Interactive Intelligence draws 2,000 customer experience pros from 50 countries for Interactions conference

Interactive Intelligence CEO Don Brown’s passion for the company he founded was palpable as he welcomed 2,000 customer service professionals from 50 countries to Indianapolis at the company’s annual Interactions global conference.

In his usual irreverent (but very likable) style, Don talked about “giving fits to the big guys out there” and the large, attentive audience erupted with applause when describing Interactive’s new PureCloud product suite, Don said “We’ve already been kicking their asses, so its going to be really cool to see how they deal with yet another curve ball that we throw at them.”

Interactive Intelligence CEO and Founder Don Brown introduces the new PureCloud product suite to 2,000 customers, partners, sponsors and media attending the company’s annual Interactions conference in Indianapolis.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence joined Don on the stage and told the crowd that he’s not just a fan of Interactive Intelligence, he’s a customer too. The state of Indiana uses Interactive Intelligence software in its Family and Social Services Administration, Department of Workforce Development, and Department of Revenue totaling 5,000 seats. The governor also said that Indiana is in the midst of a tech preview with Interactive’s new PureCloud product suite, and that Paul Baltzell, CIO for the state, stressed how impressed and grateful he is to have Interactive Intelligence working with the state of Indiana.

Sans necktie and appropriately brief, Governor Pence took the opportunity to pitch the diverse and far-flung audience on the merits of doing business in Indiana. I smiled when I heard several TechPoint research results and key talking points about tech growth. It’s not vanity; it’s rewarding to know that the work we’re doing is making it to the highest levels of state government and that it’s valued.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence told the Interactions conference crowd that the state of Indiana is a 5000 seat Interactive Intelligence customer.

Indiana state stats on the governor’s list:

  1. Balanced budget and strong surplus/reserves
  2. Triple A bond rating from all three credit reporting agencies
  3. Increased funding for roads and schools
  4. Largest state tax cut in history
  5. Second lowest corporate tax rate in America (when fully implemented)

Indiana tech stats on the governor’s list:

  1. Since 2007, 12 tech community companies in Central Indiana have either been acquired or have gone public, generating $4.5 billion in market value and creating more than 3,700 Indiana jobs
  2. Forbes magazine ranked the Indianapolis area among the top 10 metros for tech job growth. (2013)
  3. From 2009-2012, computer-related employment in Central Indiana grew six times faster than the rest of the state’s overall job market (TechPoint Workforce Report)

Joe Staples, chief marketing officer for Interactive Intelligence (and a TechPoint board member), outlined the conference and its 192 sessions during the first large assembly. He highlighted the theme of Interactions this year — “Create the Experience” — and summed up the reason everybody was there. “It all rolls up to the imperative that creating a great customer experience every single time is the objective, and that’s what this conference is all about.”

Interactive Intelligence Chief Marketing Officer Joe Staples cited Forrester research predicting that 2014 is the tipping point for cloud services when 50% of technology will be consumed in the cloud.

The focus of the breakouts and special sessions center around three “superhot” topics, as Joe called them — the cloud, social media, and mobile.

The Cloud:

  • Most of us are using at least some cloud software
  • 2014 is the tipping point, 50% of tech will be consumed in the cloud by the end of this year (Forrester)
  • What’s driving cloud adoption?
    • Increased flexibility
    • Reduced IT requirements
    • Faster deployment times
    • Lower expense

Social Media

  • Seems to touch everything we do today
  • Businesses are exploring how social media can have a positive impact on the contact center
  • The reach of a dissatisfied customer
    • In the 1990s, a dissatisfied customer would tell 8-10 people about a bad experience.
    • Today, the average Facebook user has 229 friends with a potential compounded reach of 150,000
  • Need to monitor and manage social media is no longer a luxury
  • Interactive Intelligence is addressing this space with Social Customer Service
    • Beyond basics, service allows customer to control routing

Mobile

  • Numbers are staggering — 1.6 billion tablets in service
  • Initial adoption rate of tablets is happening faster than smartphones
  • Last year, 25% of Black Friday purchases were mobile device transactions
  • Soon, “mobile shopping” will cease to be a thing, it will just be “shopping”
  • The need to develop a strategy around mobility is essential

These three superhot topics are top-of-mind for everybody in business today. “We’ve actually joked that if we named a product Interaction Cloud Mobile Social, that we’d have customers lining up to buy it just based on the name,” Joe said.

You can keep up with the ongoing Interactions conference by searching for the hashtag #InteractIndy14 and following @IN_Intelligence on Twitter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349