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Sneek Peek: Interactive Intelligence Readies Customer Interaction Center 3.0

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April 16, 2007

Sneek Peek: Interactive Intelligence Readies Customer Interaction Center 3.0

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) has had a pretty good run of late. The Indianapolis, IN-based IP telephony and contact center vendor is enjoying a recent growth spurt, and can now boast 525 employees, of which most are based in the company’s Indiana headquarters, which spans two modern office buildings. Interactive Intelligence worked hard to earn their 32% year-on-year growth last year, and Joe Staples, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for the firm, told TMCnet that according to USA Today, ININ was the second best performing stock on the NASDAQ last year.

On a recent visit to Interactive Intelligence, TMCnet editors met with Staples as well as company CEO, Dr. Don Brown and Director of Product Management, Rachel Wentink, who shared their time and their insight into the contact center industry. TMCnet also received a sneak peek into what Interactive is working on now, and what we can expect to see from them sometime this summer.

Interactive released the last major version of its flagship Customer Interaction Center® (CIC), version 2.4, back near the end of 2005. While they have released several upgrades to the solution, this summer, the company plans to announce the latest major revision when it introduces version 3.0.
The enhancements in Customer Interaction Center version 3.0 will center on several areas, including security, scalability, reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), and increased ease of deployment.

New security features will include support for sRTP (to secure the audio stream) and TLS (for securing packet headers). And, in the case of calls made to legacy endpoints that do not yet support sRTP, version 3.0 will offer a configurable alert that would notify call participants that their conversation might not be as secure as they might expect.

Other new features will include improved certificate generation, increased security reporting, and more in an effort to improve system security and reduce the opportunity to spoof and eavesdrop on calls, in an effort to, as Wentink said, "encrypt from endpoint to edge."

Regarding scalability, Wentink told TMCnet that the new version of the solution will support scaling to 15,000 users, which is triple what is currently available. The Interaction Media Server™, a component first introduced with CIC 2.4, offloads large portions of audio processing from the CIC server, thus contributing to this gain. In some measure, Moore’s Law continues to help out here, as Interactive is now leveraging support for HMP 3.0 as well as the processing power of the latest Quad Core chips to increase the scalability of their products. Together with a more robust Web client, which supports Mac and Linux, in addition to Windows Operating Systems, and support for Aculab (News - Alert) Prosody X, version 3.0 will help Interactive Intelligence make the push to sell Customer Interaction Center into larger enterprises and contact center deployments. According to Staples, the increased capacity will serve to "take the issue of scalability off the table."

As for lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), version 3.0 will bring a veritable laundry list of new features and enhancements to market.
  • Integration to Microsoft’s (News - Alert) OCS with call control;
  • Integration of Microsoft Exchange UM and Interactive’s Communité® (voicemail/unified messaging application);
  • Auto-provisioning for Polycom (News - Alert) IP Phones;
  • Configurable e-mail routing (featuring the ability to apply skills, route by keywords or sender’s address, etc…)
  • Simplified custom reporting to enable creation of reports on-the-fly; and
  • Integration with Loquendo’s speech recognition engine, to name just some of what we can expect to see from Interactive Intelligence when they release version 3.0 this summer.
While that seems like it should be enough, Interactive Intelligence is not planning on standing still anytime soon. With a series of announcements planned over the coming months, and plans to continue to evolve their offering to a continuously-evolving industry, Interactive Intelligence is in a great position to continue to build on their current successful run.
Greg Galitzine is editorial director of TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications group, which includes Internet Telephony, SIP, and IMS magazines as well as
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