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Interview: New Executive at Interactive Intelligence Eyes UC, Call Center, Mobility Markets in Australia, New Zealand

January 26, 2009

The eyes of much of the IT world are once again focusing on Washington, D.C. this week.
 
Days after hundreds of millions watched online as President Barack Obama was sworn in at the Capitol, the Illinois Democrat reportedly is facing opposition in his economic stimulus plan. Specifically, many Republicans say it isn’t clear how initiatives therein, such as the Illinois Democrat’s national broadband deployment plan, will create jobs and shore this economy.
 
Clearly, the stimulus plan is a major concern for telecommunications. Yet the industry’s singular focus on the United States is rare.
 
Whether it’s hearing about how China is surpassing the United States in broadband subscribers, how Middle Eastern build-outs are fueling global fiber network equipment growth or new dynamic currency conversion solutions in the Caribbean and Latin America, covering the telecom space often takes us overseas.
 
As TMCnet has reported, looking overseas is something that Indianapolis-based unified IP business communications provider Interactive Intelligence Inc. is used to. Gartner Inc. is hailing the company in its so-called “2008 Contact Center Infrastructure, Worldwide Magic Quadrant1” report as a viable vendor with a broad portfolio, significant market share, wide geographic coverage and vision.
 
Recently, the company appointed a 10-year industry veteran as to help lead its marketing team in one of those non-U.S. regions that’s seeing strong growth in UC: Australia and New Zealand.
 
Constantine Nicholas, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University in Canberra and a Certificate in Business and Marketing degree from WeDo College in Perth, will serve as InIn’s field marketing coordinator in the so-called “ANZ” region.
 
TMCnet had a chance to meet Nicholas and put some questions to him recently about InIn’s activity in Australia and New Zealand and where he sees the company going.
 
We learned that the region is being targeted not just for the company’s call center software and UC products, but also for conferencing and mobility, all running on InIn’s open, single-platform software architecture.
 
Our exchange follows.
 
TMCnet: What is Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) seeing in terms of demand among Australia and New Zealand’s businesses for unified IP communications solutions?

Constantine Nicholas (pictured left): The ANZ market is increasingly aware of standards-based software solutions that are flexible and scalable. With the current economic crisis, this has had a flow-on effect to companies and public sector organizations looking to replace outdated “balkanized” hardware systems that are expensive to maintain and replace. We have noticed a shift by CFOs and CEOs toward unified IP communications solutions that are more efficient, faster to deploy, and more cost-effective to maintain. This is underlined by our many notable customer wins, which include Charles Sturt University, Shoalhaven City Council, Teachers Credit Union, New Zealand Meteorology, AIG and World Vision (a customer for more than six years).
 
TMCnet: We understand that one of your responsibilities will be to boost brand awareness. How would you characterize that awareness now?

CN: We have a strong base of blue chip customers to whom we provide an innovative, all-in-one IP communications software suite for the contact center and enterprise. We’re growing our market footprint in segments previously held by the older established vendors. We are delighted to see increased traction among our target market and are proud of our long term relationships with customers like Computershare, Sensis, World Vision Australia, Visy, LG Electronics (News - Alert), Sitel, Fujitsu and McDonald’s. We look forward to building upon this success with a locally based marketing manager and closely aligned global public relations, lead generation and marketing event support.
 
TMCnet: What other non-U.S. markets is Interactive Intelligence eyeing at this time?

CN: The United States, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Germany, Japan, Australia and the Middle East.
 
TMCnet: Much of what Interactive Intelligence is known for in the United States is tied to its call center software products. Is the same true in ANZ?

CN: This is true of ANZ as well. However, with its multiple business applications – for example, unified messaging, conferencing and mobility – all running on the company’s innovative open, single-platform software architecture, we’ll increasingly promote the Interactive Intelligence solution to mid-size and large enterprises, including verticals such as health, insurance, education and government.
 
TMCnet: How does Interactive Intelligence envision its presence in ANZ in five years?

CN: By 2014 we’ll have a number of the country’s tier-one systems integrators on board as partners, and we’ll be well-established in the financial services sector. Gartner’s (News - Alert) “Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure, Worldwide” report now rates Interactive Intelligence as a global leader. Our aim is to maintain and increase this leadership status, and to further build our reputation in the enterprise market as a leading provider of unified IP business communications solutions using our innovative open, single-platform software architecture as a key differentiator that will continue to give customers unique ROI benefits.
 

Interactive Intelligence is a Platinum sponsor of Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO (News - Alert) will take place in Miami, Florida, Feb. 2 to 4, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait. Register now!


Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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