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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: 9x_cit.txt

CTI - Computer Telephony Integration




STATION ID - 7047/3.12

9x Datakit Network
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

This is a 9x system, restricted to authorized persons and for
official 9x business only. Anyone using this system, network or data
is subject to being monitored at any time for system administration and
for identifying unauthorized users or system misuse. Anyone using this
system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that any
evidence of criminal activity revealed through such monitoring may be
provided to law enforcement for prosecution.

                     CTI (Computer-Telephony-Integration)           Sept'98
              
                                  by Hybrid

So here it is, my second file for 9x.. Following my previous file on Latitude
MeetingPlace Teleconferencing. Soon I will be realesing a colosal 5 thousand
number 1-800 hand scan, as well as an intimatly detailed T-file on switch
manipulation, and exploration.. exposing what I have recently discovered
about DMS250 International gateways and various other DMS architectures. OK,
now for this file: I have written this file to attempt to explain the full
workings of the 'soft PBX', and how PBX's are rapidly becoming integrated 
with PBX software. Anyways, enough of this intr0... Heres the inf0. Enjoy.

CTI stands for Computer Telephony Integration, the term covers a vast range of
different technologys, from single user modem integration pacages to vast 
three-tier architectures for call-centres. The idea behind CTI, is that it
saves time and money for companys that require a large PBX system, soon all
PBX's will be fully software integrated. The most simple form of CTI is 
having software dial numbers through your modem, and have the modem treat 
voices as standard data, which in term it is. 

First Party Call Control
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                     

Controlling a modem that is directly connected to the users desktop, usually
via the standard serial port modem connection, is known as First Party Call
Control. This type of soft PBX integration is commonly used for single user,
single line call handling, although this archicture can be used in the 
operation of multi-level switchboards. Example: (excuse my crude drawing) 
                                                       
                                                       |
                                                       |
        _______Phone___________________Agents PC_______|
       |                                               |
       |                                               |
       |                                               |_________
       |                                               |         |
       PBX                                             |       Database
       |                                               |
       |                                               |
       |______Phone___________________Agents PC________| LAN
                                                       |
                                                       |
                                                       |

In this example, instead of dialing outside lines, the users desktop phone
can dial the panoply of control sequences available to a large switchboard 
user- to pic up incomming calls, transfer them, put them on hold and so on.
the primary CTI device is the modem which will pass the user the number of  
person who is calling (CLI- Calling Line Identity) Most CTI software packages
will come with an option to make use of callerID and log incoming calls, 
duration of call, where the call was routed to and so on. This is where the
CTI makes use of the database. When someone calls the PBX and their CLI is
recognised by the database, the operator will have an active window on her
computer pop up with a descriptiopn of the caller, ie- Name, number, address
etc. This information can only be retrieved by the database if previously 
programmed to do so. The modem software will also be able to recieve 
incomming faxes, and also voice messages. In callerID software the following
script is used with the AT#CID configuration:

#CID=0 disables callerID
#CID=1 enables callerID, the modem sends the data in pairs of data, time, 
       caller number, and name etc.
#CID=2 enables callerID. The modem sends the whole packet of CLI information
       in Ascii printable hex numbers.
#CID?  fetches the currebt callerID mode from the modem.
#CID=? returns a list of mode capabilitys of the modem whith each elemant
       seperated by commas.

Third-Party CTI Architecture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If someone wants to control a swtichboard they'll use third-party CTI. In 
this scenario, the CTI connection is between a server somewhere on the 
network running a CTI application, and a switchboard itself instead of on the 
desktop. This connection -the CTI link- will usually be a proprietary
connection, often requiring a special interface card, although a standard
serial port can be used instead. In either case, the transfered data will be
proprietary to the switch manufacturer. The most up-to-date equipment will 
use the TCP/IP Etchernet network as the interface between the server and the
switch. In a third party configuration the telephony equipment being 
controlled needn't necessarily be a powerful switchboard -it could be somthing
as simple as a modem attached to a server. In between these two extremes, 
there are all manor of devices, ranging from a simple 3-port PBX designed for
ISDN right upto anolouge and digital line termination boards which plug into
the server itself. 
                                                         |
        --------Phone-----------Agents PC----------------|
        |                                                |  
        |                                                |
        |                                                |----------
        |                                                |          |
        |                                                |          |
       PBX-----Phone------------Agents PC----------------|      Database
        |                                                |
        |                                                |
         \                                               |LAN
           \                                             |
             \                                           |
               \________________Server___________________|
                                                         |
        (Third-party CTI is between a server on the      |
         network running a CTI application and the       |
         switchboard itself)                             |


What happens in a typical large call centre is that first the phone call is                     
catigorised according to the nature of the customers enquiry, in order to be
able to route it to the agent or department most suitable for handling it, 
and/or pop the appropriate customer account information onto the agents 
screen. There are several ways of doing this. Sometimes the CLI number can be
used to call up the customers record, and then the call can be routed 
depending on the type of account, policy or whatever held by the customer. 
Sometimes the incoming number is used: one call centre may be able to handle
a large number of different campaigns, and this information is then used to
display the correct agent script. 
More and more often these days, IVR (Interactive Voice Responce) systems are
coming into use. -ie, when you ring a number and it says somthing like, 'press
1 for our latest price list, 2 for fax back'. All these techniques are 
designed to achieve three objectives: to determine the agent best suited to
handle the call, to deal with as much as possible by computer so cutting down
the amount of time the agent has to spend on the phone, and to present the 
agent with as much information as possible -even to the extent of popping the
customers record up on the screen.
Usulally, call center applications will operate on a script basis. The agent
will be prompted with the questions to ask the caller ('can I have your 
address please'), and will fill them into the appropriate boxes on the screen.
Back-office systems will be interrograted as appropriate. 

