Software Advice helps call centers choose the right computer telephony integration software so they can improve agent interactions and integrate CRM data. How does it work?

Computer Telephony Integration Software


 
Jive PBX logo
 
Jive Communications delivers a cloud-based unified communication solution to organizations of all sizes across the U.S. Jive Hosted PBX which includes integrated products for business VoIP, video conferencing and contact center are... Read More
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Jive Communications delivers a cloud-based unified communication solution to organizations of all sizes across the U.S. Jive Hosted PBX which includes integrated products for business VoIP, video conferencing and contact center are... Read More
 
RingCentral Contact Center logo
 
Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
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Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
 
Kixie PowerCall logo
 
Kixie PowerCall is an interactive voice response (IVR) solution that helps users automate their sales processes. It can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. Kixie PowerCall offers users one-click dialing, call recording,... Read More
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Kixie PowerCall is an interactive voice response (IVR) solution that helps users automate their sales processes. It can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. Kixie PowerCall offers users one-click dialing, call recording,... Read More
 
Nextiva VoIP logo
 
Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer telephony services for small businesses with functionality that eliminates the need for a traditional phone system. The packages include VoIP phone systems, scalable PBX trunks, online faxing... Read More
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Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer telephony services for small businesses with functionality that eliminates the need for a traditional phone system. The packages include VoIP phone systems, scalable PBX trunks, online faxing... Read More
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a robust, integrated call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support.  This cloud-based solution gives small and midsize businesses a full set of tools and is priced based on... Read More
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Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a robust, integrated call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support.  This cloud-based solution gives small and midsize businesses a full set of tools and is priced based on... Read More

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Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
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Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
 
inContact Cloud Contact Center logo
 
inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
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inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
 
ContactWorld for Sales by NewVoiceMedia logo
 
ContactWorld for Sales is a Web-based contact center solution for organizations of all sizes and industries. The software provides integration with Salesforce, which enables agents to directly work in the Salesforce user interface.... Read More
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ContactWorld for Sales is a Web-based contact center solution for organizations of all sizes and industries. The software provides integration with Salesforce, which enables agents to directly work in the Salesforce user interface.... Read More
 
PureCloud logo
 
PureCloud by Genesys is a call center solution for businesses of any size and in any industry. Among its modules are Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer, a mobile call... Read More
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PureCloud by Genesys is a call center solution for businesses of any size and in any industry. Among its modules are Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer, a mobile call... Read More
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More
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X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More

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Streams UC logo
 
Streams UC is a cloud-based call center solution created by PanTerra. Users can manage and monitor inbound calls from any device with an internet connection, giving call center employees the ability to telecommute. Call center seats... Read More
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Streams UC is a cloud-based call center solution created by PanTerra. Users can manage and monitor inbound calls from any device with an internet connection, giving call center employees the ability to telecommute. Call center seats... Read More
 
Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Cloud Contact Center, by Telax Voice Solutions, is a call center management solution designed for SMB companies in various industries. Government agencies, retail, energy, healthcare, insurance, professional services, engineering,... Read More
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Cloud Contact Center, by Telax Voice Solutions, is a call center management solution designed for SMB companies in various industries. Government agencies, retail, energy, healthcare, insurance, professional services, engineering,... Read More
 
Sharpen logo
 
Sharpen’s cloud-native platform is a SaaS contact center solution for midsize to large enterprise businesses. As an all-in-one solution, the platform provides businesses the ability to communicate with customers by SMS, MMS, live... Read More
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Sharpen’s cloud-native platform is a SaaS contact center solution for midsize to large enterprise businesses. As an all-in-one solution, the platform provides businesses the ability to communicate with customers by SMS, MMS, live... Read More
 
Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform logo
 
Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform is a web-based contact center suitable for organizations with 100 or more concurrent and named users. The system is a complete set of customer service capabilities including self-service, omnichannel... Read More
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Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform is a web-based contact center suitable for organizations with 100 or more concurrent and named users. The system is a complete set of customer service capabilities including self-service, omnichannel... Read More
 
Salesforce.com Service Cloud logo
 
Service Cloud from SalesForce is a cloud-based customer service management solution that is designed to initiate customer service activities from anywhere. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Service Cloud works to centralize and optimize... Read More
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Service Cloud from SalesForce is a cloud-based customer service management solution that is designed to initiate customer service activities from anywhere. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Service Cloud works to centralize and optimize... Read More

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XenCALL Predictive Dialer CRM logo
 
XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read More
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XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read More
 
CallShaper logo
 
CallShaper is a cloud-based call center management solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include lead management, real-time reporting, agent monitoring and tablet support. CallShaper enables users to create... Read More
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CallShaper is a cloud-based call center management solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include lead management, real-time reporting, agent monitoring and tablet support. CallShaper enables users to create... Read More
 
Aspect Unified IP logo
 
Aspect Unified IP is a call center management solution suitable for inbound and outbound call centers of any size. Key features include automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
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Aspect Unified IP is a call center management solution suitable for inbound and outbound call centers of any size. Key features include automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
 
