Make 2014 the year you move to Four.0 – Here’s why.

Interactive Intelligence released Customer Interaction Center version 4.0 in November, 2011.  (You may have seen the Four.0 moniker in various Interactive promotions.)  Many of you are taking a hard look at completing your upgrade in 2014.  I’ve got a Top 10 list that’s too long for one blog post.  So here are 5 things to look forward to in Four.0.

Number 10

CIC becomes a pure application server

Interactive has been moving in this direction for a while and with Four.0, we are there.  They’ve eliminated the need for third-party voice hardware or HMP software.  Once you upgrade, the Interaction Media Server appliance will handle all IC audio processing needs.  The media server was developed for high volumes of audio processing and supports an NxM architecture.  This means that if additional audio processing power is required, more media servers can be added.

The Interaction Media Server’s high-volume processing includes:

  • Compression/Encryption
  • Prompts and DTMF (IVR)
  • Call analysis
  • Fax
  • Conference
  • Speech Analytics

By shifting the heavyweight audio operations from the IC server to Media Servers, the IC server can concentrate and focus on ACD routing, generation of reporting data, and all the other tasks that the server needs to perform. With audio operations removed from the IC server, the scalability numbers for the overall platform have significantly improved over prior IC releases.

Number 9

We’ve gone virtual

Your CIC environment can now be virtualized.  Those of you who care about that understand the benefits, and for the rest of us – well, my engineers tell me this gives the IT staff great flexibility in building out the infrastructure to support the system.  (One note regarding virtualization – you will still need physical servers for your production media servers.  Check with us for details about this.)

Number 8

Email interactions

Your 4.0 client presents a complete redesign of email.  An incoming email offered to an agent is opened in read-only mode, just as in other email applications.  The email form now offers the ability to reply, reply all, and forward the message.  Forwarding a message including attachments will automatically put the attachments in the outbound email as well.  When a reply or forward gets performed, the user still has the original read-only email option allowing them to perform multiple actions to a single email.  You could potentially forward an email to one email address while responding to the customer at a different email address – all from within your client.  And – your emails can be spell checked from within your client.  That’s a great new addition for me!  Overall, it’s a more natural email response model for your agents which will give better email continuity to your customers.

Number 7

Chat display view

Your 4.0 client includes several enhancements to allow better handling of multiple chat interactions at once.  Instead of having multiple forms, one for each chat interaction, the chat view now appears in the main window.  Users handling multiple chat sessions can now just select the chat interaction they want to work on and the Chat view displays the selected conversation.  The new Chat Response Time column helps the user determine which chat interaction has been waiting the longest.  It is also possible to navigate through the various chat sessions with navigation buttons or hot-keys. Another new feature is chat highlighting.  An administrator can configure thresholds for time limits and chat interactions that have exceeded the threshold are highlighted.

Number 6

Interaction Supervisor improvements

Interaction Supervisor was rewritten in a new .NET framework module.  They’ve added new charts and graphs (you can specify the color for each statistic). Agent Assistance requests can “wait in line.”  Statistics are grouped together and you can expand or collapse a grouping to make it easier to read on the screen.  The alert mechanism was re-designed in a great way.  It is much easier to configure an alert and alerts can be shared among users (that’s one people ask me about often).  I’ve scratched the surface – let’s just say the supervisors in your call center are going to love this one.

Well, I’m out of space.  In my next post, I’ll finish up my Top 10 list of things to look forward to in Four.0.

Click here to read highlights 1-5 of Interactive Intelligence 4.0