CTI or Computer Telephony Integration makes it possible to sync the mobile device with the computer. Using CTI adapters, users may control the mobile device with their computer, or vice versa. Needless to say, the spread of mobile computing has resulted in a proliferation of various CTI adapters.
Traditional CTI Adapters
Traditional CTI adaptres get the job done, but come with severe limitations and productivity blocks.
Most companies generally have two systems running: a CRM suite that tracks, records, and analyze sales, and also a CTI system for marketers and sales executives to make actual telephone calls. When a customer initiates an enquiry over voice, the CTI server provides call information, IVR, and routing, which is passed on to Salesforce using the CTI adapter.
Salesforce CRM Call Center integrates Salesforce with third-party CTI systems seamlessly, thereby redressing the issues related to sync caused by running two systems connected with the customer. However, users need to install a CTI adapter program on their machines, and this is a hassle. Not only does installation restrict free adoption, the programs often include desktop software that require maintenance and do not offer the benefits of cloud architecture. Worse, agents need to intall separate CTI versions fort Microsoft, Mozilla Firefox, Linux, Windows or any other variant of the browser or operating system, and also ensure that they have the correct version of.NET running on their system for the adaptor software to work. Support and roll back of agents desktop and browser software creates a logistics nightmare and wastes many unproductive hours that could be better spent elsewhere.
The Benefits of Open CTI
Open CTI promises a whole new world of cloud based telephony, with tremendous productivity gains to boot.
Open CTI facilitates the same seamless integration that CTI adaptors facilitate, but without the need to install a CTI adapter program on user machines. Open CTI is cloud based and offer users browser and platform agnostic CTI systems. It offers cross domain API, and a simple support model. It ends browser dependencies and has a single codebase, and as such saves hundreds of manhours otherwise required for support. There is only one installation required for the entire organization, as opposed to installing the traditional CTI adapter software on every agent’s console, and different variants for each operating system or browser.
Open CTI also allows developers to create customizable SoftPhones or call-control tools capable of functioning as fully integrated parts of Salesforce and the Salesforce console. Third party softphones may be embedded easily in Salesforce. Browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox co-opt the most modern web sockets and WebRTC technology make it possible for agents or users to accept calls in a Salesforce browser window while using a USB or bluetooth headset. The clear benefit here is the ability to handle telephone calls without a physical phone or PBX box.
Open CTI browser based calling offers a more integrated experience and allow users to place their focus on a single Salesforce control, rather than be distracted or confused with multiple windows and applications. The old CTI toolkit required sales rep and other Salesforce users contacting the customers over the telephone to have Salesforce, the desktop softphone and a Salesforce connector window, all open. With OpenCTI, the user simply needs to have Salesforce open in the browser.
Open CTI enabled telephony systems offer a host of productivity enhancements as well, including facilities such as auto-dialing, auto-logging of call activity, centralized call reporting, interactive lookup to search for users in company directory and get status information, and more. It also offers stats of calls, useful for analytics. Agents handling the calls get access to a host of information such as a pop-up that details the customer’s record, ability to start and stop recording the call as required, and more.
How to Make the Shift
Open CTI is a relatively new cloud based offering, and as such most organizations would invariably have to make a transition from their legacy CTI adaptors to Open CTI. For Open CTI to make life easier for Salesforce users, it is important to make the transition smooth and seamless.
The easiest way to make the transition is to opt for a Salesforce compatible Open CTI solution offered by the enterprises’ existing phone system vendor. However, very few phone companies offer this, and more often than not, third party vendor come into play. Large call centers could opt to develop Open CTI using the services of such third party vendors, but the high costs and effort involved make this option unviable for most enterprises. There is also the option of trashing the existing legacy phone system, and building or upgrading a new cloud based phone system on top of an open CTI. This option too would not be practical for all enterprises.
The most viable option is to build Open CTI for Salesforce on top of the existing telephone system. There are many third party vendors doing this task, but make sure that the selected vendor uses Open CTI and not the traditional CTI toolkit. Also, some vendors may use a proprietary technology that may lock in the enterprise with the vendor for life. Traditional CTI toolkit connectors had a fixed one time cost, but Open CTI solutions are usually charged per user per month, in tune with the standard cloud model.
For more information on Open CTI, caller telephony integration services and other Salesforce-related services, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.