ching m es s a g e 6 3 0 to the a g ent 13 7
While the conv ers a tion is occurring . The coa ching m es s a g e
m a y include ins tructions or other tra ining a s circum s ta nces
Wa rra nt. The rem ote m edia s erv er m a y route the coa ching
m es s a g e 6 3 0 to the a g ent 13 7. The coa ching m odule 28 0 m a y
a ls o determ ine a priority betWeen coa ching m es s a g e 6 3 0 a nd
the conv ers a tion 6 20A. Thus , if the a g ent is only a ble to hea r
one m es s a g e a t a tim e, the coa ching m odule 28 0 ca us es the
coa ching m es s a g e 6 3 0 to ov erride the conv ers a tion 6 20A.
Feb. 23 , 2012
[ 008 9 ] In s om e em bodim ents , it m a y be des ira ble f or the
s uperv is or 6 05 to com m unica te directly With the ca ller 13 6 .
The coa ching m odule 28 0 m a y a lloW the s uperv is or 6 3 0
prov ide a m es s a g e 6 40 to the ca ller 13 6 . The rem ote m edia
s erv er m a y route the m es s a g e 6 40 to the ca ller 13 6 . The
coa ching m odule 28 0 m a y a ls o determ ine a priority betWeen
m es s a g e 6 40 a nd the conv ers a tion 6 10. Thus , if the ca ller is
only a ble to hea r one m es s a g e a t a tim e, the coa ching m odule
28 0 ca us es the m es s a g e 6 40 to ov erride the conv ers a tion 6 10.
[ 009 0] Attention is noW m a de to FIG. 7, Which illus tra tes a
H ow dia g ra m of a m ethod 700 f or reducing la tency betWeen a
ca ller a nd a n a g ent. The m ethod 700 m a y be perf orm ed in a
com puting s y s tem including the loca l da ta center 110 a nd the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0, 140, or 150 prev ious ly des cribed.
[ 009 1] The m ethod 700 includes receiv ing 710 a t a rem ote
m edia s erv er a n incom ing com m unica tion. For ex a m ple, the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y receiv e a ca ll or other com m u
nica tion 410 f rom the ca ller 13 6 .
[ 009 2] The m ethod 700 a ls o includes determ ining 720,
ba s ed on the incom ing com m unica tion, tha t the com m unica
tion is to be s ent to a loca l da ta center a nd f orwa rding 73 0 the
com m unica tion to the loca l da ta center. For ex a m ple, the loca l
m edia center 13 0, s peci? ca lly the end point connection m od
ule 3 3 0, m a y determ ine f rom the phone num ber a s s ocia ted
With the ca ll 410, tha t the ca ll 410 s hould be s ent to the loca l
da ta center 110. The rem ote m edia s erv er m a y then f orWa rd
the ca ll 410 to the loca l da ta center 110. As prev ious ly
des cribed, the loca l da ta center 110 m a y be loca ted in a ? rs t
loca tion or country 115 a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y
be loca ted in a s econd country or loca tion 13 5. In s om e
em bodim ents , the loca tion 13 5 m a y be on a dif f erent conti
nent tha n the ? rs t loca tion 115.
[ 009 3 ] The m ethod 700 f urther includes receiv ing 740 a n
IVR m es s a g e res pons e f rom the loca l da ta center a nd f or
Wa rding 750 the IVR m es s a g e res pons e to the ca ller to a lloW
the ca ller to s elect one or m ore f unctions s peci? ed in the IVR
m es s a g e. For ex a m ple, the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y
receiv e the IVR m es s a g e 420 f rom the loca l da ta center 110.
The rem ote m edia s erv er m a y then f orWa rd the IVR m es s a g e
420 to the ca ller 13 6 .
[ 009 4] As prev ious ly des cribed, the IVR m es s a g e 410 is
receiv ed by the ca ller 13 6 Within a period of ex pected dela y .
Tha t is , the ca ller 13 6 ex pects tha t s om e dela y Will occur
betWeen the tim e the ca ller 13 6 initia tes the ca ll With the loca l
da ta center 110 a nd the tim e the ca ller receiv es the IVR
m es s a g e 420 in res pons e. This ex pected dela y m ea ns tha t the
loca l da ta center 110 m a y be loca ted in one country a nd the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y be loca ted in a nother country
Without the ca ller knoWing the dis ta nce betWeen the tWo. This
a lloWs f or the a dv a nta g es prev ious ly dis cus s ed.
