Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Interactive Intelligence Offers Trial Access to Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 25, 2011 11:08:04 AM

Cloud computing offers companies opportunity to innovate in the ways their contact centers handle customer interactions. Systems vendors have been gradually moving call and other interaction management to the cloud, along with some of the core applications required to operate a contact center such as call recording, workforce management and analytics. Interactive Intelligence is one of the front runners in this market with its Customer Interaction Center. To approach potential customers that aren’t convinced of the virtues of cloud-based systems, Interactive Intelligence recently launched a new service, Quick Spin, a trial version of the its suite.

Quick Spin includes all the communications in the cloud capabilities (PBX, auto-attendant, presence, conferencing, desktop call control and unified messaging), call routing (ACD), on-demand call recording, basic IVR, real-time speech analytics, reporting and other analytics. These capabilities are all accessed via the Web, and companies can use them for a limited time to see whether the service is for them.

Setting up Quick Spin is a six-step process. Users define up to five agent skills, such as language spoken or call types handled and profiles of up to 10 agents who will be involved in the trial. Next they create work groups (which many centers call queues), for example, technical support or complaints, and then assign agents to these groups. Then they create some simple IVR messages in text form, which the system converts to voice responses depending on what number the caller dials. In the next step users input five positive phrases and five negative phrases to be monitored using real-time speech analytics, assigning a rating on how likely each is to produce false-positive ratings. Finally Interactive Intelligence assigns an in-bound call number for customers to use, and agents are allocated extension numbers to which their calls will be delivered. At this point the company is up and running with a contact center of limited scope but that will operate in almost the same way as centers running full-function systems. Mangers can change skills, work groups or people engaged in the trial as they might in a fully operational center. The real-time speech analytics raises alerts if the phrases are spotted, and the reporting and analytics produce reports and analysis of how the trial performs, so at the end of the test period companies have a realistic sense of how a center would work using the complete Interactive Intelligence product suite.

Interactive Intelligence realizes that some companies are reluctant to use cloud-based systems, with security and fear of the unknown as major concerns. However, today for many companies there are several pressing reasons why they need to upgrade their contact centers, among them to reduce operating costs, to provide multichannel customer service and to support home-based and mobile users. This trial version from Interactive Intelligence offers companies a chance to overcome some of their fears and gain hands-on experience of how a cloud-based center would work. It also offers the chance for companies to improve interaction-handling, and so I recommend that those uncertain about utilizing a contact center in the cloud give it serious consideration.

Have you adopted any cloud-based systems for your contact center, or are you in the processes of evaluating potential suppliers? If so please tell us more and collaborate with me.


Richard Snow – VP & Research Director

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, Business Mobility, 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.