Vendor Network Architectures�Part XXVIII: Interactive Intelligence
InIn offers an integrated suite of telephony, communications, and contact center tools designed to work with Microsoft data networks.
Interactive Intelligence, Inc., along with its wholly owned subsidiary, Vonexus Inc., targets the enterprise and contact center markets with standards-based software products for enterprise IP telephony, contact center automation, unified communications/messaging, and self-service automation. Interactive Intelligence is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 400 people in 15 offices worldwide, serving over 2,000 customers in over 55 countries around the globe. The company reported $62.9 million in revenue for 2005.
Interactive Intelligence built its product line from the ground up as an alternative to the existing standalone telephony solutions based on hardware-centric, proprietary architectures that have been developed by many of their competitors. Instead, Interactive Intelligence built a suite of multi-channel applications, including Automatic Call Distributing (ACD), Interactive Voice Response (IVR) with speech recognition, predictive dialing, faxing, Web chat/callback, and others, all running atop a common, standards-based platform with a single administrative interface. These applications were built separate from the networking infrastructure, thus giving organizations the flexibility to use traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)-based switching, or Internet Protocol (IP)-based switching, or both. This approach means their customers won't be locked into a single vendor for hardware, endpoint devices, and other components.
The Interactive Intelligence architecture was designed to extend the interaction experience to personnel beyond the contact center/customer service department with built-in business user applications that run on the same platform. These applications include: TDM and IP/SIP-based switching; desktop softphone with full call control and presence management; ADC (skills-based and multimedia routing); IVR with speech recognition; fax services; screen pop; Web chat and callback; unified messaging; multimedia recording and scoring; Interaction Media Server and Interaction SIP Proxy; real-time, alert-based supervisory messaging; predictive/blended dialing, and campaign management.
The Interactive Intelligence suite of software products include:
- Enterprise Interaction Center® (EIC)enterprise IP communications
- Customer Interaction Center® (CIC)contact center automation
- Communité®unified communications and messaging
- Vocalite®interactive voice response (IVR) and speech recognition
- Interaction Dialer®outbound/blended dialing and campaign management
- Interaction Recorder®multimedia recording/scoring and quality management
- Interaction Director®network-based pre- and post-call routing ("intelligent multi-site routing")
Perhaps unique to the Interactive Intelligence line is the fact that the system is the only interaction engine that combines these applicationssuch as contact and service centerswithout requiring complex integrations of the individual components. Previous solutions were disjointed, with PBX, fax, e-mail, and web services designed and managed separately. The Interactive Intelligence architecture was designed to take on this challenge, with products that focus on VoIP and PBX applications for the Microsoft platform, and prepackaged solutions that preintegrate with Microsoft products. In essence, the Interactive Intelligence suite complements Microsoft's industry-standard data platform with voice-based companions.
Interactive Intelligence spun off their Vonexus subsidiary in July 2004 to focus on their IP PBX offering, the Enterprise Interaction Center, or EIC. This product is targeted at enterprises with between 500 and 1,000 end users (small-medium business, or SMB), distributed enterprises, enterprises with mobile users, and vertically focused enterprises, such as financial services firms, healthcare, and law firms. At the present time, there are over 300 EIC customers, supported by the over 250 value added resellers that are part of the Interactive Intelligence and Vonexus organization.
The EIC platform pre-integrates with Microsoft's product families to provide application-driven voice and data applications on a single network. These integration capabilities extend to the Microsoft Exchange Server, Office Online, and Windows Mobile products, plus user interfaces to Microsoft Outlook, Business SolutionsGreat Plains, CRM, and Live Communications Server. The EIC product also come preconfigured with a media server, proxy server, and the Intel NetStructure Host Media Processing software, designed for IP Telephony for further facilitate its integration capabilities.
Further details on the Interactive Intelligence and Vonexus products and applications can be found at www.inin.com and www.vonexus.com. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors' architectures.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2006 DigiNet ® Corporation, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet ® Corporation, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.