[ 009 5] The m ethod 700 a ls o includes connecting 76 0 the
ca ller to a n a g ent f or rea l-tim e com m unica tion in res pons e to
the ca ller s electing the one or m ore f unctions of the IVR
m es s a g e. For ex a m ple, the ca ller 13 6 m a y s elect a n option in
the IVR m es s a g e 420 tha t indica tes a des ire to s pea k With a
liv e a g ent. This m a y be s ent to the loca l da ta center 1 1 0, Where
the a g ent m odule 29 0 m a y determ ine tha t the a g ent 13 7 is the
nea res t a g ent to the ca ller 13 6 . As prev ious ly des cribed, the
nea res t a g ent is ty pica lly loca ted in the s a m e loca tion or
country a s the ca ller 13 6 or is loca ted in a loca tion or country
tha t is clos er to the ca ller 13 6 tha n the loca l da ta center is .
[ 009 6 ] The loca l da ta center m a y then prov ide m es s a g e 440
tha t indica tes tha t the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 s hould con
nect the ca ller 13 6 With the a g ent 13 7. The rem ote m edia
US 2012/0045042 A1
s erv er 13 0 m a y then connect the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7,
Who m a y com m unica te us ing ca ll leg s 450 a nd 46 0.
[ 009 7] As prev ious ly des cribed, ha v ing the rem ote m edia
s erv er in the s a m e loca tion, or country a s the ca ller 13 6 or in
a loca tion or country tha t is clos e to the ca ller, ena bles the
rea l-tim e com m unica tion betWeen the ca ller 13 6 a nd the
a g ent 13 7 to be Within a n a ccepta ble la tency s ince the ca ller
13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7 a re clos e to ea ch other a nd to the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0. In s om e em bodim ents , the a ccepted la tency
is 3 00 m s or les s .
[ 009 8 ] FIG. 8 illus tra tes a m ethod 8 00 f or reducing la tency
in v oice tra ? ic betWeen a ca ller a nd a n a g ent. The m ethod 8 00
includes receiv ing 8 10 a t a m edia s erv er a ? rs t com m unica
tion f rom a da ta center tha t is loca ted in a ? rs t loca tion in
res pons e to a ca ller initia ted ca ll. For ex a m ple, the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y receiv e the IVR m es s a g e 420 f rom the
loca l da ta center 110 in res pons e to the ca ll 410. As prev ious ly
des cribed, the loca l da ta center 110 m a y be loca ted in a ? rs t
loca tion or country 115 a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y
be loca ted in a s econd country or loca tion 13 5. In s om e
em bodim ents , the loca tion 13 5 m a y be on a dif f erent conti
nent tha n the ? rs t loca tion 115.
[ 009 9 ] The m ethod 8 00 a ls o includes routing 8 20 the ? rs t
com m unica tion to the ca ller. For ex a m ple, the rem ote m edia
s erv er 13 0 m a y route the IVR m es s a g e 420 to the ca ller 13 6 .
As prev ious ly des cribed, the IVR m es s a g e 420 is receiv ed by
the ca ller 13 6 a f ter a period of ex pected dela y .
[ 0100] The m ethod 8 00 f urther includes receiv ing 8 3 0 a
s econd com m unica tion f rom a n a g ent in res pons e to input
f rom the ca ller. For ex a m ple, the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0
m a y receiv e the ca ll leg 450 f rom the a g ent 13 7 in res pons e to
s electing a n option in the IVR m es s a g e 420 a s prev ious ly
des cribed. As a ls o prev ious ly des cribed, the a g ent 13 7 a nd the
rem ote m edia s erv er m a y be loca ted in the s a m e loca tion or
country a s the ca ller 13 6 , Which m a y be the loca tion or coun
try 13 5.
[ 0101] The m ethod 8 00 m a y a dditiona l include routing 8 40
the s econd com m unica tion to the ca ller. For ex a m ple, the
rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y route the ca ll 450 to the ca ller
13 6 . As prev ious ly des cribed com m unica tion betWeen the
ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7 m a y be Within a n a ccepta ble
la tency s ince the ca ller 13 6 a nd the a g ent 13 7 a re clos e to ea ch
other a nd to the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0. In s om e em bodi
m ents , the a ccepted la tency is 3 00 m s or les s .
[ 0102] One s killed in the a rt Will a pprecia te tha t, f or this
a nd other proces s es a nd m ethods dis clos ed herein, the f unc
tions perf orm ed in the proces s es a nd m ethods m a y be im ple
m ented in dif f ering order. Furtherm ore, the outlined s teps a nd
opera tions a re only prov ided a s ex a m ples , a nd s om e of the
s teps a nd opera tions m a y be optiona l, com bined into f eWer
s teps a nd opera tions , or ex pa nded into a dditiona l s teps a nd
opera tions Without detra cting f rom the es s ence of the dis
clos ed em bodim ents .
