Overview

The Distributed Cloud Spawns a Unique Period of Innovation

Now that we’ve launched Interactive Intelligence PureCloudSM, I can finally talk about an area of innovation I’ve been excited about for the past year.

Like many, I used to think of innovation as a single discovery made at a specific point in time. A video by Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From, changed my thinking. He explains that important breakthroughs usually take time. That ideas have to incubate, smaller hunches need to collide, and missing pieces must be discovered before major breakthroughs and big change can happen.

When interviewing a few of the PureCloud developers a while back, it [...]

Racing into the New Year, What Trends will 2014 Hold for the Contact Center and UC?

Christmas will be over in just a few days. Vacations will be behind us. Family members will travel back home. And we’ll all be launching into a new year. For contact centers and unified communications, what trends can we expect to see and what surprises might lay in store?

Art Schoeller, vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research and I (with added help from Sheila McGee-Smith, founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, and Don Van Doren, principal of UniComm Consulting) will be broadcasting a complimentary webinar, “Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities: How you can be ready,” where we’ll try and [...]

Is a Move to the Cloud Good or Bad for IT?

By every measurement, the cloud is growing rapidly and is here to stay. In many cases, the move to the cloud has been financially motivated – primarily driven by the CFO or CEO. There are those forward-thinking IT directors or CIOs who have embraced the cloud for the host of benefits it brings to the organization. Still, regardless of the source or driver for the move, a shift to the cloud has left many a person with IT on their business card wondering if this is a good thing or a bad thing for them personally.

For IT leaders and [...]

Flexibility in the Cloud… What Does it Really Mean?

Anytime a vendor speaks of their cloud solution as “flexible.” It usually stops with not much more than a blanket statement that is seldom challenged, “Our cloud solution is flexible,” says the vendor. The customer might think, “It should be flexible. It’s cloud-based.” When in reality, that concept of flexibility isn’t that well understood. So what does flexibility in this context really mean and how beneficial is it to the customer?

I believe flexibility as it relates to the cloud has five main components:

Consumption flexibility – You’re not buying software licenses in the cloud world. Instead, you are paying [...]

The Contact Center and Enterprise UC — Which is the Dog and Which is the Tail?

You’ve heard the phrase “the tail wagging the dog.” This usually means that something viewed as less significant is driving the behavior of something more significant. In this context, which should drive the purchase decision of a new communications system — the contact center technology or the business unified communications (UC) system?

A couple of clarifications…first, I say UC instead of IP PBX because nobody is still buying just an IP PBX any longer (at least nobody who would be reading this). Second, the question gains more relevance when the buyer is considering a single vendor -as prescribed by most [...]

Improving the Policyholder Experience: Don’t Ignore the ‘Little Data’

Last week I spent some time at an event on ‘big data’ in the insurance industry. The one-day seminar featured speakers from Gartner, IBM, and panelists from insurance technology providers and carriers. Throughout the sessions, interesting and innovative ideas were presented around the concept of making the most of the data and the business intelligence we have. With that said, I saw three main themes:

How to use this data for predictive insight How to assess risk and fraudulent activity How to remain competitive and profitable

What I found interesting was that of all these concepts, very few presenters spoke [...]

Here comes the phone-dissing generation

One of the few perks that I have always enjoyed from this travel-intensive job is to wake up at the crack of dawn, open my hotel room door, and find a freshly delivered newspaper within arm’s reach.  I know what you are thinking, but yes, this technology evangelist still enjoys catching up with world events the old fashioned way, with a cup of chai tea and the feel of soft newspaper in my hands.  During one recent trip, I read an article in USA Today by Adam Sylvain titled “State laws let telephone companies end land-line services,” [...]

The Insurance Blame Game

I recently ran across an article in Insurance Networking News highlighting a report by J.D. Power and Associates entitled the ‘2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.’ The report reflected the lowest customer satisfaction scores related to auto claims in 3 quarters. The reason behind this drop…a delay in policyholder reports of claims as a result of the holiday season, causing a longer processing time. So, who is actually at fault for this decline?

My guess is there are various opinions and reasons as to why reports of claims were delayed…busy schedules for policyholders, lack of resources from the carrier side, [...]

A Social, Mobile, Cloud Approach for Every Insurance Carrier

They are the hot topics for every industry this year…social media, mobile apps, and cloud-based offerings. So, what’s driving this interest and feeding the buzz in the insurance industry? Sure, social media and mobile users are steadily increasing, and cloud-based solutions are both attractive and affordable, but it is the opportunity to improve overall customer service that is really enticing.

Insurance carriers must expand their traditional contact center and customer service operations to offer information through multiple communication channels and manage it effectively, streamlining both policy and claim processes. Given the breadth of these three trending [...]

Cloud-based Communications is Here to Stay

Starts and stops…more starts…more stops. That is what multi-named hosted, on-demand, or cloud-based computing and communications has seen since the early 90’s when the ASP (application service provider) was touted as a model to change technology forever. Well, here’s a new flash for you…this time it stuck!

Adoption rates of cloud-based communication services are growing fast. Some vendors of those services are posting order growth rates of more than 100% year/year. And the well-respected analyst firm Ovum shows premise-based contact center growth for the next five years of less than 3%, but growth of the cloud-based contact center market to be 17%-20% for that same period of time.

The [...]