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Analysis

Interactive Intelligence - an intelligent integrated communication solution
David Norris By: David Norris, Practice Leader - Analytics, Bloor Research
Published: 30th March 2007
Copyright Bloor Research © 2007
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We are becoming more and more commercially dependent upon telephony, and yet most of the commercially available solutions are limited in their ability to meet the full range of business requirements that are emerging. Interactive Intelligence is one of the few solutions that, without compromise, would meet the selection criteria that I would lay down.

Most solutions owe their origins to the big push to build infrastructure ahead of the Y2K deadline, when it was feared that things would grind to a halt. As such, most are hardware centric and are essentially proprietary in their nature. As people are now looking to refresh their infrastructures it is time to look at more open, integrated and software based solutions, because these will provide the flexibility to fast evolving demands that will enable enterprises to maintain competitive advantage.

Interactive Intelligence are selling a software based model which is a single integrated core, but which can be used to meet the specific demands of the four major areas of telephony support for the modern enterprise. Based on the core software, Interactive Intelligence are able to offer a contact centre solution, an enterprise IP telephony solution, self service automation solution, and an enterprise messaging platform. Being software based the solution is not only adaptable and flexible but, equally critically, it can scale and it offers industry leading costs of total ownership. Being able to scale enables a single instance to support a geography and so far Interactive have established support of up to 5,000 agents, which is enough for most users.

Being based on one set of software means that in terms of management things are far simpler and the room for error is reduced, so business rules need only be invoked once and are then applied consistently throughout the platform. All forms of reporting are consistent and the timeframe of reports can be established across the whole platform, avoiding the confusion and ambiguity that lie at the root of much of the hidden costs of solutions that are created by bolting together point solutions.

Like many of the solutions that I see emerging as the front-runners amongst those providing the next generation of solutions in the new investment cycle, Interactive Intelligence owes its origins in the SME market. I think this is important because solutions coming from that background are typically leaner and more focussed than those coming from the traditional enterprise vendors who have been used to living on large margins from what is essentially a far less demanding audience.

Interactive Intelligence are continuing to invest over 20% of their revenue in R&D, and some 50% of their staff are working in R&D so this is not a solution that is resting on its laurels. As people recognise that the next wave of interactions need to be able to handle multimedia inputs with seamless ease, Interactive Intelligence look well placed to serve that market. This is clearly being recognised by its user base that includes companies who should be trusted in their judgment like BMW, Boeing, Microsoft, Walmart and Motorola.

Interactive Intelligence appear to me to offer a best of class solution, and as this is an area in which competitive advantage can be made or lost I would be inclined to place my belief that this is the way forward.

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