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.
Will mobile be the death of fixed line telephony?
IP telephony is no longer just for companies that do a lot of geographically disparate work. Our columnist gives you the long-distance view.
by Rob Bamforth
Since the population of the planet is not increasing rapidly, and there are only so many minutes in the day that even the most gregarious can keep talking, it seems inevitable that fixed line and mobile telephony will compete for the same call time. Most calls are directed at people, not locations, and with the mobile as the item of technology most people carry, is the fixed line on its way out?
The pros and cons differ between home to business use, but for both the momentum is in the mobile direction. For the home and perhaps small businesses, some have argued the need to retain a fixed line for Internet access. But does that need to be a 'phone' line, from a 'phone' company? No, they just happen to have the wire in the last mile. Other advantages quoted for fixed are coverage, voice quality, security, resilience to power supply failure and definitive location for emergency purposes.
Quality, coverage and power consumption are all technology issues being addressed and undergoing improvement. Security over the air is a challenge, but also addressable, but a land line can be tapped, as it's location is fixed, so known. Fixed location might be good for emergency response, but only if the emergency happens near a fixed line. Mobile is just more flexible.
For home users, the shift is already happening. In 2003 UK telecom regulator OFTEL found that there were 8% mobile only households in the UK, mainly thought to be in the student and 16-24 age group. This was corroborated by further research from O2 that indicated 40% of this age group had no fixed line. As the price premium for mobile usage is expected to drop from 100 per cent or double the price of fixed-line services in 2003, to around 40 per cent in 2007, the un-tethered will only increase.
Fixed to wireless number portability, the growth in use of DECT phones, and ideas such as BT's BluePhone will only increase the likelihood that home is just one location where you might use your mobile, and not a place where you have another fixed appliance.
This, of course, has great appeal for mobile operators, even if they have to exploit location services to offer mixed tariffs with calls from the home location at a lower rate than outside. The opportunity to apply the same idea to business users is of course even more appealing, although it requires concentrations of high capacity to cover large offices and business parks.
The deployment of 3G networks, as well as delivering faster data rates, provides the increase in capacity for voice traffic. This can allow operators to drive down costs, such as in the UK, where operator 3 has used the cost reduction to grab marketshare. Alternatively in the US, operators have used 3G network cost/capacity to replace fixed lines with aggressively priced mobile tariffs.
However, businesses have an identity beyond the individuals that work for them, so they still have a need for numbers that are fixed to the office location, most likely via a fixed line. Whilst creative tariffs can be handled by most mobile operators, few can cope with the business of providing the fixed line service as well as the mobile minutes, even by partnering.
Substitution of fixed for mobile also increases the cost for international and internal calls, unless mobile operators can offer discounted tariffs and micro-cells or location constrained free calling. At some point the flexibility offered by mobile offsets even these increased costs. We may not be far from that point for large companies with mobile or desk-free workforces. The opportunity for significant fixed to mobile substitution is almost here, and enterprises need to consider how best to capitalise.