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BigmOuth and Goldmine Frequently Asked Questions

BigmOuth Voice Mail and Call Processing Systems

Q. What is the main difference between the BigmOuth & Goldmine and PowerVoice systems?

There are quite a few differences. Both systems can get your job done, though it's like comparing a Ford Escort to a Mercedes.

1) BigmOuth/Goldmine is a MS-DOS based system, whereas PowerVoice runs under Windows 2000 Professional. With BigmOuth you should have some familiarity with DOS to really fell comfortable with the interface, though it has its own windowing system and does not use the command line. With PowerVoice - anyone familiar with Windows should have no problems with installing and running the system - frequently without even having to contact our support department.

2) BigmOuth/Goldmine has voice detection, whereas PowerVoice has very accurate answering machine detection. BigmOuth sees voice, whether it from a live person or a machine, as the same thing, and proceeds to deliver its message. PowerVoice recognizes the difference between answering machines and and live people and can play one message for live answers, another to be left on machines. Some telemarketers want to only leave messages on machines, and this is a pretty simple chore for PowerVoice.

3) BigmOuth/Goldmine is a single line system and is not expandable. With PowerVoice, you can start out with as few as 2 ports, and easily expand to as many as you like. This is a real advantage for businesses that want to make a minimal investment initially, and after they find out that their telemarketing activities are successful - they can easily expand their systems by adding additional ports.

4) BigmOuth/Goldmine uses your PC's processor as a slave, whereas PowerVoice has two onboard processors, a general purpose processor (Intel 386 for handling the boards onboard housekeeping and transferring data to your hard disk. It also has a state-of-the-art Motorola 56001 digital signal processor (DSP) to handle call progress, voice compression, answering machine detection and a host of other DSP functions that BigmOuth and Goldmine are incapable of performing.

5) BigmOuth/Goldmine is only available in an ISA slot configuration, whereas PowerVoice is available in both ISA and PCI card slot configurations. ISA, over the past several years, has been systematically phased out. Computer companies such as Dell, Compaq, Gateway and others no longer offer models with ISA slots.

While for many this may be a weakness in the BigmOuth/Goldmine system, for others it is an advantage because many have an old 386, 486 or an old Pentium I that they are no longer using, and all of these machines provide a
more-than-adequate platform for BigmOuth to run on.

What it boils down to is that BigmOuth/Goldmine is a great choice for small groups that have a limited budget. BigmOuth/Goldmine excels with phone trees and group distribution. Those who make a living or plan to make a living by doing telemarketing should opt for the PowerVoice, though for those on a really tight budget wanting to get into telemarketing, BigmOuth/Goldmine affords an opportunity to get started with a basic auto dialer with some pretty sophisticated features - and when they find they're making money with their efforts - they can always invest in a more sophisticated system like PowerVoice.

Q. I want my system to leave a message on answering machines. How can I get it to do this. Most of my prospects are at work during the day and I need Goldmine to leave a message on their machines or voice mail.

A. BigmOuth uses a 'brute force" method to deliver messages. It doesn't distinguish between a live person and an answering machine/voice mail. Your greeting should be prefaced with something like, "Hi there, this is an important message from ASAP Power." Then wait a second or two and start your message, "ASAP power is offering ...". This way, your greeting preface will mirror any greeting that was on the answering machine and if a person answers, they will think that it's just part of your message. It seems to work well for most. You'll have one message for both people and machines. I hope this answers your question.

Q. When I hit the <Enter> key to begin my recording, the relay on the Bigmouth card clicks and the highlighted cursor moves from 'Record Greeting' to 'Play Greeting', but won't let me record my message. Why?

A. There are two things that could cause this.

1) Your phone cables are reversed. Swap them.

2) Make sure you are using a standard single-line telephone. Multi-line and non-stardard telephones can cause problems.

Q. Sometimes, when distributing a message, BigmOuth or Goldmine seems to cut off while distributing the message. Why?

A. There are several reasons that might cause a message to be cutoff during delivery.

1) Make sure that call waiting is OFF on that line. A call waiting signal will make BigmOuth or Goldmine think that the called party has hung-up.

2) Frequently, when people record outbound greetings, they speak very loud. This causes the recording circuitry to become overloaded, and can produce unwanted touch-tone (DTMF) input, which will signal to the hardware that it was intended that the message be terminated. Sometimes this will happen sporadically or after a number of messages have gone out. Try re-recording your greeting message in a normal voice, with the handset several inches from your mouth. If necessary, put a handkerchief over your mouthpiece to help mute the recording.

3) Make sure you are running in real MS-DOS mode. This means that you should have entered DOS by clicking on 'Start', the 'Shut Down', then 'Restart Computer' is MS-DOS mode'. Opening a DOS window from the program window can cause problems for BigmOuth.

