Businesses increasingly want to integrate their communications systems with their line-of-business applications. This enables real-time communications to become part of their business process rather than an add-on.
Although real-time communications have traditionally centered on phone calls, it has now also moved into other business applications, such as unified communications, and tools like instant messaging and even live web chats with customers.
However, the need to speak to someone on the phone still remains and more organisations now also want to be able to easily make calls from within their other systems.
To meet this demand, at Conversant we’re working on developing more ways for our cloud phone system to integrate seamlessly with a host of other business applications and systems.
Integrate your applications with our system
Our system supports a range of application programming interfaces, or APIs, that form the building blocks making it possible for Conversant to integrate with other applications.
Telephony application programming interface (TAPI) for outbound and inbound calls
Click to call APIs for outbound calling
Webhooks for outbound and inbound calls
We’ll explore each in detail below.
Conversant can integrate with any TAPI compliant software, including Outlook and other systems, such as CRM applications. TAPI has been around since 1993 so many older applications will support it.
One of the most common uses of this integration is to initiate phone calls directly from within other applications, such as Outlook and some CRM systems. It makes it possible to choose a contact in Outlook, for example, and then call that contact – with just one click. A TAPI driver will interact with your phone system to place the call between you and the other person.
The same technology also allows the ability to initiate calls directly from CRM systems, as well as for a customer’s record to automatically pop up when they call – depending on the capability of the CRM system.
Since many of our customers will already be using several applications, like Outlook, that support TAPI, it means they don’t need to pay for more expensive systems to get that level of functionality.
Click to call APIs
Click to call APIs offer the ability to interact with custom-built systems and web browser to initiate calls.
Our plug-in for Firefox highlights any phone numbers on a webpage enabling you to simply click on the number to initiate calls. This provides an easy way for customers to integrate their Conversant phone system with cloud-based CRM systems. When they access their CRM through Firefox, any phone numbers on a contact’s page will be highlighted so they can just be clicked to make calls.
With a click to call API, phone numbers are converted into URLs, which are used to initiate outbound calls. You can use this to create a spreadsheet on which phone numbers are converted to correctly formatted URLs that can be clicked to initiate calls from within the spreadsheet. This is a quick way to build a customer follow-up or outbound telesales system.
Our APIs are RESTful APIs, which are APIs that adhere to the REST (Representational State Transfer) architectural constraints. This is the same technology used in web browsers and so is used widely and is what allows Conversant’s APIs to enable calling directly from web browsers or any other web-based applications.
Just like an API is way of one computer saying to another: “I want to do something”, a webhook is one computer saying to another: “I’ve just done something”.
For example with an API integrating your Conversant phone system with your CRM, as described above, the CRM sends instructions to the phone system to make a phone call.
With webhooks, our system tells the CRM when someone has made a call, answered one or hung up. This data can then be used to update CRM records with call logs or to have a window pop up on someone’s screen when their customer calls.
While our webhooks now cover when calls are initiated, answered and hung up, we are planning to add more in future.