Ace Operator 1.5.0

Operating systemsOS : Windows / Linux / Mac OS / BSD / Solaris
Program licensingScript Licensing : LGPL - GNU Lesser General Public License
CreatedCreated : Jun 16, 2008
Size downloadDownloads : 11
Program licensing
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Ace Operator, a free open-source web-based customer ...

ace_operator by QUIK Computing, Inc., a free open-source web-based customer contact solution, is an inexpensive way for your online customers to communicate live with your company representatives (operator) who can provide real-time customer service, sales support, product information and support, company information or training.
Online customers can access operator services by simply clicking a button on any of your web pages.
Ace Operator 1.5.0 can be added to any web site by embedding a "talk" button into any web page where operator services may be required. When a customer clicks on the button, a service request is placed in a call queue.
When an operator (company representative) becomes available, an instant messaging session is established between the customer and the operator through which real-time text messages can be exchanged. In addition, the operator can send web pages, pictures, forms and other media to the customer via the customer's web browser.
Ace Operator [aceoperator1.5.0.exe] also enables operators to monitor online visitors to the web site, initiate contact with them, and engage them in a conversation.
User Features:
- Transfer: Operators can transfer a session amongst themselves. The transcript of the call thus far can be handed over to the transfer-to party, allowing him/her to see the interaction that has already taken place. An example of when transfer would be useful is if a sales call starts to get too technical - the sales operator can transfer the call to an operator in a support or engineering group.
- Conference: Operators can conference in other operators and/or customers to a messaging session. Any number of operators and/or customers can be conferenced in, and everyone can see whatever any one user sends out (text, images, web pages, white board/drawing modification etc. ).
- Internal messaging: Operators can exchange instant messages among themselves while handling customer sessions. This feature can be used for private consultation purposes.
- View status: An operator can view the status of other operators in his/her group(s) - the operator can see other group members who are logged in and how many active calls each one is currently engaged in.
- Push media: Operators can push HTML pages, images, videos and other media to the far end. This causes each connected user's web browser to display the items specified by the operator.
- Push custom forms: Operators can push custom-built forms for the far end to fill out and return. The service provider can predefine forms with custom fields for collecting information from users. The form response returned is displayed to the operator in plain-text 'field: value' format. In addition to viewing the form response, the operator has the option to send the form response by e-mail to himself/herself, to the user who sent the form response, and/or to anyone else, such as an e-mail address monitored by an application that can retrieve the e-mail and process the information within - store the information in a database, etc. The form response can be e-mailed in text or XML format.
- Whiteboard: This feature allows an operator to open (push) a white board and draw free-hand (using the mouse/tablet), lines, rectangles, ovals, and type in text. It comes with an eraser. The operator can also put a background image on the white board - this could be a scanned-in form or any other image needed for the discussion topic. An UNDO has been provided. The connected party(s) can see the drawing in real-time and can also participate in the drawing using the functions described above. In future releases, we will enhance the whiteboard to make it even more usable by adding multiple colors, fonts, selection of objects, etc. Note that this feature is optional and it can be disabled any time.
- Text board: This feature allows an operator to open (push) a text board similar to the white board described above. The text board is used for exchanging multi-line text messages. Typically, a text board is used to select text from an editor or another application, paste it to the text board and send it to the other parties for viewing and editing. Note that this feature is optional and it can be disabled any time.
- Canned responses: The system supports "canned" responses enabling operators to send prepared text messages without having to type in the messages every time, as well as pre-specified images, sounds, web pages, and forms. An operator can send any of these instantly at the click of a button.
- Multi-color chat display: Operators and customers see all messages prefixed with the sender's name color-coded, for ease of distinguishing messages received vs. messages sent.
- Multi-language support: The user interface screens for both operators and customers support English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish. This applies to all menu items and any dialog/informational/error screen pop-ups. All users (operator and customer) can see the language indication for the far end. Note, the actual text typed in by a user is not modified by the system. In a future release, we may consider automatic translation of typed in text if a feasible and reasonable solution is found. Other aspects of the system (installation, system administration, system logs, documentation) currently support English only.
- E-mail capability: From the operator control screen, an operator can compose and send an e-mail to him/herself or anyone else, at any time. Also, at the end of a call or upon call transfer, the operator may have the option to e-mail the transcript to him/herself, and/or the far end, and/or anyone else depending on system configuration. In addition, the operator can e-mail the information sent by a user in response to a custom XML form as described above in 'Push custom forms'.
- Auto-answer: An operator can set this option to automatically answer incoming calls.
- Do not disturb: An operator can set this option to automatically reject incoming calls.
- Transfer on unavailability: This feature allows an administrator to specify a user name (or an operator group or other feature such as the Message Service feature) to which a chat session will be transferred if a no-answer or busy condition is encountered when the call is routed to an operator or to a group. The operator "do not disturb" setting constitutes a busy condition. By specifying an operator group here, this feature can be used to reroute a customer call to another member of the group if the call doesn't complete when routed to an operator. This feature can also be used to prompt a customer to leave a message (see 'Offline messaging') if there are no operators in the group available to take calls, or if the group is so busy that the members are already handling the maximum number of allowed simultaneous sessions, and the maximum configured number of waiting callers are already queued up waiting for an operator. This feature also applies if a called user is not logged into the system.
- Offline messaging / Message Service feature: This feature allows a caller to leave a message for an unavailable operator or group in the system. It is enabled by specifying the Message Service feature as the 'transfer on unavailability' destination for operators and/or group owners in the system. The Message Service feature prompts the caller to leave a message, then uses standard e-mail infrastructure to deliver the message to the unavailable user's e-mail address as provisioned in the system.
