I’ve said before that Interactive PureCloud is the sleeper among these new workstream communications and collaboration (WCC) services. That’s because of Interactive’s willingness to think outside its box. Interactive is one of the very few UC vendors that still has its founder, and founders just see things differently – even if it means starting over which is exactly what Interactive did with PureCloud. PureCloud was a ridiculous gamble that most established vendors would never consider, and it is that combined vision and willingness to gamble that gives it an edge.
Thankfully ININ is a public company and is obligated to provide financial updates – otherwise they’d likely be keeping all of their successes a secret. The financial reporting was fine. Beat guidance, grew revenue 15% to $390.1 million. Recurring cloud revenue was $97.9 million, up 62% for the year.
Not bad, but let’s get to the interesting stuff: PureCloud. Starting this year, Interactive promoted PureCloud from fries to burger and made it a primary offering to its customer engagement market.
- PureCloud is not a traditional giant piece of software, but comprised of 100s of micro-services – each stateless and independently upgraded, tested, and load-balanced. This is indicative of a built-for-cloud architecture. Each service performs specific functions both independent and co-dependent at the same time.
- PureCloud runs within the Amazon cloud infrastructure (AWS). Interactive was the first (perhaps only?) UC/Contact Center aaS provider to use Amazon Web Services, which gives PureCloud a highly reliable, global, and for all practical purposes infinitely scalable infrastructure that it didn’t need to build or fund.
- While Interactive finished 2015 with only two dozen PureCloud customers, it is seeing validation in PureCloud’s value and technology. Within its just two dozen customers, Interactive closed its first million-dollar PureCloud deal. Interactive foresees PureCloud growing in all customer engagement sectors (SMB-large enterprise) globally. Interactive already has customers with 1000s of PureCloud seats deployed.
- Customers are growing and customer sizes are growing, yet the sales cycle is shrinking. Deals are closing within 30 days from initial contact – and deployed even faster.
- Interactive isn’t forcing customers to sign long term agreements on PureCloud. Personally, I think UCaaS agreements should all be month-to-month, or perhaps 90 day mutual cancellation terms to protect the customer. In the cloud era, providers should carry ALL of the risk.
- Interactive claims it now allows organizations to purchase directly from its website – though I can’t tell if this is for end users or channel partners. I only see options for Free Trial and Contact Sales on the website.
- Interactive is also investing to create global inside sales teams.
- Interactive appears to be mostly focused on PureCloud Engage – the contact center feature level. Even though there are two other levels, they seem to use “PureCloud Engage” synonymously with “PureCloud” on their website.
- It was Collaborate/$10, Communicate/$20, and Engage/$100. Interactive now has five levels of PureCloud with three levels of Engage. Engage 1 (basic)/$70, Engage 2 (standard)/$100, and Engage 3 (Advanced)/$130.
- Interactive is making regional infrastructure investments, and brought its total capacity to 1.6 million concurrent PureCloud agents. See related post.
- Interactive Intelligence developed rather than licensed its own technologies for speech recognition, quality monitoring, workforce management, video collaboration, social media monitoring, telco services, and web co-browsing.
- PureCloud’s features are growing:
Core features of the initial offer were: IVR, Skills-based routing, response management, screen recording, speech analytics, and social media routing….
New core features include: group ring, outbound fax, agent scheduling, email routing, response management, screen recording, speech analytics, social media routing….
- PureCloud Voice Services now allow customers to order and provision telco services such as toll-free and DID numbers.
Bottom line is never bet against a proven founder. If you want to learn more about Don Brown, check out this interview from last year.
While this update certainly positions PureCloud strongly for customer engagement, I like PureCloud Collaborate and Communicate for plain ol WCC too. I am curious if they neglected to name any updates to Collaborate or if they just neglected Collaborate. At only $10/user for Collaborate it’s worth checking out for team communications and collaboration. I was excited and intending to use Collaborate myself, but it did not support inter-company usage. As a company of one, PureCloud Collaborate would be useless to me even if it does have the best directory. Interactive stated they were going to fix that, but I never heard if they did.