Vendor Profile: Alston Tascom

Alston Tascom has been providing call center systems and service since 1994. However, Tascom systems have been serving the teleservices industry since 1980. They now provide a softswitch, a hosted system, and a cloud-based solution to the call center industry.

Softswitch: At the core of the new Alston Tascom system is ADAM. ADAM is an acronym for Alston Developed Asterisk Machine, a softswitch designed for the teleservices industry. It was first released in 2013. ADAM is an extremely well-designed softswitch with more than three years of intense development behind it. The ADAM switch has replaced most of the older Fluency digital switches used by Alston Tascom customers. The ADAM softswitch is at the core of both Alston Tascom’s hosted and cloud-based systems. By the end of September 2015, Alston Tascom projects that their combined hosted systems will process more than two million calls per month.

ADAM is a full-featured premises system, with locations in excess of one hundred seats. One of the special things about ADAM is that the communication is accomplished through HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) or HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure), which makes configuration easy because the stations communicate to a Web server. The wallboard apps are Web-accessible, and it is easy to create various Web apps for a visual picture of what ADAM is doing at any moment in a call center.

Hosted System: Alston Tascom’s hosted system was installed in 2006 with its first two customers and continues to service numerous businesses in multiple states on a true shared-hosted platform. The hosted system is very much like a large office building that leases out office space. In this case, the flexible Tascom-hosted platform leases system space to call center businesses. The space is measured by the number of seats or workstations wanted. The hosted platform has most of the same features as does the premises-based ADAM system, with a few restrictions that Tascom personnel perform for clients due to access issues. This is a true hosted platform; users do not buy a system. Alston Tascom follows the same model as most other hosting sites, so the cost of the system is far less than purchasing a premise-based system. They add customers to their robust hosted system, with the cost shared by all the users of the system. In that way, Alston Tascom is able to spread the cost of software, hardware, facilities, SIP ports, and technical expertise in such a way that the individual site cost is reduced.

Cloud-Based Solution: Tascom’s new cloud system is also a hosted system; it’s located in their second data-center and designed for the larger businesses that want to manage their business instead of managing a system. Clients on the cloud platform have decided they are much better at managing their call center business than managing a system, so more of their resources can be dedicated to their business. With the cloud system, each business owns its own complete system. Although they share the facility and Alston Tascom’s technical expertise, they do not share software, hardware, or SIP ports. Businesses on the cloud system tend to be larger operations that require greater access to their system.

With these new offerings, Alston Tascom continues to be a leader in hosting telephone answering service systems.

[From Connection Magazine Sep/Oct 2015]