Intelepeer Executive Interview
Ujjval Karihaloo, SVP Product Management, Intelepeer
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IntelePeer Delivers an Omnichannel Communications Platform that Enables Enterprises to Improve CX via Enhanced Business Processes
As enterprise organizations endeavor to evolve to the higher
level of service demanded by customers in the emerging post-Covid environment,
they seek to offer more choices to enable people to better communicate with
them on the channels they prefer. This includes not only providing the ability
to seamlessly transition between SMS. chat, voice, and social media, but
employing AI, analytics, and intelligent automation to ensure higher customer
satisfaction levels. This in turn can drive lower operating costs and increased
Business communications specialist IntelePeer has a nearly
two-decade history of delivering innovative solutions to build and integrate communications-enabled
workflows to create superior customer
experiences and improve business processes through automation.
IntelePeer was one of the numerous suppliers scheduled to
exhibit at Enterprise Connect in September before the live event was converted
to a virtual one. CrmXchange Managing Partner Sheri Greenhaus caught up with Ujjval
Karihaloo, SVP Product Management, IntelePeer for an in-depth conversation on
the directions they are taking and how the company plans to engage potential
Our product is categorized as a CPaaS (Communication Platform
as a Service) built for the enterprise which enables our customers in
healthcare, finance, insurance, banks, transportation, logistics and other
verticals to provide a better CX for their customers. Our solution helps customer-facing
personnel better engage with users: our platform facilitates the customer
Here is an example of how we can help provide end-to-end
communications through our platform: if you are on a chat session with a bank
customer service rep, our platform enables that interaction. If you need to escalate
the chat to voice, or on the back end, a rep sees an upsell opportunity to be
transferred to sales, that would happen on our platform as well. If a call goes
to sales, the business can dip into the database and through skills-based
routing ensure that the customer is talking to the right person. Should the system detect that the customer is
speaking Spanish, it will route them to a Spanish-speaking sales agent.
Does your System enable the chat product?
Our platform is multi-tenant, so if it recognizes a SMS
interaction as coming to a specific bank, they will have a path built in to get
back to that customer with 50 to 100 pre-programmed responses from chatbots. If
there is a need to escalate to voice, our platform handles that as well.
It recognizes SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and more…all
these multiple omnichannel applications that we combine in one workflow. We are
evolving with web service so our customers can have chat embedded into their
website. They can easily go from one channel to another. It’s more than just
being a traffic facilitator. The platform has a backend that offers powerful
analytics to determine and report which channels are being used most
frequently. It can tell the company that a far higher percentage of
interactions are coming on the SMS channel and suggest they add capacity in
The platform also offers integration to third-party systems
that customers use such as appointment confirmation and payment processing. An
example can be a patient that has just had a dental appointment reminder sent
to them via SMS, then a confirmation they are coming. After the appointment, an
invoice is generated and, if pre-approve billed on the credit card by making a
quick phone call.
This helps resolve two of the most common problems in
healthcare: patients don’t show and second that no one pays on time. However,
once a healthcare organization has both these applications built into a
business workflow, some have reported revenue increasing by as much as 120% and
more with these solutions.
How does your platform integrate with other systems?
We offer both SMS and email notifications and can even do a
voice call that can be pre-programmed into the system. We can integrate just as
easily with Salesforce, Zendesk or a company’s custom database. We have a
value-added managed services team that helps facilitate the integration with
custom databases while we can obviously do the cookie-cutter integrations with
established programs. As long as they have an API that we can connect with, we
can call it and pull their data, then parse it on our platform.
We can help businesses enable payments through loyalty
programs or points through a credit card. We can provide different logistics
for different workflows. If it’s simple and straightforward, the customer can
do it themselves. If it’s more complex, our managed services team will step
How personalized can each connection be?
Each individual interaction can be customized. When someone
calls in or sends in an SMS, we have their number, so the agent can respond
with a personal greeting. This is being projected on what we call “Agent
Assist”. The agent will not only know who is calling but will also see what
issues the person has previously had. They will have a ticket number from the
previous call and a summary of the interaction all on their desktops, so the
agent can either continue resolving previous issues, or create a new ticket if the
customer is calling about new. The customer’s data is updated through our
system. We have companies using our
platform to make online travel reservations.
When a person makes a reservation, that person can be updated to being a
new customer or recategorized as an existing one.
What are some of the best uses for your platform?
The most prevalent uses for our solution are appointment
reminders and payment processing. Because
the product is so flexible, we are building what we call a ‘solution-based summaries’
to highlight the most common applications. Two-factor authentication—ensuring
that a customer is who they claim to be -- is also a frequent use. We also
offer an application called “How Can I Help You?” It offers a library of 100
responses that can be used by chatbots to resolve common issues. Since the
responses are AI-driven, they are constantly being enhanced by machine
learning. Our solution is cloud-agnostic. We use IBM as well as Google machine learning
to flag new issues that come up to add the appropriate responses for them. They
map what is called an ‘utterance’ to determine an intent. In every vertical we
serve we find intents that do not match what we have and determine ‘are they
relevant?’ and if so, we flag and add them to the library. By learning what
affect one customer, we can help our others as well. We also have a manual
process that we can advise different customers of new common issues.
What are some of the main reasons why clients chose you?
One of the main reasons that potential clients seek us out
is for customer interactions. These organizations want to make them more
efficient and reduce cost…not necessarily the cost of agents, but addressing customer
contact efficiency, which is how long customers must wait to get their
questions resolved. Another common reason for seeking us out is implementing automation
to handle some rote tasks such as automatic payment. Basically, the motivation to work with us is
anything that can improve customer interactions, improve customer satisfaction,
or significantly increase revenue.
If we were at a live conference, why would someone stop by
We would try to determine their needs - are they trying to implement
better workflows, increase customer engagement, or is there an area of sales or
support where they would like to improve? Are they interested in what AI can do
for them? Have they thought about giving agents more time to handle higher
value interactions by automating routine tasks? These are the kind of questions
we would ask to get to know potential customers better to guide them to the
What makes Intelepeer different?
Our automation workflows offer time to value. If you were
going to build it on another platform, it would take three to four months to
build it from scratch. We offer advanced managed services that make it as
little as a month and provide greater ROI.