Jargon Buster


  • Abandoned Call

    A caller terminates the call before an agent can answer.

  • Account Code

    A number assigned to departments, projects, devices, telecom services, and employees for cost tracking purposes.

  • ACD Call Center

    Refers to any host PBX that handles many telephone calls of a similar nature.

  • ACD

    Automatic Call Distribution

  • Agent Identifier

    A number that represents the agent within the PBX system. This number is used by the agent to log in and log out of the PBX system.

  • Agent Group

    A collection of agents who answer calls of a similar nature.

  • Agent

    An employee who answers calls directed to the call center.

  • ACD Queue

    The line of calls to be answered.

  • ACD Call

    Inbound or outbound calls that are handled by an ACD queue.

  • Agent Report

    Shows parameters used to monitor agent activity and performance. These reports indicate the amount of time an agent spends on ACD calls, on inbound non-ACD calls, on outgoing calls, the amount if time an Agent spends in Do Not Disturb and Make Busy, and the duration of time an Agent is logged in.

  • Agent Scheduling

    The process of scheduling agents to work shifts.

  • ANI

    Automatic Number Identification

  • Agent State

    May be one of the following: idle, on inbound ACD call, on outbound or internal call, hold, work time, make busy, DND, logged out, or indeterminate.

  • ASA

    Average Speed of Answer

  • Blocking

    Blocking is a term that is used to indicate a call which is unsuccessful because it cannot find an available trunk.

  • Busy Hour

    The period of the day when the traffic is at its highest. The traffic is measured over 15, 30, or 60 minute periods throughout the day, over a ten day period. Each day's busy hour traffic is averaged to determine the average busy hour. The traffic for all periods over each of the 10 days is drawn up as a matrix and the busy hour is identified.

  • Call Duration: Agent

    The aggregate of the talk time and the work time.

  • Basic Rate Interface (BRI)

    One of two levels of ISDN service. The BRI provides two bearer channels for voice and data and one channel for signaling (commonly expressed as 2B+D).

  • Unavailable Agent

    An agent who is logged into the call center but is either in a make busy or work time state.

  • Internet Protocol (IP)

    The connectionless-mode network service protocol of TCP/IP.

  • Quality of Service

    the response of the agent. Agent courtesy, information accuracy, and how current the information is are all considered.

  • Traffic

    The aggregate effect of the number of calls and their duration.

  • DID Direct Inward Dialling/Dialled Number Identification Service (DID/DNIS)

    When a call arrives at an ACD or PBX, the carrier sends a digital code on the trunk line. The switch can read this code to determine how it should dispatch the call. Typically, this value is the specific number dialled by the user. By mapping each possible code with an internal extension, the switch can provide direct inward dialling (DID)

  • PRI

    See Primary Rate Interface below.

  • SMDR

    Station Message Detail Recording

  • PCM

    Pulse Code Modulation. The most common method of encoding an analogue voice signal into a digital bit stream.

  • Calling Line ID (CLID)

    Information about the billing telephone number from which a call originated. The CLID value might be the entire phone number, the area code, or the area code plus local exchange.

  • TSF%

    The proportion of calls answered and abandoned before the threshold TSF time.

  • Log Out

    The procedure involved for an agent or supervisor to exit the ACD system by inputting their identifier number

  • Log In

    The procedure involved for an agent or supervisor to enter the ACD system by inputting their identifier number.

  • Overflow Limits

    The potential call answering delay by: taking a call from one queue and placing it in another queue adding the call to a second queue in addition to keeping its place in the first queue.

  • Internal Call

    A call initiated from within the call center that is directed to another call center member.

  • PSTN

    Public Switched Telephone Network: the network that enables you to directly dial anywhere in the world.

  • DND

    Do Not Disturb

  • DTMF

    Dual Tone Multi Frequency refers to industry standard tone frequencies produced by selecting keys on a touch tone telephone

  • PBX

    Private Branch Exchange

  • Call Duration: Trunk

    The aggregate of the queue time and the talk time.

  • Make Busy

    An agent state where the agent is still logged into the call center but is unavailable to take calls.

  • CTI

    Computer-to-Telephony Integration.

