Editor's Choice - Featured Article

September 18, 2012

The Cloud and You: Interactive Intelligence CaaS Quick Spin Makes Seeing Believing

In reflecting back on my attendance at Interactions 2012 – the recently concluded annual Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) event which this year included customers, partners, consultants, analysts, the media and a number of associated members of their ecosystem – one of the things that most intrigued me was a test drive of its CaaS (Communications as a Services) Quick Spin demo. This is the company’s ingenious way to let customers and potential ones, literally take the cloud out for spin. I will admit that the old marketing consultant in me was impressed. 

 “Try it, you’ll like it”

For those of us of a certain age, the 1971 Alka-Seltzer ad campaign, “Try it, you’ll like it,” should resonate here. Quick Spin is a case where the medium is the message. It is a great realization of that Alka-Seltser tag (News - Alert) line. As with so much of what Interactive Intelligence does on the technology as well as marketing front (for instance their popular Goat campaign), Quick Spin is an example of providing significant differentiated value.      

It is almost hard to believe given all of the attention these days, but Interactive Intelligence actually stated selling a hosted solution in 2005, and put it under the nascent CaaS marketing descriptor way back in 2009.  Late last year Interactive Intelligence launched Quick Spin to enable companies to experience the look and feel of the cloud using real data. The idea was not to give potential users a game-like simulation but the physical experience of the value of a virtualized offering. Think of this as test driving that car you covet by putting it through its paces on a real road.  

Quick Spin, with the exception of some functionality related to training, is a great test driving experience of anyone. It provides full unified communications including conferencing, desktop call control and enterprise IP PBX (News - Alert), along with contact center functions such as ACD, basic IVR, reporting, analytics and on-demand recording.   It can be set up in about an hour, after you are qualified to put it through its paces, and  supports a total of ten users, three workgroups and five skills. Plus, for the increasingly important speech analytics capability you can input 10 keywords or phrases and see what happens. 

Since the whole idea here is that “seeing is believing”, some of the features you will be able to test include:  

Real-time speech analytics: Let’s you actively listen for words and phrases to identify positive or negative sentiment and respond in real-time to impact the customer experience: listen in, coach or join the conversation.

Interactive voice response: Create a feature-rich phone menu using text-to-speech and simple drag-and-drop controls.

Skills-based routing: Take advantage of agent skills by identifying unique abilities that, if tapped, will help you better service customers.

The demo also has a full-featured web client. And, in what may be the most compelling thing for potential customers it provides access to review the extensive supervisory capabilities that enable management of the trial-sized cloud-based contact center. These supervisor and reporting screens are actually production quality, i.e., this is the real deal.   

Cloudy days can be great driving ones

As with so much that goes with the introduction of new technology, and with a tip of the hat to the Gartner (News - Alert) Group “Hype Cycle”), in regards to all of the buzz about the cloud, we seem to be traveling at a relatively rapid pace from their “Peak of Inflated Expectations” through the “Trough of Disillusionment” and on the “Slope of Enlightenment.”   The best way for customers to avoid many if not all of the frustrations associated with inflated expectations and possible disillusionment is to follow to axioms: “know before you go”; and, “look before you leap.” 

Facts are facts. The cloud has undeniable and sustainable momentum. With cloud revenues now approaching almost 30 percent of its new business, cloud expertise is rightfully a competitive advantage Interactive Intelligence is leveraging. Quick Spin has already played a role in helping customers and prospects get a great feel for the company’s capabilities and the cloud experience. 

In fact, with all of the industry talk about improving the customer experience, a way of thinking about the value of such a demonstration capability is that it is the front-end of creating and executing such improvements. It is thus a powerful marketing tool on a number of fronts.  

As someone who likes to think of himself as an educated consumer, the more I know about a product or service, particularly the more I can experience during my consideration of purchase, the more peace of mind I have. Quick Spin is a no-risk way to test drive not just Interactive Intelligences cloud-based contact center solutions, but the web in general. 

Happy driving!

Edited by Braden Becker

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