Building an IVR System For Phone Dating Chat Line

My latest project consists of building a high performance IVR system capable of handling thousands of simultaneous phone calls. My client is launching a new phone dating party line, ChatlineUSA. The company behind the project — VoiceHub– will be investing 4 million dollars in development and marketing both the chatline and the accompanying smartphone app. The chatline will compete directly with some of the largest party lines such as QuestChat and LiveLinks.

This is one of the highest stakes project I’ve ever worked on. I’m being paid handsomely to develop a system capable of 100% uptime, a high order for this kinds of software.

I’ve been designing the IVR system architecture myself, and now I’m working with a team of experienced VoIP developers. Since it is such a large project, I decided to to segment different functionality in order to execute the project in time. As I am a full stack developer, I typically develop and build the system myself, but given the complexity of the project, it is appropriate to separate responsibilities to front end and back end developers. Per the norm, we will keep the database engineers separate to make sure the interfaces are communicating and storing properly. Im still deciding if I will share the code through Github or not.

This is how the project is being worked on

Back end Developer – Since the backend is the most important part of the project, I decided to hire some ninja PBX developers. The developers I’m working with have worked with companies such as CallFire and Vonage, so you know they are good. One of the most challenging parts of the system is distributing free minute trials to first time callers while controlling fraud. For example, the client wants to avoid giving out free trials to callers using disposable or Google voice numbers.

We will be developing on C#. There will be 12 dedicated hubs, with on a distributed network architecture. Our senior back end developer will make sure to communicate with the front end developers to make sure that the functionality of the website is coded correctly, namely if there will be a stagnant background, if there are any special interactions with the buttons, as well as allow the user to pull up recordings from the IVR to listen for customer service purposes.

Front end developers – This group is building out the site using the Meteor. Using a Javascript platform will make the interactions as smooth as possible.

Database Engineer – Looking at other primarily UIs, I’ve hired a database engineer specialized in MSSQL. I don’t want to use Cassandra or Oracle on this project. I interviewed a few candidates from Silicon Valley and found the best SQL engineering I could find. Venture capitalist are investing a lot into Utah’s startups and we need to get in front of them. The test for our engineers is for them to interpret this code and what it’s telling the database how to encode and store the demographic information from the IVR.

Graphic & Web Designers – We’ve hired 2 master graphic designer. Kudos to the excellent design website Behance.com for hosting so much talent. Designers are working coming up with mockups on Photoshop to complete the layout and design, specifically the functions that VoiceHub wants.

It is my responsibility to integrate the CTI software into the softphone (mobile app) software to ensure customer satisfaction.

Update: I had to have the voice on the IVR changed due to complaints from our customers because the registration clear enough. Check out the new voice prompts: 1 (800) 417 9447.

Update: Our focus group has been testing software for nearly a month. However, front end developers forgot to create the drop down menu to change languages for our international users. Back end code was there, but they just weren’t connected.

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