Where to start with Salesforce CTI implementations?

What do you want to achieve

Over the past months I have had different companies asking how to integrate incoming calls with Salesforce. Not necessarily looking into an omnichannel approach, but basically getting customers connected with the right agent and ensuring that the agent has the correct information displayed.

So these are talks about how starting off with such an integration.  And basically the customer has some infrastructure, starts or is in an ongoing project for implementing Salesforce Service cloud, and needs information about the options for integrating.


But first, what is CTI again… In one of my recent calls, we were talking about integrating Skype for Business with Salesforce.  The setup being with Microsoft Lync in a hosted setup and the agents use Skype for business to answer calls.  The solutions that I know for integrating with Salesforce do this on the desktop.

Telephony integration

So, the agent answers the call in Skype for Business, Skype for Business makes a call to Salesforce and shows the Salesforce browser session inside Skype for Business client (or perhaps in a separate browser window).

Initial question: ‘Is this Computer Telephony Integration?‘.  There is an incoming call and Salesforce gets queried to show data on the screen. So, yes. This is CTI. Is it optimal?  No, there are better possible integrations.

But the question for you is: What do you want to achieve?  What are your expectations?

Basic questions to start with

So, those are the first questions to ask! Do you expect to have a full-fledged implementation?  Or do you want to get a plain-and-simple solution?

What do you expect…? That’s where the conversation should start from.

Depending on the answer to this question, there are different routes.

For instance:

  • We have an Avaya platform, we have our IVR running on it and we want to continue using itWell, Avaya has AppExchange solutions to integrate with Salesforce.  So you will be able to answer incoming calls in the Lightning (or Classic) Service Console.  That’s good.  What you won’t have is integrated reporting.  When you want combined reporting on Call data and Case data then you will have to find a way to link these data together.  For instance, if you want to know how many (incoming and outgoing) calls it took to get a Case resolved, then you will have to link the Call ID (Avaya) with the Case ID (Salesforce)
  • We use Skype for Business in combination with a hosted Microsoft Lync server – are we able to integrate with Skype for Business?Yes, there are solutions that make that integration.  But mostly this integration is done ‘on the desktop‘.  Meaning…the agent answers the call in Skype for Business and at that moment a query gets done (from within Skype for Business) to retrieve and open the Salesforce record.  So there’s no record displayed when the call is answered, but it takes a few seconds to show the information in Salesforce
  • We want a fully integrated solution, will leverage Salesforce omnichannel functionalities and want to provide support via Twitter, Whatsapp (for Business), chat, etc  Let’s talk!

Next steps

CTI comes in different flavors. It’s an abbreviation that covers much more than only Telephony integration.  And CTI means different things for different people.

Do you have a clear view on what you want to achieve?  Great!

Do you need clarifications and/or assistance?  Fill in our contact form