The Evolution Of The Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

August, 2017

With the varied mix of voice, digital and video sessions between agents and customers, we say goodbye to the ACD and hello to the Automatic Session Distributor (ASD®).

Contact centers began with relatively simple problems; how to distribute inbound calls to waiting agents and how to make outbound calls efficiently without breaching laws associated with dialing. To class these problems as simple is perhaps disrespectful to the original pioneers of the ACD. Ensuring the distribution of inbound calls is fair, consistent and reliable is a big challenge. For outbound calls, it’s easy to make hundreds of calls for waiting agents. However, to do this under compliance is tremendously difficult and many dialers end up delivering poor performance or being non-compliant and very often both!

Creating a solution that distributes inbound calls while making outbound calls for the same pool of waiting agents was the next leap forward. Call blending in this way allowed SLAs for inbound queues to be met, whilst ensuring that outbound calls are made in a balanced way, avoiding abandoned calls.

Thus far, the only type of media that we have talked about has been voice calls. The more recent challenge facing designers of call center management solutions has been incorporating other media types that customers want to use when communicating with a business. These include email, SMS, web chat, video and social media options such as Facebook and Twitter.

Adding different types of media to the ACD puzzle has made it far more complex. And we get a new acronym as well! With the varied mix of voice, digital and video sessions between agents and customers, we say goodbye to the ACD and hello to the Automatic Session Distributor (ASD®).

For many traditional ACD manufacturers, this complexity was a stretch too far and instead of having a single system to manage all these additional session types, they have opted to silo them. Agents are therefore constrained to working either on a single channel, such as chat or voice, or to having to manually control their availability on different media channels. The result is inevitably less efficiency and greater stress for agents. It also creates overly complex reporting and management and most importantly provides a poor experience for the customer. The only way to solve this puzzle is to build a system that can truly handle multiple media types and multiple sessions for each agent, with fully media blending (and not just call blending) across all media types. Systems that are siloed and not fully blended may have a limited shelf life in this brave new world.

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries


Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations


A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer


Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app