InGenius Connector and TAPI
TAPI (Telephony Application Programming Interface) is an API provided by Windows computers for the control of telephones connected to your PC. There’s a great overview of TAPI at Wikipedia if you want to learn more.
InGenius Connector, and its cousin Mitel’s Unified Communicator Express can use TAPI in two ways.
- InGenius Connector can appear as a TAPI telephony provider to CRM systems,
- InGenius Connector can make use of TAPI to control your desktop phone (Connector as a TAPI consumer).
InGenius Connector as a TAPI provider for connecting to CRM systems
This is also called the TAPI Plug-in, and is an optional component of InGenius Connector and Unified Communicator Express. This feature is enabled for an existing installation of our product by simply entering a license key. When you’ve done this, InGenius Connector will now appear in the list of TAPI devices that are available on your computer, when you use a TAPI enabled CRM.
This mode is commonly used with CRMs such as Act, Maximizer, and Outlook and many custom CRM systems. From within your CRM, select the InGenius Connector from the list of TAPI devices on your computer, and your CRM will now be able to place calls using the telephone connected to InGenius Connector. You’ll also be able to see the caller ID for incoming calls, and the CRM will be able to pop the appropriate CRM contact automatically. Note that the functionality provided varies between CRM’s. Some CRM’s may not provide the screen-pop functionality, for instance.
On the telephone side of things, the TAPI Plugin is commonly used with Mitel phone systems (using Unified Communicator Express or Unified Communicator Advanced, with the appropriate InGenius plugin), as well as users of Polycom phones, Aastra Phones, Asterisk PBX’s, and Broadsoft PBX’s – systems which are generally quite difficult to control via TAPI.
Using InGenius Connector with a TAPI-enabled phone system
The other way to use TAPI with InGenius Connector is to set up a phone profile within InGenius using the TAPI phone profile (which will be available within InGenius Connector in the first Quarter of 2012). In this case, the customer has a phone system that provides a TAPI interface, and want to use the features of InGenius Connector to control their phone system, or they want to use an InGenius Connector CRM integration with their phone system.
Users will have to install InGenius Connector, as well as the TAPI service provider which is provided by the telephone system manufacturer. In the case of Cisco, this is available for free, and can be downloaded by the Cisco Call Manager administrator.
We are currently developing TAPI support for Cisco phone systems, and will be certifying other phone systems soon.
Our customers generally use this option to connect their TAPI-enabled phone system to Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Sugar CRM.