October 2009

Elaine McAvoy of CTI Software:  Industry Feedback Helped Develop Successful Software

Elaine McAvoy

Elaine McAvoy of CTI Software has been an OBCAI member for twelve years.  She explains how feedback from member operators has helped CTI develop software tailored for the OBCs – software such as “Suite Answer Center” and “Suite Accounting” that have proven to be very successful.

Can you give us a brief background of your company?
CTI Software is the Software Development Branch of Emerge Technologies, a full-service telecom company. It was founded in 1996. CTI’s initial focus was to design software applications for the growing executive suite industry. Our over twenty-year affiliation with Inter-Tel (now Mitel) allowed us to develop our software to run on their platform due to their OAI interface. In addition to Suite Answer Center and Suite Accounting software which were designed for the executive suite industry, we developed The Answer software for telephone answering services and large call centers, as well as VIP Attendant Console for muti-department corporations.

Tell me something unique about your company.
I feel that our company is unique in the industry because we offer executive suite owners “The Executive Suite Professional Solution” guaranteeing seamless integration between CTI software solutions and the Mitel VOIP communications platform. We are thoroughly familiar with the industry and have gained invaluable insight from members of OBCAI. CTI strives to keep up with the changes and needs of the industry, continually upgrading our software to achieve those requirements.

What service or product has the most potential for growth?
CTI’s Suite Answer Center attendant console and Suite Accounting, our accounts receivable/billing applications have the most potential for growth. In the coming year, we expect our solutions to integrate with Avaya, as well as other IP-based phone systems. We also will be able to accommodate executive suites in countries outside of the US.

What has changed within CTI over the past two years?
More and more clients are taking advantage of Suite Accounting, CTI’s integrated accounts receivable/billing application. Not only does it record every billable item. as well as residual charges, but it can now integrate with networkable copy/printing machines as well as postage machines, thereby saving needless hours of gathering billing information. It’s easy. It’s automatic. In addition, receptionists and clients alike can now appreciate CTI’s Conference Room Booking Module, allowing them to easily schedule conference room time, in the office or remotely.

Tell us about your background and how you got into the industry.
I have been working for CTI as Director of Sales and Marketing for approximately twelve years. Eric Meyn, the President, knew of my creativity, writing and marketing skills and asked that I work with him to help develop the CTI brand. I have always been a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit. When my children were young, I started an at home typing service which developed into a company called Writing Unlimited. From the sales perspective, I worked for a party plan company and recruited, trained and motivated a branch of new sales representatives, achieving numerous awards along the way. I also have a background in equipment leasing, which comes in handy when clients want to arrange financing.

What are your responsibilities?
I am responsible for developing sales/marketing materials and campaigns, coordinating trade show presentations and expanding our growing client base, both in the US and in Canada. I work closely with new and existing clients to assure that all their needs are met and concerns addressed.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I especially enjoy working with people new to the industry. I feel confident that the solutions we recommend will create new business for their suite. Today, it’s about all the bells and whistles that come with state-of-the-art technology. Clients want the best, which is what we offer them. I also feel confident that the OBCAI resources I can refer them to for training, as well as lead generation, both in-house and virtual, will help their business grow.

What motivates you?
What motivates me the most is when a client calls to tell us their office is full and they are ready to expand. It means that the solutions we recommended and our continual support have helped them achieve success.

What is your proudest accomplishment with your company?
What I feel most proud of is the knowledge that my sales/marketing ideas, along with contributions from my staff, have helped CTI achieve the brand recognition it has strived for since its inception.

What is your greatest challenge over the next year or two?
Technology is always changing. Look how far we have already come. We predict that in the next two years most systems will be IP based. Instead of using PRI Voice T1’s, IP platforms will be using SIP trunking, thereby utilizing one data networking connection to the cloud. Our team of network professionals is ready to meet the challenge.

What does your company get out of or hope to get out of – its membership in OBCAI?
CTI Software has been a member of OBCAI for over twelve years. During that time, members have been an invaluable resource and have contributed ideas which helped make our software applications the best there is in the marketplace today. Our goal is to continue to network with OBCAI members for many years to come and to help make their ideas a reality. Last, but not least, we’d like to thank the members of OBCAI for their continued support, confidence and friendship.

How do you spend time outside of work? What are your hobbies?
Weekends are time to wind down and socialize with family and friends, especially the grandchildren. I’m always looking for interesting things to do with them. As for hobbies, I thoroughly enjoy photography, honing my Photoship skills and trying out gourmet recipes.