[ 0103 ] Attention is a g a in m a de to FIG. 1. In one illus tra tiv e
em bodim ent, the netWork 120 a nd one or both of the rem ote
m edia s erv ers 13 0 a nd 140 m a y be im plem ented a s a cloud
com puting s y s tem . For ex a m ple, in the illus tra tiv e em bodi
m ent, the loca l da ta center 110 a nd the rem ote m edia s erv er
13 0 m a y be controlled by the s a m e entity a nd opera te a s
des cribed a bov e. H oWev er, the rem ote m edia s erv er 140 ( re
f erred to a cloud com puting s y s tem 140 in this em bodim ent)
m a y be a cloud com puting s y s tem tha t is controlled by a cloud
Feb. 23 , 2012
com puting prov ider. As is known, the cloud com puting s y s
tem 140 Will include com puting res ources tha t ca n be utiliZ ed
by a contra cting pa rty .
[ 0104] D uring opera tion, the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0 m a y
rea ch its opera ting ca pa city , theref ore neces s ita ting the need
f or a dditiona l rem ote m edia s erv er res ources . In the illus tra
tiv e em bodim ent, a rem ote m edia s erv er im a g e tha t s peci? es
the f unctiona lity des cribed a bov e in rela tion to FIG. 3 m a y be
prov ided by loca l da ta center 110 to the cloud com puting
s y s tem 140. In s om e em bodim ents , the loca l da ta center 110
Will include the a bility to a utom a tica lly s ens e the need f or the
a dditiona l rem ote m edia s erv er a nd the a bility to a utom a ti
ca lly prov ide the im a g e in res pons e to the need.
[ 0105] The rem ote m edia s erv er im a g e a lloWs the entity
tha t controls the loca l da ta center 110 to prov is ion the cloud
com puting s y s tem 140 With the f unctiona lity of the rem ote
m edia s erv er 13 0. According ly , a n inbound ca ll f rom the
ca ller 146 Will be receiv ed by the cloud com puting s y s tem
140, Which a cting a s a rem ote m edia s erv er Will direct the ca ll
to the loca l da ta center 110 in the m a nner prev ious ly
des cribed.
[ 0106 ] Once the loca l da ta center 110 determ ines tha t there
is no long er a ny need f or the a dditiona l rem ote m edia s erv er,
the loca l da ta center m a y rem ov e the rem ote m edia s erv er
im a g e f rom the cloud com puting s y s tem 140. This Will ca us e
the cloud com puting s y s tem 110 to no long er ha v e the f unc
tiona lity of the rem ote m edia s erv er 13 0.
[ 0107] Adv a nta g eous ly , the us e of the cloud com puting
s y s tem a lloWs f or the im plem enta tion of a dditiona l rem ote
m edia s erv ers When needed. In a rea s Where there is not
enoug h dem a nd to jus tif y the cos t of a perm a nent rem ote
m edia s erv er, the cloud com puting s y s tem ca n be us ed to
im plem ent the rem ote m edia s erv er until s uch a tim e tha t
there is enoug h bus ines s f or a perm a nent rem ote m edia s erv er
to be cos t ef f ectiv e.
[ 0108 ] FIG. 9 a nd the f olloWing dis cus s ion a re intended to
prov ide a brief , g enera l des cription of a s uita ble com puting
env ironm ent in Which the inv ention m a y be im plem ented.
Althoug h not req uired, the inv ention Will be des cribed in the
g enera l contex t of com puter-ex ecuta ble ins tructions , s uch a s
prog ra m m odules , being ex ecuted by com puters in network
env ironm ents . Genera lly , prog ra m m odules include routines ,
prog ra m s , objects , com ponents , da ta s tructures , etc. tha t per
f orm pa rticula r a ctions or im plem ent pa rticula r a bs tra ct da ta
ty pes . Com puter-ex ecuta ble ins tructions , a s s ocia ted da ta
s tructures , a nd prog ra m m odules repres ent ex a m ples of the
prog ra m code m ea ns f or ex ecuting s teps of the m ethods dis
clos ed herein. The pa rticula r s eq uence of s uch ex ecuta ble
ins tructions or a s s ocia ted da ta s tructures repres ents ex a m ples
of corres ponding a cts f or im plem enting the f unctions
des cribed in s uch s teps .
[ 0109 ] Thos e s killed in the a rt Will a pprecia te tha t the
inv ention m a y be pra cticed in netWork com puting env iron
m ents With m a ny ty pes of com puter s y s tem con? g ura tions ,
including pers ona l com puters , ha nd-held dev ices , m obile
phones , m ulti-proces s or s y s tem s , m icroproces s or-ba s ed or
prog ra m m a ble cons um er electronics , netWork PCs , m ini
com puters , m a inf ra m e com puters , a nd the like. The inv ention
m a y a ls o be pra cticed in dis tributed com puting env ironm ents
Where a ctions a re perf orm ed by loca l a nd rem ote proces s ing
dev ices tha t a re linked ( either by ha rdWired links , Wireles s
links , or by a com bina tion of ha rdWired or Wireles s links )
throug h a com m unica tions netWork. In a dis tributed com put