CTI –┬áComputer Telephony Integration

CTI stands for Computer Telephony Integration, the joining together of computer applications with your telephone system.

There are many CTI applications; the linking of a customer database to your phone system will provide you with the instant information about who is calling you on a PC screen. This basic application has become known as ‘screen popping’. Beyond this more sophisticated products will address call and contact centre management, telesales scripting, call recording and retrieval, voicemail, and unified messaging. Web based CTI applications that offer a sales or service based interface with your organisation with ‘click to call’ facilities can also be linked to your communications systems.

Why have it?
CTI provides a great deal of automation and can enhance business processes. Research has shown that ‘screen popping’ can increase the number of callers handled in a given time dramatically by having all the information you want to hand at the time you take the call. Call and contact centres are pretty useless without CTI applications routing the calls to the right destination and providing the ‘cradle to grave’ management reporting on how your company handled each call. Likewise, other application addresses at this web site, unified messaging, call recording, call management etc, function entirely through CTI.

Other Considerations
There are CTI standards that should be considered when purchasing products and applications. Both your telephone system and the CTI applications you want to run should work to the same standard, the most common being the Microsoft derived and supported TAPI standard. Standards produce lowest common denominator functionality so it is worthwhile considering bespoke applications written for your telephone system. They usually offer tighter integration and greater functionality.