Noble Enterprise logo
 
Noble Enterprise is a call center management solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include inbound, outbound and blended contact management, predictive dialing, skills-based call routing, digital recording and... Read More
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Noble Enterprise is a call center management solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include inbound, outbound and blended contact management, predictive dialing, skills-based call routing, digital recording and... Read More
 
FluentCloud logo
 
FluentCloud by FluentStream is an all-inclusive, cloud-based business phone system that eliminates the need to install infrastructure or PBX lines on site. 99.99% uptimes are guaranteed for all FluentCloud clients via the program’s... Read More
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FluentCloud by FluentStream is an all-inclusive, cloud-based business phone system that eliminates the need to install infrastructure or PBX lines on site. 99.99% uptimes are guaranteed for all FluentCloud clients via the program’s... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 22, 2017


Imagine you’re an agent at a busy call center: you’re fielding dozens of phone calls a day with customers you’ve never met, and you want to make a good impression on all of them. Don’t you want to be as prepared and efficient as possible?

One of the best ways to set up your call center team for success in the environment described is by investing in a system with computer telephony integration (CTI). CTI is an important category of call center software: It enables phone and computer systems to work together for the benefit of your agents and your customers.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to choose the right CTI system for your company, such as:

What Is CTI?
Common Functionality of CTI
Benefits of CTI
CTI Implementation Options
Integration Considerations

What Is CTI?

CTI, or computer telephony integration, is also known as “computer-telephone integration” or “computer telephony.” These terms may sound intimidating, but their basic meaning is straightforward: CTI is technology that lets you use a computer to initiate, manage and enhance your phone calls.

CTI is often used as a jargon term for describing integrations between a phone system and a customer relationship management (CRM) system that has already been deployed. These integrations add features to enhance both systems and help agents better handle interactions.

An example of how they do this is “screen pops”—a window that pops up on an agent's computer screen when they have an incoming phone call. That window displays information about the caller, e.g., address and interaction history, which is pulled from the call center’s existing CRM program.

3CLogic and Zoho CRM integration showing the “click-to-dial” function
This is what a screen pop might look like in a typical CTI solution.

 

This phone system-computer coordination is made possible through CTI. Though it’s most common for CTI to be used for CRM integrations, it is also good for other types of integrations.

For instance, many organizations now use CTI to allow their accounting software to interface with their phone system. Agents can call customers with unpaid invoices directly from their accounting software through functionality called “click-to-dial” (more details on this below).

To recap: CTI software acts as a bridge for the exchange of data and functionalities between a company’s phone system and other existing programs, such as CRM or accounting solutions.

Common Functionality of CTI

Vendors offer a variety of functional breadth and depth in their CTI solutions. Here are some of the most common capabilities:

Screen pops In addition to what we’ve already described, screen pops can indicate the priority level of an interaction with a caller based on customer history data from your CRM program. They can also use a customer’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system answers to display the purpose of a call (e.g., sales or support).
Click-to-dial This function adds outbound dialing capabilities to the databases of contacts you'd find in a CRM or accounting system. Agents can skip manual dialing and simply click a phone number on their computer screen to place a call.
Caller authentication CTI software screens incoming calls and uses the phone number to find a match in your CRM system. It can confirm the caller’s identity before the call even starts.
Phone controls Users can manage their phone controls through the computer instead of dialing buttons manually. These include the ability to answer, hang-up, conference, forward and transfer calls.
Logging and notes Basic information is automatically logged in the CRM system while the call is in progress, such as the time/date of the call and agent handling it. Agents can also add manual notes directly into the CRM or accounting program.
Coordinated voice/data transfer If a call needs to be transferred from one member of your team to another, this function allows all onscreen customer information (e.g., screen pops) to be transferred when the line is reassigned.
3CLogic and Zoho CRM integration showing the “click-to-dial” function
3CLogic and Zoho CRM integration showing the “click-to-dial” function

 

CTI Benefits

Here are some benefits that explain how CTI can empower call center agents and companies to have more productive customer interactions:

Top Benefits of CTI Software

Top Benefits of CTI Software

 

CTI Implementation Options

CTI can be implemented in one of two ways:

  • As a best-of-breed application
  • As part of a call center suite that has CTI capabilities built in, in addition to other applications (e.g., automatic call distribution or workforce scheduling)

It’s important to note that best-of-breed CTI software is a relatively niche offering. It could be a good option for companies with older phone systems who aren’t ready to buy a new one just yet, but still want to reap the benefits of CTI sooner rather than later.

The vast majority of buyers are better off with the second option: You’ll need an established phone system for calls to be able to work on your computers at all. It’s easier to implement a phone system that supports CTI from the start, rather than trying to retrofit or replace it later on.

Also worth noting: Some of the more basic CTI capabilities (e.g., click-to-dial and even screen pops, in some cases) can be achieved with a PBX system as an alternative to using CTI with a call center system.

Integration Considerations

Once you’ve decided on an implementation model, you can evaluate vendors. As we’ve explained, CTI is intended to be used with computer programs that call centers are already using, such as existing CRM or accounting systems. It’s important to ensure that any CTI vendor on your shortlist can interface with this existing software. You can usually find this information listed on vendors’ websites.

Free Download:
Call Center Software Pricing Guide

 

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