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(1) (Soft-Switch) Earlier software from Soft-Switch, Inc. that converted e-mail messages from one protocol to another using X.400 as a common base. Running on IBM mainframes and Data General minicomputers, Soft-Switch, Inc. became a division of Lotus in 1995. See X.400.

(2) A programmable switch that processes the signaling for packet-based telephony protocols. Also known as a "media gateway controller," "call agent" or "call server," telephony providers use softswitches to integrate PSTN signaling (SS7) with VoIP. Using network processors at its core, softswitches can support IP, DSL, ATM and frame relay transports in the same unit. The softswitch's programmability enables it to adapt to future protocols. See IP telephony, VoIP and SIP.

It Should Be Able To...
According to the International Softswitch Consortium, a softswitch should be able to (1) control connection services for a media gateway and/or native IP endpoints, (2) select processes that can be applied to a call, (3) provide routing for a call within the network based on signaling and customer database information, (4) transfer control of the call to another network element, and (5) interface to and support management functions such as provisioning and billing.

Softswitch Infrastructure
This shows how a softswitch fits into the integrated SS7 and VoIP worlds. (Illustration assistance courtesy of GNP Computers and
References in periodicals archive ?
Telcordia is very impressed with VocalData Voice Services Call Agent, and see their offerings as value added elements in Telcordia's evolving Next Generation Network (NGN) products," said Mary Turney, vice president, Next Generation Solutions of Telcordia.
designs and manufactures call agents, customer premise equipment (CPE) and network hardware allowing service providers to offer fully-featured business and residential voice services over IP networks.
Vendors that have agreed to begin interoperability testing with the NetSpeak call agent include 8x8 (EGHT), Arris Interactive, Cisco Systems (CSCO), Com21 (CMTO), Mediatrix Telecom, Motorola (MOT), SALIX Technologies and Telogy Networks.
Smart Call Agents are an artificial-intelligence based solution revolutionizing the customer service industry.
CALL ME Rachel Barnes and Sharon Atkinson from Call Agents
Additionally, VoIP call recording will make sure all call agents have a unified view of the customer and are delivering the same information, so that customers will get the same quality customer service no matter which agent they speak to on their call.
PARTNERS: Rachel Barnes, left, and Sharon Atkinson, who have set up their own business, Call Agents UK Ltd
Another centre will be opened in Bid Bid, which will have a capacity of 300 to 400 call agents and will be operational within a year," Dr Wael Tahir, Chief Executive Officer of Samatel said, on the sidelines of the launch function.
10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Smart Action Company announced today that TMC has named SmartAction's Smart Call Agents for a Customer Interaction Solutions 2011 Product of the Year Award.
Call Agents UK bosses Rachel Barnes and Sharon Atkinson were among 1,158 workers who suffered when Hartlepool's Garlands went under in May.
The FBI urged anyone with information to call agents at (310) 477-6565 or the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division at (213) 485-0780.
Real-world deployments of service delivery IP infrastructure often consist of a mix of call agents and application servers using various protocols for controlling media processing resources in the network," noted Ronald Gruia, Program Leader, Emerging Communications with Frost & Sullivan.