Interactive Intelligence INTERACTIONS 2014 Draws 2,200-Plus Attendees from 42 Countries
It is always a sign of company health, and typically an indicator of overall market vitality as well, when an annual gathering of customers, partners and leading industry subject matter experts by a recognized industry continues to expand. A case in point is customer experience solutions provider Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) recently concluded INTERACTIONS 2014.
In fact, the 16th annual conference was a record breaker. It took place this year at the Interactive Intelligence headquarters' city of Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. from June 2-5 and drew 2,200-plus attendees from 42 countries.
Given the global importance being placed on enhancing the customer experience as the best means for creating sustainable long-term differentiated value as well as increased customer loyalty, the "Create the Experience" themed conference was aptly named. It was a great opportunity for customers and partners to get up to speed on a variety of technology and business challenges and opportunities.
INTERACTIONS 2014 featured more than 200 sessions designed to educate attendees about the technologies and best practices that can be used to improve the customer experience. Attendees included Interactive Intelligence customers, partners, prospects, industry analysts, consultants, media and financial analysts.
Highlights from the event included a Meet Your New Customer: Panel Discussion with Millennial- Aged Consumers, which featured seven consumers ages 20 to 28 who shared their customer service and buying preferences. The panel revealed some interesting findings, including the following:
- They connect with companies via social media primarily to receive discounts; they also use discount coupons, codes and website deals to buy everything.
- They use their smart phones constantly and will often check in-store items for size, quality, etc., then buy them via their mobile devices and online to get a better deal.
- They demand an opt-out option from company communications and will use it unless the content is new or personalized.
- Despite popular perception to the contrary, the phone is still their preferred method of communication for customer service/support.
Another key session was the Insight from the Experts: Panel Discussion. Four leading industry analysts and consultants shared their insights into the hottest technologies, the most overhyped technologies, and more. The discussion revealed a number of interesting findings, including:
- Cloud and virtual/Web assistance are a few of the most intriguing communications technologies to watch.
- WebRTC and video are a few of the most overhyped technologies today.
- Key guidance for successful cloud deployments is not to rush the upfront work of ensuring the right statement of work and SLAs are in place, especially related to support and management responsibilities.
- While IT still owns mobile, social media is under contention, with marketing lobbying for control to provide a more unified view of the customer experience, while contact centers still remain viable owners given their focus on customer service.
Interactive Intelligence also made big news of its own at the event by announcing Interactive Intelligence PureCloud?, its new suite of cloud services for communications, collaboration and customer engagement. PureCloud? is based on new distributed cloud architecture that's designed to speed deployment, increase reliability and scalability, while connecting customers and employees in new, more efficient ways.
Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Dr. Donald E. Brown in his public launch of PureCloud? noted that "PureCloud? is an exciting new offering for customers that want an enterprise-grade, multi-tenant cloud solution," Brown said. "But I want to make it clear that it's just part of our ongoing strategy to offer customers the widest choice of delivery options so we can best meet their unique needs. With this in mind, we'll continue to invest in our on-premises business communications solution, Customer Interaction Center™, and our single-tenant cloud offering, Interactive Intelligence CaaS?."
Other highlights for the record crowd in attendance included: keynotes from adventurer and author Aron Ralston, and social media expert Jay Baer. Headline speakers included Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who participated in a fund-raising event that raised approximately $9,000 for the Interactive Intelligence Foundation - the nonprofit arm of Interactive Intelligence whose mission is to use resources and funding to foster life improvements for at-risk youth.
In addition, the company revealed that BidPal was the winner of its extreme Customer Experience Makeover Contest.
Just as an FYI. Next year's INTERACTIONS 2015 conference will be held June 9-11 in Indianapolis. Registration will open in January 2015. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Maurice Nagle