Continuing our discussion of how advances in convergence can greatly improve call center operations, today we\u2019d like to cover three elements critical to the success of any well-run call center: interactive voice response, skills-based routing, and computer telephone integration.Let\u2019s look at a typical call to an airline reservation call center to see how each of these work. When Larry makes a call to book a flight, his call is answered by the airline\u2019s interactive voice response (IVR) system. The IVR accepts touchtone commands and a limited number of speech commands to begin routing Larry\u2019s call to the right department.Since Larry is a very frequent flyer (as identified by Larry\u2019s frequent flyer number), Larry should only receive service from an \u201cexecutive\u201d agent since the \u201cexecutive\u201d agent can provide a greater number of services than typical call center agent. Using information gathered by the IVR, Larry\u2019s call is sent to the next available \u201cexecutive\u201d (qualified) agent using skills-based routing (SBR). SBR keeps tabs of who in the call center is qualified to provide these additional services to assure a proper match for Larry.As soon as the agent answers Larry\u2019s call, the agent receives a \u201cscreen pop\u201d with Larry\u2019s profile from the frequent flyer database provided by the call center\u2019s computer telephony integration (CTI) capabilities. (Note that in some examples CTI-generated screen pops can also be provided based on other incoming call information like the calling party\u2019s phone number.)Next week, we\u2019ll cover how IVR, SBR and CTI are all undergoing change with the adoption of VoIP and related advances.