From Open CTI to Service Cloud Voice: A Strategic Migration Trail Map

Organizations everywhere are rapidly advancing their customer service capabilities through artificial intelligence (AI). For those using Salesforce Open CTI, moving to Service Cloud Voice (SCV) not only broadens your AI toolkit with functionalities like Einstein AI and real-time voice transcription but also transforms your customer service into an AI-driven powerhouse. The migration doesn’t have to be an all at once, fork-lift upgrade, but a natural, use-case driven journey.   


Salesforce Telephony – A Brief History 

Salesforce launched Open CTI (Open Computer Telephony Integration) in 2012. Open CTI allows for the integration of third-party computer telephony integration (CTI) systems with Salesforce without the need for a client-side adapter, enabling features such as call controls directly within the Salesforce interface. Today Open CTI is used around the world and has become the CTI standard for Salesforce integration.  

Salesforce launched Service Cloud Voice during their Dreamforce event in 2019. This integration was designed to unify voice calls, digital channels, and CRM data in real-time, enhancing the capability of service agents by providing them with comprehensive customer insights across multiple channels during interactions​. Like Open CTI, Service Cloud Voice supports 3rd party providers through what they refer to as Service Cloud Voice for Partner Telephony, or what a lot of us started calling, BYOT (Bring Your Own Telephony).   

While both Open CTI and SCV have similar capabilities they differ in many ways. Open CTI provides basic CTI functionalities like click-to-dial, call logging, and screen pops based on incoming calls. It is primarily a conduit for connecting existing telephony systems with Salesforce, relying heavily on the capabilities of the third-party CTI system being used. SCV, on the other hand, offers advanced features that are deeply integrated with Salesforce’s AI and workflow capabilities. This includes real-time call transcription, AI-driven insights during calls, and next-best-action recommendations. These features are designed to enhance the agent’s ability to service customers by providing real-time data and suggestions based on the conversation. 

It’s the gateway to AI that makes SCV so interesting.   



AI Capabilities Enabled by SCV

Salesforce Service Cloud Voice (SCV) enables several AI-driven features through the integration of Einstein AI, designed to enhance customer service operations significantly. Here’s an overview of the key AI functionalities enabled by SCV: 

  1. Einstein Bots: These are AI-powered chatbots that can handle routine inquiries and automate common service processes. This automation helps free agents to focus on more complex issues, improving efficiency and customer handling times. 
  2. Einstein Voice Assistant: Part of Salesforce’s broader Einstein AI, this feature enables voice-activated controls and supports agents with real-time transcription of calls, allowing them to stay focused on the conversation while the system captures details. 
  3. Einstein Case Classification and Routing: This AI feature automatically classifies and routes cases to the appropriate agent or department based on the content of the customer inquiry. It enhances response times and accuracy in handling customer requests. 
  4. Einstein Article and Reply Recommendations: This tool uses AI to suggest knowledge articles and canned responses to agents in real time, making it easier to provide quick and reliable answers to customer queries. 
  5. Einstein Next Best Action: This feature provides agents with real-time suggestions and recommendations during customer interactions. It uses AI to analyze the context of the conversation and suggest the next best steps, such as service alerts or sales opportunities, which can increase customer satisfaction and opportunities for upselling. 
  6. Conversation Summaries and Knowledge Article Creation: Einstein AI can generate summaries of customer interactions and even create new knowledge articles based on these conversations, helping build a richer, self-improving knowledge base. 


So Why Start with Open CTI?

Despite the limitations of Open CTI to address the modern AI capabilities and use cases, it’s a great stepping stone in your journey to Service Cloud Voice.   

Much of Service Cloud Voice Partner Telephony shares the same communications and data infrastructure as Open CTI. In the case of DaVinci, whether you’re jumping directly into Service Cloud Voice or starting with Open CTI, our core infrastructure can remain the same.  You simply add the DaVinci Apps for Service Cloud Voice, Transcription, Einstein, and any other DaVinci Apps to support your use cases. For DaVinci customers, it’s not a “fork-lift” upgrade, but a natural progression.   

