• January 11, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Interactive Intelligence's New Puzzle Piece

Interactive Intelligence added workforce management to its contact center suite Wednesday when it debuted Interaction Optimizer, its new forecasting, scheduling, and real-time adherence module. Optimizer will be offered as an optional, pre-integrated component of Interactive Intelligence's contact center software suite, Customer Interaction Center (CIC), and will be offered through the company's partner network of approximately 250 VARs. As a pre-integrated component of the company's software suite, Interaction Optimizer makes use of CIC's automatic call distribution data, which includes multi-channel routing, giving end-users the ability to plan schedules and make on-the-fly changes. Forecasting features include the ability to create schedule simulations for different scenarios, such as variances due to seasonal effects and promotional campaigns. Finally, adherence functionality offers instant notification of compliance with scheduled activities with no lag time between event and notification. Besides offering workforce functionality for larger organizations, Interaction Optimizer is also well suited for SMB contact centers (25 to 75 agents) thanks to the pre-integrated modules' ease of integration, says Mark Kowal, product marketing manager of Interaction Optimizer at Interactive Intelligence. While Interactive Intelligence's products aren't specifically designed for the SMB segment, Kowal says the company saw great demand from the SMB segment for workforce management functionality. "There's a great deal of demand for these sort of tools right now," he says. "We've been adding the individual parts of a suite for a long time. Market demand dictated this was the next logical piece." Ken Landoline, customer-centric strategies senior analyst at Yankee Group, agrees, and says the filtering of high-end workforce management software down to the SMB segment is representative of a market trend. "Workforce optimization is one of the hottest types of software in the contact center market," he says. "There's a lot of emphasis among smaller contact centers to acquire this functionality. Vendors are now driving workforce optimization into the lower-end by pre-integrating into suites that help keep the costs down." Smaller customers will also benefit from Optimizer's ease of integration, a trademark of Interactive Intelligence's product portfolio, Landoline says. "They've always taken a modulized approach to their suite. Adding Optimizer will be as easy as flipping a switch for customers," he says. Related articles: The Rising Star and Service Excellence Awards
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