- View status - An operator can view the status of other operators in his/her group(s). An operator can see who is logged in and how many active calls each logged-in operator is currently engaged in.
- Pro-active Monitoring: This feature allows operators to monitor visitors to the web site. When an online user enters a web site that is being monitored, an operator who is logged in gets notified. The operator also gets notified every time the online user visits a new web page. The operator can initiate a chat session with the user ("welcome to our web site. How can I help you today? "). This feature is useful for small to medium web sites that want to monitor for visitors and engage the user in a conversation. It can be used in a pre-sales environment to increase customer satisfaction and to engage the customer.
System Features
- Free! - Ace Operator - 0MB can be set up with inexpensive computers, free operating systems and with free Ace Operator 1.5.0 software. Ace Operator can run on high-end systems when used in large call centers.
- Low bandwidth requirement - Since Ace Operator uses text messaging as the primary way of exchanging information, it can operate on a low-bandwidth network interface. For example, one can host Ace Operator using an ADSL (with a static IP address) connection to the Internet. Therefore, it is cost effective and makes it possible to operate Ace Operator from homes.
- Easy to incorporate - Ace Operator can be added to any web site by embedding a line of HTML code into the web pages from which you want customers to access operator services. The button can be embedded using all popular web page creation tools.
- Easy installation and system configuration wizards: The system executables and most supporting modules are bundled into a package that can be installed using commonly available tools. A post-installation wizard automatically configures the system for you. The default system configuration allows Ace Operator to be functional in a matter of minutes.
- Customization of user interface screens and talk (live help) button:
Using our new Ace Contact Center feature, you can completely customize the look and feel of the chat user interface screens. The live help button itself can be customized to incorporate a specific image and/or text, and the content/fields of the initial form presented to the customer when accessing operator services can be customized as well. It is also possible to define additional user information fields in addition to the ones provided by the default system configuration. All information collected from the user is presented to the operator.
- Flexible configuration - Ace Operator comes with a default configuration; however, you can expand and customize the configuration to meet your needs.
- Ace Operator as a hosted solution: Application Service Providers (ASPs), ISPs, and other service providers can host a web-based call center using Ace Operator and offer the service to their customers. Ace Operator has extensive support for hosting including the ability to set up multiple operator groups. Using the Customer Setup Wizard, you can set up complex customer groups in a matter of minutes. Ace Operator administration can allow some level of self-administration by the customers (for managing their own canned messages and customization files on the server).
- Comprehensive operator and group data management - Ace Operator supports skills-based operator queuing and routing defined using a web-based graphical user interface. The service provider can define groups such as sales, support, etc. , and assign operators to specific group(s). Operator data in the system can be searched based on various criteria such as group membership and wildcard string search of one or more fields.
- Proactive monitoring: Using Ace Operator, companies can monitor online visitors to the web site and initiate a chat session with the online user any time. This is a useful pre-sales support feature as it allows the company to be pro-active and engage customers in a conversation.
- Password-based customer authentication and access: System administrators can configure the "live help" button to prompt the online user to enter his/her user name and password before placing the user into a services queue. The user name and the password is authenticated against a database entry and on successful authentication, the user information is retrieved from the database and displayed to the operator servicing the customer. This feature is intended to provide differentiated service for whatever reasons including paid customer_support. A customer database is provided with the system that can be used for authentication and user information purposes. However, it is possible to connect Ace Operator to any external user database with a little amount of software programming.
- Web-based system administration - All administration tasks can be performed from a web-based interface.
- Security - 64-bit encryption is used for operator login and all session exchanges.
- Restricted system administration access - Operators and Ace administrators can be restricted from accessing the system from untrusted networks. System access can be limited to specific IP addresses only, if needed.
- System logs - Ace Operator comes with a complete logging system. All system messages are saved and archived. System messages can also be viewed in real-time, color-coded according to severity level. Log messages can also be searched based on severity, source, key words, etc. Important log messages can be e-mailed to system administrators. Most administrative operations are also logged.
- System monitoring: Statistics on the operators and groups in the system can be monitored in real-time. Information shown includes which operators are logged into the system, each one's current active call count, and each operator group's information - number of active operators in the group, number of customers queued up waiting for an operator, number of calls received during the last interval, etc. Refreshed every minute.
- Report applications - The system records every operator login and messaging session, including transfer and conferencing actions. The information is stored in a database from which it can be retrieved in raw form or by various types of data mining applications. A default set of data mining applications comes with the system. System administrators can use these applications to view web site visitor access information, operator activities and traffic pattern reporting.
- Geographical independence - An operator connects to the server using a standard web browser. Therefore, operators who connect to the system over the internet can work from any remote site, opening up the possibility of employing home-based operators. Also, a 24x7 support center can take advantage of time zones to distribute its operators into groups located in different time zones and different countries, thus avoiding off-hour costs.
- Platform independence - The Ace Application Server can run on an inexpensive computer running Linux, Microsoft Windows or any other environment that supports Java. This allows a service provider to choose from a wide variety of platforms to run Ace Operator.
- Configurable call distribution - The service provider can configure parameters on a per-group basis such as maximum simultaneous sessions per operator, maximum number of operators allowed in the distribution queue and maximum number of callers that can be waiting for an operator.
- Automatic transcript logging - The system can be setup to automatically e-mail the chat transcript for every session to one or more email addresses including the address of the parties involved in the chat.
- Windows service: Ace Operator has full support for running Ace Operator as a service for the Microsoft Windows platform. This feature allows the operating system to start and shutdown Ace Operator during system startup and shutdown respectively.

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