News Column

Patent Issued for Operating a Call Center Based upon Line Information Database (LIDB) Data

June 24, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Creamer, Thomas E. (Boca Raton, FL); Katz, Neil (Parkland, FL); Moore, Victor S. (Boynton Beach, FL); Winters, Scott (Austin, TX), filed on December 8, 2003, was published online on June 10, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8750485, is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to the field of intelligent networks, and more particularly to the operation of a call center based upon data disposed within a line information database (LIDB) in an intelligent network.

"The intelligent network of today bears little semblance to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) of old. In fact, the term 'intelligence' has little to do with the operation of the conventional PSTN. Rather, the PSTN of today incorporates a massive complex of switching matrices and transport trunks that, through the electronic equivalent of 'brute force', forge the interconnections necessary to call completion. More particularly, for decades for every call processed the PSTN relies upon each successive switch to route a voice signal to the next. Still, today the sheer volume of calls placed through the PSTN demands a faster, more streamlined approach to call routing.

"To overcome the elements of the brute force aspect of the conventional PSTN, physically separate signaling networks have been grafted upon the transport and switching PSTN elements to oversee call set-up and billing. These 'out-of-band' adjuncts speed routing data and commands directly to the switches involved, establishing all the necessary links prior to the actual calls transmission. With 'out-of-band' signaling, the PSTN has become 'conscious' of the operations it is to perform prior to their execution. Consequently, the PSTN has become a more flexible beast, capable even of substantial logic.

"The development of the 'out-of-band' protocol, Signaling System 7 (SS7), has led to the widespread deployment of intelligent network technology. In SS7, signaling links transmit routing packets between switches. Consequently, specialized SS7 Signaling Transfer Points (STPs) appeared to shepherd routing messages from local switches onto a high-capacity packet switches for distribution to other switches, STPs and call-related databases, such as the Line Information Database (LIDB), Toll Free Calling database and other databases containing customer information or additional call routing instructions. And, so, the agility of high-speed computer networking began exerting control over the raw power of the PSTN.

"The marriage of convenience between SS7 and the PSTN soon produced the Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN)--an architecture where centralized databases control call processing. Logic ported via STPs to select switches now have become widely distributed throughout the network. AIN-capable switches also have begun to function as interactive signaling-platforms. Equipped with resident software triggers, AIN capable switches now can halt a call in progress long enough to query Service Control Points (SCPs), databases containing service logic and subscriber information which can provide instruction as to how to route, monitor, or terminate the call. The PSTN of today now effectively includes long-term memory as well as intelligence. Accordingly, the modern local exchange carrier holds the means to deploy such advanced telecommunications features such as telephone number portability, wireless roaming, call waiting and a host of other subscriber options."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention addresses the deficiencies of the art in respect to the operation of a call center and provides a novel and non-obvious method, system and apparatus for processing a call in a call center using information stored in the LIDB. A call center which has been configured in accordance with a preferred aspect of the present invention can include at least one phone handset coupled to a gateway to a PSTN. An enterprise application can be associated with the handset and a data terminal coupled to the enterprise application. A view to the enterprise application further can be disposed in proximity to the handset. A database of caller information can be coupled to the enterprise application. Each record in the database can have a configuration for location based upon a searching key.

"Importantly, at least one line LIDB can be disposed in the PSTN and configured to store individual searching keys. Each of the individual searching keys can have an association with a corresponding subscriber to the PSTN. A gateway node further can be communicatively linked both to the PSTN and the enterprise application. Finally, a query interface to the enterprise application can be programmed to select records in the database of caller information based upon an individual searching key received from the LIDB through the gateway node. Notably, each of the individual searching keys can include a combination of a caller name and a caller address. Moreover, the enterprise application can include a customer relationship management application.

"In a method for processing a call in a call center using information stored in an LIDB, a searching key can be retrieved from the LIDB wherein the searching key is associated with the call. An enterprise application can be queried based upon the retrieved searching key to retrieve caller data. As a result; the caller data can be presented to a call center operator processing the call. Preferably, the retrieving step can include retrieving the searching key from a gateway node disposed intermediately between the LIDB in a PSTN and the enterprise application. Moreover, the retrieving step further can include retrieving a combined name and address associated with the call from the gateway node, and passing the combined name and address to the querying step as the retrieved searching key. Where the searching key cannot be retrieved from the gateway node, however, an incomplete set of caller data can be presented.

"In a PSTN, a method for processing a call in a call center using information stored in an LIDB can include, for selected ones of subscribers to the PSTN, storing within subscriber records in the LIDB a searching key into an enterprise application disposed externally to the PSTN. Subsequently, during an attempt to establish a call between a subscriber to the PSTN and the call center, a searching key corresponding to the subscriber can be retrieved from the LIDB. Once retrieved, the searching key can be forwarded to the enterprise application for use in retrieving call information stored externally to the PSTN. In particular, the searching key can be forwarded to the enterprise application via a gateway node coupled both to the enterprise application and the PSTN.

"Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The aspects of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed."

For more information, see this patent: Creamer, Thomas E.; Katz, Neil; Moore, Victor S.; Winters, Scott. Operating a Call Center Based upon Line Information Database (LIDB) Data. U.S. Patent Number 8750485, filed December 8, 2003, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Aggregation, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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