Mail and Computer Telephony Glossary
Computer Telephone Integration, or CTI, is a modern solution for
a modern problem: Information Overload. Coordinating faxes, e-mail,
voicemail messages, and personal information managers (PIM's)
is a formidable task faced by the United States' 70 million "knowledge
workers". Enhanced worker productivity and customer service are
just two benefits of a good CTI system.
Audiotext (also spelled Audiotex) is a voice processing application
that acts as a "voice bulletin board" and broadcasts menus of
information to callers who access the information by entering
The computerized replacement for a human operator that answers
calls, routes them and takes messages. An automated attendant
acts like a "super receptionist" who works at computer speed 24
hours a day.
Automatic Number Identification (ANI)
The name used by US exchanges for the system that identifies the
calling number. (See Calling Line Identification).
Any location within a company where quantities of incoming and/or
outgoing calls are handled by people, telephones and computers.
The technology whereby telephone and computer systems work together
to handle incoming calls, including receiving the call, transferring
it to the proper extension and/or taking a voice message.
Calling Line Identification (CLI)
The name used by exchanges outside of the US for the system that
identifies the calling number. (See Automatic Number Identification).
Computer Telephone Integration (CTI)
The technology that connects a computer to a telephone system
and lets the computer take control of the commands.
Also known as unified messaging, a system whereby users receive
all of their fax, e-mail, voicemail, and eventually video mail
messages on their desktop PC screen.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
A voice processing system that interfaces with a database and
gives callers specific data based on unique information they have
given it, either by entering certain digits on the touch-tone
phone or via speech recognition. Banking by phone is an example
of an IVR application.
Local Area Network (LAN)
A short distance data communications network used to link computers
and peripheral devices (such as printers, CD-ROM drives, modems,
etc...) under some form of standard control. A local area network
allows anyone on the LAN access to databases and programs running
on client servers, as well as the ability to send messages to
and work jointly with others on the LAN.
Personal Information Manager (PIM)
Software applications which allow the user to organize personal
information. Similar to an appointment book but personalized and
programmed into the PC.
A point of access to a telephone system, a computer, or a network.
Audio signals within a voice processing system that are designed
to guide the caller through the system, i.e., "If you know your
party's extension, you may enter it at any time during this message."
The ability of a voice messaging application to understand human
speech and transfer it into digital or analog signals.
Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI)
A set of guidelines developed by Microsoft and Intel Corporation
for connecting individual PC's directly to telephones. TAPI is
designed to be used in small business networks.
Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI)
A set of guidelines for software developers, produced by AT&T
and Novell, Inc., connecting a corporate telephone system with
a computer network's server. TSAPI is designed to be used in large
A single point of access to all messages, including voice, e-mail,
and fax communications. By having all messages stored in one location
rather than three separate ones, users can better control and
manage their communications.
A message that is left in the caller's own voice and retrieved
by the user at the user's convenience from any touch-tone telephone.
Voice mail has been found to be more effective then written messages
because it keeps calls confidential, simplifies decision making,
saves time and money, eliminates inaccurate messages and telephone
tag, and allows people to use their time more productively.