Interactive Intelligence Debuts PureCloud Platform for Contact Centers

Interactive Intelligence Group has released PureCloud, a suite of cloud-based services for communications, collaboration, and customer engagement based on new distributed cloud architecture built on top of Amazon Web Services.

The release comes on the heels of Interative's acquisition of OrgSpan in April. OrgSpan was a privately held, cloud-based enterprise social communications solutions provider that Interactive Intelligence had collaborated with and financially backed.

Don Brown, founder and CEO of Interactive Intelligence, said that the company decided to deploy its solutions on Amazon Web Services because of the breadth and scale offered. Brown also pointed out that other top companies, such as and SAP, have teamed up with Amazon in the space.

"Amazon has some competitors, but they got into this area first and they are so far ahead of everybody else that I don't think it's really much of a contest at this point," Brown says.

He adds that by using Amazon Web Services, Interactive Intelligence was able to build out a complete multitenant distributed cloud offering. "It runs the gamut from unified communications all the way through the hardcore multichannel contact center stuff that we're better known for," he says.

The PureCloud platform consists of five service options: directory, unified communications (UC), contact center, social customer service, and an additional service. Users can buy the services together or singly or scale if needed.

The contact center solution features include automated call distribution, voice self-service and IVR, call recording, screen pop integration, Web chat, workforce optimization, automated outbound dialing, and integration with multiple CRM systems.

PureCloud was designed to be "ultra-rapid in terms of deployment," Brown says. "It can be customized and integrated without carving something out of stone.

"We have a pretty good idea of the sorts of customizations that customers do. With PureCloud, we don't provide a Swiss Army knife. Instead we give customers very specific integration points to bridge servers, Rest APIs, Voice XML, and routing schemes, for example, but without forcing the customer to resort to a lot of low-level customization."

For unified communications, Brown says that currently there seems to be a choice between, for example, a hosted offering from Cisco or Avaya, or new services such as RingCentral which are primarily designed for smaller organizations.

"There's a hole that you can drive a Mack truck through in the middle [market] that we've decided to go after, [providing] an enterprise grade, Cloud 2.0 unified communication service.

"There are all sorts of ways in which organizations are looking for a really good, kind of bullet-proof enterprise grade [solution] but that have the advantages that a multitenant cloud solution provides," he adds.

PureCloud services include:

  • Interactive Intelligence PureMatch, which dynamically matches customer interactions with contact center agents based on multiple attributes and criteria;
  • Interactive Intelligence PureCloud Social Customer Service, which enables customers to view agent profiles and performances, including their service ratings and wait time, and choose the agent best qualified to assist them; and
  • Interactive Intelligence PureCloud Directory, a multilingual corporate directory that makes available deep user profile content (skills, work experience, location, etc.) and provides bidirectional synchronization with systems such as Active Directory, Exchange, WorkDay, SharePoint, and Salesforce. This feature includes native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 phones.

In addition, PureCloud offers IP PBX, unified messaging, instant messaging, presence management conferencing, persistent group chat, fax, video, and other UC features that run across Web browsers, smartphones, and tablets.

"We would like to offer a set of cloud services, not customization services, that are so compelling that customers are rolling them out more widely and signing up for more," Brown says. "What they have to pay to integrate or customize hopefully is the minimum."

PureCloud is slated to be available throughout the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2014. Service initiation in other areas is expected to begin in 2015, along with the availability of additional PureCloud application services.

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Posted June 09, 2015