Building a Call Center with LTSP and Soft Phones
We now have KPhone installed and able to be run from any terminal attached to the LTSP server. Adding another user is as simple as creating an account for them on the server, adding a SIP phone entry for them on the phone system and having them configure KPhone. The terminal server is the single point of maintenance for everyone's desktops. Even though KPhone runs locally on each terminal, the LTSP build environment is the single point of maintenance for all of them.
The cost for the system is concentrated in the terminal server and phone system. The incremental cost for each new user is the cost of a low-end terminal and a sound card headset. This expense is much more cost effective than putting a full workstation at each desktop along with a headset-capable hard phone.
Thanks to James McQuillan at the Linux Terminal Server Project for his excellent documentation (LTSP and LBS) and everyone on the LTSP IRC channels that helped me get KPhone running locally. Also thanks to Thorsten Kukuk for authoring “The Linux NIS(YP)/NYS/NIS+ HOWTO”. Thanks to Mark Spencer, Digium and everyone involved with the Asterisk Project who have made open-source telephony a reality, as well as the author(s) of KPhone. And thanks to Trolltech, the creators of the Qt application framework.
Resources for this article: /article/8460.
Michael earned his degrees in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University and Purdue University more years ago than he likes to admit. He now lives in rural Michigan with his wife and five children. He has been using Linux since 1994 and now works with Ideal Solution, finding new and creative ways to put open-source software, including LTSP and Asterisk, to work for clients. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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