Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Interactive Intelligence Advances Cloud-Based Contact Center

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 30, 2011 1:46:08 AM

Interactive Intelligence recently released version 4.0 of its Customer Interaction Center (CIC). CIC provides companies with integrated communications and contact center functions that can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment divided between them. 

The latest release includes functional and architectural enhancements. In the most significant functional enhancement, Interaction Analyzer now supports real-time analysis of calls in progress. This capability addresses both the customer experience and agent performance, which are hard to manage because they happen in real time. If, for example, the customer gets angry or the agent says the wrong thing, neither will have a good experience and one may terminate the call. Monitoring such occurrences in real time provides a chance to avert such bad outcomes; it depends on being able to tap into calls and use real-time speech analytics to identify words or phrases spoken by either party. The latest release of Interaction Analyzer raises alerts when designated words or phrases are used so that a supervisor can monitor what is being said on the call and coach the agent using a collaboration tool or join in. In this way the customer’s issue can be dealt with during the call, with the possibility of improving the customer experience, preventing defection to the competition and also making the agent happier. The words designated to raise an alert can be stored alongside the call recording, making it easier for someone to search for calls later that may warrant additional analysis.

The second functional upgrade is in Interaction Web Portal, which gives decision-makers views of their contact center and customer service operations. It provides dashboards that contain key performance metrics, reports and analysis, and can show near-real-time and historical information. It also allows approved users to listen to live calls and call recordings. Partners and outsourcers can gain insight into operations within their domains, including for outsourcers a view of each of their clients. Agents can gain a view of their own performance, which helps motivate them to improve their performance.

The final significant functional upgrade is the ability to log details of interactions in more granularity, breaking end-to-end interactions into hold times, talk time, transfers and other aspects.

In a combination of functional and technical upgrades, CIC’s reporting and analysis suite has been overhauled. The entire suite has been redeveloped to run on the Microsoft .Net platform, making it easier to develop reports and distribute them to the right people. At the same time the functional capabilities of reporting now include links that enable drilling down from high-level reports to the underlying details, easier selection of items to be displayed and exception reporting based on user-definable thresholds. All the reports have been made easier to read.

In the most significant technical upgrade, the platform is now almost entirely independent of third-party products and runs as a pure application server. This gives users greater flexibility in how they deploy the software and makes the platform more reliable and scalable.

Interactive Intelligence is a pioneering vendor for contact center in the cloud. Ventana Research’s benchmark research into technologies used in contact center shows that 21 percent of companies have deployed at least part of their contact centers in the cloud. As vendors such as Interactive Intelligence continue to update the capabilities of their products, we expect this trend to continue. Interactive Intelligence continues to advance its technologies as I recently wrote in its recent process automation advancements. 

Have you adopted a contact center in the cloud, or are you thinking of doing so in the next 12 months? If so, please tell us your experiences and come collaborate with me on social media.


Richard Snow – VP & Research Directo

Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Richard Snow

Written by Richard Snow

Richard leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice, which is dedicated to helping organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managing their customers, throughout their lifetime and across all touch points, including the contact center. He conducts research exploring the people, process, information and technology issues behind customer operations management, contact center management, and customer experience management. He also works with senior business operations and IT managers to ensure that companies get the best performance from today’s highly complex application products. Richard has worked in management and consulting leadership positions in the technology industry including with Price Waterhouse, Sema Group and Valors. In his work, he has been involved with all aspects of delivering highly complex IT solutions to a variety of clients in the telecommunications, financial services and public sectors. Richard has specialized in delivering customer care and billing solutions for telecommunications operators, and several multi-channel contact centers for organizations in both the public and private sectors.