What is the full form of ACD ?


An agent who ever worked in a call centre environment knows how critical it has become when the customers call at the same time. The Customer Service Executive has a huge responsibility to support all the costumes and provide priority to critical cases. He is always surrounded by doubts like: what if there are more agents available, which customer to prioritise first?. This project can be solved by a contact centre solution called “ACD System”. Let's look at what ACD does and how it helps improve customer engagement.

What is ACD

“ACD” stands for “Automatic Call Distributor” also called “Automatic Call Distribution System”. It is a “telephony solution” which automatically answers and distributes incoming calls based on the predefined parameters about incoming calls or the caller who is making the call. These parameters can be the dialled number, caller identity, response to automatic voice recorder, time of the day and departments.

Advanced ACD systems can be integrated with other digital systems such as voice recording systems, IVRs, etc. to make the correct decision in transferring the call to the correct agent. It has been noted that with the introduction of ACD only, connection of running multipurpose contact centres is possible.

History of ACD

Prior to ACD, organisations used an exchange platform which acted like a switchboard used to route the calls within the organisation. This platform is called “Private Branch Exchange” (“PBX”). Later on as the volume of calls increased, there was a need for a system which uses computer technology to automatically transfer the call based on the pre-defined parameters with programmable logic.

In 1950, the first ACD system was introduced by a New York Telephony Company. After some time, “Rober Hirvela” introduced the famous “Rockwell Galaxy Automatic Call Distributor”, which was used by some airlines for the next 20 years. Since then ACD has improved and has become an integral part of the automatic call and message management system.


Following are the critical applications of ACD in this fast moving world −

  • ACD helps customer experience and makes sure that they are connected to the right agent in no time.

  • This system are important part of IT Infrastructures for large companies who handles large volume of incoming calls from their customers

  • It also plays a vital role in managing incoming calls for emergency purposes such as in Hospitals, Fire Stations, Police Control rooms, etc.

  • ACD is quite flexible and customizable in order to adapt to the different routing needs and strategies of an organisation such as Skilled based routing based on operator’s knowledge, Volume based routing based on workload on each operator, etc.

Distribution Method

As it is, the main objective of ACD is to distribute the incoming calls based on the pre-defined routing strategy. Each distribution method has its pros and cons. It's the objective which defines a contact centre executive to adopt methods such as prioritising speed over agent productivity, etc. Below are the list of various distribution method −

  • Rotatory Call Distribution − This method uses rotation as a mechanism to distribute the calls among the agents.

  • Fixed Order Call Distribution − In this method, agents are arranged in a fixed order and calls are transferred in preference to the given order. If the agent with higher preference is busy on line, only in that case the call is transferred to the next agent in order of preference. This method is adopted in order to improve customer experience.

  • Simultaneous Call Distribution − This method is used to reduce customer waiting time. All the agents will get the notification of the incoming call, the agent who picks the call first will answer the call.

  • Talk-Time Call Distribution − With this method tickets are assigned to agents with least talk time. This will spread the workload equally among the agents.

  • Skills based Routing − In Skill-based routing, individuals are given the score and work is distributed in such a way that an agent with higher score is prioritised over the one with lower score.

  • Time based Call Distribution − This method distributes the workload among the available agents. This method comes handy if the call centre doesn’t work on off business hours.


As we know by now, “ACD” stands for “Automatic Call Distributor”. It is a telephony system which is used to distribute calls among the agents in the call centre. The system is a crucial part of day to day operation of a call centre with a large volume. IVR and ACD are often confused terms and used interchangeably. But IVR collects the customer data whereas ACD sorts and distributes the incoming call based on the data collected by IVR. Typically, they work in conjunction with each other.

ACD System can be integrated with existing CRM and other Call Center applications like call recording, IVR and workforce management system.

ACD System has its own benefits such as it improves workforce management and customer experience.


Q1. What is ACD VoIP?

Ans. ACD has a VoIP feature which allows it to connect with the live agent and transfer the call over the internet.

Q2. Which is PBX or VoIP?

Ans. VoIP is much more advanced than PBX as it provides features like “Call forwarding, Call ID, Voicemail and Call Waiting ''. VoIP is also more flexible and customizable as per user requirements as compared to PBX.

Q3. Is SIP better than VoIP?

Ans. VoIP enables transfer for voice traffic over the internet. Whereas SIP trunking provides transfer of multimedia as well such as voice, text, video.

Updated on: 17-Apr-2023


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