How Interactive Intelligence Inc. Used ExpertusONE To Achieve Partner Training Excellence

How Interactive Intelligence Inc. Used ExpertusONE To Achieve Partner Training Excellence
Summary: Interactive Intelligence Inc. holds a world’s first. It was the first company to build a self-service certification program using the ExpertusONE LMS to let partners learn at their own pace, when and where it’s most convenient. In this article, I’ll present how Interactive Intelligence used the ExpertusONE LMS to build an exceptional partner training program.

Important Facts About Interactive Intelligence And Its Partner Training Program

Interactive Intelligence Inc. already had a core set of partners successfully selling their on-premises CIC and hosted CaaS products. Now launching their first cloud-based product, PureCloud, they needed to overhaul their partner training program. The free eBook LMS Buyer’s Kit by Expertus provides a thorough presentation of how the ExpertusONE LMS platform can be used to create a remarkable partner training program.

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The Challenge

Interactive Intelligence needed to quickly educate partners on their new cloud product for successful implementations and support. They also needed to rally partners to sell PureCloud. What's more, they had to find an LMS solution that supports the rapid iteration of a cloud product. That LMS should additionally offer self-service and automated training plans.

Because Interactive Intelligence recognized PureCloud as the future of their business, they needed to ensure partner effectiveness. The best way to achieve that was through a fast, yet intensive partner training certification program. It was Interactive Intelligence’s goal to recruit customers. They then had to pass them off to partners that had met their PureCloud certification and enablement requirements.

“Basically, we wanted to make them as autonomous as possible. We wanted to enable them to implement and support PureCloud with minimal vendor assistance”, stated Lori Worland, Director of Operations, Education & Product Adoption, Interactive Intelligence. “This would save Interactive Intelligence time and money and speed the adoption of PureCloud”.

This partner training and certification program was unique and innovative. Interactive Intelligence already had numerous certification programs for partners and customers. However, this was the first to be offered as self-service.

One main reason for the self-service delivery was PureCloud’s rapid development cycles. Unlike with Interactive Intelligence’s on-premises products, a cloud model requires weekly, sometimes daily, updates. The best way to effectively communicate these changes in certifying partners was through a a delivery platform. The platform should accommodate rapid content changes.

“We quickly realized that the in-person model for delivering certification training was not going to be feasible for a cloud product,” commented Worland. “The self-paced model, however, allowed us to adopt any changes into our training as soon as they happened”.


Interactive Intelligence chose to offer a self-service training model that responds to their partner channel’s training needs. To support the program’s self-service delivery, the company chose the modern, cloud-based ExpertusONE LMS. The LMS could support learning with flexibility and control. ExpertusONE also offered progress visibility to all stakeholders and created a positive learning experience.

The selection process was not easy, and this is what this LMS Buyer’s Kit eBook will cover. Interactive Intelligence Inc. rebranded ExpertusONE as “Interactive University”. They then created a PureCloud core learning plan comprised of four mandatory courses, each with multiple modules. Entirely self-paced, the program takes an estimated 17 hours to complete. Once an individual completes the learning plan, he or she can request a voucher to take the exam.

Exam data is entered into the ExpertusONE LMS platform. Interactive Intelligence and the partners themselves have full reporting visibility into partner outcomes. This helps Worland and her team continually improve the program’s success and helps Interactive Intelligence’s partners monitor their teams’ progress.

A Focus On Partner And Customer Success Through Partner Training Content

For the PureCloud introduction, Interactive Intelligence set out to determine what type of training its partners and its customers needed to be successful in.

In their past, for their well-established, on-premises products, the company worked closely with partners to gather feedback and suggestions for ongoing course adjustments. But since PureCloud was a new cloud product that would change continuously, they needed to find another way to ensure the product training’s effectiveness.

“Ultimately, we became very involved with PureCloud’s development, product management and implementation teams”, said Worland. “We worked with them hand in hand to determine what key features to cover, and precisely what our partners would need to know to successfully implement and support the product”.

Interactive Intelligence spent one year to develop PureCloud core learning plan’s courses based on input from their internal teams. Then they moved on to program design which the free LMS Buyer’s Kit eBook will cover as well.

Convenient, Intuitive And Engaging Program Design

Interactive Intelligence tried to utilize every available tool to make their learning engaging and “sticky”. Their solution was to create a self-service program with a built-in Articulate Storyline, supported by multiple quizzes, videos, voiceovers, PDFs, links to step-by-step instructions in the Resource Center and games.

The PureCloud core learning plan’s quizzes, offered in several different formats, are a big hit since they allow learners to assess their knowledge without feeling like they’re taking a test. Interactive Intelligence also added interactive puzzles, scenarios and simulations to keep their partner training program’s content fresh and entertaining.

After completing the program design, the company invited selected partners and customers to take the training in advance to make sure it was helpful and entertaining. Then, they used this information to optimize it.

Self-Service Delivery Empowered By A Modern LMS

As mentioned earlier, Interactive Intelligence determined that using a self-service delivery model was the optimal way to rollout their partner training program quickly and to keep up with ongoing product updates. They then selected an LMS that could best support their self-service program. One that could reach and engage external learning audiences, scale on-demand and provide an intuitive user experience, in addition to supporting their internal training needs. The ExpertusONE LMS platform fit the bill.

To ensure training retention, they decided to crystalize learning with one final step. The final step was to have certified partners shadow the Interactive Intelligence implementation team to experience a real-life implementation before they began servicing customers.


Even though it’s still in the early stages of the PureCloud program’s launch, Interactive Intelligence has already scored tremendous success in achieving their primary goal, which was to get partners certified.

In just 3 months, 81 partner participants completed the certification training and 189 enrolled. This means Interactive Intelligence will undoubtedly meet their yearend goal of bringing on 40 new partner organizations, each with two certified people, well ahead of schedule.

Prior to PureCloud, partners had to go through two weeks of partner training to implement and support Interactive Intelligence products. Now, in 17 hours or less, they can get a full certification, when and where it’s most convenient.

Lessons Learned

Worland says that they’re still learning because their program was recently launched. However, one lesson learned is to provide training in a guided curriculum versus independent catalog course listings.

To create this curriculum, Lori and her team used ExpertusONE’s built-in curriculum management capabilities that allowed them to create a curriculum storyline. The ExpertusONE LMS also helped them to offer contextualized training plans, set course sequencing and even flag courses for targeted learning groups as Mandatory or Optional.

As for other learning organizations planning to do a similar self-service program, Worland offered two tips. First, it’s good to create learning in small chunks and incorporate as many learning modes as possible to fully optimize and reinforce learning. Second, when creating a partner training program, it is vital that SMEs, product managers, implementation and support engineers, as well as developers, are engaged in the creation of the content and the exam questions. This ensures that the important product features and functionality are correctly captured in the training.

Partner channels are an important part of every company’s enterprise.  Interactive Intelligence Inc. took advantage of ExpertusONE’s innovation, functionality and customization to devise a highly effective partner training program.

Download the free eBook LMS Buyer's Kit to read the complete Interactive Intelligence partner training program case study. You’ll also get informed on important questions to help you analyze your company’s LMS selection needs. The LMS Buyer’s Kit will even educate you on criteria that will help you select the best LMS software provider for your organization.