CTI, or Computer Telephony Integration, is a general term used to describe technology that allows computers and telephones to communicate with each other. For example, if you call your bank and press 1 for balance information, it’s CTI interpreting the phone action and returning the database information. In the call center world, the technology is to make call handling more efficient. For example, CTI helps by popping caller information on the operators screen at the moment the call is connected – like the callers telephone number (ANI) or number dialed to reach the call center (SDNIS). Find out more about how CTI can turn your computer into a seriously powerful communications tool!
CTI is the exchange of commands and messages between computers and telephone equipment. The ultimate goal of CTI is efficient handling of incoming and outgoing telephone calls. CTI bridges the telecommunications and computer industries, and introduces new, integrated applications such as:
CTI can turn a desktop computer into a powerful communications tool that can combine sight, sound, text, animation, video and graphics. CTI helps improve customer service and employee productivity and will eventually evolve to be a building block in the overall IT and network architecture of enterprises across many industries.
First generation CTI applications focused on “screen pops”, bringing up Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data, based on the number from which the call originated. Second generation CTI applications focus on the following areas:
CTI involved a connection between a computer and a telephone switch. When a call center receives a call, it carries some form of identification – either ANI (automatic number identification) or CLID (calling line ID). The switch interprets this data and sends it to a computer that looks up the information in a database and provides instructions to the switch as to where the call should be routed.
Simultaneously, the customer’s database record is routed to the agent’s desktop. Routing can be either skills-based or productivity-based, and is done through an ACD system. There are two ways to enable CTI within a CRM environment – CTI Adapters and Open CTI
The job of a CTI system is to improve the process of handling incoming and outgoing calls in terms of both speed and efficiency. The main benefits include:
As strong technologies evolve, the future of CTI in enterprise will continue to grow!
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