Interactive Intelligence Appliance Boosts VoIP Calling Features

Interactive Intelligence has released its second-generation session initiation protocol (SIP) Interaction Gateway, an appliance that enables connections between traditional T1 and E1 trunk lines and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks. The new version includes support for global protocols, fax support and a more scalable eight-span model that can support 1,000 or more users.

Despite the improvements, the Interaction Gateway’s core design principle — simplicity — has remained the same, Product Manager Matt Taylor told CRM Buyer.

“The focus of the gateway has always been simplicity of use,” he said. “When we first introduced the Gateway, we were targeting those customers that had challenges trying to get other gateways (developed by competing vendors) set up.”

Global Support

In addition to the North American digital trunk support in the first iteration of the product, the second-generation Interaction Gateway supports international protocols such as E1/EuroISDN and E1/QSIG. The company is seeking certification for the Interaction Gateway to telephony, safety, emissions and packaging standards throughout most countries worldwide, including all European Union countries.

The Interaction Gateway is also now offered in a four-span and eight-span model, which gives companies greater flexibility in scale to support 1,000 or more users depending on applications deployed and interaction volume.

Filling a Need

The company decided to build and market its own product when it realized that its customers were having difficulty using gateways with outbound dialing applications, Yankee Group analyst Ken Landoline told CRM Buyer.

Contact centers that would like their outbound dialing systems to recognize answering machines, for example, could benefit from the latest release.

Nothing is comparable in terms of simplicity on the market, according to Landoline, which makes it especially appealing to its base small and medium-sized business (SMB) user group.

“By making it part of the company’s unified communications platform, customers can just plug it into the network using a USB key for deployment, then configure it using an intuitive, browser-based interface,” he said.

Moving Upstream

As a larger corporate strategy, the company is trying to move its product line upstream to target enterprise users, Landoline noted.

Interaction Gateway meets the needs of enterprise users as well as SMBs, said Donald E. Brown, Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO.

“We designed our second-generation gateway to expand availability internationally, and to provide additional protocol and feature support with the large enterprise in mind,” he said.

There is still a lot of room for growth among the company’s core SMB clientele, Landoline added. The company is continuing to address customer needs with point products that tighten interoperability with Microsoft products.

For instance, Interactive Intelligence just released a new standalone Interaction Message Indicator application that monitors Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging mailboxes. It alerts users of new voicemail messages via a light on their desktop phones. Interaction Message Indicator can work with existing third-party phone systems.

It also offers a Web-based interface that guides users through set-up, administration, monitoring and reporting. The Interactive Intelligence Interaction Message Indicator will be generally available in the third quarter of 2007.

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