Interactive Intelligence Group, a global provider of software and services designed to improve the customer experience, reported record attendance at its global INTERACTIONS 2014 customer and partner conference, which drew 2,200-plus attendees from 42 countries.
This is the company’s 16th annual conference, which took place this year at the Interactive Intelligence headquarters’ city of Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. from June 2-5.
The “Create the Experience” themed conference featured more than 200 sessions designed to educate attendees about the technologies and best practices that can be used to improve the customer experience. Attendees included Interactive Intelligence customers, partners, prospects, industry analysts, consultants, media and financial analysts.
Highlights from the event included a Meet Your New Customer: Panel Discussion with Millennial- Aged Consumers , which featured seven consumers ages 20 to 28 who shared their customer service and buying preferences. The panel revealed some interesting findings, including the following:
- They connect with companies via social media primarily to receive discounts; they also use discount coupons, codes and website deals to buy everything.
- They use their smart phones constantly and will often check in-store items for size, quality, etc., then buy them via their mobile devices and online to get a better deal.
- They demand an opt-out option from company communications and will use it unless the content is new or personalized.
- Despite popular perception to the contrary, the phone is still their preferred method of communication for customer service/support.
Another key session was the Insight from the Experts: Panel Discussion , during which four industry analysts and consultants took the stage to share their insights into the hottest technologies, the most overhyped technologies, and more. The discussion revealed a number of interesting findings, including the following:
- Cloud and virtual/Web assistance are a few of the most intriguing communications technologies to watch.
- WebRTC and video are a few of the most overhyped technologies today.
- Key guidance for successful cloud deployments is not to rush the upfront work of ensuring the right statement of work and SLAs are in place, especially related to support and management responsibilities.
- While IT still owns mobile, social media is under contention, with marketing lobbying for control to provide a more unified view of the customer experience, while contact centers still remain viable owners given their focus on customer service.
The company also used INTERACTIONS 2014 to announce Interactive Intelligence PureCloud , its new suite of cloud services for communications, collaboration and customer engagement. PureCloud is based on new distributed cloud architecture that’s designed to speed deployment, increase reliability and scalability, while connecting customers and employees in new, more efficient ways.
According to Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Dr. Donald E. Brown who announced PureCloudSM in his opening keynote , while PureCloud represents a huge leap forward in scalability, reliability and on many other fronts, the company’s strategy remains squarely focused on customer choice.
“PureCloud is an exciting new offering for customers that want an enterprise-grade, multi-tenant cloud solution,” Brown said. “But I want to make it clear that it’s just part of our ongoing strategy to offer customers the widest choice of delivery options so we can best meet their unique needs. With this in mind, we’ll continue to invest in our on-premises business communications solution, Customer Interaction Center , and our single-tenant cloud offering, Interactive Intelligence CaaS .”
INTERACTIONS 2014 featured keynotes from adventurer and author Aron Ralston, and social media expert Jay Baer. Headline speakers also included Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who participated in a fund-raising event that raised approximately $9,000 for the Interactive Intelligence Foundation  – the nonprofit arm of Interactive Intelligence whose mission is to use resources and funding to foster life improvements for at-risk youth.
INTERACTIONS 2014 was supported by 30 Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors. Gold sponsors included AudioCodes, BillingTree, LexisNexis, Plantronics, Virtual Hold Technology, and Zendesk.