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A Hands-On Review of Interaction Process Automation from Interactive Intelligence

May 10, 2010
By Ed LaBanca -

After more than two years of development and multiple successful beta customer deployments, Interactive Intelligencereleased its Interaction Process Automation (IPA) solution in February for mid-size to large enterprises and contact centers.

I recently completed a portion of the Interactive Intelligence IPA certification class for resellers, making me an IPA Preferred Consultant. I am one of the first consultants to have participated in the IPA Implementation and Design course. The latter included my development of an application designed to be accessible by all employees and interact with multiple departments, which I tested and put into lab production.

The conclusion I drew from this exercise is that although the product is new, IPA is a customizable application that leverages the existing capabilities of the company's all-in-one platform. This includes the platform's mature monitoring, management and reporting capabilities, along with its proven and highly scalable ACD routing engine. This engine is at the foundation of IPA, which is used to route work tasks in the same way as calls and other forms of communications. As a result, I found this initial IPA release very robust.

It is also important to note that, using IPA, those involved in the business process can be anywhere in the enterprise, or even working remotely, and do not have to be part of the contact center.

Much of what was discussed with the IPA product manager and others at Interactive Intelligence revolved around future enhancements to make IPA far more extensible, such as with custom routines and integrations. Currently, however, this is accomplished using Interactive Intelligence 'handlers' - tools for end-users that enable customization of applications.

Interactive Intelligence Recommends Use of Experienced Consultants

A critical part of business process automation is 'business process mapping.' This refers to defining exactly what a business entity does, who is responsible for a business process, and how the success of that process can be determined. Yet mapping a process is subtle, and it requires experienced professionals to get the best results.

Interactive Intelligence encourages the use of qualified consultants to facilitate discovery sessions, business process mapping, and documentation. As a result, the company believes end-users can save time and money associated with IPA deployment. Working with a professional in this area can also give end-users the knowledge, methodology, training and experience they'll need to successfully complete future process automation projects. Click here and you will be redirected to the Interactive Intelligence site for an instant online demonstration.

Ed LaBanca, a veteran of the telecommunications industry with more than 30 years of experience in product design and management, writes the Enterprise & Contact Center Communications column for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Ed's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison