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At the recent Genesys 2015 G-Force, I saw a futuristic demo in which pressing a button on a broken fridge automatically connected a person to a live agent to report an issue.
Interactive Intelligence Pushes to Bring Cloud to the Enterprise with PureCloud
At their Interactions event this week, Interactive Intelligence announced PureCloud: a multi-tenant Amazon Web Services-based cloud contact center and unified communications (UC) solution. The announcement was not entirely surprising as Interactive Intelligence has been public about their investment in cloud and has reported strong growth in their cloud user base over the past few years. In fact, cloud-based orders represented 50% of Interactive Intelligence’s total order volume in 2013.
PureCloud uses an entirely different codebase than Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC) and Communications as a Service (CaaS) solutions. It also provides a hybrid deployment model where an Edge device sits on premises either on the customer’s local network or at an Interactive Intelligence data center to maintain resiliency and keep voice traffic local. Typically, there will be one Edge device per location (it can handle up to 500 simultaneous calls), and the device is built into the subscription (although there is an option to purchase it if desired).
Interactive Intelligence CEO Don Brown emphasizes that PureCloud is built with the enterprise customer in mind. He also calls particular attention to the fact that PureCloud is not “just a contact center solution;” it’s also a UC solution. PureCloud's contact center elements include the expected features like multi-channel ACD (it will initially support voice and web chat with plans to soon include other channels); IVR; speech recognition; text to speech; outbound; quality monitoring; multi-channel recording; screen pop; and CRM integration. It also includes the option for social customer service, which presents customers with information about available agents and allows them to select their own agent based on personal preference. PureCloud’s UC capabilities include instant messaging, presence, persistent group chat, and IP telephony. It also includes a “Directory” feature that is based on social media design.
Admittedly, with a name like “PureCloud,” I expected the solution to be purely cloud-based without the on-premises Edge device. However, name aside, the resiliency and option to keep voice traffic local are likely to appeal to companies that are not entirely willing to put things like voice routing “out there” in the cloud.
Combining UC and contact center is also an interesting move (something I’ll talk more about after Nemertes releases its 2014-15 Enterprise Technology Benchmark findings). UC has been moving to the cloud a little more quickly than contact center. For example, the Nemertes 2013-14 benchmark showed that, by the end of 2013, 63% of companies planned to use cloud web conferencing, 22% planned to use cloud social platforms, 21% planned to use cloud IM, and 15% planned to use cloud IP telephony. In contrast, only 7% planned to use cloud IVR, and cloud ACD plans weren’t even on their radar until 2014.
At the end of June, we will release our 2014-15 benchmark findings (clients receive access beginning June 11). This year, we further examined cloud contact center and UC adoption, demographics, drivers, and impediments as well as contact center operations, analytics, and much more.