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.