SOURCE: Aspect Software

March 05, 2007 08:00 ET

Aspect Software and Microsoft Form Alliance to Offer Cost-Effective Speech Solution

Allows Small and Midsize Contact Centers to Take Advantage of the Value of Unified IP Contact Center Solutions and Improve Interactions With Customers

WESTFORD, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 5, 2007 -- Aspect Software Inc., the world's largest company focused solely on the contact center, today announced an alliance to deliver a solution targeted at small and midsize contact centers. The initiative will provide Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 Speech Server as an embedded component of the Aspect® Unified IP™ product. This offering is designed to allow organizations to enjoy the benefits of high-end speech self-service features at a positive price point, and to leverage the reduced complexity of the unified solution while having greater control and increased contact center functionality.

"Small and midsize contact centers face unique challenges, and they need applications that will specifically address their distinct requirements," said Mike Sheridan, senior vice president of strategy at Aspect Software. "Most importantly, they don't want to sacrifice functionality; they want the full array of capabilities, just as large contact centers do. Working with Microsoft is allowing us to bring a solution to market that incorporates a full set of high-end features that supports these organizations' customer contact strategies, including a fully featured speech capability."

Aspect Unified IP incorporates an automatic call distributor, a voice portal, quality management, a predictive dialer and Internet connection in a single application. It also provides unified reporting, routing and administration functionality, and hosted capabilities with multi-tenancy, while running on the customer's transport of choice: either voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) or time-division multiplexing (TDM).

Speech Server (2007) is Microsoft's Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.0-certified speech and telephony platform and provides the tools, run-time environment, and state-of-the-art speech and telephony services needed for speech-enabled telephony applications on a single, integrated platform. Speech Server (2007) helps reduce the complexity and cost of building, deploying and maintaining speech-enabled applications for customer self-service applications, as well as outbound notification services.

The combined offering of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Speech Server and Aspect Unified IP 6.5, scheduled for release in July 2007, will help allow companies in the small and midsize contact center market to easily automate customer self-service calls, reduce time call-center agents spend on calls, improve customer interactions and add speech capabilities to line-of-business applications.

The offering from Aspect Software and Microsoft is designed to address the needs of this market by doing the following:

--  Embedding speech as a core capability of Aspect Unified IP
--  Reducing the complexity and time frame of implementation
--  Providing a state-of-the-art platform at very attractive price points,
    enabling contact centers to leverage the benefits of speech recognition at
    a very low cost compared with alternatives
    
In addition, because the capabilities are based on standards such as VoiceXML, the components of the speech applications can be reused, making them easily adaptable for new functionality. Microsoft is the platinum sponsor at the Aspect Customer Experience user conference this week in Las Vegas, Nev. During the conference, Microsoft representatives will host two sessions to educate Aspect Software customers on the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Speech Server and Aspect® Unified IP™ 6.5 solution.

About Aspect Software

Aspect Software, Inc. founded the contact center industry and is now the world's largest company solely focused on Internet Protocol (IP) and traditional voice-based products and services for customer service, collections, and sales and telemarketing business processes. Each day, Aspect Software powers more than 125 million customer-company interactions at thousands of in-house and outsourced contact centers around the globe. Its trusted Signature product line offers automatic call distributors (ACDs), dialers, voice portals and computer telephony integration (CTI). The company's leading Contact Center Performance Optimization product line provides workforce management, quality management, performance management and campaign management applications. And, its pioneering Unified IP Contact Center product line delivers a comprehensive, multichannel solution. Headquartered in Westford, Mass., Aspect Software has operations across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.

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