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CallTools offers an advanced predictive dialer and inbound call center management solution that streamlines and optimizes call center operations. With list management tools that include list scrubbing, recycling, and export capabi...Read more about CallTools

4.8 (112 reviews)

15 recommendations


Five9 is an all-in-one cloud contact center solution for inbound, outbound, blended and omnichannel contact centers world-wide. Powered by Practical AI, Five9 enables agents to provide customer experiences across phone, emai...Read more about Five9

4.2 (457 reviews)

13 recommendations

Zendesk Suite

FrontRunners 2023

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features an...Read more about Zendesk Suite

4.4 (3798 reviews)

8 recommendations


FrontRunners 2023

Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that helps businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. It uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) a...Read more about Talkdesk

4.5 (720 reviews)

8 recommendations

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PanTerra Networks

PanTerra Streams provides UCaaS communications and collaboration for mid-market to enterprise level businesses. It's the only all-in-one call, text, conference, fax, web meeting, and file sharing cloud communications solution. I...Read more about PanTerra Networks

4.5 (21 reviews)

5 recommendations


CCaaS platform for enterprises of all sizes featuring robotic process automation, inbound and outbound voice engines, a complete suite of digital channels (email, chat, SMS, social), and a range of built-in AI tools. Thrio offer...Read more about Thrio

5.0 (5 reviews)

4 recommendations


Dialpad is an AI-powered cloud communication platform and business phone system that provides organizations with the latest in VoIP telephony technology to keep teams connected and productive. The platform comprises three integrat...Read more about Dialpad

4.3 (508 reviews)

3 recommendations


FrontRunners 2023

Ringover is the no.1 business phone system that gives you unlimited calls to 110 countries, video conferencing, SMS and group messaging, call recording, call whispering and more features focused on improving your teams productivit...Read more about Ringover

4.6 (333 reviews)

3 recommendations


FrontRunners 2023

Convoso’s all-in-one contact center platform generates and converts leads faster using multiple communication channels. The cloud-based solution offers multiple dialing modes (predictive/power/preview) along with two-way texting, ...Read more about Convoso

4.5 (251 reviews)

2 recommendations

Zoho Desk

FrontRunners 2023

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk solution from Zoho Corporation, catering to businesses of all sizes. Key features include management of customer support tickets, a customer support portal, contract management and report creat...Read more about Zoho Desk


FrontRunners 2023

LiveAgent is an online Help Desk solution for e-commerce businesses at the small and midsize levels. The platform offers live chat application, ticket management, online self-service portals, and change and license management, all...Read more about LiveAgent

RingCentral MVP

RingCentral MVP is a cloud-based business communications solution that offers tools for Messaging, Video and Phone. Core features of the solution include conferencing, auto-recording and unlimited long-distance and local calling. ...Read more about RingCentral MVP


Bitrix24 is an online workspace for small, medium, and large businesses. It features over 35 cross-integrated tools, including CRM, tasks, Kanban board, Gantt chart, messenger, video calls, file storage, workflow automation, and m...Read more about Bitrix24

FrontRunners 2023 is a cloud-based internet phone service solution designed to help businesses manage local, mobile and toll-free number portability across Canada and United States. Key features include voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, D...Read more about

Google Voice

FrontRunners 2023

Google Voice is a cloud-based business phone system that provides users with a unique contact number to receive international calls, send text messages and transcribe voicemails, streamlining communications across the organization...Read more about Google Voice

GoTo Connect

GoTo Connect is the all-in-one phone, meeting and messaging software built for SMBs. It boasts an enterprise-class phone system with 100+ features with inclusive minutes for local, long distance & international calls; video and au...Read more about GoTo Connect


NICE CXone is a cloud-based call center software that helps businesses to maximize the quality of leads and minimize the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises many features required to process inbound support requests...Read more about NICE CXone


CallHippo is a cloud-based call center solution that helps mid to large size businesses with workflow automation and virtual telephony. The platform enables users to give detailed analysis to customers through call recordings. Cal...Read more about CallHippo


Nextiva is a platform that brings communications together with business applications, intelligence, and automation. This helps businesses communicate and build deeper connections with their customers. The platform brings all ...Read more about Nextiva


FrontRunners 2023

Twilio is the worlds leading cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build, scale, and operate their own customized communication solutions. The platform is designed to be customizable and easy to use, which means...Read more about Twilio

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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.


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).


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

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


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.