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CTI Integration with a CRM solution like Salesforce is an important step for organizations to enhance the effectiveness of their customer service. There was a time when the CTI Toolkit was a familiar solution for Salesforce users who wanted to integrate CTI with their networks. Things have definitely changed, as a recent announcement about the end of support and development for the toolkit was hardly a surprise to most users.
Why was the CTI Toolkit phased out? For a start, it was very closely tied in to the browser and operating systems that were in use on the desktops. It also had to be installed on every single machine that was used by agents in your network. This means that every upgrade or rollback could turn out to be an elaborate process with even a small error getting compounded due to the sheer volume of the machines in your network.
These are just some of the reasons why Open CTI started making an appearance, and it is obvious that a cloud based solution made a lot more sense for organizations using cloud telephony vendors as well. Here are some of the benefits offered by Open CTI:
Platform and browser independent: Users can now move away from the close connection with the desktop, to an environment where the platform or browser used by them is not limiting in any way. A few exceptions may exist in situations where specific and new functionalities of some browsers have been used, such as WebRTC, for example. It is also important to note that Windows XP would no longer be supported for new installations of open CTI, as the support for this browser has been discontinued by Microsoft.
Removes the need for multiple installations: One of the major disadvantages of the CTI Toolkit, as mentioned above, was the need for an installation on every desktop used by an agent. When you move to the cloud with Open CTI, you can save a lot of time and effort for installation.
Easy to maintain: Support and maintenance would also become seamless processes with Open CTI. This is because it makes it much easier to find any issues when dealing with a single instance rather than multiple ones on a myriad number of desktops in the organization.
Enhances the functionality of the Softphone: The web-based softphone offers a different look and feel to users, and also allows a lot of flexibility compared to the Toolkit based one. As it is entirely owned by the customer or partner and maintained by a single codebase, it can be used for CRM and non-CRM customers.
Provides support for third party web apps: The use of Open CTI would also enable you to integrate third party applications with your solution. These could be very useful in providing a better experience to the end user, to help differentiate your services as a brand.
How to Enable Migration to Open CTI
With Salesforce ending support to the CTI toolkit, and with a glimpse of the advantages offered by the cloud based Open CTI, it definitely seems like it’s the right time for organizations to plan this migration. Here are some ways to go about it:
Upgrade your existing system with the same vendor: If your current vendor provides an Open CTI solution, you could opt to make the transition seamlessly. This might involve changes to your PBX system, but your vendor should be able to help with understanding the configuration that works best for your needs.
Build your own Open CTI Adapter: Organizations with a lot of technology know-how could opt to put in the effort to build their own adapters for the Open CTI solution. This would mean dedicating some resources to building the adapter, and also for supporting it in the future so that is kept up-to-date for future changes.
Buy a third party Open CTI adapter: There are many adapters available in the market, but you need to match these to your requirements carefully before making your choice. Ensure that it fits with your infrastructure and technology before you sign up for long term with such a provider.
If you are a user of CTI Toolkit, we hope that you have been convinced that it’s time to move to Open CTI. The transition can be a smooth one as long as you consider the specific needs of your organization.