  • Voice Response Unit (VRU)

    A telecommunications computer, also called an Interactive Voice Response unit (IVR), that responds to caller entered touch-tone digits. The VRU responds to caller entered digits in much the same way that a conventional computer responds to keystrokes or a click of the mouse. The VRU uses a digitized voice to read menu selections to the caller. The caller then enters the touch-tone digits that correspond to the desired menu selection. The caller entered digits can invoke options as varied as looking up account balances, moving the call within or to another ACD, or playing a pre-recorded announcement for the caller.

  • Interflow

    Limits the potential call answering delay by routing the call to another answering point after a predetermined period of time. Another answering point may be an operator or voice messaging system. This action may also be referred to as Recall.

  • SMDR Records

    Event records that are generated by the host PBX when a call or a call segment completes. A call can have multiple SMDR records that are generated when a call is transferred or conferenced, or when account codes are entered while the call is active. The information that is generated includes: the start time of the call, the duration of the call, who started the call and who the answering party was. These records are typically generated when an external Trunk is involved in a call, and not when a call originates internally.

  • TAPI

    Telephony Application Program Interface

  • TSF Telephone Service Factor

    This is the percentage of calls that are answered or abandoned within a defined threshold time, compared to the total number of calls received.

  • Trunk Group Report

    Indicates the highest number of Trunks in use during an interval.

  • CW

    Calls Waiting

  • Outbound Call

    A call initiated from within the call center that is bound for the PSTN.

  • Extension Report

    Shows the amount of time extensions are engaged in ACD calls, inbound non ACD calls, and outbound calls. These reports also display the number of abandoned calls, the number of transferred calls, and cumulative statistics on extensions across work shifts.

  • PABX

    Private Automatic Branch Exchange

  • Interflow Time

    The amount of time a call may be in one or more queues before being interflowed to another answering point.

  • DNIS

    Directory Number Information Service

  • Extension

    Physical telephone devices. These devices may include telephones, voice mail ports, or an auto attendant.

  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

    The Internet suite of protocols used to connect a world-wide internetwork of universities, organizations, and corporations. TCP/IP is based primarily on a connection-oriented transport service, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP); and a connectionless-mode network service, the Internet Protocol (IP). TCP/IP provides standards for how computers and networks with different technologies communicate with each other.

  • Interactive Voice Response Unit (IVR)

    A telecommunications computer, also called a Voice Response Unit (VRU), that responds to caller entered touch-tone digits.

  • SNMP

    Simple Network Management Protocol

  • H.323

    The H.323 spec defines packet standards which provide a foundation for audio, video and data communications across IP-based networks, including the Internet. Gateway systems that convert data voice to PCM voice are often termed "H.323 gateways".

  • Level of Service

    The length of time that a caller waits for an agent to respond after obtaining a free trunk

  • Overflow Time

    The amount of time a call may be in one queue before being overflowed to a second queue.

  • Trunk

    Physical lines that connect the telephone switch to the outside world.

  • TCP/IP

    See Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

  • Extension Group

    A collection of similar extensions that are grouped together for reporting purposes.

  • Local Area Network (LAN)

    The connection of several computers within a building, usually using dedicated lines.

  • Primary Rate Interface (PRI)

    One of two levels of ISDN service. In North America, the PRI typically provides 23 bearer channels for voice and data and one channel for signalling information (commonly expressed as 23B+D). In Europe and most countries other than North America, PRI typically provides 30 bearer lines (30B+D).

  • LCW

    Longest Call Waiting

  • Trunk Group

    A collection of trunks.

  • GOS Grade of Service

    The probability of being blocked.

  • Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

    An international standard for telephone transmission. ISDN provides an end-to-end digital network and provides a standard for out-of-band signalling. It also provides greater bandwidth than older telephone services. The two standard levels of ISDN are the Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and the Primary Rate Interface (PRI).

  • RAD

    Recorded Announcement Device

  • Supervisor

    The manager of the call center who ensures that performance targets and caller expectations are met. Call center management requires the estimation of the current call center needs and the forecasting of future requirements. This is accomplished through the analysis of real time and historical reports.

  • CO

    Central Office: the local telephone company’s telephone switching system that allows local access on and off of the PSTN.

  • LAN

    Local Area Network

  • Wide Area Network (WAN)

    The connection of several computers across a wide area, normally using telephone lines, leased-lines, public communication facilities or private facilities.

  • WAN

    Wide Area Network

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