Setting up Talkdesk: Requirements and Best Practices

To ensure a smooth experience with Talkdesk, you can find below a list of requirements and best practices that you need to keep in mind when setting up your hardware, software, and network.

✔️ Getting Started: Checklist

  1. Acknowledge and accept the Talkdesk invitation.
  2. Review the operating environments that the agents will use.
  3. Make sure everyone is using a wired headset with the best configuration.
  4. Connect via Ethernet and read the recommendations below for VPN/VDI usage.
  5. Where will the Agents work? Depending on whether it's home or the office:
  6. Test your connectivity using our Network Test Tool.

Please continue reading for more details.

📬 Your Talkdesk invitation

Your account administrator may have set up a user account for you, but before using Talkdesk you need to accept the invitation that has arrived in your inbox. For further details, please refer to this article.
This is not applicable to accounts that have exclusive SSO login methods, as these accounts are activated upon the first login.

If you haven’t received your invitation, please ask your account administrator to follow these instructions:

  • Make sure the Agent is created under your account.
  • Confirm that the Agent is set as active.
  • Make sure the e-mail registered on the Agent’s profile is correct.
  • Whitelist the following domains: 
    • *talkdesk.com
    • *outbound-mail.sendgrid.net
    • *sendgrid.net

💻  Supported Operating Environments 

When setting up the operating environment to work with Talkdesk, please review these requirements:

  • Operating System (OS):
    • Talkdesk CX Cloud (Agent Workspace):  Windows 10 / Windows 11 / macOS 10.14+
    • Callbar and Talkdesk Classic: Windows 10 / OSX 10.14+ / Linux 64bit (Debian 9 or Red Hat 8 based distros) / Chrome OS. 
  • RAM: Recommended 8 GB of RAM.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 4440 or better/ AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or better.
  • Browser: Google Chrome is configured as the default browser and updated to the latest version.
  • Security: If you use any software or Proxy that can block applications, please include Callbar and/or Workspace in the allowlist.

You can access Talkdesk CX Cloud through the Web or Desktop app. The following table summarizes the supported options per device type. 

Device Type

Web Access

Desktop Application

Windows laptop and desktop

Supported

Supported

Mac

Supported

Supported

Google Pixelbook

Supported

Not Supported

Google Chromebook

Supported

Not Supported

Tablets

Not Supported

Not Supported

Mobile devices

Not Supported

Not Supported

 

Computer Power Configuration

Adequate power configuration can prevent situations in which, in Callbar, Workspace, and Conversations, the Agent status is inadvertently changed to “offline”, or the call is dropped. This happens because the app notifies Talkdesk servers in regular 4-minute intervals, sending what’s referred to as a “Heartbeat”, indicating the current agent status, and restoring the “Time to Live”. Each agent has a time interval during which a set of validations are performed to confirm they remain active on the app. This time interval is known as “Time to Live”. If, after 4 consecutive 4-minute cycles, no positive feedback is sent to Talkdesk servers (namely, no heartbeat is sent), the agent status should change to “Offline”.  To learn more about this behavior in the Conversations app, please refer to Conversations: Status Update to “Offline” - Heartbeat.

This is often caused by the computer or the hard drive going into sleep mode, or the computer being disconnected from the internet. Make sure to follow these guidelines to ensure the machine’s optimal power configuration.

Note: Depending on the version of the operating system that your machine is running, the location and configuration of the options below described may be different.

  • Windows
    • Click on the battery/power icon in the taskbar and select More Power Options. In the Control Panel window that opens, select Change Plan Settings for your current power plan. In the next window, select Change Advanced Power Settings and choose the sleep and display settings that you want your computer to use.
  • Mac:
    • Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences and then click Energy Saver. Do any of the following: set the amount of time your computer or display should wait before going to sleep. Drag the “Computer sleep” and “Display sleep” sliders or the “Turn display off after” slider. 

🎧  Headsets

When choosing headsets to handle calls with Talkdesk, please consider the following:

  • We recommend using a wired headset with a 3.5 mm jack (analog) port;
  • You can use a USB headset, but this option will consume resources from your computer;
  • We also do not recommend Bluetooth/Wireless headsets for professional long-term usage:
    • The battery level is a factor in these devices (the lower the battery, the lower the range);
    • Being a wireless device, it suffers from interference from other wireless devices in the area;
    • Bad reception or increased latency is common, which could falsely point to a network issue.
  • If you use Windows OS, follow the recommended settings for Callbar and/or Workspace.

