As the digital world expands its wings to serve almost every task that populates our day, we realize that medium of voice remains the predominant way of communicating with each other. Our movement is towards creating systems which can sync with our humanistic spirit, which is most exhibited by voice. Voice remains the most popular channel of reaching out to a brand about their sales and for service requests. Even though there are a range of other ways including app forums, communities, self-service and social avenues, calls remain the primary way of contacting companies on their products/services. To acknowledge this overwhelming importance of voice within the domain of customer service, Salesforce introduced the Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
In 2006, Salesforce initiated this movement with the traditional CTI integrated into the cloud. It marked one of the first times on-premise and secure telephony structures were linked to web-based CRM systems on a large scale. This was the stepping stone to Open CTI. The motive was to create an infrastructure that could cater to any customer around the world using a telephony environment. This architecture should be in the mode of a desktop toolkit that could be used by telephony partners to show a SoftPhone in Salesforce. 2011 perfected this motive into reality at Salesforce who launched the Open CTI. Tracing the steps cited by Gautam Vasudev (Salesforce writer), the seed that led to Open CTI was to find a “better alternative to our desktop CTI…” which could not only sync with the classic on-premise solutions but also with other cloud telephony venders.
Open CTI is a cloud-based framework which permits a SoftPhone to be placed within Salesforce which can connect with a telephony system. This means that “it uses browsers as clients to display SoftPhones”. It allows high flexibility owing to the expansive network including 50 partners and 100 telephony platforms. There is also no desktop Toolkit which removes many challenges previously faced.
Those who wonder how Open CTI is different from Salesforce Voice should note that Salesforce Voice primarily opens a way to store numbers and make calls from Salesforce directly. Open CTI is a better option if you already have a telephony system since it would integrate seamlessly with the existing framework. Previously, Salesforce users could only utilize features of CTI after installing a CTI adapter program on their devices. These programs included desktop software that required maintenance. Users also could not enjoy the benefits one gains with cloud-based app.
With Open CTI, developers can construct CTI systems which synchronize with Salesforce without using CTI adapters. You can also build highly customizable SoftPhones (call control tools) that will play the role of fully acclimatized parts in Salesforce and its console. Clients can plant any call-control which has a web-based front into Salesforce. You can also employ open CTI API to screen pop, for saving call logs, to enable/disable/hook into call-to-dial and to inquire about call center configurations.
Introducing Lightning Open CTI
Open CTI will be piloted in the Lightning Experience with the Summer’16 release. Here are some of the advantages this combination can offer:
- Open CTI will bring in the best of Salesforce Classic
- Combines all the benefits of Lightning Experience
- Provides integrated user experience
- CTI components expected to come as part of the Lightning App Builder
- Users can drag and drop the features