Unified Messaging                     
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The advantage of the CTI architecture is that all incomming messages can be
handeled in one in-box, ie-email, faxes, voicemail etc. This way all messgaes
can be picked up at once rather than from different in-boxes. What alot of
companys are doing now is employing 'unified messaging', whereas they will 
have one universal in-box for all of thier messages, whatever technology they
arrive by. One producer of this technique of voice-communication is OCTEL
voice information proccessing. They produce a system called 'OCTEL Unified
Messenger', which adds voice messaging to MS-Exchange email. With Unified
Messenger, voice messages can be stored in the 'Exchange' mailbox. Faxes can
already be handled by 'Exchange', assuming they have the right hardware. 
To achieve unification of voice messages with fax and email software such as 
OCTELs, the company would have to have a voice card installed in the server
that is running the MS-exchange server. Usually people use the Dialogic cards
for this type of application, but OCTEL uses Rhetorex instead. 
What Unified Messanger does is manage voice mail by playing and recording 
voice messages, providing a phone answering service, and interprets DTMF tones]
for navigation through the system, ie- 'press 1 to leave a message' etc. 
Aswell as this the Unified Messanger goes one step further, and will actually 
do text to speech conversion on email, so a remote user can call in to
collect voice and email messages over an audio phone link, cool? Although 
you would expect this system to be demanding on LAN bandwidth, it's not to
bad. Each user would probably recieve about 5 minutes worth of voice messages,
thats only 1.2Mb of storage. And playing an audio message uses only 4% of
the bandwidth of a 10Mb/s Ethernet network. 

Mitel's MediaPath:
                                   PC
                                   |
         PC                        |
         |                         |
         |                         |             TCP/IP
 ===========================================================================
                     |
                     |
                     |
                     |
                     |
      Phone------    |   -------Phone
                 |   |  |
                 |   |  |              ______ ISDN
                 |   |  |            /        PSTN
                 |   |  |          /        Centrex       ___________PBX
                 MediaPath ______/            Wan       /
                  Server______________________________/ 
                     
                             (To main PBX if required)

What is happening in the above diagram is that voice data is being treated
just like convention digital data and then being sent accross a WAN. There 
are several benifits to this, the most obvious being that they only have to 
install, pay for and maintain 1 set of infastructure, although additional
gateways are then required between there IP links and traditional analouge
telephony equipment.

Problems:

The next stage is for voice traffic to travel over the internal LAN backbone.
One user can only generate 32K/s of voice data at a time, no mater how fast 
they speak, and that is'nt much compared to 10 or 100Mb/s of data. The  
problems are not with the bandwidth, but the quality. Voice traffic is 
obviously very sensitive to time delays, and the resultant stringent
requirement for low latency impacts on the routers and other equipment 
involved in network infastructure. Certain telecommunications companys are 
working on new phones that can be pluged directly into an existing IP network
the benifits of this will be that the users will not have to mess around with
PC sound devices etc.

Soft PBXs, dA future
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Telephony equipment, such as switchboards, interactive voice responce units, 
predictive diallers, voice mail systems and automatic call distrobutors, have
always been proprietary and expensive. However, if you ever get a chance to
look inside any of these devices, you will notcice that they all have certain 
things in common: a power supply, a CPU, memory, interface cards pluged into
a bus, quite possibly a hard drive and so on, sound fammiliar? It does'nt
take a genius to figure out that you could take a standard computer platform,
plug a few cards in and load up suitable software, and you would have a very
versatile telephony switch. Thus we see a brand new breed of PBX emerging,
some from the established switch vendors like Mitel. These systems will soon
take over the PBX market because they are alot cheaper for companys to 
purchase and maintain. They are 100% user configurable, and are exremely
efficiant. Soon I will be realesing a t-file explaining how to build your own 
'Soft PBX' and how to make use of it, think of the possibilitys! Well thats
it for this file, hope someone can make use of it.. Thanxs for reading.

Shouts:

Substance, gr1p, and the whole of 9X. The whole of DarkCYDE. Word Up G
WrekAnIzE, Microwire, Twisted_Nickle, t-phreaks, fuckit- the whole h/p
kingdom! 

 
                    ___ ___ _____.___.____________________  ____________
hybrid@b4b0.org    /   |   \\__  |   |\______   \______   \/_   \______ \
hybrid@ninex.com  /    ~    \/   |   | |    |  _/|       _/ |   ||    |  \
hybrid.dtmf.org   \    Y    /\____   | |    |   \|    |   \ |   ||    `   \
----------------   \___|_  / / ______| |______  /|____|_  / |___/_______  /
                         \/  \/               \/        \/              \/





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