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Interactive Intelligence

The Interaction Center Platform®

Dr. Donald E. Brown, CEO Tim Passios, Senior Director, Solutions Marketing

Table of Contents
Overview ............................................................................................................................. 3 Media Server for Audio Functions ................................................................................... 4 Location Independance ................................................................................................... 4 Cloud-based Hosted Communications ............................................................................ 5 The Architecture of the Interaction Center Platform ......................................................... 5 Central Event-Processing Engine ..................................................................................... 6 The Interaction Center Platform as a Unified Communications Solution .......................... 8 The Interaction Center Platform in the Contact Center ..................................................... 9 The End-user's View of the Interaction Center Platform.................................................. 14 Multiple Versions of the Interaction Client ................................................................... 12 Session Manager............................................................................................................ 13 The Supervisor's View of the Interaction Center Platform ............................................... 14 Interaction Web Portal .................................................................................................. 15 Interaction Analyzer ...................................................................................................... 16 The Administrator's View of the Interaction Center Platform ......................................... 16 Customization of the Interaction Center Platform ........................................................... 18 Server-Side Customization............................................................................................. 18 Client-Side Customization.............................................................................................. 19 Uses of the Interaction Center Platform........................................................................... 20 Single-site IP PBX ........................................................................................................... 21 Multi-site IP PBX ............................................................................................................ 21 Speech-Enabled IVR ....................................................................................................... 21 Contact Center Solution ................................................................................................ 21 Summary ........................................................................................................................... 22

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Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. 7601 Interactive Way Indianapolis, Indiana 46278 Telephone/Fax (317) 872-3000 Publish date 12.09, update 09.11, version 1

© Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.


The Interaction Center Platform®

conferencing it with another call. CIC’s simplified connection to the corporate network In the Figure 1 diagram. and illustrates how it can act as the foundation for Internet Protocol (IP) communications with an architecture fully developed on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) communications standard.Overview Interactive Intelligence has spent more than a decade and a half creating a sophisticated software platform for advanced communications technologies including voice over IP (VoIP) and the “cloud. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. 3 The Interaction Center Platform® . etc. allowing it to keep track of the state of the call and perform actions such as transferring it to another user. As an integrated suite of applications for the contact center and the enterprise alike.E1 or SIP trunks from the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Figure 1. you'll undoubtedly notice that a phone call consists of two streams. one shown as a dashed blue line and the other as a solid red line. and simply turns telephone calls into TCP/IP packets that can be routed over the organization’s LAN or WAN.” This document provides a high-level technical description of the Interaction Center Platform. One stream (the dashed blue one) is used to control the call (e. The SIP session always passes through the CIC server. The gateway is a simple network device akin to a router. in organizations of all types and sizes. CIC is installed on a single industrystandard server and connected to the corporate network. To understand how the Interaction Center Platform fits into the big picture of business communications. and as shown in Figure 1. or CIC. disconnect.) while the other (the solid red one) contains the actual audio of the conversation. transfer. The RTP stream does not go through the CIC server and instead passes through a device called a media server. etc. One or more VoIP gateways are used to hook up to T1. IP phones are plugged into the LAN and voila! You have IP telephony. We call the former the SIP session and the latter the RTP (real-time protocol) stream.g. In the simplest case. CIC exposes the broadest set of features of the Interaction Center Platform.. we’ll focus on the Customer Interaction Center product.

a CIC server can be placed at a central location such as a main office or regional data center.Media Server for Audio Functions The media server (more specifically the Interaction Media Server product) is a dedicated appliance that can perform various operations on the audio stream such as playing prompts to the caller. But especially for high-traffic users such as agents and supervisors in the contact center and knowledge workers throughout the enterprise. 4 The Interaction Center Platform® . and supporting conferencing. and extend CIC’s functionality to users and phones (including the Interaction Client) across branch offices. location really doesn’t matter. among other functions. And because the media server processes audio functions at higher volumes and with greater durability. they don’t always have to be — the CIC system provides location independence by moving all audio processing to the media server and turning the CIC server into an application server. moving the audio to the media server in a virtual CIC configuration increases CIC system continuity. it also increases CIC’s reliability and scalability. just place a media server appliance at each location. a remote workforce or some combination of these scenarios. users can still make and take calls the oldfashioned way by picking up the phone. Organizations also consolidate their data center operations and reduce power usage. an important concept to grasp is that once you move to VoIP. By handling all of the audio requirements of CIC. performing call analysis. the Interaction Client software can be deployed to users’ desktops and laptops as well as handhelds for the ability to manage interactions in an intuitive client interface (as we’ll see later). recording the call. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. for at-home agents. multiple locations. So whether a single site. the Interaction Client provides advanced functionality for things like call recording. Virtualization further allows the CIC system to be restored quickly should a natural disaster take place or catastrophic problem occur in the data center. At the end-user level.e. Location Independence With respect to IP communications. in addition to controls for more standard functions such as call transfers and putting callers on-hold. playing music while the call is on hold. etc.   When an organization runs the CIC server in a virtual environment. quality monitoring and conferencing. Server counts and equipment costs are reduced. performing real-time speech analytics. the audio traffic doesn’t have to travel over a wide area network) and reduces bandwidth usage. To be sure. and server management is simplified. A single CIC server can be configured with multiple media servers in a regionalized manner. the benefits add up almost inherently. A dispersed organization can leverage a private cloud to drive communications across sites (and the globe). which keeps audio processing “local” (i. since selected media servers can be taken out of service for maintenance without impacting system performance. the media server appliance makes the CIC server a pure application server and eliminates the need for third-party voice board hardware. And no matter the deployment option. Although the CIC configuration diagram in Figure 1 shows all devices connected to a local area network.. an organization has several options for deploying the CIC solution:  In a multi-site organization.

Services delivery and control take place using VoIP and a MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. set up predictive dialing. System administrators also appreciate the fact that taking advantage of functionality in the Interaction Center Platform is as easy as downloading a license key that allows them to turn on predictive dialing. CIC makes handling branch offices.  The Local Control VoIP Model lets an organization keep its current telco circuits. Cloud-based Hosted Communications Speaking of virtualization. With the Remote Control TDM Model. the organization can equip agents to handle calls using IP phones or softphones connected over the MPLS network. and agent connection calls are then routed over the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) to an organization’s existing PBX. quality monitoring. This means that instead of being forced to use different interfaces to manage various functions. connect to the Interactive Intelligence data center via an MPLS network. With the Remote Control VoIP Model. 5 The Interaction Center Platform® . and other advanced functionality. Thus the “local” control. This approach is what makes the Interaction Center Platform easier to deploy and manage than any other solution on the market. they don’t incur downtime or lose any applications during the migration. no new equipment is required. From there. remote sites and work-at-home employees a breeze. calls get routed via telco circuits terminated at the Interactive Intelligence data center. An organization can then give agents and other users their choice of IP phones or softphones to manage calls. the Interaction Center Platform was developed over a long span of time by a single team. you can do it all in Interaction Administrator. administrators can employ a single application called Interaction Administrator to control virtually every aspect of the system. proxy/media servers. Rather than a loosely integrated set of products assembled through acquisition or marketing alliances. That way. The Architecture of the Interaction Center Platform Unlike most other VoIP products on the market today. CIC can easily be deployed as a cloud-based service if an organization prefers that option. or control contact center behavior. If and when they do. Interactive Intelligence provides the SIP-architected CIC software as a cloud-based “hosted” service for contact centers. and business user applications are available in conjunction with the hosted contact center service.In all. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. the Interaction Center Platform is a tightly integrated suite of software components built atop a common framework (see Figure 2). resulting in three deployment models to choose from. Whether you want to configure your dial plan. and configure on-premise hardware such as gateways. To CIC there’s absolutely no difference between an employee in the home office and one sitting in an airport halfway around the world with a laptop — particularly with the Interaction Client software and its ability to act as a “softphone” that turns any computer into an IP phone from anywhere.   One other advantage of CIC-based hosted services is that organizations have the option to migrate their cloud-based solution to their own site at any time. turn on call encryption. all of an organization’s calls are routed via telco circuits terminated at the Interactive Intelligence data center. and what ultimately results in a lower total cost of ownership and quicker return on investment.

© Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. it transmits a Make Call request to Notifier. easily-licensed functionality Central Event-Processing Engine At the core of the Interaction Center Platform is an event-processing engine called Notifier (see Figure 3 on the next page). This dynamism is tremendously important in distributed organizations frequently consisting of hundreds or thousands of users. The Interaction Center Platform’s integrated. This architecture means that components don't have to know about each other and where they're located — they only need to know how to talk to Notifier. This means that changes happen nearly instantly and are reflected throughout. allowing Interaction Client to display the appropriate information on its interface. 6 The Interaction Center Platform® . they all talk to Notifier and ask it for services. that application subscribes to incoming call notifications for the currently logged in user. Publish/Subscribe. when the Interaction Client needs to make an outgoing call (perhaps in response to a user typing a phone number and clicking the Dial button). Again using the example of Interaction Client. give or take away access to some functionality) and the remote user’s interface will update on the spot. For example.Figure 2. There is no need for the end-user to reboot the machine or restart the application. A new button or tab may appear because of a privilege that has been granted. Notifier is an enterprise service bus (ESB) that provides various services for all the other components that comprise both server and client portions of the Interaction Center Platform.g. A system administrator can change privileges (e. For example..  Notifier makes the Interaction Center Platform an extremely scalable and responsive event-driven system. a remote user may be running Interaction Client from home. including:  Request/Response. That is. Notifier also allows components to subscribe to various notifications and then be alerted when they happen. Notifier exposes various services that can be provided by different components and makes them available to all components. Notifier then automatically sends out a notification whenever an incoming call targeted at that user is detected. Notifier then passes this request on to the Telephony Services component. instead of one component talking directly to another.

formerly CallManager) and Microsoft Lync Server 2010. providing functionality called unified messaging. The Interaction Center Platform integrates seamlessly with major email platforms including Exchange. The Interaction Center Platform has built-in support for text chat and web collaboration as well as lower-level interfaces to SOAP-based web services. allowing it to function as a standalone IP PBX. Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Data Services. RightNow. the Interaction Center Platform consists of dozens of services that have been developed over the years that allow it to cover everything from IP telephony to data access and process automation.Figure 3. 7 The Interaction Center Platform® . Notifier event-processing engine in the Interaction Center Platform Key services As illustrated here. and many others. CIC and other Platform-based products can serve to extend CIC’s functionality for Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM. Some of the most important services include:  Telephony Services. Siebel. SAP. Web Services. mainframes. Notes. Email Services.    © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Oracle databases. AS/400 applications. and GroupWise. The Interaction Center Platform includes a complete SIP stack. Oracle/PeopleSoft. One direct benefit is that voice mail messages and faxes appear in end-user mailboxes. CIC and products based on the Interaction Center Platform can access a wide variety of data sources including Microsoft SQL Server databases. However. Salesforce.

Encrypt all calls and data connections (or selected ones) for maximum security and peace of mind. Add new phones in seconds by simply plugging them in. CIC can be installed on a single off-the-shelf server and provide a complete SIP-based IP PBX. it also has extensive opportunities for customization that will be discussed a bit later. Allow users to create conference calls from their phones or using the easy-to-learn Interaction Client graphical interface. Voice mail and unified messaging. Assign unique telephone numbers to everyone in your organization that allow them to be dialed directly. Manage all of your organization’s IP phones from a single administrative console. read information back to callers. automatic communications distributor.Customizing services Although CIC is a suite of turnkey applications (IP PBX. notice that there is an application programming interface (API) called IceLib that you can use within your own applications. or Cisco. 8 The Interaction Center Platform®   © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.). and you have a complete VoIP phone system with features that include:        Auto attendant. Voice mail messages and faxes appear right in the Outlook inbox or other email client. CIC can function as the unified communications solution for organizations of just about any size. Security. IceLib is a well designed and completely documented API that’s easy to use from any application. Easily update firmware. etc. Easily connect multiple remote offices. Place phones anywhere in the world you like. connect SIP-based IP phones from vendors such as Polycom. Create more advanced applications that can access data. Conferencing. Aastra. Remote access. including at-home workers. and manage everything from a data center. For small organizations. Handlers allow you to create your own rules for how calls and other interactions are managed when they come into your organization. For the moment. Direct inward dialing (DID). Just plug the server into the network (or implement CIC via one of its many other deployment options). Create menus that callers can navigate by voice or by touch tone and route them to the appropriate individuals or groups in your company. but particularly those written in . you can add call handling and much of the other functionality of Interaction Client directly into your own applications. IP phone management. perform transactions.NET languages such as C# and Visual Basic. . Interactive voice response (IVR). refer back to Figure 3 and notice that customer-specific business logic can be created in the form of handlers that run within a component called Interaction Processor. Using this API. Make use of “autoconferencing” in conference rooms that allows external users to join meetings just by dialing an extension and entering a PIN. Desktop faxing. etc. Allow users to send faxes from within any application and to receive them directly in electronic form. The Interaction Center Platform as a Unified Communications Solution As mentioned previously. predictive dialer. On the client side.

CIC integrations to Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime provide the ability to synchronize or “map” CIC’s presence management settings to those in Lync and Sametime. 9 The Interaction Center Platform®    © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. reflecting the multitude of advanced features that have been added to the Interaction Center Platform during the more than 17 years of its existence. Callers can perform a variety of self-service functions using either touch tones or spoken phrases. however. etc.) and then matching calls to just the right agents. Presence management with company and departmental directories. Spanish. out-of-the-box integrations using the SIP protocol let you straightforwardly bridge that solution together with CIC. SMS texts. CIC makes it easy to set up rules to automatically record various types of interactions (e. in a meeting. Interaction recording.   The list goes on and on. The same skills capability applies to web chat.. The Interaction Center Platform in the Contact Center In addition to unified communications. manufacturer certifications. emails. Users can automatically access contact information using the Interaction Client. etc. etc. As explained previously. Allow callers to just say the name of the person or department they want to reach. and give mobile employees the ability to reach other employees at home. calls to a particular queue. via their cell phones. Skills-based routing. at lunch. CIC integrates with popular speech recognition systems from companies such as Nuance. CIC supports an unlimited number and type of skills. no one vendor can provide it all. ACD can be enhanced by assigning necessary skills to calls (e. including systems from Cisco and Microsoft. IBM Sametime. Regardless of the specific configuration. Automatic notifications tell when a user’s status changes and they become available. Additionally. “Call Cindy Smith at home”).g. In a unified communications environment. The more appropriate term in this case. is automatic communications distribution. etc. Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) or some other UC solution. including:  Interactive voice response (IVR).. and even social media alerts (see Multichannel queuing later in this list). Speech recognition. Open standards for SIP integrations.g. SAP and other CRM and customer service applications. CIC can act as the communications system for the entire organization or serve just the contact center working in conjunction with the corporate PBX or IP PBX. In the world of unified communications.). voice mails. Similar CIC integrations embed CIC’s presence management functionality in Salesforce. creating “shared” contacts lists for CIC-Lync users and CIC-Sametime users. short message service (SMS) texts. since CIC can also queue up and route web chats. Incoming calls can be queued up for delivery to the next available agent. which displays the real-time status of all other users in the organization. beyond a certain length. Instantly see who’s available. supervisors or agents can simply click a button to initiate recording of any interaction type. If your organization has standardized on platforms like Microsoft Lync. and other types of interactions. as well as who’s on the phone. CIC provides a long list of contact center capabilities.g. just by saying what they want (e. the Interaction Center Platform provides everything needed to run a sophisticated contact center operation — just add agents. RightNow. . that went down a specific IVR social media. faxes. Automatic call distribution (ACD).

For executives and supervisors alike. report and track agent and queue activity in a single web portal environment. Supervisors can create graphical scorecards that can be used to evaluate agent performance. and social media. and recording functionality to playback recorded interactions and review agent scorecards. Monitor the chatter on social networks with integrated analytics applications from Buzzient. The Interaction Center Platform can perform skills-based routing of any type of interaction. text chats.including calls. A . Screen recording. A graphical report viewer allows managers to easily create ad hoc reports across every aspect of the operation.    Call scoring. and social media. Every event associated with an interaction is logged to a database and can be reported on for a cradle-to-grave view of what happened. etc. Web portal for monitoring operations. A supervisor can listen to an agent’s call. customizable and ad-hoc reports. Proof? Gartner has recognized the advantages of CIC by placing the product in its “leadership” quadrant for IP contact center products. and so on — even if the agent is located thousands of miles away. Use an application called Interaction Analyzer to define lists of words and phrases with alternate spellings and scores. SMS texting. faxes. Real-time speech analytics. Workforce management (WFM). chats and other media types. Everything an agent does on his or her computer can be recorded. SMS. (Think of a retailer sending a text blast to thousands of mobile devices announcing a big sale. Manage internal and external Short Message Service-based texts the same way as phone calls. media types.NET-based graphical interface called Interaction Supervisor allows supervisors to watch every facet of contact center operation. emails. record. Then use the Interaction Center Platform to route social media alerts and comments to agents. “whisper” in his or her ear for coaching. customer). take over the call. Comprehensive reporting. The result is immediate. Real-time supervision. Outsourced service providers can also offer monitoring tools for customers in one portal dashboard: real-time ACD stats and historical data. emails. business users and mobile users alike. interaction monitoring. The Interaction Center Platform® . Agents can be scheduled efficiently based on forecast demand with allowances for skills. and associate them with inbound and outbound queues. chats. faxes. Calls are compressed and archived for flexible storage and playback.) An Interaction Client plug-in for SMS makes it easy for users to manage texts — contact center users. SMS. Multichannel queuing. Outbound campaigns for telemarketing and collections can make use of powerful predictive algorithms to move quickly through lists and keep agents busy.         The Interaction Center Platform and its incarnation as CIC truly represent the state-ofthe-art in contact center automation. 10 © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. monitor. initiate a recording. Social media integration. accurate detection with channel separation (agent vs. Radian6 and RightNow. including emails. and manage and monitor each agent’s “social” responses. Predictive dialing. Recording doesn’t stop with the calls themselves. voice mails.

The Interaction Client . Previously-dialed numbers are archived in a pull-down menu for rapid future access. A user can change his or her status by selecting the appropriate value from the MY STATUS dropdown list just beneath the MY INTERACTIONS tab. Note that presence information such as On the Phone is set automatically by the CIC system. Users can type a number into the text box near the top of the form and click the MAKE CALL button. a user can simply click on an entry in any of the directory pages at the bottom of the Interaction Client form to speed dial the corresponding individual. social media alerts. New calls appear in the MY INTERACTIONS tab along with any information available about the caller. Figure 4. and otherwise manage call functions with pinpoint precision. emails. conference multiple calls together. Alternatively. 11 The Interaction Center Platform®    © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. as do queued web chats.The End-user's View of the Interaction Center Platform The most-common end-user manifestation of the Interaction Center Platform is an application we've mentioned several times — Interaction Client. From the MY INTERACTIONS tab. Presence values can be completely customized and different ones can be configured for different groups of users.  Make outbound calls. initiate recordings. etc. View incoming calls and other interactions. . send calls to voice mail. Interaction Client is a ready-to-use and extremely intuitive application from which users can perform a multitude of communications tasks. Perform operations on calls. Manage presence. which is shown here.NET Edition First and foremost. the user can transfer calls.

and Only the .g. new interactions — whether phone calls. RightNow Technologies.NET Edition in conjunction with an IP phone. Access company and workgroup directories. on their cell phones. and to quickly reach them at the office. A user of Interaction Client can log into and out of various ACD queues. and Salesforce. Remedy for a help desk trouble ticket) or a form designed expressly for that process. The bottom third of the Interaction Client is devoted to various directory tabs. 12 The Interaction Center Platform®    © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. This version can be run from most major web browsers including Internet Explorer. In lieu of a headset. A user of Interaction Client can click on an assigned task to pop either a specific application (e. Users can seamlessly tab between the Interaction Center Platform’s Interaction Supervisor. Using the Web Edition. Interaction Recorder. This version can be used on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.    All Interaction Client requires is a TCP/IP connection back to the server running the Interaction Center Platform. Interaction Client integrations. Participate in ACD queues. users can leverage the . or others — show up in the My Interactions tab and can be picked up in exactly the same way. etc. Decision-makers can mouse over and “drill into” particular statistics in the Interaction Supervisor interface to get a more detailed real-time view and better understanding of developing service issues. Siebel. These tabs are completely configurable and allow the user to see the status of other employees (company-wide as well as by specific workgroups). . Interaction Client Mobile Edition. or with the more compact Interaction SIP Station device to save space on a user’s desk. Interaction Feedback. since the Interaction Supervisor application’s . Interaction Client Web Edition. Process tasks show up in Interaction Client in a manner very similar to that of telephone calls and other interactions.NET architecture reduces bandwidth usage. and others.. suppliers. allowing a PC or laptop with a headset to function as an IP phone. and can be used on any PC or laptop running Windows XP. plus available integrations to products from industry leaders such as Microsoft. emails. Firefox. Advanced views for monitoring the Interaction Center Platform. Remedy. Interaction Process Automation and other monitoring applications within the .NET Interaction Supervisor environment and the Interaction Center Business Management framework. SAP. Multiple Versions of the Interaction Client There are several versions of Interaction Client. Users can also set up personal directories for external partners. Participate in business processes.NET Edition provides a full softphone. This is the full Windows application (shown in Figure 4). text chats. Similar integrations bring Interaction Client capabilities together with CRM packages from Salesforce. IBM. When logged in.NET Edition. Interaction Optimizer.  Interaction Client . at home or at remote locations. vendor contacts. All versions of the Interaction Client can operate in conjunction with a desktop phone or mobile Integrate the Interaction Client’s call and presence controls to work in unison with products such as Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and IBM Sametime. Organizations can also scale to greater monitoring capacities. Windows Vista or Windows 7. nothing at all needs to be installed on the user’s machine.

In larger environments. For example. Such a configuration is generally suitable for well over 1. the use of Session Manager allows for extremely low bandwidth utilization between Interaction Client and the Interaction Center Platform server (i.g. Figure 5. The Interaction Client and Session Manager work together in a variety of ways to keep network utilization as low as possible. 13 The Interaction Center Platform® .. the one running CIC). it downloads all the directory entries (people. Session Manager similarly transmits real-time presence information to the Interaction Client so it can display the current status of users in the directory pages.000 or so concurrent connections of Interaction Client. The Session Manager architecture allows users to run Interaction Client even over extremely slow dial-up connections. Session Manager can be placed on its own server — and even a cluster of servers for extreme scalability and reliability. a single instance of Session Manager runs on the main Interaction Center Platform server (e. Session Manager keeps track of all client-side sessions and is responsible for authentication. as shown in Figure 5 here. As its name implies. and various other services. Session Manager configuration for CIC © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Thereafter. CIC server). In particular. Ordinarily. the first time a user runs Interaction Client. encryption. etc.Session Manager All versions of Interaction Client end up connecting to the Interaction Center Platform by way of a server-side software component called Session Manager (see Figure 5).e.) configured for that user and creates an encrypted local cache. only updates are downloaded. phone numbers..

calls longer than a certain duration. A full description of Interaction Supervisor is beyond the scope of this document. Interaction Supervisor provides real-time information regarding the performance of various workgroups and their associated queues. A supervisor can highlight a given phone call and listen in. average hold time greater than a given value. The .) and be notified in selected ways (phone calls. 14 The Interaction Center Platform® . Interaction Supervisor is an application from which supervisors and managers can keep track of what’s going on in a contact center or other organization. A screen capture of Interaction Supervisor is shown here. etc. but suffice to say that it allows supervisors to keep track of various objects. whisper into the agent's ear.The Supervisor's View of the Interaction Center Platform As mentioned earlier in this paper.NET Interaction Supervisor environment Interaction Supervisor provides a set of configurable views into many different aspects of communications and business processes. Interactions. Interaction Supervisor allows users to set alerts on different quantities (e. Similar operations are provided for interactions such as queued emails.g. join the call.). take the call away. text chats. talk times. initiate a recording. etc. including average wait times. etc. etc. current status. calls currently in queue. etc. including:   People. a supervisor can click on a given person and see his or her interactions. Figure 6. etc. Queues. With sufficient access privileges. emails.  © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. In addition to being able to display various real-time information.

where it’s currently held up. etc. etc. Interaction Supervisor has been extended to allow process managers to see work making its way through various process flows. PSTN trunks. The Interaction Web Portal is also designed with outsourced service providers in mind — it allows outsourcers to offer a full range of monitoring tools for their own customers in one portal dashboard: Real-time ACD statistics and historical data. report and track agent and queue activity throughout their organization (see Figure 7). how long it has been in transit. interaction monitoring. Interaction Supervisor can be used by IT personnel to monitor the system itself — SIP connections. Interaction Web Portal © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. More specifically. In addition. 15 The Interaction Center Platform® . the Interaction Web Portal gives executives and supervisors a full operational view in one environment to monitor. Interaction Web Portal We mentioned the web portal earlier for monitoring operations in the contact center. Processes. record. customizable and ad-hoc reports. and recording functionality to play back recorded interactions and review agent scorecards. who’s supposed to be working on it. It can display where a process object is along its execution path. Figure 7.

with channel separation (agent vs. with alternate spellings and scores. and with concurrent multi-language support for US English and Spanish. supervisors can view defined words that have been spotted during an interaction. Detection and event generation is both immediate and accurate. Alerts on calls with low/high agent/customer scores aid the process. next page). In real-time. Contact centers can associate spotted keywords with call recordings for additional recording search capabilities. along with score statistics. Real-time Interaction Supervisor views.Interaction Analyzer Interaction Analyzer brings intelligent speech analytics to the Interaction Center Platform and gives contact centers the ability to detect and measure customer sentiment with:  Real-time interaction keyword spotting. Contact centers and businesses as a whole can define lists of the words and phrases they hear most from customers. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.   Figure 8. customer). 16 The Interaction Center Platform® . managing call recordings — it’s all done from this single intuitive application. to improve monitoring and take control of an interaction when they detect an unhappy customer. Creating ACD queues. Figure 8 (shown here) illustrates how Interaction Analyzer automatically presents spotted keywords in a recording file. Interaction Recorder integration. turning on security. and then provides the ability to “jump” to spotted words quickly. Interaction Analyzer The Administrator's View of the Interaction Center Platform The fact that the Interaction Center Platform and all its functionality is implemented as a tightly integrated suite of software objects allows it to be completely administered from a single graphical interface called Interaction Administrator (see Figure 9. and associate with them inbound and outbound queues. adding new users. configuring remote locations and media servers.

. For example. Interaction Administrator has been optimized to efficiently handle the needs of small organizations with a few dozen users as well as large enterprises with tens of thousands of users and phones spread across a large number of sites. and other objects that fall under his or her responsibility. Interaction Administrator can be configured to provide limited administrative rights to different individuals. 17 The Interaction Center Platform® . Interaction Administrator Greater Control of User Permissions and Administrative Rights Interaction Administrator also provides an extraordinary degree of control over user permissions — what they can see and do. select the object you wish to configure. Again for example. the help desk manager can be allowed to administer the users. and the various properties that relate to that object are displayed on the right. CIC) system are structured hierarchically in the menu tree on the left side of Interaction Administrator. what VoIP codecs are used. Using Interaction Administrator. you can even lock down the appearance and functionality of the Interaction Client for every end-user. queues. but not to be able to see others outside his or her area. you can use Interaction Administrator to allow the manager of a contact center team to listen in on the ACD calls for that organization but not any others. Multi-site capabilities allow you to configure how calls are routed between sites. Simply expand the hierarchy. etc. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.The various objects that comprise an organization’s Interaction Center Platform (i. Figure 9.e.

in addition to simple point and click configuration. but also create end-user applications that make use of CIC’s many capabilities. Interaction Designer © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. CIC additionally provides a much more powerful customization tool called Interaction Designer (see Figure 10). CIC even allows you to set up basic email queuing in Interaction Attendant. Figure 10. etc. or handler. you can customize how the CIC server processes interactions (incoming phone calls. that has been configured for an incoming call. Server-side Customization On the server side. the easiest way to configure CIC is to use a simple application called Interaction Attendant. which allows you to quickly create auto attendant and simple IVR menus that callers can navigate via touch tones. not toolkits. Customization can be performed on both the server and the client levels. All of the out-of-the-box functionality of CIC is included in source form that’s available to you to modify or extend. 18 The Interaction Center Platform® .). However.Customization of the Interaction Center Platform It's important to understand that CIC and other products built on the Interaction Center Platform are turnkey applications. and also provide easy-to-configure contact center services. Interaction Designer provides an intuitive environment in which to visually lay out the business logic used to handle virtually every aspect of communications in the CIC system. faxes. CIC provides opportunities for extensive customization if required. Shown here is the business logic . That is. emails. CIC can function out of the box as a powerful IP PBX.

” Events you can handle using Interaction Designer include incoming interactions (calls. and note the tab pages in the bottom section of the Interaction Designer environment. or “building blocks. Fax. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. Interaction Designer allows you to create incredibly powerful applications that integrate IP communications into your information technology infrastructure. etc. JNBridge. IceLib is implemented in managed code that makes it especially easy to use from . you can make use of hundreds of preconfigured tools. create conferences. faxes. Building block tools are organized into various categories for Database Access. outgoing interactions.” that have been created over the years. Using IceLib. text chats. your applications can make calls. Various commercial object wrapping products (JIntegra. a call being placed on a queue). and so on. queue changes (e. ACD.) also allow IceLib to be used from Java applications. presence. thus the obvious term “handler. Calendar Access. Once you've chosen the event you wish to handle. which can be used to add communications functionality to any application (see Figure 11).The basic idea of Interaction Designer is that you can choose various types of events and graphically determine how you'd like to handle them.g.NET applications written in C# or Visual Basic. messaging. Email Operations. XML Manipulations. Telephony. the Interaction Center Platform includes a complete application programming interface (API) called IceLib. display incoming calls. Using literally hundreds of available tools like these. and do nearly everything the Interaction Client does. Figure 11. access directories. etc.. Go back to the Figure 10 image of Interaction Designer on the previous page. The IceLib API IceLib comes with comprehensive documentation as well as several example programs. including IP telephony. 19 The Interaction Center Platform® . and others. company directories. emails. initiate recordings. Client-side Customization On the client side. and covers a wide range of the functionality of the Interaction Center Platform. SMS).

which allows the CIC server to track and control the call. since it's just a few TCP/IP command messages that occur mainly when the call changes state. monitored. again without taking up room on the WAN.). Notice how the SIP session (blue dashed line) for an external call connects over the WAN back to a CIC server. If one server fails. The bandwidth-intensive audio traffic never needs to travel over the WAN. while the actual audio traffic (solid red line) can stay within the remote site. or played audio (e. prompts. There can also be multiple data centers for redundancy or greater geographic coverage. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. the other automatically takes over the full load — without dropping currently connected calls. Figure 12. Common CIC multi-site configuration using media servers at the remote site(s) This same approach can be applied to any number of remote locations. This way. Having one or more media servers at the remote site allows calls to be recorded.Uses of the Interaction Center Platform Single-site IP PBX We’ve already seen in the opening Overview of this paper how CIC can be used as a turnkey IP PBX for a single site (refer back to Figure 1). One common multi-site configuration houses the CIC servers in a central data center and places media servers in each remote location (see Figure 12).. however. etc. an organization can just as easily deploy two CIC servers as a cluster for redundancy. 20 The Interaction Center Platform® . the SIP session requires very little bandwidth.g. Multi-site IP PBX CIC can also function as the IP PBX for multiple sites. In that initial example. we showed the deployment consisting of one CIC server. music on hold.

© Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. 21 The Interaction Center Platform® . This architecture can be used to handle many thousands of simultaneous IVR calls. or the Interaction SIP Station device. headsets. and redundancy. In addition to legacy PBXs. call recording. scalability. etc. with or without speech recognition.Speech-enabled IVR CIC can be used purely for speech-enabled interactive voice response (IVR) in conjunction with an existing PBX or IP PBX (see Figure 13). CIC can be used to add contact center and other application functionality to Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM. All of the functionality discussed previously (ACD.) is available. formerly CallManager) and to Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Figure 13. Contact center agents can either use IP phones. IVR. Any number of CIC servers can be deployed in a cluster for load balancing. CIC configuration for speech-enabled IVR Contact Center Solution CIC can be used as a departmental or enterprise contact center solution in conjunction with an existing PBX or IP PBX. or continue to use their existing PBX phones. Figure 14 on the next page illustrates a common configuration with CIC integrated to an existing PBX. A software component called the Proxy Server takes the incoming SIP calls and distributes them evenly across the various CIC servers.

or CIC. Because the media server processes audio functions at higher volumes and with greater durability. By handling all of the audio requirements of CIC.Figure 14. is an integrated suite of applications that exposes the broadest set of features of the Interaction Center Platform. and via a hosted cloud-based contact center service from Interactive Intelligence. and also delivers complete functionality for the contact center.e. the Interaction Media Server (“media server”) appliance makes the CIC server a pure application server and eliminates the need for third-party voice board hardware. VoIP phone system) with a number of advanced features. The Customer Interaction Center product. Common CIC configuration for contact centers. The media server further allows the CIC system to offer location independence and more easily support virtualization. The Interaction Center Platform is fully architected on the SIP standard. shown here integrated to an organization’s existing legacy PBX Summary When Interactive Intelligence created the Interaction Center Platform more than a decade and a half ago. a remote workforce or some combination thereof. © Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.. providing a powerful foundation for Internet Protocol (IP) communications as well as cloud-based communications. it introduced a sophisticated software platform for advanced communications technologies including voice over IP (VoIP). 22 The Interaction Center Platform® . Whether a single site. CIC can function as the unified communications solution for organizations of just about any size. it increases CIC’s reliability and scalability. The CIC software can be installed on a single off-the-shelf server and provide a complete SIP-based IP PBX (i. the options for how to deploy CIC are many. multiple locations. including via a private cloud.