IT, New Media & Software

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 17:25

From small seeds grow mighty oaks

{pp}South African companies who bought the vision of a unified, all-software communications platform ten years ago are still reaping the rewards today.

In 1998, a small company entered the South African telcoms space and took on established industry giants with its fresh approach to business communications. Now a global provider of unified IP business communications solutions, Interactive Intelligence’s SA revenue has grown by over 1,000 percent in ten years, and it still services the very first customer it signed in SA.

According to Dave Paulding, Interactive Intelligence’s regional sales manager for UK and Africa, local companies who bought into the solution ten years ago were one of the earliest adopters worldwide. “In those days, the concept of a unified, all-software communications platform was quite new,” he says. “Companies then felt safer buying solutions from the big names like Nortel and Lucent, but today the market has woken up to the possibilities of an all-software solution based on open standards and running on commodity hardware.”

Some local companies, like Interactive Intelligence’s first customer, Eternity Private Health understood the possibilities of an all-in-one solution, and it is still reaping the benefits ten years later. “We could have gone for a solution from the big vendors ten years ago, but Interactive Intelligence’s platform seemed to be what our business needed at the time,” says Les Nel, MD of Eternity Health. “Engaging with a new player in the market was a leap of faith, but it is a decision we have never regretted.” According to Nel, over the past ten years only one hardware upgrade has been necessary, which is quite a feat.

“The flexibility of the solution is unsurpassed, and the ability to scale the solution up or down according to our requirements has been invaluable,” he says. “Over ten years we have grown from three agent seats to over forty agents handling 1 500 calls a day. The platform has been able to grow with us, has significantly enhanced our productivity and we’ve always been able to take advantage of the latest technology offerings.” Paulding says that Eternity was able to take advantage of new technologies like voice over IP (VoIP) almost as soon as they were market-ready. “Because our platform was unified, integrated from the ground up and built on open standards from the start, Interactive Intelligence was possibly the first company to install VoIP systems in SA.” He says that the company has seen a lot of change in SA since it first launched here ten years ago.

“The established industry giants who criticised our product then are now piecing together multi-vendor solutions to present their version of so-called unified communications,” he says. “With the support of our reseller partners, we have sold thousands of systems.

We’ve also made our mark in 18 countries in Africa and will continue to explore opportunities on the continent. We welcome the changing telecommunication landscape in SA and hope that competition will encourage further growth in the local IT market.” About Interactive Intelligence Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of unified business communications solutions for contact center automation, enterprise IP telephony, and enterprise messaging.

The company was founded in 1994 and has more than 3,000 customers worldwide. Interactive Intelligence is among the top 500 global software and services suppliers, and is ranked among the top 200 North American networking vendors.

The company employs approximately 600 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has six global corporate offices, with additional sales offices throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; on the Net: .

Contact Information:
Editorial contact
Interactive Intelligence
Dave Paulding
Regional Sales Manager, UK & Africa UK
Office: +44 20 8867 3676
SA Mobile: 072 737 5216
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Red Ribbon Communications
Elanza Mouton
Tel: 022 433 4800
Cell: 072 469 4759
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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