Interactive Intelligence sets high bar for 2013
By Gabey Goh February 26, 2013
- Speech analytics to take center stage in contact center solutions
- ININ plans to increase its YoY orders by 20%, bulk of growth to come from cloud solutions
INTERACTIVE Intelligence (ININ) has been profitable for years and that is the key to the company’s edge in the market.
That was a point highlighted by Gary Blough (pic, left), the company’s executive vice president of Worldwide Sales, during a visit to Kuala Lumpur at the start of the year.
“Our ability to maintain profitability is key because with other companies that start to lose money, you see they soon lose stability, sustainability and continuity not long after,” he said.
Call center software and technology solutions provider ININ has set some high targets for 2013, the first being its mission to be a top three vendor for contact center solutions.
It’s not too far a stretch considering the strong finish the company reported for the fiscal year 2012 -- total orders were up 119% from the fourth quarter of 2011; and an increase of 48% for the year.
In addition, the company enjoyed a 312% increase in cloud-based orders and a 68% increase in on-premises orders. Cloud-based orders represented 39% of total orders received during the fourth quarter of 2012.
Total revenue was US$70.5 million, an increase of 22% over the fourth quarter of 2011.
ININ has had a presence in the region for 13 years now, according to Simon Lee (above pic, right), regional director for Asia, and counts some heavyweight brands in its portfolio of clients -- CIMB, ABN AMRO, Canon, IBM, GsK, BMW, Hong Kong Immigration Department, Motorola and Groupon -- using its suite of communications solutions to enable and enhance their customer service operations.
“As part of our plans for the year, we intend to move up-market with our solutions and expand our consultant outreach program,” said Lee.
Blough shared that in 2012, 39% of the company’s global revenue came from cloud-based orders and expects it to account for 50% of revenue this year based on strong demand.
“Many companies are realizing the benefits or outsourcing or moving to cloud-based deployments. You don’t need high capital expenditure to get access to the latest tools; you can utilize operating expenditure instead and break even after about three years," he added.
The challenge for the region in 2013 is to increase its year-on-year orders by 20%, the bulk of which it foresees coming from its cloud-based solutions portfolio.
“We’ve received a lot of recent interest in cloud-based software solutions from Malaysia, with many companies now due for an upgrade to newer technology. We’re also seeing a preference for mixed implementation of on-premise and cloud-hosted solutions,” Lee said.
He also noted that 2012 was a relatively slow year for the market, with many major decisions being pushed to 2013.
“Many government-linked companies (GLCs) have delayed decisions, but we expect things to pick up, most likely after the upcoming general election,” he added.
ININ takes great pride in its solutions; with Blough sharing that 18-20% of total revenue is invested into research and development with 900 of its 1500-strong employee base focused on product development.
“We see development and innovation as our way of staying ahead of the bigger or more established competition such as Cisco or Avaya,” he added.
One key trend ININ foresees disrupting the contact center space is the use of analytics tools, in particular speech analytics.
“Speech analytics has gotten a bad reputation for being too costly, with unclear business value, lack of real-time impact and complexity of deployment,” said Blough.
With the latest version of the company’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC), a suite of integrated contact center applications, speech analytics plays a much larger role, thanks to maturing technology.
“With speech analytics, companies get a more robust system of monitoring customer complaints. Our software goes though hours of recorded interactions to pick up pre-determined keywords or phrases and alerts ssupervisor that a case requires their attention,” Blough added.
The company also recently announced an enhanced version of its Bay Bridge Decisions product suite.
Version 3.9 of the contact center forecasting, capacity planning, and analysis product suite has been enhanced to reduce costs and improve customer service.
The enhancements include:
- Email, chat and casework features — Enables managers to create timeframe defaults that calculate staffing over longer periods of time, and includes multichannel "sensitivity analysis" graphs for increased staffing efficiencies resulting in reduced costs.
- Customer experience metrics — Gives managers new custom feedback metrics so measures such as "net promoter scores" can be factored into staffing to better match hiring needs with interaction quality trends for improved customer service.
- Cloud deployment option — Customers can now deploy the full Bay Bridge Decisions 3.9 feature-set via a cloud-based model for lower initial costs, faster deployment, and reduced IT requirements.
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