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Interactive Intelligence CIC Goes Enterprise With CIC Version 4.0

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June 13, 2011

Interactive Intelligence CIC Goes Enterprise With CIC Version 4.0

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Having created an integrated IP-based contact handling solution that has been long popular with especially midsized firms and contact centers, Interactive Intelligence has now set its sights on the enterprise and larger BPO customers with the Customer Interaction Center (CIC) Version 4.0.

Highly anticipated, previewed in the June issue of Customer Interaction Solutions, Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) announced CIC 4.0 June 13. It will be available in English-speaking countries in Q3 2011, followed by localization throughout EMEA and APAC markets.

At the core of CIC 4.0 are significant scalability increases thanks to architectural improvements. The associated metrics include:

*          A more than 2x increase in the number of ACD-enabled agents supported on a single server

*          A 5x increase in the number of simultaneous IVR sessions supported

*          A 7x increase in the number of calls that can be recorded per hour

Another enterprise-appealing architectural improvement is the elimination of third-party call processing software from CIC and moving all media processing to the company’s Interaction Media Server. This change increases scalability and enables customers to process media locally for improved business continuity and survivability.

With these enhancements, CIC 4.0 becomes a pure application server that can be located at a central data center with media servers at branch offices, thereby creating a private cloud deployment model. Firms can regionalize multiple Interaction Media Servers to a single CIC server that keeps audio processing local and reduce bandwidth usage. They can also configure multiple CIC servers to leverage a single Interaction Media Server appliance or bank of them that consolidate resource usage and simplify and reduce administration and operations costs.

With every customer, today’s highly competitive slow-growth economy enterprises, as well as midsized firms, are focused on obtaining realtime intelligence about their customers and how their contact centers are meeting their needs while upping the game on performance. CIC 4.0 offers a new real-time enterprise-class speech analytics application, Interaction Analyzer. It supplies real-time keyword- and phrase-spotting on either the customer side, agent side or both sides of voice conversations. This capability alerts contact center managers to problem interactions so that they can then monitor, coach or intervene on them to better satisfy customers and to improve agents’ performance.

Having speech analytics functionality incorporated into a contact handling routing platform as Interactive Intelligence has done permits easier tracking and handling as the same software that handled the contact is housing the application to obtain intelligence from it. There is no need then to buy, install and integrate separate – and expensive – speech analytics solutions. That then makes speech analytics arguably more affordable, thereby permitting more firms to take advantage of its extensive capabilities.

CIC 4.0 also includes Interaction Web Portal, a new application that enables BPO firms to provide their clients with secure, branded access and real-time visibility. Outsourcer clients can monitor live calls, listen to call recordings and view performance reports. Corporate contact center managers can also use it to give visibility to C-level staff, and agents can access it to monitor their own productivity and proactively help improve customer service.

The Interaction Web Portal features, along with the others in CIC 4.0 are very timely as BPO firms are intensively competing with other for highly demanding clients, who in turn have to meet the needs of their service/price-exacting clientele. Those companies need if they are to survive and grow to deliver high quality, secure, marketplace-differentiating (for them and for their clients) and cost-effective services – and effective reporting.

Additional enhancements in CIC 4.0 include a new Web client, upgraded e-mail handling, more efficient queries of call recordings and expanded and improved reporting.

Here are the highlights:

*          Agent and queue activity can be monitored, recorded, reported and tracked in a single web portal environment for executives as well as supervisors

*          For e-mail and other asynchronous interactions, contact centers can configure service levels by channel type, to set appropriate levels versus those interactions that occur in real time, such as phone calls or web chat

*          Managers can mouse over and “drill into” particular statistics in the.NET (News - Alert) Interaction Supervisor interface, for a more detailed real-time view and better understanding of developing service issues

*          There is a new .NET based reporting engine while “Call Detail” has been replaced with a new table that includes all media types instead of just phone calls.

Interactive Intelligence’s increase in product scalability, along with the other features is part of its continued move up-market to make CIC a competitive offering for the largest global contact centers.

“We designed our upcoming CIC 4.0 release to give contact centers and enterprises significantly increased scalability and reliability, an enhanced user experience, and improved management insight,” said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown. “We’re particularly excited about our innovative speech analytics application, which gives customers an easier-to-deploy and more cost-effective alternative to what's currently on the market.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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