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April 19, 2010

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Selects CIC from Interactive Intelligence

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company needed a better way to support its on-site and branch office employees and Interactive Intelligence provided the solution. A provider of insurance products and financial services to pharmacists, pharmacies and associated businesses, Pharmacists Mutual will utilize Interactive Intelligence's (News - Alert) all-in-one IP communications software suite, Customer Interaction Center (CIC).

Spanlink Communications served as reseller for this solution and will also provide ongoing support of the system for Pharmacists Mutual. This overall selection was made due to the flexibility, rich feature-set and ease-of-use, according to the company's network administration manager, Brian Stamper.

'Our previous phone system was largely outdated, difficult to administer, and didn't meet our redundancy or flexibility needs,' Stamper said, in a statement. 'Administering it required logging in to a number of separate applications -- we had one application for our automatic call distributor, one for voice, another for our phones, and so on.'

According to the company's chief technology officer, Barrie Parker, Pharmacists Mutual began looking for a new communications system following the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009.

'The swine flu outbreak prompted us to reevaluate our disaster recovery plans,' Parker said. 'Providing financial peace of mind for our 46,000-plus customers is our number-one priority and it became evident that if an outbreak was to occur within our organization, our current phone system would limit us.'

Before deciding on the CIC solution, Pharmacists Mutual evaluated an upgrade to its existing system and reviewed communications solutions from four other vendors in a request-for-proposal.

'After we met with Spanlink (News - Alert) and reviewed the Interactive Intelligence CIC system we were impressed by the amount of out-of-the-box functionality it offered,' Stamper said. 'In addition to running on a single, all-in-one platform, a fully redundant CIC system was a more cost-effective purchase than several of the competitive products we evaluated.'

Upon completion of the implementation, the Interactive Intelligence software suite will effectively support several hundred Pharmacists Mutual employees, 15 percent of whom work remotely from branch offices.

With the initial deployment, the company will enjoy advanced communications functionality, such as unified messaging, multichannel recording, and real-time monitoring and reporting.

'We're excited about CIC and anticipate a number of benefits for our employees and customers,' Stamper said. 'In addition to having a strong disaster recovery plan in place, we'll have a single point of administration and be able to eliminate our costly branch office phone plans.'

In other recent Interactive Intelligence news, the company plans to demonstrate its new communications-based process business automation product, Interaction Process Automation (IPA) at MEFTEC 2010, taking place April 20-21 in Bahrain.

Interactive Intelligence also played a part in enabling the Pinal County Government to improve service to residents. This government organization, serving the rural country of Pinal in central Arizona used a communications-as-a-service (CaaS) solution from Interactive Intelligence.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard



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