Aspect Software has updated its product portfolio adding six new unified communication (UC) applications for contact centres. The UC applications utilise the capabilities of the company’s platform products – Aspect Unified IP and PerformanceEdge, which are based on Microsoft.Net Web services.

Aspect Unified IP also provides session initiation protocol (SIP)-based voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities which provide organisations with a common platform to allow computer hardware and software to easily interoperate.
Standards like SIP are particularly valuable to contact centres because they deliver increased compatibility between components, enabling true interoperability. Because of the flexibility that SIP provides, it empowers businesses and contact centres to make better technology investments that fit into wide-ranging budgets and avoid being locked into high-cost, inflexible proprietary technologies.
According to Henry McCracken, regional sales director: Africa at Aspect Software, standards-based software can help ensure interoperability with UC applications like presence engines, unified messaging, instant messaging, conference calling and contact centre capabilities, increasing the likelihood of a more successful UC deployment.
“What’s more, SIP applications can enable contact centres to more easily ‘mix and match’ equipment and applications from multiple vendors making previous technology investments more cost effective – very important when every budget Rand is hard to come by,” he says.
The new UC applications for the contact centre leverage standards-based software to target specific customer service, collections and sales business processes by bringing together a specific set of product capabilities. The UC applications recently announced by Aspect include:
* Seamless Customer Service – delivers the tools needed for comprehensive call response, including coordinated self-service/live service and integrated assistance to improve first call resolution and enhance the overall customer experience.
* Blended Interaction – provides inbound, outbound, self service and workforce optimisation capabilities.
* Streamlined Collections – automates early stage collections and enables expert agent engagement for a more effective delinquent account targeting strategy so contact centres can get more promises to pay faster, reduce servicing costs and write-offs, and improve collections results.
* Optimised Collections – utilises performance, workforce and campaign management to enhance contact and calling strategies by applying the right resources at the right times to increase right party contacts, lower staffing costs and improve collector effectiveness and collections results.
* Productive Workforce – delivers the tools and processes to help companies optimise resource utilisation and adopt a continuous improvement culture. By motivating agents throughout their workforce lifecycle, contact centres can service more customers with fewer agents, reduce customer interaction costs and improve customer service, sales and collections results.
* Productive Workforce for Aspect eWorkforce Management – delivers the tools and processes to help Aspect eWorkforce Management users optimise resource utilisation and adopt a continuous improvement culture.
UC applications leverage a software-based UC architecture, designed to help companies reduce communications silos while leveraging presence for specific customer-facing business processes. For example, Seamless Customer Service offers contact centre managers comprehensive control and visibility over the customer experience as they traverse from self-service to live agent assistance and extends the interaction to the enterprise, as necessary, with the Ask an Expert capability powered by Microsoft Unified Communications.
“The UC applications were designed with a specific purpose in mind to help organisations improve particular business processes such as customer service, sales and collections, while at the same time reducing ongoing expenses,” explains McCracken. “Because they use targeted software capabilities, they empower business users to manage and change the system dynamically and help free up IT for other projects. These offerings, coupled with Aspect’s UC Services practice, deliver a true unified communications solutions portfolio of software and services.”