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Computer telephony integration

Computer telephony integration, also referred to as CTI, is technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or co-ordinated.

The following functions can be implemented using CTI.

  • Calling Line Information Display (Caller's Number, Number Called, IVR Options)
  • Screen Population on answer, with or without using calling line data.
  • On Screen Dialling. (Fast dial, predictive dialling.)
  • On Screen Phone Control. (Ringing, Answer, Hang-up, Hold, Conference etc.)

There are 2 form of CTI.

  • First Party Call Control
    • First Party Call Control is the easiest to implement. This requires a connection between the computer and the telephone. Effectively the computer has a telephone built into it. Only the computer associated with the phone can control it. The computer can control all the functions of the phone, normally at the computer user's direction.

  • Third Party Call Control
    • Third Party Call Control is more difficult to implement and often requires a dedicated Telephony Server to interface between the Telephone Network and the Computer Network. Information about a phone call can be displayed on the corresponding computer workstation's screen while instructions to control the phone can be sent from the computer to the telephone network. Any computer in the network has the potential to control any phone in the telephone system. The phone does not need to be built into the computer, and may only need to have a microphone and headset in the circuit, without even a keypad, to connect to the telephone network.

Both types of systems are used in call centers.

See also: voice over IP

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