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Where to start with implementing a simple Computer Telephony Integration(CTI) ?

Posted on 2014-08-01
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Last Modified: 2014-08-04
Good day,
We are looking to implement a simple Computer Telephony Integration system. We have a traditional phone line support number where employees pick up the phone. The drawback is that we only have 2 numbers and therefore are limited to two active calls.
We want to switch to CTI so that there would be on ly 1 number to call and several people using headsets could answer, hold or transfer the call.
My questions is how can we make this happen without much of a hassle and on the cheap side.
Thank you in advance !
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Question by:goliveuk
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by:José Méndez
ID: 40234561
Doesn't sound like a CTI issue per se. The problem described seems to boil down to 2 simultaneous calls to your Telco network, either inbound or outbound. If you wish more simultaneous calls, CTI is not the solution. CTI allows computer systems to manipulate calls. Call it servers or user PCs, but simultaneous calls to the Telco will still remain 2.

Are you actually referring to 2 numbers on the user terminal phone devices? Maybe try clarifying the problem a bit further.
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by:goliveuk
ID: 40238334
We have 2 numbers and two phone devices. The problem with this is that we need to keep those 2 numbers but attach more phone devices(preferably headsets), so that we can make more simultaneous calls. I hope this clarifies it.
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by:José Méndez
ID: 40238726
No, not really mate. 2 simultaneous calls out to the public network you mean? Or 2 simultaneous calls on each of the phone devices?

If the first one, you probably need to speak to your Telephony Company and ask more lines.

What kind of setup is there? Do you just have 2 analog phones connected to one Telco line each?
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by:goliveuk
ID: 40238749
That would be 2 simultaneous calls out to the public network. Yes we have 2 analog phones connected to one line. I was looking into VOIP phones+ a couple of extensions to our phone number. What do you think about this configuration ?
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José Méndez earned 500 total points
ID: 40238784
This should be easy as pie for an Asterisk system. You would just need a PC and either an analog card, or a PRI card, depending on how many more simultaneous calls you wish to have.

There are PCI cards to which you can connect 8 analog lines for up to 8 simultaneous calls:

http://www.digium.com/en/products/telephony-cards/analog

There are even 24 port cards if you really wish to go down that way.

The cheapest option that will allow you to scale, would be to purchase a SIP trunk. This connection type to your Telco does not require any more hardware than the computer/server running Asterisk, and you can have as many calls as your bandwidth allows. The caveat here is that Quality of Service policies should be applied on your border equipment so that voice calls do not suffer loss of quality due to traffic bursts from other Internet uses.
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