Q&A on CIC 4.0

By TMCnet Special Guest
Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action
  |  August 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) ( new Customer Interaction Center (CIC) version 4.0 is the latest release in the firm’s long line of innovative contact center solutions. CIC 4.0 will give contact centers and enterprises significantly increased scalability, reliability and speech analytics capabilities, among other features.

Here is a Q&A about CIC 4.0 with Tim Passios (News - Alert), director of Solutions Marketing at Interactive Intelligence.

Q:        Outline and describe the key changes in CIC from 3.0 to 4.0, what are the benefits to customers and why did you make them?

TP:      The key changes include the following:

·                     Improved architecture

CIC 4.0 becomes a pure applications server with a new private cloud deployment option, full premise-based virtualization, elimination of third-party components and new concurrent licensing. The benefits include increased reliability and scalability and more flexible, cost-effective deployment options ideal for large, distributed organizations. We more than doubled the increase in the number of ACD-enabled agents supported on a single server; there is a five-time increase in the number of simultaneous IVR sessions supported and a seven-time increase in the number of calls that can be recorded per hour.

·                     Enhanced experience

CIC 4.0 includes new Web client features with support for non-Windows clients, upgraded e-mail handling and a new Interaction Web Portal. The benefits to customers encompass anytime/anywhere access to full CIC functionality. Supervisors and managers get increased performance visibility; that and additional Web and e-mail features that result in increased productivity/collaboration and improved customer service.

·                     Increased management insight

CIC 4.0 includes an optional real-time speech analytics application called Interaction Analyzer, enhanced recording and monitoring; a new Interaction Recorder Extreme Query Server and enhanced reporting. The benefits are new tools that tell contact centers what to pay attention to, while giving them the ability to quickly and effectively act on that information for increased customer retention, improved service levels and enhanced training.

Q:        How big is the jump from CIC 3.0 to 4.0 compared with the move to 3.0, and when was that done?

TP:      Overall, the “jump” from CIC 3.0 to 4.0 is about the same as the jump in the previous version. CIC 4.0 is a combination of major new features and re-architectured components.

Q:        Will CIC 3.0 (and earlier) customers be able to upgrade to CIC 4.0?

TP:      CIC 4.0 is a free upgrade to all current software maintenance customers running 3.0 or earlier versions. Interactive Intelligence is also providing customers with migration tools to help them easily move configuration data to new servers, if required.

Q:        CIC 4.0 then appears to enable Interactive Intelligence to better compete against other suppliers for the large enterprise contact center market. What does CIC 4.0 bring to existing and potential customers that these other solutions do not?

TP:      In addition to CIC 4.0’s increased scalability, reliability and a host of new and enhanced features for improved user experience and management insight, the product offers the following competitive differentiators:

·                     Single, all-in-one platform

This reduces overall costs by requiring fewer servers, provides a single point of administration, customization and reporting; reduces the datacenter footprint, lowers power consumption and provides centralized multichannel processing and inbound/outbound blending. It also eliminates multi-vendor sourcing.

·                     All-software, standards-based architecture

This feature eliminates the need for costly voice boards, eliminates forklift upgrades, offers scalability to meet the needs of large organizations and provides incremental application licensing for cost-effective growth. It also enables cost-effective disaster recovery, eliminates multiple points of failure for increased reliability and provides multi-site, location-independence.

·                     Broad set of applications for both the contact center and enterprise

CIC includes the broadest set of applications for both the contact center and enterprise on an all-in-one platform for single-vendor sourcing and simplified communications enterprise-wide. In addition, these applications can be deployed and managed across multiple sites and are available to users regardless of location, including in-office, remote and mobile employees.

·                     Business process automation

Inherently part of the Interactive Intelligence communications platform, CIC provides business process automation capabilities that enable organizations to efficiently capture, prioritize, route, escalate, and track each step of a work process.

·                     Maximum interoperability

CIC’s open, standards-based platform maximizes integration with third-party systems for investment protection.

·                     Cost-effective multichannel customer service

CIC’s all-in-one platform handles all types of communications – calls, faxes, e-mail, Web chats/callbacks, SMS, and customer-defined interaction types – thus giving contact centers a cost-effective and easily managed multichannel system for consistent and responsive customer service, along with end-to-end reporting and quality monitoring.

·                     Choice of premise, CaaS, or hybrid deployment

Customers can choose between an on-premise deployment and a communications-as-a-service (CaaS) model, including hybrid environments. Our unique CaaS deployment model gives customers optimal control, security, reliability and flexibility. CIC also enables customers to migrate from a CaaS model to a premise-based deployment without the need to rewrite applications, retrain employees or source new vendors.

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Edited by Stefania Viscusi