Computer Telephony Integration- CTI

Overview

A person using a CTI enabled computer will be able to dial a number, answer a call or end a call from his computer itself. It also provides the facility to dial a number from an address book saved on the computer. Many CTI systems also allow users to co-ordinate with teleconferencing systems. CTI is generally sorted into two categories:

  • CTI allows user to control the telephone system.
  • CTI allows telephone system to show the data through the computer.

Functions of CTI

Using CTI, the below mentioned functions can be implemented:

  • Call information display to authenticate the telephone number of the caller
  • Identifies a voice for message forwarding or authentication
  • Determination of the procedure to process a call by using recorded voice or an already entered input
  • Offer IVR (Interactive Voice Response) for callers
  • Match the caller’s number with customer data and show it on display for the sake of reference
  • Handle video and voice conferences
  • Route the fax messages to the correct fax machine
  • Pre-dial callers for outbound calling
  • Agent state control- for instance, after-call work for a particular duration, it automatically switches over to the ready state

CTI Event Flow

A normal CTI application handles the event flow that is created by the telephony control during the entire process of a call. The sequence of events is as follows- call setup (initiating), call delivery (ringing), call establishment (answering), Clearing a call (hanging up) and ending a call. The other events that can be managed by a CTI during a call are- conference call, call transfer, call forward, hold a call and retrieve from hold.

CTI also has the ability to manage events associated with Automated Call Distribution (ACD) like- agent available, agent not available, agent ready, agent not ready, agent logged in.

Standards for Computer Telephony Integration

The standards for CTI application are:

  • TAPI (Telephony Applications Program Interface): This is the Microsoft standard for CTI.
  • CSTA (Computer-Supported Telephony Application): This is a European Computer Manufacturers Association standard for CTI and is approved by ITU.
  • TSAPI (Telephony Service Application Program Interface): This is a standard by Lucent/Novell/AT&T for CTI.

The Bottom Line

Computer Telephony Integration is thus a robust collection of library routines that allows the application programs on your computer to co-ordinate with the telephone system. This is achieved by merging the ability of your telephone system with the functionality of your operating system.

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