Cover Story

A Peek at the New Customer Interaction Center (CIC) Version 4.0

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor  |  June 01, 2011

Contact centers are looking for ways to better serve their customers over multiple channels while increasing productivity without high costs.

Later this summer, Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) ( will release a new version of its unified IP business communications software suite for contact centers and enterprises, Customer Interaction Center (CIC) 4.0, that will offer enhanced features to help managers meet those goals. Full details will be reported on and explored at length in the July Customer Interaction Solutions issue.

Over 300 top-drawer Interactive Intelligence customers across industry verticals, along with leading analysts, got a sneak peek at CIC 4.0 at the company’s users’ conference, “Interactions 2011,” which was held in Indianapolis, Ind. from May 24-26.

This latest product version provides new tools that help contact center managers better understand what to focus on so they can most effectively impact agent productivity and customer service. It also offers increased scalability and reliability, thus pushing CIC's applicability in the largest enterprises and contact centers even further.

CIC 4.0 appears to offer many other enhancements as well, including broader multichannel customer service options, more flexible cloud-based deployment models and simplified processes for monitoring, compliance and reporting.

“We believe these enhancements will build on CIC’s unique architecture, which was designed to offer multichannel application processing - from calls, faxes, and e-mails, to Web chats, SMS, and social media – minus the cost and complexity introduced by multipoint products,” said Joe Staples (News - Alert), Interactive Intelligence chief marketing officer.

CIC 4.0 is expected to boost Interactive Intelligence’s already fine performance, having posted a whopping 36 percent revenue increase in the first quarter of 2011 (Q1 2011) over revenues in the same quarter last year, with total orders up 55 percent.

“CIC 4.0’s increased scalability, reliability, and numerous other feature enhancements puts the wind at our backs as we continue our move up-market to meet and exceed the requirements of the largest global enterprises,” said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown.

The company reported revenues of $47.7 million in Q1 2011 as compared with $35 million in Q1 2010. Product revenues increased by 32 percent while those from recurring climbed 30 percent and those from services rose by 88 percent, period to period.

“We again saw strong year-over-year order increases across all major geographies and product groups,” said Dr. Brown. “We’re executing well on our sales and marketing plans and are benefiting from an increase in new opportunities as a result of our relationships with key strategic partners.”

CIC has long generated strong results for contact centers. For example, ABC Financial, which provides software and payment processing solutions to the fitness industry, reported reduced costs thanks to CIC’s blended dialing, IVR and workforce management applications. It uses CIC to process about 135,000 inbound calls and more than 720,000 outbound calls each month.

“CIC's blended dialing has saved us money by ensuring our agents don’t sit idle waiting for the next call to come in,” said Jill Dozier, ABC Financial’s chief operating officer. “We’ve also been able to save money using CIC's IVR, which today handles more than 12,000 calls each month. We no longer estimate our hiring needs. Using Interaction Optimizer, CIC’s add-on application, we now have an accurate and detailed view of current and projected service levels, which is enabling us to cost-effectively grow while actually improving customer service.”

CIC 3.0 JITC-Certified

CIC version 3.0 is now Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)-certified, which makes it compliant with information assurance and interoperability requirements for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Private Branch Exchange 2 classification. DoD customers using the JITC-certified CIC software suite benefit from pre-integration with Active Directory, and PKI and Common Access Cards (CAC) for single sign-on to the desktop and telephony services.

“CIC's unique architecture, particularly its deep integration to Microsoft (News - Alert) components, means reduced integration and simplified management for federal government customers,” said Joe Brookman, CEO of BROOKMAN LLC, a government technology services provider that led the Interactive Intelligence certification effort.

“This certification demonstrates our continued commitment to meet and exceed DoD information assurance and interoperability requirements, which began in 2008 with our first JITC certification,” said Dr. Brown. “Combined with our dedicated government sales team and long track record of successful government deployments, we offer agencies a deep understanding of their unique technology needs and issues.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.