Cloud Solutions

The Best Cloud Architecture for Your Contact Center
Cloud architecture models are now more varied, and determining a best fit for your contact center requires weighing each option. A private cloud architecture. A single tenant public cloud architecture. A multitenant public cloud, or a distributed multitenant public cloud. Or perhaps, a hybrid architecture mixing private and public cloud systems. Richard Snow of Ventana Research and Jason Alley of Interactive Intelligence discusses the pros and cons of each model, as well as their potential impact to customer engagement.

How the Cloud Impacts Risk and TCO
In technical recommendations, the Total Cost of Ownership methodology is intended to normalize the full cost of alternatives to better understand the financial ramifications of dissimilar alternatives. This is a tried and true, fiscally responsible approach. The problem is, it doesn’t work. Cloud-delivered services are disrupting the TCO methodology by letting organizations adjust services and change providers with greater flexibility, revising risks and costs with every move. Read more, from Dave Michels of TalkingPointz and Tim Passios of Interactive Intelligence.

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The Contact Center

The Intelligence and Accuracy of Media Server Call Analysis
The evolution of outbound call analysis to determine who or what did or did not answer the phone has been considerable. From rudimentary board-based methods to a more detailed interpretation of the entire audio sample at the beginning of a call, the analysis process has now evolved even further. Chad McCormick, manager, outbound solutions at Interactive Intelligence, discusses how Interactive’s software-based process and using things like patented speech and pattern recognition and noise filtering has made outbound call analysis more intelligent.

How Omnichannel is Delivering on the Promise of Multichannel
In order to deliver on the promise of multichannel communications, contact centers must provide customers with an omnichannel experience. This means that customer interactions are seamless, integrated, and consistent across phone and digital channels alike — and anticipating that customers might start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. But it also means deploying technologies to make the transition between channels as convenient and enjoyable as possible. Read how.

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Business Process Automation

Process Automation and Multichannel Technology: Exceptional Customer Experience Drives Success
Today, business process automation isn’t just about efficiency, it’s about operating a business for your customers. To ensure a positive customer experience, a process must trigger an automated action, and automation must then manage the experience across multiple channels, personalize the customer’s interaction, and predict the best next actions. Read more, from Chris Thalassinos, Mahnaz Meshkati, and Frank Chiu of Communications Intelligence Group, and Brad Herrington of Interactive Intelligence.

Optimizing Content-Centric Processes to Improve the Customer Experience
When managers watch how their front line personnel work and the processes they have to follow, they’re stunned by all the conflicting systems and media channels many processes involve. More than that, managers are alarmed by the resulting inefficiency and poor service levels. The solution, says author Craig Robinson of BBW Consultants, is a content-centric process approach designed to make service delivery more efficient, based on the way the customer prefers to communicate.

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Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Must Be More than an Annual Exercise
Strategic planning in a contact center helps determine staffing resources over a period of one or two years or more. The problem is, many centers look at planning across the shorter-term scheduling horizon and miss their hiring mark for the long-term, particularly during seasonal ramp ups. Michele Borboa of Contact Center Resources and Brian Spraetz of Interactive Intelligence explain why the strategic planning process must be more than an annual exercise. It must be an iterative process throughout the year.

Contact Center Planning Calculations and Methodologies: A Comparison of Erlang-C and Simulation Modeling
Contact centers are a major US industry with some 2.1 million phone agents. Agent overhead often represents one of the top costs for many companies, so correct staffing is crucial. This paper focuses on the relative accuracy of two workforce staffing calculations and methodologies most often used in the industry.

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Workforce Optimization

Workforce Optimization and the Stellar Customer Experience
Effortless, seamless, proactive and personalized. If only every company approached the customer experience this way to create a pleasant “journey” as they interact. But they don’t. Behind-the-scenes elements are often shortchanged, and this vision isn’t as blissful as hoped. Lori Bocklund of Strategic Contact and Brian Spraetz of Interactive Intelligence embark on a journey of a different sort. They help you understand what your customers expect from their experience, and how leveraging workforce optimization tools can help deliver a positively memorable event.

