Support for Windows Telephony From Leading Vendors to Give Users Of Windows Access to a Wide Range of Computer Telephony Servers
REDMOND, Wash. — June 28, 1994 — Leading vendors of computer telephony server solutions today announced their support for the Microsoft® Windows™ operating system telephony applications programming interface (TAPI). Companies announcing plans to deliver client-server support for TAPI are Digital Equipment Corporation, Genesys Laboratories, Octel Communications, Q.Sys and Tandem Computers Incorporated. Moreover, Intel Corporation and Northern Telecom yesterday also announced plans to develop a bridge between TAPI and the Novell® Telephony Services server.
“This announcement means that developers building telephony applications with TAPI have an even broader set of options for delivering telephony services to the Windows-based desktop,” said Karen Hargrove, senior general manager for digital office systems at Microsoft. “In addition to an array of physical connections for different telephone networks, now developers can also deploy their applications against a variety of server solutions. The support by these industry-leading companies is great news for developers.”
TAPI, a standard interface for Microsoft Windows co-developed by Microsoft and Intel, gives PCs the ability to control and manipulate telephone networks. This programmatic interface provides developers a common mechanism to develop applications that can work with a wide variety of telephone networks. Integration can be achieved through either of two models.
The common model involves a physical connection between the PC and the telephone network, such as an add-in board or external modem, and is particularly well-suited for applications such as faxing, voice processing, or data and video conferencing in which the PC requires access to the information carried over the telephone network.
A second model uses the client-server paradigm over a local area network. In this model, an application’s requests of the telephone network are routed through a server to the telephone network, which in turn operates a telephone associated with a particular PC. The client-server model is most frequently used for call-center solutions. Today’s announcement is an important step toward integrating Windows-based desktops with telephone systems in call-center and other environments using the client-server model.
In the past, telephony applications have been “hard-coded” to a particular type of telephone network or server, thereby limiting the available market. Now applications can be developed with TAPI to work across a broad range of telephone networks as well as with the different models for integration with the PC. With the inclusion of TAPI in the forthcoming “Chicago” release of Windows, telephony capabilities will be broadly available.
“We believe that TAPI’s ability to support simultaneously both desktop and server-based telephony interfaces gives it a flexibility unmatched in the industry,” said Carl Strathmeyer, director of marketing for CallCenterPLUS at Digital. “We like the freedom TAPI gives us to select the best server platform for the job, instead of specifying a particular proprietary environment. After a careful technical analysis, we have decided to base our TAPI server on the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. But other vendors are free to choose any platform they wish. This open approach is exactly what the CTI [computer telephony integration] market needs.”
“This is very exciting news for us, because it means that TAPI will eliminate the difficult integration effort that has long plagued computer telephony integration solution providers,” said Alec Miloslavsky, senior vice president of engineering at Genesys. “TAPI allows us to plug the Genesys T-Server into the vast array of off-the-shelf Microsoft Windows-based solutions and makes the Windows-based desktop the focal point in today’s call centers.”
“It is a significant announcement for the whole CTI industry to have client-server-based computer telephony solutions for several major server platforms unite around TAPI as the desktop telephony API,” said Craig Kinnie, vice president of the architecture development lab at Intel. “Users of Intel-architecture PCs should expect to see products that deliver telephony integration across a broad spectrum of environments, ranging from the individual desktop or laptop PC to the enterprise network.”
“Octel is committed to providing our customers with an intuitive user-interface from any device. TAPI allows us to add functionality to the visual interface at the desktop,” said Arie Litman, director of product management of the client-server software division at Octel Communications. “It will play a key role in enhancing our messaging applications in client-server environments.”
“Northern Telecom is pleased to be offering with Intel a software translation, Tmap, between the Windows Telephony API and the Novell Telephony Services API for the transparent interworking of computer-telephone applications between desktops,” said Michael Camp, vice president of Meridian business applications at Northern Telecom. “Meridian 1, Norstar and Meridian Centrex customers benefit by having a single open environment in which to develop and operate their applications.”
“Supporting TAPI is integral to the Q.Sys strategy of providing the broadest possible set of connectivity tools linking desktop users to public switched networks,” said Robert Flisik, managing director of Q.Sys. “Third-party servers with call processing, such as CallProducer from Q.Sys, combined with TAPI interfaces will be a required technology in offices of the future.”
“Tandem has frequently implemented the client-server model for computer telephony integration in our customer’s call centers,” said Chuck Buffum, manager of cross-industry solutions at Tandem. “As the call-center industry moves more and more toward client-server implementations, we believe TAPI will give these customers access to a greatly expanded set of applications, allowing them to remain competitive and improve customer service.”
Diagrams illustrating the different telephony models can be obtained by calling (206) 637-9097 or through the Internet on ftp.microsoft.com in /MSAtWork/Telephony/diagram.
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