Computer-telephony Integration (CTI)

Computer-Telephony Integration, or CTI, is a general term describing the integration of computer and telephone technologies.

What is CTI (Computer-Telephony Integration)?

A general term describing the integration of computer and telephone technologies. By joining computer systems with switched telephone services, users can access advanced functions such as automatic incoming call routing, call display, and power dialing. For example, a computer can use computer-telephony integration (CTI) to issue commands to a telephone switch to control call routing of calls.

CTI applications generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Call-control applications:
    Allow computers to dial numbers, establish conference calls, and so on. The computer essentially replaces the touch-tone telephone keypad.

     

  • Media-processing applications:
    Deal with more complex issues, such as voice recognition, speech synthesis, and converting fax messages to e-mail. These applications pursue the goal of completely integrated unified messaging in which voice, fax, e-mail, and video conferencing features are combined.

     

CTI is made possible on Microsoft Windows platforms by operating system application programming interfaces (APIs) such as Microsoft's Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI). The range of products and technologies that support CTI continues to evolve. Cross-platform, vendor-neutral standards have not yet been established.