DSC Tech Library
Computer Telephony Integration
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to CTI Computer Telephony Integration software and products.
Computer Telephony Integration CTI software is a rich set of phone software library routines that enable application programs to control your phone system.
This comprehensive CTI software lets you increase employee productivity, enhance customer service and reduce costs by combining the capabilities of our PACER phone system with the custom functionality of your Windows, Unix or Web applications.
Data collected by your phone ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) or IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems can be passed to your existing PC, Unix or Web applications through our phone software.
The PACER predictive dialer can automatically call your customers and pass only connected calls to your agents. With our computer telephony software, your telephone and computer work together to provide cost-saving benefits.
Plans to Implement Voice Over Internet Protocol Soar, According to Global Survey of Senior Executives
LONDON, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of corporate executives now predict that they will implement Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), according to a new survey and report on networking and business strategy from AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
VoIP, the ability to transmit voice calls over the Internet and IP-based data networks, means companies can carry calls within their own enterprise on their own networks, bypassing traditional telecom providers and avoiding toll charges. The additional promise of greater functionality and flexibility than conventional fixed lines finally positions VoIP as a true rival to the dominance of today's fixed line telephony.
"The question is no longer if but when VoIP will become the new standard for voice traffic," says Cathy Martine, AT&T's senior vice president of Internet telephony.
The EIU survey of 254 senior executives worldwide on the future of corporate networking reveals that 43 percent of respondents report that they are currently using, testing or planning to implement VoIP within the next two years, and another 18 percent believe they will implement it in the long term. Market forecasts reflect the same bullishness. Research firm Gartner Dataquest predicts that retail voice revenue from today's public switched telephone network (PSTN) will drop slightly through 2008 while retail VoIP revenue soars by 38.6 percent over the same period.(1)
Thus, after ten years in development, VoIP has grown up. The major barrier to adoption had been hurdles in VoIP's performance, reliability and security. Another hurdle was the difficulty encountered by managers in performing return-on-investment (ROI) analysis on a relatively young technology.
"Cost studies are now easier to perform, savings are more predictable and the questions of quality and reliability have now largely been addressed thanks to the development of international standards and stable software and hardware solutions," says Martine.
Specific savings realised through VoIP can be significant and varied. Moving voice to IP allows companies to merge two disparate existing networks- one for fax and phone, the other for data and multimedia-that they currently have to maintain separately at considerable expense. Running them together allows not only for reduced capital expenditure but also of operating expenditure through the consolidation of maintenance, administrative and support functions.
The use of VoIP also slashes usage-based telephone bills. Calls within a VoIP network bypass local telephone companies and are routed at low or no cost over a company's data network, just like e-mail. Calls made from a VoIP line to a telephone on the conventional switched network are also far cheaper, since they can be carried within data networks practically all the way to the called party, thus eliminating expensive long-distance toll charges. Eighty- seven percent of our respondents identified the reduction of telephone charges as critical or important in their decision to use or plan to implement VoIP.
But VoIP investments ultimately should not be judged on cost savings alone: Bringing voice and video applications together onto a PC desktop unleashes an array of new capabilities that can radically improve communication amongst employees. Seventy-one percent of the survey respondents cited VoIP features such as unified messaging and "follow-me" as critical or important in their decision to use or plan to implement VoIP.
Companies adopting VoIP are doing so in an evolutionary way. Organizations tend to trial the technology first and move it across the organization over time. Hosted and managed services are also emerging as turnkey solutions for companies that want experts to help design and implement their migration and manage the ongoing network.
A typical roadmap for VoIP implementation covers mainly three stages. First, a company has to enable the underlying data network to ensure voice security and high quality. Second, it has to plan for the interoperability of equipment during a migration toward VoIP. The third area is the Holy Grail, where companies begin to drive the adoption of new applications made possible by IP-enabled telephony. "You can't flip a switch overnight and introduce VoIP across an enterprise," says Martine. "The migration to VoIP is evolutionary. Companies first want to get to know the technology, ensure its reliability and quality, and better understand their employees' acceptance of it."
These and other findings are presented in a new report called Voice over IP comes of age, which is now available at http://www.business.att.com/emea/english/whitepaper/.
In a separate announcement today AT&T announced it has signed 23 multi-national companies to participate in its Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Global Remote Worker pilot for a solution targeted for general availability in the first quarter of 2005. Some of the firms participating in the four-country trial include Air Products, BASF Australia LTD, Bausch and Lomb, Global eXchange Service and VTech.
The trial, announced in June, is hosting participants located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom. This represents one of the most comprehensive initiatives leveraging the capabilities of VoIP for the global remote workers of top multi-nationals.
AT&T, itself a leader in the area of VoIP, has developed a comprehensive set of products and services based on its own set of best practices to assess, design and implement VoIP solutions. Responding to customer demand, AT&T is VoIP-enabling its entire business portfolio, providing solutions to companies that are evolving their networks to deliver IP-based services and applications to their own customers, suppliers, employees and partners.
AT&T is driving toward seamless internetworking among all the various elements required for IP-based business communications. AT&T is the only VoIP provider with interoperability agreements with the five leading equipment manufacturers -- Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Nortel Networks and Siemens -- which is critical to delivering integrated solutions.
The company also is focused on delivering new business voice applications and services like IP-Centrex, call centre applications and Telework solutions. These are especially critical for the rapidly growing international teleworking community. The service provides portability of features and significant cost savings compared to making calls from hotels or using mobile roaming service for travelling professionals, affinities and communities that have need to communicate frequently.
Beginning in 1997, AT&T began actively using VoIP solutions to address the needs of multi-national corporations. This early adoption of IP has led the company to its current position as a leading provider of VoIP solutions over its MPLS-based global network. It delivers these services over any data network including ATM, Frame Relay and IP-VPN.
AT&T was the first business VoIP service provider to offer voice quality backed by standards-based service level agreements and currently supports hundreds of business VoIP customers. The report Voice over IP comes of age is the third in a series of four thought-leadership articles written by AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit on the future of networking. The final paper will examine the topic of remote work.
Survey & Research Methodology:
As part of the research for the paper, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an online worldwide survey of 254 executives. The majority of respondents came from Europe (40 percent), North America (27 percent) and Asia-Pacific (21 percent). Other respondents came from Latin America the Middle East and Africa. The top five industry sectors represented by the survey respondents were financial services, professional services, manufacturing, transportation and energy. In addition to the survey research, the EIU conducted a series of one-to-one in-depth interviews with senior executives and analysts. The survey was run in March and April 2004, while the interviews and other research was conducted August and September 2004.
About The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (http://www.eiu.com/) is the business information arm of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. Through its global network of over 500 analysts, the Economist Intelligence Unit continuously assesses and forecasts political, economic and business conditions in nearly 200 countries. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, the Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.
For more than 125 years, AT&T has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.
AT&T 'Safe Harbor'
The foregoing contains "forward-looking statements" which are based on management's beliefs as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events made by and information currently available to management. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside AT&T's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. These risk factors include the impact of increasing competition, continued capacity oversupply, regulatory uncertainty and the effects of technological substitution, among other risks. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see AT&T's 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. This information is presented solely to provide additional information to further understand the results of AT&T.
(1) Gartner Dataquest: Forecast: Fixed Public Network Services,