Answering Machine Detection: Aspect Software

Author: Aspect Software

Date: 17th February 2009

This paper describes the Aspect Answer Machine Detection (AMD) operation of the Digital Communications Processor (DCP).


AMD accuracy is a sensitive competitive issue. It is subject to a lot of extravagant, unsupported claims by all predictive dialer suppliers. The claims focus on two areas, percent of accuracy and delay, which is the time in determining whether an answering machine has answered the call.

Aspect Position

Answering Machine Detection with the DCP, when configured correctly, can have an accuracy of 90 percent, ± five percent. Note that cell phones and the quality of the telephony network can impact this accuracy.
The Aspect method for detecting answering machines uses what’s called the “cadence method,” and refers to the pattern of the message left on the answering machine. It takes the DCP less than 1.5 seconds from network answer detect to determine if a call was not answered by an answering machine. In fact, many times the DCP can detect whether a person or an answering machine has answered in just 0.9 seconds after the end of the called party’s ‘hello’.

As soon as the DCP determines it’s not an answering machine, it immediately switches the call to a live agent to maintain high service quality. Aspect goes to great lengths with its AMD algorithm to ensure that it does not disconnect a live answer that has been mistaken as an answering machine.

In addition to detecting answering machines, the DCP has the following unique features that ensure the accuracy of Answering Machine Detection:
1. Accurately identifies network intercepts (SIT Tone). Most competitive systems misidentify them as answering machines. This feature enables customers to run campaigns with AMD on and still accurately identify all bad numbers.
2. Network answering machine follows the same answer procedure as SIT intercepts. Using advanced DSP pattern recognition capabilities, the DCP can discriminate network answer machines from SIT intercepts.
3. Identifies fax and modem tones. Even if customers decide to run campaigns with AMD off, the DCP will filter out fax machines and modems from being sent to agents.

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