Interactive Intelligence Revisits Its Small Call Center Roots


Interactive Intelligence Revisits Its Small Call Center Roots

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC  |  May 15, 2013

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) is an example of a disruptor that went mainstream and in the process changed the way contact centers operated.

Soon after launching in the mid-nineties the company would attract huge crowds to its booths at trade shows as it showed off all-in-one solutions which combined the dialer, ACD, PBX (News - Alert) and more operating seamlessly together. The company was first to espouse the concept and is responsible for getting the competition to emulate them.

In a recent meeting, Joe Staples (News - Alert), CMO and senior vice president of marketing at Interactive Intelligence, told me the company has successfully acted upon its growth strategy from 2006, which was designed to increase its sales to large companies such as BMW, Crutchfield, Honda (News - Alert), Rolex, Sony, and many others. Its average deal size in 2005 was $87,000 and in 2012 it was $306,000 with its number of deals over $1 million increasing from just one to 49 on a comparative basis over these seven years.

But Interactive Intelligence hasn’t lost track of the companies that helped it get started, as evidenced by the recent launch of its new CaaS Small Center solution, which gives small contact centers with up to 50 contact center agents many of the same features the vendor has offered for years to the most sophisticated contact centers in the world. Pricing for CaaS Small Center starts at a flat fee of $99 per agent, per month. Included in the offer is the ability to add the company’s cloud-based PBX features for up to 100 non-contact center users.

Joe was sure to point out how the company’s offering features recording; UC; real-time speech analytics; quality management; multichannel communications including voice, web chat and social media; routing; and real-time speech analytics with keyword spotting. There is also integration with Salesforce and other services out of the box. Finally, there are guaranteed service levels, geo-redundancy from 11 global data centers, security, and compliance including JITC and customer isolation through virtualization.

He further explained the company focused on keeping the offering easy to use with limited set-up options, and deployment within 15 days instead of months. Other areas of note are the ability to sign a one-year contract to lock in your price; a dedicated implementation manager, Quick Spin, that allows you to try before you buy; and, of course, a month-to-month commitment if you prefer this option.

Interestingly Interactive Intelligence has gone from a disruptive new entrant in the market to an established player. By offering much of the power of its full contact center solutions in a simple, cost-effective, no-commitment way, it has to some degree slowed the disruption it could see from the new breed of cloud-based solutions providers. Moreover, the benefit Interactive brings to the table is stability as well as scalability – companies want a system that grows with them.

Staples said 65 percent of contact centers in the world have less than 50 agents, but they are often underserved because they buy from a startup or just go with an add-on solution provided by a PBX vendor. In fact, one of the company’s newest customers for this new offering switched from another solution that didn’t allow it to see how many calls were waiting in the queue.

The purpose of CaaS Small Center is to allow these call centers that have the same needs as their larger brethren to access the same features and functions they have on a pay-as-you-go, or should I say pay-as-you-grow, basis.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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