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Computer Telephony Integration Essay

2599 words - 10 pages

Introduction and Thesis:Computer Telephony Integration, or CTI, is an emerging technology that many companies use or plan to use in the near future. What is CTI? By definition, CTI is "the use of computers to handle telephone calls". In its simplest form, CTI is a computerized call center. The main purpose of CTI is to task a computer with the various functions of a traditional PBX (Public Branch Exchange) while integrating other functions which include call routing (incoming and outgoing, interoffice and external), caller identification, paging, alarm monitoring, faxes, voice mail, email, and Internet messaging, to name just a few. Plus, there are many software packages available that enable even more functionality. For instance, one package allows for the use of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) which lets the caller "complete their own transactions" without the need for a live attendant on the other end. This same package can also draw information from a database in order to route certain calls based on a combination of the caller's choices and this queried data.The purpose of today's presentation is to provide a deeper understanding of CTI by defining what it is and how it is being used. We are going to present some of the advantages of using this technology, some of the companies that currently have this in place, some regulatory and privacy hurdles that are necessary to overcome, what the global impact of CTI might be, and what the future holds for CTI.Technology Requirements for CTIOver the years CTI has become a very popular technology and, because of its overwhelming growth, there are multiple solution vendors and many different ways to implement the technology. By combining the tools of computer and telephone systems together companies have been able to provide their end users with more efficient and effective tools for communication in the workplace. The key components to providing a call center that provides the necessary quality of service to the end user are the hardware and software that are used for the Computer Telephony Application. The hardware and software components that can make up a CTI solution are a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) and a CTI Server.Many companies use CTI Call Centers to streamline the customer service calls that are received on a daily basis. In order for the call to reach the agent there is a very intricate infrastructure in place to route the calls to the correct locations. Figure 1-1 below depicts the typical CTI call center configuration for a bank.Figure 1-1 Typical CTI Configuration (Computer Telephony Integration).According to John Silling, "When the call arrives at your company, your ACD or PBX strips off the ANI data, combines it with an internal phone extension, and sends the caller information to a CTI server. The CTI server compares the caller ID and phone extension with its database to find the right PC. Next, the CTI server generates a data record and sends it to a customer database that may...

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