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COLA Uses Interactive Intelligence IP Communications Software to Support Work-at-Home Staff During Temporary Office Closure
|By Business Wire
|July 24, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
COLA, a clinical lab education, consultation and accreditation
organization, redeployed its entire staff of 80 employees to work at
home during a four-month office remodel using the remote agent
capabilities of Interactive Intelligence Group Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ININ) all-in-one
IP communications software suite.
The software suite, Customer
Interaction Center™ (CIC), includes remote support
capabilities that enable work-at-home employees to access the same
communications applications as their onsite colleagues using an Internet
connection and standard phone. In addition, managers can monitor remote
employees in real-time and access reports about their activity and
“I’ve been managing communications for many years and I’ve never been a
part of anything as impressive as this,” said COLA’s director of network
services, Larry Senior. “We made one tiny change to our employees’ login
procedure and everything else was exactly the same – no hardware to
install or complex configuration changes to make. Incredible!”
Also to its surprise, COLA found that key business metrics held steady
or even improved during the office remodel. “Sales actually hit record
levels while our employees telecommuted,” Senior said. “Customer
satisfaction also held steady, and in some cases even improved.”
One of the keys to COLA’s success was CIC’s ability to show presence
information for every employee. “CIC enabled our remote employees to see
the precise status of every coworker – whether they were ‘Available,’
‘On the Phone,’ ‘At Lunch,’ and so on – so they could avoid blind
transfers, thus getting calls to the right person more quickly,” Senior
Senior cites other benefits of CIC’s remote support capabilities. “We
had one employee working from home when his broadband went down,” he
said. “He simply drove to a nearby hotel and worked from the lobby that
day. He didn’t call us, because he didn’t need to. The whole event was
invisible to callers and colleagues.”
The process went so smoothly that COLA has decided to keep some staff
remote, according to Senior. “Ironically, some of the employees that
were most apprehensive about working from home are now asking if they
can continue to telecommute,” he said. “We’ve allowed many to do just
that because our performance metrics during the remodel were so
positive. Plus, we save money on reduced office space. It’s been a real
COLA’s decision mirrors moves many companies are making to initiate or
expand work-at-home programs. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports
that almost one in 10 employees now work from home at least part time.
Still, some companies have concerns about telecommuting despite the
growing demand from employees.
According to Senior, while COLA had similar trepidations, the
work-at-home experience was a real eye-opener. “Like a lot of companies,
we had apprehensions ranging from breaches in security and technical
complications, to a loss of visibility into performance,” he said. “But
with the right technology and processes in place, we’re now a firm
believer in the benefits a work-at-home program offers to both employers
Today, COLA uses CIC to support its entire workforce of onsite and
work-at-home employees, all of whom have access to CIC features such as
automatic call distribution, unified messaging, voice mail, desktop
faxing, conferencing, and more.
COLA accredits nearly 8,000 medical laboratories
and provides the clinical laboratory with a program of education,
consultation and accreditation. The organization is an independent,
non-profit accreditor whose education program and standards enable
clinical laboratories and staff to meet U.S. CLIA and other regulatory
requirements. For more information, visit www.COLA.org.
About Interactive Intelligence
Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of software and services
designed to improve the customer experience. The company’s 6,000-plus
customers worldwide have benefitted from its cloud and on-premises
solutions for contact center, unified communications, and business
process automation. Interactive Intelligence is among Software
Magazine’s 2013 Top 500 Global Software and Service Providers, and has
received a Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award for the last five
consecutive years. In addition, Glassdoor honored Interactive
Intelligence with its 2014 Employees’ Choice Award as one of the Best
Places to Work in the U.S., and Mashable ranked Interactive Intelligence
second on its 2014 list of the Seven Best Tech Companies to Work For.
The company was founded in 1994 and employs more than 1,900 people
worldwide. Interactive Intelligence is headquartered in Indianapolis,
Indiana and has offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe,
Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. It can be reached at +1
317.872.3000 or [email protected]. Visit
Interactive Intelligence on the Web at www.inin.com;
on Twitter at www.inin.com/twitter;
on Facebook at www.inin.com/facebook;
or on LinkedIn at www.inin.com/linkedin.
Interactive Intelligence is the owner of the marks INTERACTIVE
INTELLIGENCE, its associated LOGO and numerous other marks. All other
trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their
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