Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:40

Interactive Intelligence Interactions 2013 Impresses

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend Interactive Intelligence’s Interactions 2013 global conference held at the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis.  I have attended one previous Interactive Intelligence analyst/customer conference several years ago and I didn’t find it to be useful in terms of getting the information I need in order to do my job.  I was hoping for a better experience this time.

I don’t have much of a relationship with Interactive Intelligence, business or otherwise, so my knowledge of the company is limited to the few phone briefings I’ve had with them over the past year.  Interactive Intelligence seems to have their favorites and Saddletree Research isn’t one of them, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received the invitation to attend this year’s analyst/customer conference.

Overall I was favorably impressed by the event.  The venue was first class with excellent meeting facilities and exceptionally generous meals, refreshments and accommodations throughout.  I think the meeting planners at Interactive Intelligence did their best to pack as much information into the analyst day as possible although some of the presentations only skimmed the surface and left me wanting more in-depth detail.  While the subject matter was a mile wide it was only about a foot deep, but I give Interactive Intelligence credit for their efforts to make the day as diverse and interesting as possible.

If you took to heart the Interactive Intelligence conference marketing message you would get the impression that the entire contact center industry is in a mad scramble to move all their customer care solutions from the premises to the cloud.  Our research has shown that this is simply not the case.  Saddletree Research clients have in hand our April 22, 2013 report entitled “Finding the Silver Lining in the Contact Center Cloud” that details the demand and lack of demand for cloud contact center solutions by vertical market and size of contact center.  At this point the data doesn’t mesh with the Interactive Intelligence marketing message.  I got the impression that Interactive Intelligence has invested heavily in cloud solutions and now expects the market to respond, thus their conference emphasis on the benefits of the cloud-based contact center.

When I visited the conference exhibit floor it was packed with Interactive Intelligence customers and a variety of interesting exhibitors.  Among the most intriguing of these exhibitors was a company called OrgSpan (www.orgspan.com).  OrgSpan is a startup founded by a former Interactive Intelligence software engineer and funded by Interactive Intelligence founder Dr. Don Brown.  OrgSpan offers a cloud-based (what else?) employee directory and customer support tool designed to help organizations of any size find and connect with the right person at the right time.  Besides offering internal enterprise support for finding personnel resources it can also be used to allow customers to find the best customer support representative to help with their service need.  It’s something like LinkedIn for enterprise and customer support.  It’s worth a look.

My impression of Interactive Intelligence remains positive, reinforced by the company’s demonstrated commitment to the continued development of their platform solutions.  Interactions 2013 was a well-planned, well-executed and worthwhile event.

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