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Unified communications vendor Intermedia has added contact center software to its cloud portfolio. The move is the latest example of how the markets for UC and contact center technologies are converging.
Intermedia follows the lead of other cloud UC vendors, including RingCentral, Vonage and 8x8, in building or acquiring a contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform. Intermedia's CCaaS software stems from the acquisition of Toronto-based Telax in August.
The Intermedia Contact Center will be available as a stand-alone offering or bundled with Intermedia Unite, a cloud-based suite of calling, messaging and video conferencing applications. Intermedia will sell the offering in three tiers: Express, Pro and Elite.
Express -- sold only as an add-on to Intermedia Unite -- is a basic call routing platform for small businesses. Pro includes more advanced call routing, analytics, and support for additional contact channels, such as chat.
Elite, the most expensive tier, integrates with CRM platforms and includes support for self-service voice bots, outbound notification campaigns and quality assurance monitoring.
Intermedia has already integrated Express with its UC platform. It's planning to do the same for Pro and Elite early next year.
Integrating UC and contact center platforms can save money by letting customer service agents transfer calls outside of the contact center without going through the public telephone network. Plus, communication between agents and others in the organization is more effective when everyone uses the same chat and video apps.
Based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Intermedia sells its technology to small and midsize businesses through 6,600 channel partners. Most of them are managed service providers that brand Intermedia's service as their own.
In addition to UC and contact center, Intermedia offers email archiving and encryption, file backup and sharing systems, and hosted Microsoft email services.
Roughly 1.4 million people across 125,000 businesses use Intermedia's technology. The company, founded in 1995 and now owned by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, said its acquisition of Telax brought annual revenue to around $250 million.
Founded in 1997, Telax sold its CCaaS platform exclusively through service providers, which rebranded it mostly for small and midsize businesses.