Phone System Integration

Connecting your phone system to your CRM can offer benefits that range from simple ease of use for your staff, to faster response times for your customers.  Because of the technology required, you may sometimes need to change your phone system before it can be enabled. 

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) usually takes two forms:

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  • Outbound Dialling
  • Inbound Call Handling

In order to enable either of these on your system you will need two things to be in place:

  • Your phone system must support computer integration

    Usually modern Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems (PBX) will have this capability, most PBX systems that are less than 3 years old will either have a CTI capability or it will be possible to add it to the system.  There are two types of system, 1st Party (where link software runs on the users PC) and 3rd (server based integration).  In some cases suppliers offer proprietary interfaces but increasingly Telephone Application Programming Interface (TAPI) and Telephone Server API (TSAPI) standard interfaces are offered. 

  • You need suitable software to link with your CRM

This is the software component that links your CRM to the PBX vendors driver software.  This software will implement a variety of user interface features for the user (such as dial, transfer etc.).  In some cases this software may also be provided by your PBX manufacturer.

Microsoft CRM contacts can utilise the TAPI capability of Microsoft Outlook.  However, to integrate most effectively either a manufactures linking solution or a bespoke solution is required.

Manufacturers Telephony Links
The telephone manufacturers detailed below have partnered with Microsoft to develop their own solutions for their telephone systems.  If you have a modern phone systems from these suppliers there's a good chance that their integration software will be available to you.  CABC works with certified supplies for Cisco and and Avaya to implement Microsoft CRM solutions for these vendors.

The Cisco CRM Communications Connector enables organisations to tap industry-leading expertise of both Microsoft and Cisco Systems to benefit from a complete, integrated communications and customer care solution. Its advanced feature set includes:

  • Screen Pops: Opens contact record and creates new phone call activity record as call arrives; Creates screen pops from click to dial calls and from manually dialled outbound calls
  • Click to Dial: Supports click to dial feature from a Microsoft CRM contact record
  • Call Duration Tracking: Accurately tracks duration of phone call and associates with phone activity record
  • Call Information Capture: Captures incoming and outgoing call information, including calling number, called number, and call start and end times
  • Customer Record Creation: Easily creates a new CRM customer record when a new customer call arrives

Through the integration with Avaya IP Office, customer and historical sales information in Microsoft CRM can be linked directly to incoming and outgoing calls, making it easier to personalise service, and bring customer information to the fingertips of call handlers and sales personnel. With the low total cost of ownership and speed of deployment.

A number of other phone vendors also have links available for Microsoft CRM. If you have one of these phone systems please contact us for further details of the solution available. Some of these suppliers links are developed by the manufacturer, others by third parties.

  • Inter Tel

  • Alcatel

  • Aastra

  • Nortel

  • Panasonic

  • Siemens

  • Toshiba

  • Swyx

Advanced Telephone Integration for other Vendors Phone Systems
For more advanced telephone integration including facilities such as call transfer and scripting the independent Telephony software vendor GENESYS have a very strong offering.  This application has the benefit that it supports a wide range of PBX systems, and offers more sophisticated call handling facilities.   To download more details about the GENESYS integration click here.


CABC can help advise of telephony integration to suit your particular business circumstances.