As part of our continuing efforts to keep up with the telecom, UC and contact center industry, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Interactive Intelligence President’s Council this week in Chicago. The session provided us with the opportunity to get senior level briefings from the various executives, including the future corporate and product direction from the CEO, Dr. Don Brown.
Over the last few years they have moved from a customer premises contact center solution (CIC), to add a contact center as a service portfolio (CaaS) to their latest generation which is 100% hosted/cloud platform (PureCloud).
What Was New and Different This Year?
One of the more interesting presentations was from their Chief Services Officer, Tom Fisher. He provided us with insight into how they have worked to reduce implementation time of the new portfolios, while making it easier for both customers and staff to provide improved customer service and support for their contact center solutions (this is no smallfeat).
As a former service manager, I found his presentation stimulating, particularly how they have worked on improving their processes and staff attitudes to change some of the thinking of how they work together internally, to reduce time to resolution. (This is not something we have heard from other telecom vendors during the past few years at all!)
Dr. Brown shared where he wants to take the 'Pure Cloud' portfolio over the next year, and how it may differ in other parts of the world. One of the more interesting areas he shared, related to the idea of distributed computing, (they use the Amazon web services on a global level), and how this can help ensure reliability and up-time. As I was listening to him describe how the various elements fit together and are really meshed, it reminded me of early pictures of the "Internet web." This distributed approach can really help organizations maintain reliability and availability for mission-critical contact center environments.
He also shared how they have been able to scale up the size of contact centers they can support, or more importantly for the Small Medium business sector, scale down to smaller organizations, while keeping the full enterprise class features that smaller organizations strive to acquire.
As always, us consultants are not shy in asking tough questions. Most of my questions revolved around getting dealers/carriers/resellers up to speed in how to sell and support these multi-function cloud solutions to their customers. For this area they shared their channel program updates, and it was interesting to note that they were going to focus on quality rather than quantity. This is a smart move!
Those of us in the council that have test labs to play with next generation solutions will also be given the opportunity to have pure cloud PureCloud? accounts to test and analyze. I look forward to doing a bake off from our current environment to their PureCloud offer, particularly since they will be adding the telecom/PSTN/collaboration connectivity capabilities by the end of the year!
From a Canadian perspective, they continue to expand the Canadian operation and add channel partners, as well as increase marketing investment, and will be having Canadian customer marketing events over the next few months. We hope to attend these events, and will report on our observations in upcoming issues.
All and all, it was a stimulating, thought-provoking time well spent, and we applaud Interactive Intelligence for continuing to invest in next generation contact center and collaboration applications that provide customers with alternatives ways to acquire and operate their next generation solutions.