It’s critical to ensure your Open CTI integration vendor not only supports SCV and all of the current capabilities, but the integration is built in a way that offers expansion and flexibility for the use cases of tomorrow.  AI is evolving too quickly to remain on a fixed feature platform.  

For those customers that have vendors that can’t seamlessly migrate and support your AI use cases, you may consider initially switching to DaVinci and our Open CTI integration as the basecamp to start your AI and Service Cloud Voice Journey.  



Using DaVinci and Open CTI as your Basecamp for Service Cloud Voice

As shared earlier, DaVinci is an open orchestration platform that enables customers to build use cases that support their businesses. DaVinci is not a typical, fixed feature solution, but one that grows, adapts, and expands along with your business.  

As customers investigate and build their AI strategy, they typically look to orchestrate the most complex use cases first; the ones that can truly benefit from AI. Perhaps in the first wave, you only move a handful of users to Service Cloud Voice, and they need to transfer calls to/from those still using Open CTI.  Perhaps you want to start transcribing calls before you deploy the Service Cloud Voice UI to help train Einstein for your AI Bots.  No AI journey will look the same, so you need the flexibility of a platform that lets you incrementally add use cases. Standardizing on DaVinci gives you this flexibility. Why would you maintain two separate environments; your existing one for Open CTI and a new one for Service Cloud Voice?  

And for those that are stuck in a contract with a vendor that you can’t grow with, AMC offers contract swap-outs, so you can migrate to DaVinci without incurring additional costs. 



Let’s Pack – A Step-by-Step Approach to Planning your Migration 

For example, let’s take a customer that currently has Open CTI and is considering a shift to Service Cloud Voice so they can enable Einstein and transcription using their existing Avaya environment.  The table below is an outline the high-level steps and responsible parties.  


High-Level Project Phases


  1. Open CTI Migration – In this phase AMC will deploy DaVinci with our DaVinci App for Open CTI and DaVinci Premise Gateway to connect with customer’s Avaya infrastructure. Customer can then migrate away from their existing Open CTI deployment and centralize on one vendor.
  2. Pilot SCV Deployment – In this phase AMC will configure our DaVinci App for Service Cloud Voice and connect it to the existing infrastructure already deployed for Open CTI, giving the customer the ability to start implementing SCV use cases in a live sandbox environment. This phase will only provide call controls (not transcription)
  3. Discovery of Voice Infrastructure – While Phase 1 is going on, we’ll also initiate the discovery of the voice infrastructure to determine methods of accessing the voice stream (ex. Nuance, Verint or another method such as SIPREC).  
  4. Design and Development of Voice Stream Connector – During this phase, a DaVinci Connector will be built to access the voice stream through the approach determined during Phase 2 Discovery. 
  5. Transcription Deployment and Initial Testing – During this phase, the DaVinci Connector for Voice Stream will be deployed within the customer infrastructure and configured with Service Cloud Voice. Testing needs to occur during this phase as well.  
  6. Final Configuration and UAT – During this final phase, additional Service Cloud Voice configuration will need to be completed for capabilities such as Next Best Action, etc. After the final configurations are complete UAT testing so be done.  



Let’s Go on This Collaborative Journey Together 

Migrating from Salesforce Open CTI to Service Cloud Voice represents a transformative leap forward. This transition is not just a technical upgrade but a strategic move towards a more intelligent, responsive, and efficient customer service experience. With DaVinci’s robust capabilities and seamless integration, organizations can confidently navigate the complexities of implementing advanced AI-driven functionalities like Einstein AI, ensuring a future-proof setup. As you plan your migration, remember that each step taken is a step towards a more insightful and empowered customer experience. Let’s go on this collaborative journey together, with the right tools and expertise, and steadily enhance your customer service with AI capabilities. 

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AMC Technology, DaVinci, Open CTI, Salesforce SCV, Service Cloud Voice