Voice Network Engineer …. You are probably asking yourself what that is. It is the design and selection of the equipment and network routing functions to support either a very large business or a large Call Center. A Call Center is a location that takes a large number of calls, may provide access to some type of account information, and typically has a large number of people to answer customer calls. I figure out how all this can be done and design the voice network and select the equipment to support it.
The largest call center I have worked on took, on a good day, over 450,000 calls in one day. The second largest took 170,000 calls per day. Both sites were linked and interchanged calls. Eventually there were additional sites across the USA and time controlled routing or Sunrise to Sunset Customer Service. A bank of IVR’s (Interactive Voice Response Units) answers the callers and lets them enter account information to check their bank balances. Callers can zero out to another piece of equipment, an ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) and speak to an agent to assist them for more information or to solve their problems. Eventually this developed into “routing in the cloud” with computer controlled routing.
The majority of calls were 90 to 120 seconds long, about 20% of them lasted as long as 300 seconds. To figure out how many telephone lines are needed to bring the calls into the call center was difficult at first. There are commercial trunk and traffic calculators, but they were either too complicated to use or did not produce the results I was looking for. I designed a simple trunk calculator in Excel called SCTC. SCTC stands for Simple Call and Trunk Calculator.
SCTC is quick and easy to use. I compared the results to commercial trunk calculators and found the results within 5%.
With the aid of SCTC, Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Office, I did the design, technical drawings, cost analysis, and had to document all that I did. I produced anything from single sheets of paper with a simple drawing to multi page reports and CD’s with complete documentation and references that were submitted to the Office of Thrift Supervision the part of the Federal Government that regulates Savings and Loans.
I did quite bit of writing, from a few text pages to explain my drawings and designs to full proposals if needed. I write from a technical perspective but tried to simplify the descriptions so they could be understood by less technical people (management). And yes, it was a corporate world, just like Scott Adams writes about in his Dilbert Cartoons. In case you did not know it, Scott worked for Pacific Bell, our local Telco, and that is where he got all his ideas. Corporate Telecom is a nutty world.
I also wrote RFP's (Request for Proposals), did Project Management, and was able to hold my own in just about any business discussion. I never claimed to have an Engineering Degree or an MBA, yet I performed these functions.
When asked how much technical experience I must go back to when I was 12 years old and ran a pair of wires from the front of my house to the back of my house, added a few batteries and two telephones setting up a private line circuit. That is 50+ years of experience. My childhood friends thought I was a bit crazy, but I stuck with it and read everything I could get my hands on, back then there was very little to read as the Telephone Company did it all. I even went so far as to go the California Public Utilities Commission and read every page of the tariffs.
When I was in the 10th grade in High School I did an overall traffic study of my local Pacific Telephone Central Office (now ATT). It was step-by-step at that time and the Central Office Battery Voltage was directly proportional to the office load. I plotted a graph and could see the morning business hour peak, the afternoon peaks and the residence busy hour peak at about 7 PM. I simply measured the on-hook voltage on my telephone line and made a graph. We now have electronic offices but calling patterns remain the same.
My parents told me not to go to work for the Telephone Company, so I attended California State University Los Angeles, got a BA Degree and started teaching Industrial Arts in a Middle School. That lasted for 13 years.
Things changed and the Federal Communications Commission Part 68 came along. I began to get more serious about my interest and one thing led to another. I switched careers from Teaching in a Middle School to Telecommunications. I soon had a patent on a piece of equipment for monitoring remote locations using a dial up telephone line. Based on information I had published all the Telephone Companies got out of the station wiring business, wiring could not be capitalized, only expensed, and the users were now allowed to do their own wiring. The Tariff was first approved in California and then in the rest of the nation and eventually worldwide. It is somewhat strange to travel the world and see people doing their own wiring, and then realize it is based on something I wrote.
To keep my finger in the pie, so to speak, I have been restoring antique telephones and you will see several examples of printed information I have prepared for my fellow antique telephone collectors on this here. I also attended the recent Internet Telephony Conference in Los Angeles. I guess you could say this is the complete range from old telephones to the newest technology, VOIP! I even have three VOIP telephone lines on a private network at home.
Now it is the present. I am retired and I do what I want for the most part. I have put a few things on this web site for you to enjoy.
I do have one patent, you can read it here. If you like what you read, you can get the patent from the Patent Office for a few $.
For more information on learning telephony while I was in high school, click here.
If your wondering what I have at home for my phone system click here.