A New Definition of Workforce Management
The complex service operations businesses deal with today demand a broader view of workforce management: a new one that fully embraces the concepts of strategic planning within the definition. Workforce management and strategic planning are not two separate processes or systems. They are two components that work together to solve a single problem in the contact center. Learn more about this whole new approach, from Ric Kosiba, Ph.D., and Brian Spraetz of Interactive Intelligence.

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Accounts Receivable Management

Four Steps to Internal Audits for Collection Agencies & Debt Buyers
In the collections industry, an internal audit program can be the firewall between your agency's operations and non-compliance with state, federal, and internal regulations. Such audits can identify present and potential risks, and lead to recommendations for mitigating those risks. Brett Soldevila of Security Holdings, LLC, Terri Haley of Compliance Professional Forum, and Bobbi Chester of Interactive Intelligence, Inc. tell how to develop an internal audit process that provides the firewall you need.

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The Insurance Industry

The Value and the Future of the Insurance Contact Center
Contact centers are widespread in insurance today and play a central role in interactions with prospects, policyholders, producers, and employees. The good news is that upgrading contact center capabilities to support new initiatives can be accomplished in small steps, often with capabilities that are already in-house and ready to be activated.

How Insurers Can Use Collaboration for a Competitive Advantage
Collaboration — working together for a common goal — is an integral part of the insurance business. But today, the need to rapidly assemble teams and capitalize on human expertise to provide faster, better decisions makes collaborating all the more important. Author Mark Breading of Strategy Meets Action explains how applying collaboration technologies to specific insurance business problems is enabling insurers to realize the true promise of collaborating for a competitive advantage.

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The Utilities Industry

6 Undeniable Reasons Why Utilities Must Think Digital for Customer Engagement
Customer engagement at utilities is undergoing radical change. It’s a change being driven by heightened customer expectations, multichannel communications technology, and sophisticated platforms that foster mobile and web-based self-service options. In the utility call center, it all points to “digital” — strategic architectural upgrades and added contact channels that promote a faster, easier customer experience. For utilities of all sizes, Vanessa Edmonds, contributing analyst at Energy Central, and Mechele Herres, Solutions Marketing manager for utilities at Interactive Intelligence, outline six strongly-supported findings from Energy Central’s recent research study for the new digital shift in utility customer engagement.

Mitigating Collections Risks for Utilities: A Toolkit for Process Transformation
Significant challenges confront utilities as they seek to maximize revenue and cash flow, reduce operational costs, decrease write-offs, and maintain positive relationships with customers. The good news is that tremendous opportunities exist to transform the process and improve performance.

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The Interaction Center Platform

How the Interaction Center Platform® has Changed the Communications Industry
When Interactive Intelligence introduced its standards-based multichannel software platform for unified business communications and voice over IP (VoIP), it changed the communications industry. Now more than 17 years later, this platform is still revolutionary, and just as versatile, practical and straightforward as first envisioned. Read what makes the Interaction Center Platform a true-all-in-one solution for the contact center, the enterprise and the cloud, from Interactive Intelligence president and CEO Don Brown, and Tim Passios, senior director, Solutions Marketing.

Health & Life Sciences

The Role of the Contact Center in the Patient Engagement Revolution
By focusing on increased integration, improved customer service strategies, and assessment of current business procedures, healthcare organizations can make the decision to move to a more proactive strategy for patient engagement. And the contact center or patient service center can serve as a great starting point and pivotal location for this change.

5 Initiatives to Make Your Contact Center an ACA Customer Service Powerhouse
A market transformation like the Affordable Care Act brings the excitement and possibility of technology advances, process improvements, and a new outlook to increase business with exceptional customer service. For the ACA, five contact center initiatives, working together, can generate measurable improvements in the customer experience. Read how, from Jennifer Wilson Peevey, Solutions Marketing Manager for Insurance & Healthcare at Interactive Intelligence, Inc.

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