Make no mistake, Interactive Intelligence Group means to grow – but judging from comments made by the communications-technology company’s chief executive at its user and partner conference last week, that growth will have as much to do with patching product-portfolio holes as tackling new markets.
“We’ve let ourselves get a little bit thin in certain areas,” said company co-founder and CEO Don Brown, in a session with media, consultants and analysts during Interactions 2012, held in Indianapolis from June 4 to 7. He pointed out that Interactive’s workforce automation technology, for instance, isn’t on par with products from other communications-software companies; some of them have been providing that functionality for 20 years already, and Interactive is playing catch-up in terms of functionality.
In order to shore up workforce automation – and other areas where Interactive lags – the company is keeping its collective eyes peeled for technology firms that it might acquire to fill the gaps, Brown said.
The company also aims to make its products more feature-rich. As Brown put it, although Interactive currently operates a professional services division, “we’d like to drive it out of business by building the functionality into the product.”
Speaking about the company’s relationship with value-added resellers and other channel partners, Brown said Interactive wholeheartedly expects to continue meeting requests from certain customers for direct contact. While the company does operate a partner program and works alongside VARs that offer installation, configuration and maintenance services, Interactive also bypasses that channel for specific clients that would rather buy from and work with the vendor directly.