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The History of the Call Centre – An Animated Timeline

From the time Alexander Graham Bell first successfully tested his telephone in 1876, to the emergence of the first Automatic Call Distributors (ACD’s) in the 1950’s, telephony has played a crucial role for business communication and since been subject to ongoing advancements.

Let’s take a look at how telephony has evolved over time!

Moving from PBX (Private Branch Exchange) to PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) systems, from analogue to digital setups, the 1970’s brought us the first multi-lingual systems and the ACD technology which allowed for the development of large-scale call centres.

The 1980’s brought us great music, and the company First Direct which paved the way for the future of banking with its phone banking solution.

„The invention of ACD technology made the concept of a call centre possible.“
-Jonty Pearce, Founder of Call Centre Helper

By the 1990’s, everyone was at it – the DAS2 system was replaced by ISDN bringing about a revolution in communication protocol. Contact centres linked ACD systems with one another, enabling companies to route calls to the most appropriate adviser, later supporting IVR and speech recognition.

Enter the year 2000, and companies begin to transfer their customer service departments oversees. However by 2007 the trend is reversed and these companies are moving back home again.

Around 2004, cloud contact centres started to emerge and have steadily gained in popularity over the past decade and a half.

 

In 2009, Natterbox creates a cloud telephony solution which is 100% embedded and managed within Salesforce from a single cutting-edge app.

Natterbox’s unparalleled cloud-telephony solution enables you to migrate your entire business phone system into the cloud – no hardware or software required.

So, where are you on this timeline? Are you still stuck in the 80’s using your handheld desk phone? Or have you kept pace with this advancements in telephony and using a headset which connects to your computer directly?

Natterbox – It’s time to future-proof your telephony! Book a demo with us today to see how we can help your company improve telecommunications.

 

Glossary of acronyms:

  • ACD – Automatic Call Distributor – An intelligent call routing system which provides monitoring capabilities, real-time reporting, complex routing paths and more.
  • DAS2 – Digital Access Signalling System 2 – An obsolete signalling standard which was replaced by ISDN in the early 1990’s.
  • ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network – A set of communication standards allowing digital transmission of voice, video, data and more.
  • IVR –  Interactive voice response – An automated telephony system which allows a computer to interact with humans with the use of voice and dialpad tones.
  • PABX – Private Automatic Branch Exchange – An automated version of the classic PBX which no longer needs human interaction to route calls.
  • PBX – Private Branch Exchange – A basic system allowing companies to handle switching and routing calls internally within the business.

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