Several industry players have commented to me of late that, if you aren’t in the cloud, you’re nowhere. It certainly seems this is the case, given the growth of cloud-based services over the past 24 months. Indeed, there is some merit to that theory – but it’s only a partial truth. As much as cloud services adoption has increased both steadily and significantly, cloud is far from being the only delivery model. As a result, for vendors looking to maximize their market presence, it will become part of their overall product offering, by which they are able to offer similar-quality services to a variety of target markets – all markets, ideally.
The PureCloud Vision
This was the motivation behind Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) PureCloud platform, which adds yet another delivery option to the company’s formidable on-premises software, and its single-tenant CaaS cloud offering. The PureCloud platform goes further by delivering an integrated set of communications, collaboration and customer engagement services by way of a next-generation cloud model. It leverages the distributed nature of cloud computing for true multitenancy and massive scalability – something the contact center market has been missing.
The motivation for PureCloud not only filled a customer need, it also filled a broader market gap that Interactive Intelligence noticed several years ago, according to Tim Passios (News - Alert), vice president of solutions marketing at Interactive Intelligence.
“We saw that improved cloud technologies were giving customers better HR, ERP and CRM solutions,” Passios notes. “But, we didn’t see the innovative equal to these solutions for integrated communications, collaboration and customer engagement cloud services. Our PureCloud platform was developed to fill this gap we call ‘C3’ (News - Alert) – a set of communications, collaboration and customer engagement services delivered from a single cloud platform. The end goal for our C3 vision is to enable businesses to operate more efficiently, while improving their customer, employee and partner experiences.”
The PureCloud Difference
Architecturally speaking, the PureCloud platform is nothing like its predecessors. The Interactive Intelligence on-premises software was designed for ultimate customization and control. The company’s CaaS offering was based on this software, but designed as a single-tenant, multi-instance cloud service hosted from its own data centers for maximum security.
The PureCloud platform was built from scratch using multitenant, distributed architecture and specifically designed for the cloud and, more specifically, for Amazon Web Services (News - Alert). As a result, it provides unlimited scalability, greater reliability, faster deployment and continuous access to applications – and with a cost model that isn’t beyond typical budgets.
“A customer using PureCloud services can easily start small and grow infinitely larger without ever hitting any boundaries,” Passios says. “That’s just the benefit of AWS and its inherent load balancing, which gives customers complete flexibility to turn up or turn down existing services, or add any new services they desire.”
As for the rest of the market, while there are other multitenant solutions available, most are based on a server model deployed in the provider’s own data centers, which creates additional cost and complexity associated with integrating multiple servers. This is a variable that the PureCloud platform is able to bypass – thereby also avoiding a cost that gets passed on to the customer.
“There are no PureCloud servers in our data centers; they are all in AWS,” Passios explains. “We don't maintain them, therefore, we’ve limited the cost and complexity of having to do all the maintenance and integration that existing cloud vendors have to deal with.”
From a development perspective, being deployed 100 percent in AWS enables continuous development by way of the recently popularized dev-ops model, a zero footprint, extremely agile deployment, and a next-generation interface that matches modern expectations for ease of use and intuitive control.
Ultimately, while it comes from a business with a strong heritage in customer experience solutions, and one that has taken its expertise into the cloud previously, the PureCloud platform is fundamentally different from Interactive Intelligence’s other family of products. In short, the PureCloud platform was designed for the new generation of social consumers, with the flexibility, scalability and resiliency to accommodate the smallest to the largest customers, all consuming services of their choice on a subscription basis. While there will remain customers that prefer the on-premises option, or the company’s private cloud-style CaaS alternative (the company will continue to support both), PureCloud services offer a very efficient and cost-effective option that is likely to catch the attention of not only new prospects, but many existing customers.
“I can’t think of a customer situation we can’t address with one of our three delivery models,” Passios says.
The PureCloud Experience
Beyond the major architectural differences due to the distributed nature of cloud computing, the PureCloud platform also brings customers a bountiful selection of new and highly useful service options designed to make not only customer service and contact center personnel more effective, but to positively impact the entire enterprise workforce.
Interactive Intelligence has long been a proponent of enterprise-wide collaboration, understanding its value in delivering an exceptional customer experience. That belief led to PureCloud Directory, the first PureCloud service made general available in January 2015. PureCloud Directory relies on user information – skills, work experience, location, associations, certifications, hobbies, likes, etc. – to help employees find the best matches for their particular projects and collaboration needs.
According to Interactive Intelligence, which has been using PureCloud Directory internally, it’s the only employee-based skillset solution on the market. Imagine, in an enterprise with 10,000 or more employees, how challenging it becomes to locate the right internal talent for whatever your needs might be.
Passios says that within Interactive Intelligence, which has more than 2,000 employees, the impact is noticeable.
“Overwhelmingly, people are finding their experiences are so much better using PureCloud Directory,” he says. “I get more productive, become more efficient, and we work more collaboratively and productively as an organization.”
The next PureCloud service expected for release this year is for content management, followed by services for unified communications, the contact center, and more.
Not surprisingly, the company has already received significant interest from very large Fortune 100 companies looking to differentiate themselves in their competitive markets by delivering a unique, personalized, and highly effective experience. Because the PureCloud platform was built entirely in a cloud environment, the very same experiences can be achieved within any size organization, which is where these services will shine – they aren’t restricted to any market segment. Rather, they enable any business to be more productive, while creating a customer experience that will drive not only satisfaction, but more importantly, loyalty.
Edited by Maurice Nagle