In the realm of communication technologies, Interactive Intelligence (ININ) is a small player. Yet, it’s an industry leader known for its innovative “out-of–the-box” call centre solutions, whereas Genesys is a heavy-hitter dominating big contact centres requiring sophisticated tools.

The recent takeover of ININ by Genesys casts light on the immense changes facing communication companies. Companies like Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, ShoreTel and Genesys are struggling to transition their premise based solutions to the cloud. It’s more difficult and requiring more of an investment than expected.

And as these market leaders try to evolve, they’re facing intense competition from new players; players who are not tied down to supporting premise based platforms. This allows new players the time to get ahead while market leaders scramble to transition.

Take ININ for an example. It had a net loss of $13.2 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared with a loss of $3.46 million a year earlier. ININ claimed operating losses in recent quarters as it shifted its business model to the cloud. Interestingly, at the ININ Canadian User Conference last June, ININ demonstrated a strong uptake in their cloud business. It claimed it had won 118 new accounts in only a few short months.

Avaya is also posting operating losses and is considering sale of its assets. Like ININ, Avaya is finding it hard to support their premise based clients as it goes to the cloud too.

What will happen to ININ’s product portfolio?

Well, today we’re told its business as usual until the end of 2016. But, if you’re considering a new call centre platform, the future is definitely less clear.

However, Genesys said “the investment across the entire ININ product portfolio is to support the continued momentum of PureCloud, Cloud Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) and Customer Interaction Center (CIC). And this is in addition to the rich portfolio of products supported and offered by Genesys today.”

My advice

If you’re looking to migrate your systems from Customer Interaction Center (CIC) or another 3rd party platform to PureCloud, hold onto your hat. Tight. And hold onto it for a couple of months to see what actually happens.

To determine how things might end up for Genesys and ININ’s clients, look at Avaya. After Avaya took over Nortel, things didn’t turn out so well for Avaya. Why? Because Nortel’s customers lacked confidence in Avaya’s roadmap to transition their phone systems.

If Genesys is going to succeed, it must, unlike Avaya, layout a clear roadmap for ININ’s clients. Or else it risks following in the footsteps of Avaya. And unless you’re wearing your rose-tinted glasses and drinking scotch, that’s a path which doesn’t look very promising for Avaya right now.

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