So far our dialers require a sip phone / soft phone application installed on the agent’s desktop. This can slow down installation and is an administrative chore. Our new dialer has an optional zero-configuration WebPhone that avoids the need to install any soft phone. Thie WebPhone is embedded in the agent screen and the browser itself acts as a SIP phone using a new and upcoming technology called WebRTC (explained below).
Benefits of our WebPhone
- One less application / device to manage: Setup of the soft phone / SIP phone device is one of the major stumbling blocks, especially in the initial stages. To use the WebPhone you only need to keep your browser updated.
- Zero-configuration: WebPhone requires no configuration and is automatically enabled as default phone for new dialer installations. Existing dialers can easily switch to WebPhones as default phone for agents.
- Cross Platform: The WebPhone works seamlessly on Chrome and Firefox on Windows, Mac & Linux. It also works on Android Phones and Tablets. This allows great device flexibility to login as an agent, as well as an administrator for call monitoring, barging and whispering.
- Auto registering & answering the agent line: The WebPhone automatically registers to the Dialer on agent login. Also, incoming call to the agent on login is automatically answered.
When should the WebPhone be used?
WebPhone in dialer is suitable for use in the following situations:
- In initial testing, demonstration and setup. The WebPhone requires no configuration hence enables a fast start. Due to this our new dialers use WebPhone by default for agents.
- For remote or home agents. The WebPhone is more convenient than trying to manage a softphone for remote agents. However when many agents sit in one place or office that has an administrator, we continue to recommend using a soft phone or hardware SIP phone for agents.
- Backup. The WebPhone can be enabled as backup in case the soft phone or SIP phone acts up.
- Handle port blocking. The WebPhone uses WebRTC technology that has an inbuilt ability to traverse port blocking and handle other network issues. It can thus be tried when the agent soft phone has a suspected network issue.
How to use the WebPhone?
Each agent has been provided with an associated WebPhone. E.g. For agent 7701, the web phone associated is w7701, and so one. The administrator can set this WebPhone as default for the user in the User Administration page (this is done by default for dialers registered after September 2019). Once this is done, the agent has only to log in as described below to be able to use it.
The following images detail what an agent can expect when the WebPhone is enabled by default by the administrator.
- Login to dialer as an agent i.e agent login with User Login and User Password. For example User login is 7701 and User Password 7701 as shown in figure of user login screen . Select Campaign and click on SUBMIT.
- This will show a user session and links like “Go Back” and “Call Agent Webphone”. Click on Call Agent Webphone.
- Browser will ask for microphone permission. Select “Remember this decision” so that you are asked only once (otherwise it will ask each time you log in). Then click Allow.
- You will also see the WebPhone registered with dial keys and how much time you have logged in WebPhone. The dial keys are not required to make calls in normal operation, but can be used to send DTMF. To remove the WebPhone from view click on the “WebPhone View” link to the top right. Removing it from view will not disconnect the phone or in any way impede its operation.
- In case the WebPhone is not setup as default phone for a user, it is easy to switch to using it for some time. The agent should simply log in and immediately log out and then click on re-login. That will bring up a login screen that allows you to change the phone used. Replace the phone with one that starts with w. E.g. user 7701 should use phone w7701 and login again.
Disadvantages of WebPhone.
- For SIP phone / soft phone setups, it was required to use a strong SIP password for the phone, but that password could be shared amongst many phones, since it was known only to the administrator. For WebPhone setups, either the WebPhone or agent user login should have a strong password, and these passwords cannot be shared amongst users. This increases password management effort.
- You need updated web browsers – either Chrome or Firefox. Old versions will not work properly.
- Local recordings (recordings stored on agent desktop) are not possible in WebPhone. Many SoftPhones have this feature.
- Currently the WebPhone only uses the G711 codec. This has excellent quality for telephone conversations but does not allow compression. Bandwidth use is about 75kbps/agent.
- This is new feature of dialer so it’s under active development.
A note on WebRTC
WebPhone uses a new technology called WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication), through which 2 way real time communication functionality is established directly in your web browser. WebRTC is a joint effort of major technology companies and works on popular Web browsers like Google Chrome & Firefox.