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January 11, 2011

Interactive Intelligence Discusses Tech Trends for 2011

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor

As the days dwindle to the opening doors of the ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2011 in Miami, the leading companies from around the world in the technological industries prepare to showcase what up-and-coming products and services they have for 2011. But most would agree that what 2011 will offer is wholly influenced by what 2010 put forward.

Various members of the team over at Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) Inc. revealed their opinions on the technological trends of 2010 and what 2011 has to offer in an interview with Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC. Thought leaders from Interactive Intelligence provided insight into what trends in social media and cloud computing have affected the industry so far, and how they will continue to affect it. See their complete responses below:

RT: What was the most significant technology trend in 2010 and what impact will it have in 2011?

“We see the most significant technology trend in 2010 being the shift to cloud computing. Communications is following the lead set by some early cloud-based offerings. The reasons for the shift are so compelling – faster deployment times, increased flexibility, reduced IT costs, ability to focus more on core business, low/no up-front capital expenses. Really a lot of reasons why this shift is significant.” - Chief Marketing Officer, Joe Staples

RT: What impact will the continued growth of cloud computing have on the communications industry in 2011?

“Communications will continue to follow the general trend of cloud computing. The key driver fueling this growth will continue to be financial, such as the desire to lower the initial capital expense in favor of an ongoing operating expense. Future growth is likely to be greater in larger customers than traditional small contact centers. The security of sensitive customer information, such as call recordings, will remain a top concern for these customers. In addition, traditional premise-based vendors are expected to increase their focus on the hosted market likely through VAR partnerships. Increased competition will require vendors to differentiate themselves based on something other than price and feature-set.” - Product Manager, Roe Jones

RT: How will app stores change the future of computing?

“App stores have the potential to bring incredible diversity to platforms. The expectation will change from that of a single vendor providing all the necessary functionality within a given application, to that of a vendor providing a flexible platform with some of the necessary functionality, and an ecosystem of external systems integrators and developers who will provide diverse applications for the platform. It’s similar to the model we saw in the early days of personal computing when the applications on the Windows platform helped convince customers to adopt the PC, with one significant difference: the Internet is the game-changer. The distribution model becomes much easier for small development shops. For that reason, we believe you’ll see a richer diversity in applications at a lower overall cost to customers.” - Director of Product Management, Rachel Wentink (News - Alert)

RT: What impact has social media had on how you interact with your customers?  How do you measure its effectiveness?

“Social media has resulted in our customer relationships being more open due to the casual, free-flowing types of conversations that take place on social networks. It has given us the opportunity to have more personal relationships with customers, and to interact with them in near real-time. Social media captures the energies and opinions of customers; it captures content and packages it as a value for others. That content may be about fixing a problem, or providing innovative new ways to use a product or service. As a result, our customers know much more about us, the market, and our competitors. In turn, as a result of our contribution to these ‘social’ conversations, we now know a lot more about our customers as well.  The net benefit is that we receive valuable insight into how we can enhance our products, how we can more proactively cross-sell to customers, and, in general, how we can provide better service to them. As for measurement, we track social dialog to maximize customer satisfaction and also to gain insight into trends, make adjustments to marketing and sales tactics, and receive advance warning of potential problems. Specifically, we capture social networking impressions, blog mentions, videos posted, tweets, photos, and more. We also pull data to gauge overall brand sentiment and opinions about our company.” - Manager of Product Solutions, Denise Meyer

RT: What will be the greatest technological development in 2011?  Why?

“More of the same, but especially the shift of communications toward the cloud. We scratched the surface in 2009 and 2010. We believe there will be greater acceleration in 2011.” - Staples

RT: Why have you chosen to exhibit at ITEXPO East in Miami?

“Last year we saw tremendous interest in our cloud-based contact center solution and we believe 2011 promises to be even better. For us, IT EXPO East is the perfect starting point for a year full of marketing activities designed to let others know how they can move their contact center to the cloud and virtually eliminate capital expenditures, all while reaping the benefits of the powerful all-in-one solutions from Interactive Intelligence.” - Director of Solutions Marketing, Tim Passios (News - Alert)

RT: What is the most important reason attendees should visit your booth at ITEXPO?

“If you are looking to reduce or eliminate capital expenditures in your contact center, reduce your IT footprint, move to more predictable costs or just in need of ramping up your contact center rapidly, then you need to stop by our booth to see how we can help you.” - Passios

RT: What new and exciting products/solutions can we expect to see from your company in 2011?

“In 2011 we will enhance our web portal as part of our cloud-based contact center offering. We’ll release the next major version of our all-in-one IP communications software suite, which will include greater scalability. We’ll also release a new real-time speech analytics offering that will deliver exciting new benefits to contact centers.” -Staples

To find out more about Interactive Intelligence, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2011. To be held Feb. 2-4 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Interactive Intelligence in booth #607. Don’t wait. Register now.


Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.

Edited by Juliana Kenny




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