SOURCE: Aspect


January 11, 2011 08:00 ET

Aspect Delivers Next-Generation Customer Contact With Launch of Aspect Unified IP 7 Platform

Latest Platform Release Leverages Unified Communications and Collaboration and Provides Features and Flexibility to Meet Rising Consumer Expectations

CHELMSFORD, MA--(Marketwire - January 11, 2011) - Aspect, a leading provider of customer contact and Microsoft platform solutions, today announced the immediate availability of Aspect® Unified IP® 7, the platform that powers Aspect's unified communications applications for customer contact. The release provides significant new functionality that gives contact centers power and control over business workflows, efficient and flexible enterprise-wide administration across multiple locations, high scalability, an intuitive user experience and simplified IT management. It serves as a foundation to deliver next-generation communications for customer service, collections, and sales and telemarketing organizations, while providing for collaboration between the contact center and the rest of the enterprise to improve the overall customer experience.

Aspect Unified IP unites a comprehensive set of customer contact capabilities including inbound routing, outbound dialing, voice self-service, recording, quality monitoring, short message service (SMS), instant messaging (IM), chat, email and real-time and historical reporting.

"With Unified IP 7, Aspect has achieved its vision for a state-of-the-art customer contact solution which truly addresses the needs of next-generation contact centers," said Joe Outlaw, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "Aspect Unified IP 7 leverages unified communications and collaboration technologies and delivers a highly functional, scalable solution with the reliability and richness required by leading enterprises and their mission critical contact centers."

"Aspect Unified IP 7 addresses both the changing landscape of customer contact -- driven by rapid advances in communications and mobility technologies -- and the shift in technology necessary for customer-centric organizations to create rich, multichannel customer contact experiences," said Gary Barnett, chief technology officer, Aspect. "And it is designed to help organizations easily transition to a next-generation, multichannel platform at their own pace while benefiting from cost containment and greater efficiency through collaboration within the contact center and between the contact center and the rest of the enterprise."

Critical New Features Delivered in Aspect Unified IP 7
Contextual Enterprise Routing and Manageability
Contextual enterprise routing of calls between multiple locations and enterprise administration of agents and services allows contact centers to connect their customer to the best skilled resource no matter where they are located across the enterprise. Contextual Enterprise Routing provides customers the ability to centralize their enterprise contact distribution strategies to create a virtual queue across their network of Aspect Unified IP systems and to define dynamic routing rules that increase flexibility and control over inbound contact handling.

Centralized administration across multiple systems and platforms through Unified Command and Control® - Administration provides manageability, improved visibility across the enterprise and facilitates efficient disaster recovery capabilities.

High Availability, Ease of Deployment and Improved Performance
Aspect Unified IP 7 is designed to meet the high demands of mission critical contact centers that require optimum performance for call handling reliability and data integrity and is designed for high availability and redundancy to deliver 99.999 percent reliability. IT administrators will appreciate the simplified footprint, security, and deployment enhancements.

Dynamic Inbound Routing
Dynamic Inbound Routing (Advanced Skills) allows customers to increase flexibility and dynamic control over inbound routing capabilities by providing the ability to use skill requirements for specific business processes combined with real time system performance to automatically select the best skilled resource to handle a customer inquiry. Benefits of this feature include better resource utilization with greater flexibility and the ability to respond to business opportunities with greater agility.

Enhanced Agent Desktop to Support Microsoft Unified Communications and Collaboration
A completely redesigned agent user interface built to enhance agent productivity helps to maximize key strokes, enrich information presentation, minimize footprint, improve workflow, streamline screen pops, and allow for agent personal greetings. The unified agent desktop also allows for unified communications enablement through Microsoft® Lync™, whereby agents can access IM, presence and collaboration capabilities in addition to contact center functions, such as handling non-contact center calls within the same Unified Agent Desktop. Aspect has also further enhanced its "Ask an Expert" functionality, available within the agent desktop, to utilize Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for additional search capabilities across the enterprise. This enhanced agent desktop supports complete workflow scripting that allows for preferred agent routing and multi-case handling and incorporates new multi-line telephony features.

The innovations within the Unified Agent Desktop empower agents to handle the traditional contact center interaction tasks with ease while augmenting the agent workflow experience with fully integrated UC capabilities for true next-generation capabilities.

Improved Notification and Outbound Campaign Management
Customers can deliver consistent proactive contact across multiple channels by utilizing outbound SMS and email strategies, as well as enhance dialing flexibility and improve high availability, footprint and performance. Another key benefit with the latest functionality is callback management which allows administrators to manage their outbound callbacks.

Enterprise Recording and Monitoring via the Quality Management Capabilities
The general availability of Aspect® Quality Management 3.5 meets the recording and quality management needs of contact centers, back-office employees, and knowledge workers. Tightly integrated as part of Aspect Unified IP 7, it eliminates the need for expensive telephony hardware, and enables encrypted software-based recordings resulting in a significantly smaller footprint and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Through the tight integration with Aspect Unified IP, Aspect Quality Management provides rich search capabilities for fast retrieval of recordings and is fully integrated as part of the supervisor's dashboard within Unified Command and Control® - Real-Time Reporting. As a fundamental element of a workforce optimization strategy, Aspect Quality Management allows for automated workflows that send quality scores through workforce management functionality to schedule agent coaching or evaluate agent requests.

Platform Delivers Innovations to Improve and Differentiate Service
"The unified architecture of Aspect Unified IP 7 not only leverages the most advanced unified communications and collaboration capabilities, but drives powerful customer contact applications that will fundamentally improve the customer experience," said Gary Barnett, chief technology officer, Aspect. "This offering will enable our customers to differentiate their services and engage key functional areas of their enterprises in the customer-company contact continuum."

Barnett added, "Aspect Unified IP 7 has several important capabilities that our competitors simply don't have today, including Contextual Enterprise Routing for improved technology and agent resource utilization to enhance customer experience; and Unified Command and Control for improved administrative efficiency across sites and components and enhanced, real-time decision making."

Aspect's unique, tight integration with Microsoft Lync, and the use of Lync presence for the "Ask an Expert" feature improves productivity within contact center, across the enterprise, and with federated partners by unifying presence with contact center applications.

About Aspect
Aspect is a leading provider of customer contact and Microsoft platform solutions. For more information, visit

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Aspect, Unified IP, Unified Command and Control, and Aspect Software are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Aspect Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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