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June 05, 2007

Record Crowd Attends Interactive Intelligence User Forum

By Patrick Barnard, Senior Web Editor, TMCnet

A record 322 people attended Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) Inc.’s 8th Annual User Forum, held May 21-24 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, located near the company’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. The annual event, which is for users of Interactive Intelligence’s contact center and IP telephony software, offers educational sessions and networking opportunities, as well as presentations from third-party experts about critical industry trends. It is also an opportunity for the company to get critical feedback from some of its biggest customers.

Among the attendees were representatives from some of the largest companies in the U.S., including Abbott Labs, AIG, Ceridian, Eli Lilly and Company, Finish Line, Harrah’s, John Deere, Kohl’s, Nautilus, Research In Motion and Walgreens – all of which are making use of Interactive Intelligence’s software solutions to gain operational efficiencies, increase customer loyalty and improve the bottom line.

In a company press release, Ross Talbot, manager of Walgreens’ help center, said this year’s event was “the best yet.” He said he was particularly impressed with the “high quality technical information” and the “opportunities to learn from other customers about how they’re leveraging the software.”

During the event’s Innovation Awards Dinner, which was sponsored by Alliance Systems (News - Alert), Canadian CRM company NORDIA was honored with the Interactive Intelligence Innovator’s Award. NORDIA, which has one of Canada’s largest Internet Protocol telephony deployments with five distributed contact centers and 2,200 employees handling 100 million customer contacts per year, is also a winner of the 2005 Canadian Information Productivity Gold Award of Excellence.

“Interactive Intelligence has successfully responded to our need for a flexible, stable, yet exceptionally innovative contact center solution,” said NORDIA’s vice president of information technology, Pierre Grimard, in the release. “This vendor is clearly committed to developing ‘future-proofed,’ cost-effective technology that enables companies like us to break free of traditional communications barriers. It’s this kind of forward-thinking that has helped NORDIA become a leader in the contact center outsourcing industry.”

Meanwhile, Ceridian, a leading multinational human resources company, was honored with the Interactive Intelligence Best Practices Award. In addition, VIPdesk, a pioneer in the area of home-based virtual contact center solutions, received the company’s People’s Choice Award for the most ground-breaking software deployment.

Yankee Group (News - Alert) senior analyst and User Forum keynote speaker Ken Landoline said he was “struck by the tremendous bond the Interactive Intelligence customers shared as a result of their rigorous due diligence in selecting the software – often in lieu of systems from much larger and better-known competitors.”

“This bond was further cemented by the results these customers expressed, which were positive without qualification,” he said. “I also found the forum’s content to be broader and deeper than many other user events I’ve attended. Together, the results of the Interactive Intelligence User Forum indicate a vendor whose clarity of purpose and dedication to customer satisfaction show a very promising future.”

Landoline’s keynote was entitled “The Contact Center of the Future: Getting There from Here.” During the session, he discussed recent industry trends and highlighted issues that will set the stage for the intelligent contact center environment of the future.

Other sessions included “Breaking Down the Contact Center Walls: A Profile in Remote Agent Effectiveness” presented by Tim Gordon, vice president of operations for VIPdesk; “The Great Application Escape,” presented by Rachel Wentink, director of product management, and Tim Passios, director of product marketing, Interactive Intelligence; “No More All or Nothing: A Look at Hosted Solutions,” presented by David Jennings, manager, product marketing, Interactive Intelligence; and “Successful Implementations for the Enterprise Departmental Call Center,” presented by Roe Jones, product manager, Interactive Intelligence. There were also keynotes delivered at the start and close of the event from Joe Staples, senior VP, worldwide marketing, and Dr. Don Brown, CEO and founder of Interactive Intelligence.

“This year’s User Forum theme was ‘say yes to innovation,’ and this motto is obviously more than just lip-service – it’s truly part of the Interactive Intelligence DNA,” said Warren Hero, head of customer management services and e-government for Gauteng Provincial Government in South Africa, in the release. “Here is a company that listens to its customers and responds not with piece-meal technology, but with complete solutions designed to solve real business challenges.”

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Patrick Barnard is Assignment Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.




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