Q. What type of computer do I need for the BigmOuth?
A. BigmOuth requires a 286, 386, 486 or Pentium class PC with DOS 3.0 or higher, 1 meg RAM, 80 meg HD. The PC must have one available ISA slot. No COM port is required. BigmOuth will work fine in MS-DOS mode under Windows 9x and Me.

Q. Can BigmOuth transfer incoming calls to a live operator/extension?
A. Yes, BigmOuth can either utilize three-way-calling from your local Bell Company or can be connected to an analog PBX extension to transfer and route calls to outside phone numbers or internal extensions. The limitation with three-way-calling is that while the caller is speaking to the desired party, BigmOuth is still in use and cannot accept another incoming call until the two parties disconnect. When connected to a PBX extension, BigmOuth will actually release the call once it has been transferred and await new incoming calls.

Q. Can BigmOuth forward messages to my pager or remote telephone?
A. Yes, BigmOuth supports tone, digital or voice pagers allowing a mailbox owner to be notified when messages are left in his/her mailbox.

Q. How many mailboxes does BigmOuth support?
A. BigmOuth has the support for up to 300 individual mailboxes, each with its own personalize greeting, and message forwarding and pager numbers.

Q. Can BigmOuth perform order-taking when I am out of the office?
A. Yes, BigmOuth has a questionnaire feature, which allows the caller to be prompted through various options. A sample script might be, "please record your name", then "please enter your account number with your touch-tone phone", then "please enter your credit card number" etc..

Q. Can BigmOuth dial a list of telephone numbers and play a prerecorded message?
A. Yes, BigmOuth has its own integrated PhoneBook Database in which the customer can enter up to 300 names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and notes manually. You can create an unlimited number of PhoneBooks within the BigmOuth structure and dial any one PhoneBook at a time. We also offer an add-on module for BigmOuth called Goldmine I. Goldmine I has the ability to import up to 10,000 numbers from any ASCII file database and dial them in succession. Goldmine I also provides for sequential or prefix dialing of up to 10,000 numbers. Please consult your local Public Utility Commission for legalities pertaining to automated outbound telemarketing and dialing.

Q. Can I customize BigmOuth through programming if I don't like the way something works?
A. Yes, we offer a tool kit called the BigmOuth Programmer's Tool Kit. This tool kit is a TSR library in Microsoft or Borland C: which allows direct access to the functions of the BigmOuth Hardware.

Q. Can I install more than one BigmOuth in a single PC?
A. No, only one BigmOuth can reside in your PC and that PC must be dedicated to the purpose of BigmOuth while it is running.

Q: Will BigmOuth work with Micro Channel? (i.e. MCA architecture)
A: No. The only PS 2 models BigmOuth will work with are models 25 or 30.

Q: Will BigmOuth run in the background or under Windows?
A: No. BigmOuth is designed as a DOS foreground program only. We do not recommend running BigmOuth under Windows or trying to have other applications running at the same time.

Q:Why do my messages have so much static in them?
A: There are a couple of reasons for this, for example: interference from another card in your PC. Move the card to an expansion slot as far as possible, away from the power supply. Or try locating the BigmOuth card to an "isolated" slot. Another reason could be CPU sharing. BigmOuth was designed as a dedicated voicemail server. It requires 100% of the CPU's time in order to provide the best voice quality. If you have drivers or TSR's installed at the same time, it will reduce BigmOuth's voice quality. Remove any unnecessary TSRs or drivers.

Q: I can't get the software to install properly.
A: If during the install process you receive a "bad sector" or "read error", you need new disks. Disks can be damaged during shipping. If this happens, we can either send you new disks or you can download them from our

Q: I am getting the error message "screen buffer full, no more room for events"
A: Because of memory constraints, BigmOuth only displays the first 100 events on the screen. After that, no more events are displayed. To continue tracking events, turn on disk logging from the "Functional Options" screen, which will store all activities in a file instead of on the screen.

Q: I had messages in my box, and when I went to the main menu and came back, they were gone!
A: The most reliable way to review messages while on the PC is to choose Mailbox Messages from the main menu rather than choosing "Review Activities". Any message, which has been successfully recorded, like any other stored file, will remain on your hard drive until you choose to delete it. "Review Activities" only displays "current messages". As soon as you look at them, they are no longer considered current and therefore, not displayed later.

Q: Can BigmOuth forward a message or do outbound calling to an answering machine?
A: Yes, but BigmOuth cannot distinguish between real voice and recorded voice, so it will not wait for the tone. Once a BigmOuth hears a human voice it begins delivering the message.

Q: How many voice mailboxes can you have with our BigmOuth software?
A: It depends on how much information is in each box. Generally, up to 300. If the only information in the voice mailbox is a phone number, it can handle up to 500 mailboxes. If there is a large amount of information in each mailbox, it may only handle up to 100 boxes.

Q: Can BigmOuth do more than 300 outbound calls, if you program it to call out from one phonebook for a period of time and from another phonebook for another period of time?
A: No, you cannot program it to call out from one phonebook for one time period and a different phonebook for another time period. In order to switch the phonebook from which you are making outbound calls, you must physically call up BigmOuth and instruct it to switch phonebooks.

