Interactive Intelligence APAC Partner Conference Wrap-up

Sawasdee (hello in Thai)!   I left yesterday from Bangkok, Thailand (at least I think it was yesterday…well, it was yesterday somewhere) after attending the Interactive Intelligence APAC partner conference. Aside from the sessions and meetings with partners (which I’ll get to in a second), two things really stick out in my mind. First, that is one looooooong trip. Door-to-door for me it was 30 hours (nearly 22 hours in the air). Second, of all the places I’ve been in the world, I don’t think there is a nicer people than the Thai people. Nice, polite, smiling, just a pleasure to [...]

To Blend Or Not To Blend, That Is The Question

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of inbound agents sitting around Or to take those agents into the outbound world And by doing so, make better use of their time. [apologies to Mr. Shakespeare]   Even with the benefits of blending inbound and outbound agents, I still hear that dedicating agents to either inbound or outbound is a better solution.  Some of the stated negatives of blending include: Agents were hired for an inbound job.  I can’t expect them to do outbound… it’s a different mindset and personality.  [Reasonable, but why not include [...]

SIP Trunking & the IP Contact Center – A No-Brainer?

As I talk to contact center customers, the topic of SIP Trunking does not come up as often as I would expect.  The benefits of converging voice and data onto common all-IP connections to the carrier seem pretty clear to me: reducing recurring costs of separate PSTN and data circuits, eliminating over-subscription of voice channels, reducing toll charges, gaining flexibility in call routing, and more.    IP Contact Centers without SIP Trunking are realizing a solid return on investment by lowering administration costs and the costs of calls made within the enterprise as well as significantly increasing redundancy and flexibility in architecture.  Yet it appears that [...]

The Multichannel Contact Center — Are We There Yet?

Many moons ago — in 1997 (wow, that was a lot of moons ago) — I wrote an article for a publication called Voice Power. It was a Canadian publication run by a guy named Jacob Gordon. They also held an annual conference branded under the same Voice Power name. Maybe you remember it.   My article, written twelve years ago, was titled "The Creation of the Customer Contact Center." The first line of my article read, "The call center is a thing of the past." I continued, "While not becoming extinct all together, it is destined, like the [...]

Flexibility Saves The Day – Rolling With The Outbound Punches

I am often impressed by the number of detailed questions an organization will include in an RFP - 10s or even 100s of pages of questions.  I can’t blame a customer for wanting to be sure that the solution they deploy will meet all of their needs today, next year, and into the future.  But no matter how thorough the due diligence process prior to deploying a system, the unexpected eventually happens… opportunities arise… regulations are changed… competition gets creative… vendor pricing structures are modified.  When one of these challenges arise, the question then becomes "ok, what can we do to respond?" and more importantly "how quickly can we [...]

The Role of Session Manager

My last post I talked about a new application that was released in SU4 called Interaction Center Business Manager and its use of our new client framework called Cafe’.  In that post I mentioned two components called IceLib and Session Manager. For the most part I glossed over them, however, they are the two most critical components in the client architecture and this post is dedicated to giving a better understanding of Session Manager and its role in that architecture.

Session Manager is a server side subsystem that for most customers resides on the Interaction Center (IC) server.  For [...]

Internet Telephony Expo East — Grief Over Our SMB Award?

Some interesting posts in the blogosphere this week following Internet Telephony Expo East in Miami. As a result of the show, Interactive Intelligence received a "Best of Show" in the SMB category for our EIC product offering.   Next thing we know, someone is taking issue with it — A VoIP Blog authored by ChromisInc (in which he makes some good points)  http://www.ichromis.com/blog/?p=446   Then come a skillful reply from TMC’s Greg Galitzine (TMC was the award grantor) http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/greg-galitzine/voip/enterprise/itexpo-award-confusion.html   Then a very nice, "Good point and I agree with you" follow-up post from Chromis http://www.ichromis.com/blog/?p=494&cpage=1#comment-9   The whole [...]

Customer Relationship Management – How can we help you today?

As I was putting the wrappings on some work this late Friday night, I came across an article written by a consultant regarding Customer Relationship Management. As I read through her article, a thought hit me.

Customer Relationship Management — this goal of getting to know your customer better is, in its simplest form, to repeat the way business was done before the onslaught of the information technology age.

Before there were giant malls, online stores, franchises, self-service grocery lines, ATMS, international business trips and web sites, companies did business face to face. That was it. Companies got to [...]

Internet Telephony Expo East — The Spies Come Out

This week (Feb 2-4), the IP telephony geeks, buyers, marketers, and tire-kickers descended on Miami to attend Internet Telephony Expo. Even the weatherman was surprised by what he saw…45 degree weather in Miami? You might have to wear thermal bermuda shorts! The poor frozen strawberries! Sorry. Okay, back to IP telephony stuff.     There’s an economic slowdown? Somebody must have forgotten to tell the show attendees. Traffic seemed as strong as ever (show promoters reference a 30% increase in attendance). The conference sessions were well attended. Our very own Rick Chin’s keynote session on "The Unified Communications Shootout" had [...]

Which communications pig are you feeding?

I was driving into work the other morning, enjoying the wintery landscape, when I heard something intriguing on the radio. I’m usually not a fan of National Public Radio as I would rather endure my commute listening to sports talk radio. But with the Indianapolis Colts out of the Super Bowl, it made sense to listen to what was happening in the real world for a change.   As I listened, the NPR reporter was interviewing the CEO of an advertising agency from Finland responsible for a governmental campaign called Don’t Feed the Recession. It’s built around the idea that [...]