Sramana Mitra: Are there any direct competitors in your cloud-based ACD routing area?
Mike Burkland: We have a few direct competitors. They are typically hybrid companies or hybrid solutions; they are not solely focused on providing cloud-based solution for ACD. One such direct competitor is a company called Interactive Intelligence that started out years ago as an on-premise solution. They still get, I believe, close to 90% of their revenue from their legacy on-premise business. They’ve also come out with a cloud offering, but from a business model and a revenue mix perspective, they’re still predominantly an old model company, if you will.
Sramana Mitra: What is special about cloud-based ACD routing?
Mike Burkland: There are many advantages. I would say number one is the business flexibility that comes with the cloud. It’s the ability to not have to have very large upfront capital expenditures that you would with an on-premise solution. The most elementary advantage is the fact that it gives us the ability to deploy our solution very rapidly for our customers that are scaling their agents and building larger contact centers. We deploy our solution for large enterprise in a matter of days or weeks whereas legacy solutions typically take months and often quarters.
The real core value of ACD functionality is we’re tightly integrated with CRM solutions in almost every large enterprise opportunity. So are the legacy on-premise solutions; however, one of the downfalls of those legacy on-premise solutions is the level of integration. Integration is done at such a low level that most large enterprises will not go through the upgrades on legacy ACD systems, because they would require large professional services efforts to reconnect or reintegrate with their CRM solutions. A real benefit of going to the cloud is you’re able to stay on the most recent technology that we provide. Many of the enterprises for whom we’ve replaced their existing legacy solutions are several legs behind.
Sramana Mitra: In a nutshell, it’s a lot faster and cheaper to roll out what you’re offering on the cloud. That’s the reason why your enterprise customers as well as the higher end of the mid-market are shifting to this model.
Mike Burkland: It’s faster, cheaper, and more flexible. It’s the ability to stay current. We advance our technology on a regular basis. We’re adding new features, functions, and new integration all the time. It’s that ability to stay current with our solution compared to the legacy solutions. They tended to just stay with old versions of those technologies because they are afraid of disintegration.