Q: Can BigmOuth "get an outside line" and direct a call to another phone?
A: Yes, but it requires 3-way calling. Technically it is a three-way call since BigmOuth is still in use while the other lines are communicating and is unable to take another call.

Q: If you program BigmOuth with Toolkit, do you have to start from scratch, or can you "add on" to the BigmOuth software?
A: You must start from scratch for each program.

Q: Can BigmOuth be attached to a modem?
A: Yes, although the BigmOuth software and hardware is not capable of detecting a FAX tone. Therefore, it would not be possible to have BigmOuth automatically route FAX calls to your machine. You can, however, buy a Voice/FAX switch at your local electronics store in order to accomplish this.

Q: How much memory does BigmOuth use?
A: It uses 14.3 megabytes per hour of recorded messages. (5 minutes per megabyte)

Q: What kind of bus does BigmOuth require?
A:BigmOuth requires a PC or AT bus.

Q: Do I have to dedicate my computer to BigmOuth?
A: Yes. It is recommended that you dedicate one computer to BigmOuth, if you plan on using it 24 hours per day. This is to avoid multitasking.

Q:What languages can I program with BigmOuth toolkit?
A: C is the recommended language. The Toolkit is also programmable in Quick Basic or Pascal.

Q: How can I do "order processing" with BigmOuth?
A: BigmOuth will record information necessary to process orders. It can do this by simply recording someone's name and phone number, or it can ask a series of questions of the caller.

Q: BigmOuth is not answering the phone. What do I do?
A: Run the RINGTEST.EXE program that comes with BigmOuth. Once this is on screen, call into the line that the BigmOuth board is attached to. After you do this, the Zero Cross Counts, and Amplitude will change. Watch for the highest number the Zero Cross Counts goes up to and write it down. Now watch for the lowest non-zero value it drops down to and write it down. Write down the value you see for Amplitude as well. Reload BigmOuth and go to Options, then into the Options File. Find the parameters RingHi, RingLow, and RingThresh. The RingHi and RingLow values should be set to the highest and lowest numbers you received from the Zero Cross Counts fields in RINGTEST. RingThresh is determined from the value of the Amplitude, divided by 2.

Q: BigmOuth is picking up, then hanging up right away. What do I do?
A: Make sure your line and local phone wires are plugged into the proper jacks on the back of the board. If they are plugged in properly, go to Options, then into Options File. Change the parameter HookIgnore to 0.

Q: BigmOuth is answering, but callers are getting cutoff. What do I do?
A: From the Main Menu go to Options, then to Options File. Find the parameter ClunkDiscnt, and set this to 0.

Q: Even after trying the #3 solution, callers still get cutoff.
A: The caller may be causing talk-off. This usually happens with female callers since their voices are generally higher pitched, thus making it easier for them to simulate a DTMF digit. There really is no solution for this, since the human voice is capable of replicating a DTMF digit.

Q: How do I record a greeting message?
A: Go into the Autodialer/Database from the Main Menu and highlight the box that you want to put a greeting in. Press F3, select Record Greeting, pick up your local phone (or microphone), press enter, and begin recording your message. You can also go into Utility Messages, then under Greeting to record a message. Just enter the box that you want to record the greeting into, in the Box Number field, select Record Greeting Message, Pick up your local phone (or microphone), press enter, and begin your greeting.

Q: How do I get a better understanding of all of the various telebox functions?
A: Read pages 89-98 in the manual. All telebox functions are covered.

Q: Where can I get the new BigmOuth help file?
A: You can get it right here, or you may ftp it from ftp.tti.net

Q: I am doing outbound call distribution, and halfway through my outgoing message gets cut off. What happens?
A: Go to Options to Options File. Find the parameters MaxBusyCount and MaxEvent and change them both to 32. If problems still persist, try changing the parameter UseDTCheck to 0.

Q: Why does my system lock up when I try to run BigmOuth?
A: Try creating a boot disk and load BigmOuth after booting off of that. You can create a boot disk by following these steps.
  1. Insert a blank floppy into your A: drive
  2. Type "format a: /u /s" at the DOS prompt
  3. Reboot your machine
  4. Try loading BigmOuth
If you are running MS-DOS v6.0 or greater, then you will not need to create a boot disk. Instead, reboot your machine and when "Starting MS-DOS" appears on the screen, Press F5. This will force DOS to bypass your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files and ensure that nothing gets loaded into memory. Now, try running BigmOuth.
If BigmOuth continues to lockup, you may have a hardware conflict. In this case you will need to change either the port address of the BigmOuth board, or of the conflicting board. In order to change the port address of the BigmOuth board, locate jumper JP1 on the board and either short the pins (port address 360) or remove the jumper (port address 3E0). Now, try loading BigmOuth.

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