Level up your call center.
A technical primer for Amtelco systems and the NAEO community
Presented by Patrick Labbett
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Hi, I'm Patrick.
I turn your call center technical employees into superheroes.
Short Message Service
Whenever I'm on-call
What happens when you send an SMS?
A moment of silence for T9 predictive texting
SMS Message Size
Which is correct?
- 140 bytes
- 160 characters
- 70 characters
Short Message Service Center
- AP&P cell phone sends SMS message
- SMSC stores message and looks up recipient
- If on same network and phone is online, send message to device.
- Hold message until phone available or retries expire (Store and Forward)
- If on different network, send to upstream SMSC of Z-Mobile
Let's take a look under the hood
Hayes AT Command Set
A command language to instruct a modem to dial, hangup, send data, and other related activities
Send an SMS using Hayes AT Commands
This is how Amtelco's IS SMS Service talks with modems!
Receive SMS using Hayes AT Commands
SMS is not* HIPAA Compliant
DON'T DO IT!
- Not encrypted in transit
- Minimal auditing available
- Access control not guaranteed
- Plain-text copies stored in SMSC history
Remove ALL PHI from SMS
* Without significant (carrier-grade) workflow and infrastructure requirements
How to securely send text messages with PHI
RECAP SO FAR
- SMS is sent between mobile devices
- SMS can be 160 (70) characters long
- SMS is relayed via one or more SMSC
- SMS uses Hayes AT commands for control
- SMS is not HIPAA compliant
Using cellular modems to send and receive SMS
Connecting Intelligent Series with modems
A physical cable between your modem device and your computer is connected on a COM port
Trying to move to the cloud? Search for virtual COM ports (or better yet consider an aggregator)
(Still a dinosaur...)
Not practical outside of having fun
Tools of the trade?
Finding COM ports
(A quick tangent)
- Use Device Manager Ports (LPT & COM) section
- Open Phone and Modem from the Control Panel
- mode command line tool
IS System Settings
Sending from a script
Why you need to start migrating to SMS aggregators
GSM/GPRS can only send 6-10 SMS messages per minute
No insight into deliver-ability issues once the SMS message has been sent
Prone to inter-carrier issues
Hard to find compatible combination of modem, SIM, and carrier services
The golden days of unlimited texting in business environments are coming to an end
utility-style transactional billing says hi
Wireless Communications Transfer Protocol
What is WCTP?
- HTTP-based API - not RESTful
- Uses XML, widely supported
- Originally for wireless devices (pagers)
What does this mean?
HTTP is everywhere - it's easily scaled, and can be secured using standard TLS website certificates
Think of WCTP as an additional highway lane to access carrier networks.
3rd Party Integrator
"Wireline" to "Wireless" network transactions
Maybe this is easier to understand?
WCTP actor roles
- carrier gateway
- enterprise host
- polling enterprise
- transient client
- proxy server
Example WCTP Request
<?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE wctp-Operation SYSTEM "http://dtd.wctp.org/wctp-dtd-v1r3.dtd"> <wctp-Operation wctpVersion="wctp-dtd-v1r3" wctpToken="1AA"> <wctp-SubmitRequest> <wctp-SubmitHeader submitTimestamp="2020-06-03T18:15:00"> <wctp-Originator senderID="5551234567"/> <wctp-MessageControl messageID="4"/> <wctp-Recipient recipientID="5557654321"/> </wctp-SubmitHeader> <wctp-Payload> <wctp-Alphanumeric> The message to send goes here! </wctp-Alphanumeric> </wctp-Payload> </wctp-SubmitRequest> </wctp-Operation>
So why are we talking about WCTP again?
STANDARDS-based HTTP interface widely adopted in the telecommunications industry...
Instead of building specific integrations for each provider, Amtelco can use WCTP!
High-volume software-defined SMS conversations
AKA SMS Gateways
Partner with multiple carriers to provide multiple delivery paths
1st or 3rd party
Tier-1 SMS Aggregator
Connections to the top five carrier networks in the US (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, & US Cellular)
Everything we just learned - an SMS aggregator handles for you.
Handles carrier failover, retries, multiple carrier connections, redundancy, and simplified integrations.
Redundancy and availability now hinge on your network connectivity.
(So use two aggregators)
Working with SMS aggregators in the Amtelco Intelligent Series platform
Amtelco SMS aggregator
Original Aggregator: Integritek (Formerly T3 of Georgia) used a custom-made HTTP API (does not use WCTP)
WCTP 2-Way Interface: Amtelco builds a standards compliant WCTP interface
Infinite Convergence: Amtelco and Infinite Convergence partner on SMS using WCTP interface
First 3rd party integration: TAS Innovations SMS server (swiss army knife)
WCTP 2-Way Messaging API
(Really, this just means WCTP)
Works with Virtual Terminals, too!
Outbound SMS via WCTP
|Address||Full WCTP address|
|Auth ID / Auth Code||Sometimes required|
Inbound Provider Setup
Install Amtelco's WCTPWeb application
The WCTP Terminal Provider Name should match the source in WCTPWeb web.config
Once WCTPWeb is configured, give your provider the address
If you don't have TLS/SSL enabled on your web-server, you SHOULD NOT continue.
Sending outbound SMS
Handling inbound SMS
Advanced SMS handling through MergeComm SMS and WCTP triggers
Each provider you wish to accept inbound messages from must have a corresponding WCTPWeb installation.
Sending is much simpler - if you are licensed for WCTP outbound you can setup multiple providers.
As always, consult Amtelco for help!
Open Source SMS aggregator
Please consider supporting open-source development by sponsoring this project!
SMS Aggregators, Modems, & WCTP
By NotifUs, LLC