During its annual partner and customer conference in Indianapolis in June 2015, Interactive Intelligence announced a new cloud contact center platform, PureCloud Engage. This new offering is a re-architected, multi-tenant solution that Interactive Intelligence will sell alongside its existing premise-based Customer Interaction Center and single-tenant Communications as a Service contact center solutions (starting in July 2015). Although the vendor has been offering hosted and hybrid cloud contact center deployment options for a number of years, having a multi-tenant solution will help it to compete against the established cloud-only vendors, as well as gain new small-to-mid-sized customers.
Interactive Intelligence has an opportunity to grow market share and innovate with PureCloud Engage
PureCloud Engage leverages Amazon Web Services and is aimed at customers looking for fast contact center deployments. Interactive Intelligence will initially target businesses with up to 100 agent seats that are looking for an all-in-one platform with minimal customization requirements. The initial release includes speech-enabled IVR, inbound and outbound dialing, call recording and quality monitoring, scripting and reporting, and CRM integrations. Buyers also get access to its new hosted unified communications and collaboration tools PureCloud Collaborate and PureCloud Communicate, which were released in March 2015. The initial pricing for Engage is set at $99 per named user per month, with monthly billing commitments, making it very competitive compared with similar offerings in the market.
Convincing customers to take on an entirely new product could be a challenge for Interactive Intelligence, especially when there are so many vendors vying for market share in North America and its big cloud competitors, inContact and Five9, have been offering their multi-tenant cloud solutions for at least 10 years. Interactive Intelligence needs to create a clear sales strategy to gain traction in the small-to-mid-size contact center space. It will need to train its many partners on this new offering as well as find new resellers that can help it target smaller organizations. However, the cloud contact center market is set for continued growth over at least the next five years and Interactive Intelligence is likely to be able to find customers that are willing to take a bet on this new service.
Although Interactive Intelligence is coming late to the multi-tenant world, its PureCloud suite is built on the company’s 20 years of contact center knowledge, along with significant R&D investment, and its cloud competitors are likely to feel threatened by this move. It has also made clear that it will continue to support all deployment models, ensuring that existing contact center customers can choose the option that best fits their needs, whether that is cloud, hybrid, or on-premise.
Fundamentals of Multichannel Cloud Contact Center Platforms, IT0020-000114 (May 2015)
Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement