Interactive Intelligence Unveils SIP-Compliant Dialer For Call Centers

Interaction Dialer 2.4 is the industry's first dialer component that complies with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), a popular standard for VoIP technologies, said Joseph Staples, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Interactive Intelligence.

The Indianapolis-based company makes modular Wintel-based call center technology that covers a range of tasks, including interactive voice response (IVR), soft phone and reporting capabilities. Its modular approach contrasts with pricier, dedicated hardware-software offerings from companies such as Cisco Systems. And true to its Wintel roots, Interactive Intelligence focuses on ease of use and a good user experience, channel partners said.

Gia McNutt, president of Special Order Systems, a Rocklin, Calif.-based solution provider, said the dialer, which call centers and direct marketers use to blast out calls to customers, gets rid of that "disgusting pause" -- the time lag between when a customer picks up and a live customer-service rep or marketer comes on the line.

McNutt said dialers can help businesses and nonprofit organizations vastly improve their completed call rates. In the case of one not-for-profit customer, its 10 agents will be able to service its entire donor and prospective donor population two to three times more efficiently than in the past, according to McNutt.

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"In this case, if a donor misses their donation, the organization has found that if they contact that donor within 30 days, the retention rate is 80 percent vs. 10 percent," she said, adding that the dialer will ease and streamline those outbound calls.

Brian Holdampf, president of Adapt Telephony Services, a Chicago-based solution provider, said the dialer is a big step forward. His company uses and sells the product. The major selling point is that since so many customers have gone to VoIP, the dialer helps those with geographically dispersed staffs to better serve customers, he said.

"We have 35 people serving all of North America, working with credit unions and call centers. Half are in Chicago, and half are remote. I can support them all and offer four-hour response times anywhere in the world," Holdampf said.

Interactive Intelligence has blazed the trail in putting call center technology on Windows and commodity hardware, he added. "It drops the hardware costs and lets us better serve customers," he said.

The dialer and interaction gateway cost between $1,900 and $2,300 per seat, according to Interactive Intelligence.