Within the smorgasbord of product categories of
technologies used in call centres, the term computer
telephony integration, or CTI, is a major one. CTI has long
been widely understood to refer specifically to a category of
software that was interfaced to the PABX, to the agents
desktops and possibly to the enterprise computers. This
software enables computing and telephony applications to
be integrated to deliver such well-known applications as
screen population (screen pop), screen transfer with call
transfer, screen/keyboard dialling and call routing, the last
not to be confused with off-switch ACD. In addition to being a
category of software product, CTI also refers to the specific
interface between the server in which CTI software is
invariably installed and the telephone system and the
protocol used for this interface.
The more recent of LAN-based and PC-based telephone
systems, many of which offer an integral CTI capability, has
lead to some confusion about the term CTI and given rise in
some quarters to the ambiguous term computer telephony
or CT. Some such systems, indeed, offer an integral CTI
capability, although sometimes the CTI capability is more
that of personal CTI than enterprise CTI, yet although there
is no physical integration of components to be done, the
applications must still be integrated.
LAN-based and PC-based telephone systems are beyond the
scope of this update report, as are such product categories
as audio call recording systems, predictive diallers,
collaborative browsing software, CRM software and e-mail
management software which, although they may include a
CTI capability are not, per se, CTI products.
For a detailed analysis of the use of CTI by such products, as
well as a directory of the products available in the European
market, the reader is referred to the 2003 report.