📎  Learn more about the headsets that we recommend here.

  • Regarding the network requirements for Screen Recordings, the minimum is 500Kbps on top of the 100Kbps for Audio Calls (not considering other apps running on the Desktop, and/or bigger screen resolutions).

 

🌐  Network

Internet Bandwidth

Make sure that enough bandwidth is reserved to work with Talkdesk:

  • A good rule of thumb is a 1Mbps symmetrical connection per device;
  • Avoid having other people using/sharing your bandwidth while you are on a call, especially if it involves activities that consume a considerable amount of bandwidth, such as:
    • Streaming multimedia content (4K/HD/Full HD Movies);
    • Online gaming;
    • Downloading large content (such as torrents).
  • Disable recordings on any DVR / Set-top boxes, as these can consume bandwidth.
  • Regarding the network requirements for Screen Recordings, the bandwidth required is proportional to the screen resolution. If you are using big resolutions across multiple monitors and even 4k, the minimum requirements should increase to around 2Mbps.

Connection best practices

Make sure to follow these guidelines regarding the type of connection:

  • Ethernet is the preferred connection type. Use a Cat 5E cable, or above.
  • Set the following DNS servers (if possible):
    • Primary DNS: 8.8.8.8
    • Secondary DNS: 1.1.1.1
  • Avoid using VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you do need to use a VPN, split tunneling must be configured in order to ensure that traffic from Callbar and/or Workspace is routed directly to the internet instead of through the VPN.

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  • Where possible, avoid running Talkdesk Workspace and/or Callbar directly within VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) or Remote environments.

Although practical from a systems administration perspective, virtual/remote desktop environments are still a suboptimal solution when it comes to real-time voice, and add complexity and latency to the real-time voice needs within the Talkdesk CX Cloud product.

Talkdesk recommends the following options to utilize the Agent Workspace alongside a VDI environment. When used in the following configurations, Talkdesk will continue to support our customers in maintaining the high-quality voice calls they come to expect from the Talkdesk solution. At all times, customers should observe Talkdesk recommendations to ensure their systems are set up for optimal voice performance.

  • Local Desktop
  • Forward to External SIP Device

These options are explained in more detail in the article Working alongside a VDI environment.

Successful usage of Talkdesk's Callbar and/or Workspace in a VDI environment may require tuning and additional testing to be carried out by the customer's system administrator(s) / VDI provider(s).

 

Office and Home

If you and your agents are:

Using Wi-Fi as a Temporary Solution

⚠️  While Wi-Fi offers convenience, it can lack reliability for voice communications as it's influenced by many factors:
  • It does not send and receive traffic at the same time (Half-Duplex), which can affect the jitter, making the voice seem robotized, and will at times increase latency;
  • Some AP (access point) versions are only able to connect to one device in the network at a time (if you use more devices, you will have more latency);
  • It’s a shared medium. The common 2.4 GHz band is used by many other home devices and can frequently suffer from signal interferences.

image1.gif

As you can see in the above image, Wi-Fi is prone to packet loss, latency variation, and jitter.

If you are waiting for an Ethernet or PLC (power line) adaptor and need to use Wi-Fi temporarily, please follow these guidelines:

  • Use the latest standards (> Wi-Fi 5 IEEE 802.11ac) with MU-MIMO support and the 5 GHz band, as opposed to the 2.4 GHz. This will reduce the range but decrease the probability of environmental interference;
  • Connect as few devices as possible to the same AP, to better concentrate and serve your own;
  • Upgrade to a mesh AP network. It allows reachability from several points in the home and repeats the traffic between the cells. This way, the packets are not lost if a specific area is affected.

📎  Learn more about why we recommend Ethernet here.

 

🎛️  Final Step: Testing your Network Connection

Finally, you can test the quality of your network connection by using the Talkdesk Network Test Tool.

 

Metric Required Recommended
MOS Score > 4.2 > 4.3
Jitter < 30 ms < 10 ms
Packet Loss < 3 % < 1 %
Round Trip < 200 ms < 100 ms

If you face any call quality issues or the test results are not as expected, you can reach out to our support team, by submitting a request here.

 

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