Hopes of interoperability between different computer-telephony integration systems came closer to realization recently, as the Versit industry alliance and the ECMA European Computer Manufacturers’ Association announced that they would work together to develop a common computer-telephony integration CTI specification. Versit Inc has agreed to let its CTI Encyclopedia specifications be folded into the ECMA’s Computer Supported Telecommunication Application Phase III specification. The two organizations are now calling for manufacturers to endorse the joint standard. The move came in the same week as a survey from the MultiMedia Telecommunications Association and Communications Week, which found that users of computer-telephony integration systems were overwhelmingly calling for interoperability. The survey of 200 telecommunications and information systems managers also found that users are planning to increase spending on computer-telephony integration systems by 40% next year. The preferred application, by a long way, is still in call-centers, with customer service forming the leading business function, followed by workgroup collaboration. The MultiMedia Telecommunications Association warns that companies which have not implemented the technology risk being perceived as less customer-oriented than their competitors.
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