Tellme Operations Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ contains answers to questions about Tellme Operations and the Tellme Voice Application Network.

  1. How many ports has Tellme deployed?
  2. How does Tellme guarantee simultaneous call capacity to my application?
  3. Are specific ports dedicated to my application?
  4. How does Tellme handle very large spikes in traffic?
  5. How many applications can Tellme run at once?
  6. What is Tellme's capability to build-out capacity quickly?
  1. How does Tellme guarantee application uptime?
  1. How does Tellme optimize their platform for application performance?
  2. How do you prevent the Internet from becoming a performance bottleneck?
Q: How many ports has Tellme deployed?
A: The Tellme Voice Application Network has been designed to support the needs of its enterprise customers. Through 1-800-555-TELL, Tellme perpetually demonstrates its ability to handle hundreds of millions of calls a month. The telephony infrastructure is not limited in the number of total ports it can support and can be deployed via a modular system that allows incremental capacity to be added quickly and easily, often in as little as a week.

Q: How does Tellme guarantee simultaneous call capacity to my application?
A: Tellme's strategy is to use sophisticated call-traffic prediction methods to build a network with the capacity to support calls for all hosted applications simultaneously, including 1-800-555-TELL. Ports are shared among all applications and not dedicated to specific applications. Calls are answered by any available port and then connected with the appropriate application. This pooling of ports provides two main advantages:
  • All applications benefit when network capacity is increased. Every new port allows the network to answer an additional call for any application. It also increases network robustness by increasing the opportunities for load balancing and fail over across network components.
  • Costs are lower for customers since per-port overhead costs are shared by all applications.
Port pooling also allows Tellme to better handle large spikes in call traffic. If an application receives an unexpected spike in call traffic, Tellme will continue to accept calls for it until all available ports are exhausted. This is superior to a dedicated-port model, where the number of ports allocated to an application limits simultaneous call capacity. In the unlikely event that a single application generates such a huge spike in traffic that all ports are consumed and access to other applications is denied, Tellme detects the situation and sets simultaneous call limits on the offending application

Q: Are specific ports dedicated to my application?
A: See the above question.

Q: How does Tellme handle very large spikes in traffic?
A: See the above question.

Q: How many applications can Tellme run at once?
A: There is no technological limit to the number of voice applications that can be hosted at one time.

Q: What is Tellme's capability to build-out capacity quickly?
A: The Tellme Network employs a modular architecture allowing quick, reliable build-out of incremental capacity. The unit of network build-out is called a 'pod'. A pod contains all of the hardware and software necessary to run the Tellme Platform for a fixed number of ports. Tellme has a documented, systematic methodology for putting pods into production that allows a new pod to be brought up in a matter of hours once carrier and Internet connections have been provisioned.

Q: How does Tellme guarantee application uptime?
A: The Tellme Platform and Network have been designed from the ground up with reliability and robustness in mind. Uptime is guaranteed through the use of redundant systems with automatic fail-over at every level of the Tellme solution.

Q: How does Tellme optimize their platform for application performance?
A: The Tellme Platform has been optimized for performance, scalability and reliability using such features as:
  • Intelligent Caching Technology. The Tellme Platform contains intelligent caching technology that minimizes network traffic by caching VoiceXML, audio files and compiled grammars. File retrieval over the Internet is prevented from becoming a performance bottleneck.
  • Load Balancing and Resource Pooling. To maximize application performance under diverse loading scenarios, the Tellme Platform makes extensive use of load balancing, resource pooling, and dynamic resource allocation to ensure that each hosted application has access to the resources it needs.
  • Multi-Threaded, High-Performance Servers. All of Tellme's custom-developed servers use multi-threaded C++ implementations, delivering the most performance from available hardware resources.
  • Intelligent Grammar Compilation. Before the speech recognition engine can use a grammar, the grammar must be compiled. To prevent unnecessary re-compilation of grammars, the Platform uses a high-performance indexing technique to cache and re-use previously compiled grammars.

Q: How do you prevent the Internet from becoming a performance bottleneck?
A: The Tellme platform uses a sophisticated proxy server to minimize the amount of traffic traveling between Tellme and each customer's Web site. The proxy maintains a local cache of content of retrieved over the Web so that repeated requests for the same file can be served from the cache instead of having to request each time over the Internet.

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