Figure 2-4 Before and After: Scalability of modular telephone systems
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219 CT System Users
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Individuals who use CT technology are among the biggest beneficiaries because of the potential for customization at the individual level Beyond specific solutions to optimize work flow from an organizational perspective, modular CT technology allows an individual user to further customize their personal working environment By obtaining complementary pieces of software needed to support a particular work style and activities, and customizing the interface and operation, an individual can shape the CT solution to his or her needs and preferences This ability to address simultaneously the needs of the organization and the individual user through CT technology is an exciting and invaluable dimension to these solutions The scenarios later in this chapter illustrate this dual benefit
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2110 Callers (Customers, Colleagues, and Friends)
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A fact often overlooked is that a CT system serves not only its owner, but also just as importantly those who interact with the owner through the telephone Whether the CT system in question is in a home, small business, or enterprise, callers will benefit from the greater responsiveness, efficiency, and professionalism made possible through a CT solution For example, when CT technology is in place at a particular business, customers are much less likely to be asked to repeat their request to three different people or spend hours trying to track down a particular piece of information Individuals empowered by the enhanced functionality of a CT solution will present to their callers a better, more professional interaction Callers also can benefit significantly from CT solutions such as automated attendants, interactive response software, and telephony agents that help them get what they need in the absence of a person with whom to speak
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22 CT Solutions
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This chapter introduces typical CT solutions for a wide variety of environments The scenarios presented, and the CT technology used, illustrate how certain CT features, functions, and services may be applied These examples will stimulate ideas for how you can apply CT technology in your own environment These scenarios will also provide context as you read this book and become familiar with CT technology and the underlying telephony functionality it exploits The CT solution scenarios in this chapter are: 1 Screen-Based Telephony 2 Mobile CTI 3 Power Dialing 4 Personal Telephone System
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5 Personal Telephone Agent 6 Interactive Voice Response (IVR) 7 Help Desk 8 Call Center 9 Internet Telephone System 10 Ecommerce Business Each scenario is presented in terms of the challenges faced by a hypothetical individual or organization before applying CT technology (if applicable), and how the implementation of a CT solution has transformed day-to-day activities In 13, armed with knowledge of the technologies and functionality provided by each layer of the CT value chain, you will see the actual implementation of the CT system for each scenario
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23 Screen-Based Telephony
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Andrew, an account executive for a large public relations agency, realized that he and his assistant were not getting the full benefit of their company's telephone system Despite the personal computers and advanced digital phones on every desk, they were still doing business the same old way Andrew was an intensive telephone user and spent most of the day talking to editors and his clients The fact that the telephone system wasn't easy to use was getting in the way The final straw came when he overheard his assistant saying, "I'll try to transfer you now, but in case this doesn't work, please call back and ask for extension 40220" Everything changed when he put a CT solution to work Andrew connected both his phone and his assistant's phone to their personal computers and installed screen-based telephone application software This alone was a dramatic improvement He then could start taking advantage of certain advanced features of the telephone system that had previously been to difficult to actually use Transferring and
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conferencing calls became a snap and always worked; callers were never cut off or left waiting to be connected In addition, built-in telephone system features of which he'd been unaware, such as call parking, became useful tools in his day-to-day work Every voice mail is now easier to access His screen-based telephone software alerts him when there are messages waiting; all he has to do to retrieve them is click on the application's voice mail button The application dials the voice mail system and logs in automatically By clicking on buttons on his computer screen, he can listen to each of his messages, save and delete messages, rewind and fast-forward individual messages, and even change his greeting something he had never figured out how to do by himself Another benefit Andrew noticed was reduced training time for new employees When his assistant went on vacation, her replacement was able to use the software after running through a quick tutorial on her first morning However, in many ways the real productivity gains have come from hooking the company directory database and his personal contact manager application (an off-the-shelf software product) to the screen-based telephone software The result greatly streamlines the placing of calls To place calls before installing the CT solution, he had to look up the number of the person he was calling using his contact manager, and then manually enter the phone number on his phone Looking up the telephone number was the easy part: he had a function key macro to bring up his contact manager software, and he could find entries just by typing the first few letters of the last name The annoying part of the process was having to dial the number itself Depending on what area code he was calling, he had to dial 9 or 8 before the number (He could never remember the rules, so he had a cheat sheet beside the phone) If his contact was out of the office, he would hang up and repeat the process using the person's cellular phone number, home number, or ultimately the pager number or the person's assistant
After setting up his CT solution, all Andrew has to do now to place a telephone call after looking up the person's name is click on the appropriate telephone icon beside the name or press the Enter key on his keyboard The screen-based telephone software does the rest It even puts his telephone set into speaker-phone mode so that he doesn't even have to move his hands away from the keyboard With his new software in place, Andrew can call any contact using an average of five keystrokes From the time he decides to call someone to the time he hears the phone ringing is less than five seconds, and his hands don't even have to leave the keyboard (or mouse) In fact, Andrew can dial any number on his computer with just a single gesture of the mouse Any telephone number that appears in a piece of electronic mail, a word processing document, a spreadsheet, or an Internet page can be dialed just by selecting it and dragging it to the screen-based telephone application The application figures out the type of number (internal, local, or long-distance) and dials the number appropriately Andrew is now looking forward to installing similar software on his personal digital assistant so he can perform many of the same functions when he is away from his desk In summary, Andrew's CT solution has allowed him to be much more effective in his job His clients and press contacts are treated with a high level of responsiveness and sense of professionalism, and from Andrew's perspective the system is more efficient and reliable He now is making far better use of the agency's substantial original investment in a telephone system and personal computers, despite the small incremental cost of the solution and the short time it took to get it working Perhaps most importantly, work is a lot more fun for Andrew and his assistant