Implementing CTI Using the Microsoft Speech Server on CRM/Contact Center Environment
The CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) technology has been widely used in the contact center application environment. CTI essentially ensures the technique combination between voice and data on different vendors' phone switches. CTI derives a contact center to implement significant effective and efficient customer service. Figure 1 is a typical architecture of traditional CTI in a contact center environment.
Figure 1: A typical traditional architecture of CTI integrating with IVR in a Call Center
The MS Speech Server 2004 launched in March of this year and has started shipping to customers. Figure 2 shows how the MS Speech Server and speech application work. The big different between the MS speech application and traditional IVR is that the MS Speech Server-based application works on the .NET Web framework with SALT (Speech Application Language Tags) architectures.
Figure 2: How MS Speech Server and Speech Application work
Speech Engine Services (SES)
The SES and TAS can reside on either the same server or separated servers. Speech Engine Services (SES) provides engine services on the server side, including a speech recognition engine, prompt engine, and TTS engine for telephony customers through TAS. The Speech Recognition Engine component works on handing a caller's speech input; the Prompt engine joins prerecorded prompts from a prompt database and plays them back to the caller; the TTS engine works Text-to Speech to synthesize audio output from a text string using Scansoft engine. Simply specking, the SES plays a voice or speech browser role to interact with the Web server, which looks like the IE in a regular Web application.
Telephony Application Services (TAS)
Telephony Application Services (TAS) serves as a connection proxy between PBXs and SES by managing a set of SALT interpreters, controllers, and telephony interface managers. TAS is comprised of both telephony hardware and a software interface. So far, the telephony hardware that can work within TAS are Intel Dialogic D41JCT, DM/V480, and DM/V960, which have 4, 48, and 96 voice ports. TAS works with third-party Telephony Interface Manager (TIM) software; right now, Intel NetMerge CallManager and InterVoice TIM exist.