Computer and Telephone going hand in hand

Posted by Vimarsh Ganju
July 29th, 2008

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) as the name suggests, is a technology that allows the interactions between a computer and a telephone to be integrated or synchronized.

CTI systems can take several types of inputs including a voice input from Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR) or email, fax and web etc.

Where is CTI used?
Depending on the business type and real time interactivity, we need to decide whether we can go with this approach.
For e.g. In an Online, Help/Solution providing firm, Tele-marketing centers or a Call Center the telephone usage would be high. This means if the business is telephone intensive then we might use this approach so that it would be easy to trace the calls and the caller information.

How to implement CTI in Siebel?
Depending on the business requirements either of the following approaches can be used to implement CTI setup for Siebel Call Center Application
It’s a faster approach as compared to the second one. It uses the vendor specific library which has the configuration parameters required for the setup.
This includes the development of certain customized web services and usage of the ASI s.

Computer Telephony Integration

Example: Scenario where IVR triggers CTI
In our scenario, various methods of customized Business service for IVR trigger the middleware and the middleware further invokes the CTI module.
These methods need to be exposed as web services to publish them on the web at the host address. This host address is specified by the path which is same as the one where we need to get the CTI toolbar and CTI services enabled.
In all, the Business service methods act as the traversing points through which the CSR can navigate to the specified view, taking the output arguments from the function as the input CED (Caller Entered Digit) data for the CTI system.
CTI Applications:

Computer Telephony Integration

What CTI can do and why is it preferred?

  • Displays the complete call information
  • Authenticates the caller
  • Agent state information can also be displayed
  • Can receive fax messages and route it to respective recipients

Greater efficiency
Dialing out automatically with a single mouse click from a computer saves time and is more accurate.
Staff can handle more calls in a given period of time.

Logging calls, allows monitoring the effectiveness of :

  • Operating procedures
  • Individual staff members.
  • Improved Customer Service
  • Receiving customer details on screen at the same moment you receive the incoming call.
  • Automatically seeing key details about that customer.
  • Automatic call distribution (ACD) automatically answers calls with a voice menu, and uses caller responses to route incoming calls.

Challenges in setting up a CTI Systems:

If IVR is used for triggering purposes, then the Web service response time can be a hurdle in case of screen pops configured in the CTI system.

There could be some cases, where the vanilla views can’t be used for displaying the complete info, so lot more customizations are to be done.

Navigating between various screens could be time consuming.Screen transfer between agents could be difficult to implement.As the implementation (Middleware used) is Vendor dependent, the functionalities and services provided also differ. Hence, there is a difficulty in choosing among the various vendors.

As the CTI services are server dependent, there is always a difficulty in maintaining those IC servers
Network congestion could also hamper the CTI response time.

Inputs from Shreeya R

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