Integrating the phone with backend databases provides power and convenience to users. Tumblewire developed an integrated availability call-in system for film industry technicians using cloud-based telephony and a bespoke Drupal-based crewing application.

Creating orders online:
The order creation module Tumblewire has developed for IATSE uses:

This is a diagram with a phone, the Twilio system, the Drupal website, and a screen shot of the call in availability web application. Film industry technicians phone a local VOIP number which is managed by Twilio, including any key presses, and Twilio connects to the Drupal database to authenticate the caller's status. Following the prompts, which are driven by a Drupal based script, the Drupal system then creates the new availability record, visible on the screen by the Call Steward or other administrative personnel.

How Twilio works:
Twilio provides the interface that connects phones to your DB backend. The logic resides on your servers, and all Twilio really holds is the VOIP number and a URL to execute your script. Think of Twilio as a front-end to your system, which enables a caller to flow through your call logic and interact with your system and options. Like a browser for phone calls.

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The metrics available include detailed call logs and high level traffic overviews:

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Extending the experience:
Usually you are going to want to a least partially replicate the options and functionality that are presented to a caller using a phone to the web interface. Given that both are driven by the same web backend (in our case a Drupal / MySQL / php solution hosted on a scalable VPS) the integration ends up working very well. Contrast that to a LAN based phone in system, which either must be slave or master to the web data, putting one of the two out of sync, and forcing continuous updates as well as redundant maintenance.

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  • Ensure the team you select has a proven track record designing and implementing web applications and integrating with cloud-based telephony service providers like Twilio
  • If your system will be feeding data to or from an existing database, such as a LAN-based MS Access system, make sure they have experience designing efficient data feeds with integrated integrity verification
  • Make sure they can deliver on mobile
  • Choose the right size of firm: too big and you’ll be buried by expensive process; too small and reliability becomes a serious issue.

Contact Tumblewire and get a proven design team with clientele ranging from start-ups to multinationals. Let us know what you are trying to accomplish and we’ll provide you with a quote and timing for your consideration.

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