CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) Boards, Also known as CT Boards (Computer Telephony boards), is the interface between various IVR software running on the computer and the telephone network. It is normally a PC add-on boards which is installed inside PC/Server Chassis and which is connected to telecom network physically with through E1 or Analog FXO.
With introduction of VoIP communications, CTI is no longer just hardware based, it can also be software and using existing network interface cards in the server of PC. For example, Dialogic HMP 3.0 is software CTI like solution for VOIP or SIP phones. With 3G being introduced, we might see end of CTI boards!
Indian CTI market is getting crowded with new vendors now a days. Gone are the days when CTI boards mean Dialogic. We now have almost all vendors opening shop in India from all over the globe. Many Chinese companies have opened office in India and selling low cost CTI boards in price sensitive market like India.
Here are few new players which have become quite active lately in Indian market:-
1. Sangoma is a Canada based company which has 2 port analog USB based cards to 8 E1 PRI boards. They have also recently launched SS7 boards. They support Asterisk as well as has own API for developing voice applications. Alliance Infotech is their Indian distributor along with ForeMost Systems. All computations are done on the Host PC making their board sizes small. But it also increases CPU usage of the Host PC. Another disadvantage is, they do not provide Echo Cancellation and CPA ( Call Progress Analysis) as a default feature.
2. Synway is Chinese company which has large range of products beginning with 2 port analog USB boards to high density server based media gateways with 64 E1 connectivity! They have low cost, high performance and feature rich boards. They claim, they are now number one for voice logging products in India. They have products supporting both Asterisk as well as own API for developing IVR applications.
3. Donjin is another Chinese company which has analog CTI boards as well as high density KeyGoe Series of products which has 48 E1 connectivity per system! They support Dialogic APIs for their voice boards upto 8E1 which is a major advantage for them as there are many Dialogic based voice application developer in India. Their boards are feature rich as well as much cheaper than Dialogic.
4. Aculab is UK based company and they sell both CTI hardware as well as voice applications. They are not very cheap, but their boards are most suitable for voice portal applications. Recently, India has witnessed rapid growth of voice based value added service (VAS), and Aculab has potential to grow here. ForeMost Systems is their Indian distributor based in Mumbai.
5. OpenVox is another Chinese CTI board manufacturer which are Asterisk based. They have both analog and Digital voice boards. They are also very competitive. ForeMost Systems is their Indian distributor based in Mumbai.
6. AudioCodes is Israel based company which provides TDM and IP based telephony servers for value added services.
Apart from these foreign companies, there are few home grown CTI board manufacturer who provide complete solutions from CTI boards to Voice Applications. Few Indian companies who provide CTI boards are:
1. XtendIVR : XtendIVR is majorly known for their IVR platform XtendIVR, but they also have CTI boards.
2. OZONTEL : Ozontel Systems, based out of Hyderabad has come out with a dual port E1 PRI CARD. It was integrated with Asterisk and comes atleast at half the price of cards which are being imported. Its manufactured within India and hence support is available for both s/w and h/w out of India.
3. Punjab Communications Limited is one of the oldest IVR companies in India which has their own CTI boards.
Though Dialogic is still the biggest CTI vendor in India, but with these new CTI companies, we can expect dominance of Dialogic will reduce and IVR users will have more choice. As per Dialogic, they will soon come out with voice products specific to India which will be aggressively priced keeping mind of these competitions.