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Convergence of voice and data in contact centres will help companies reduce costs and improve the customer experience

Stockley Park, London, May 23rd 2001 — Aspect Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: ASPT), the contact centre expert, today announced the Aspect® IP Contact Suite, a suite of pure Internet Protocol (IP)-based contact centre products. The IP Contact Suite will enable businesses to receive, track and respond to all customer communications from voice and data networks over one merged voice and data network.

Aspect’s contact centre platform is for businesses that are ready to benefit from what VoIP can provide for them: reduced infrastructure costs, reduced call charges and improved customer service.

Last year Aspect announced its first enterprise VoIP solution that enabled customers to integrate VoIP into their telephony-based call centres. With the addition of the IP Contact Suite, Aspect now allows companies to add IP capabilities with or without existing contact centres.

According to Sage Research, more than 50 percent of large enterprises have or will deploy VoIP in the next 12 months and nearly 50 percent of small and medium organisations will do the same.

“Until today, the voice and data networks in companies were two separate worlds. Now that technology allows us to merge them into one network, businesses have tremendous opportunities to boost customer service and reduce costs. When we decided to add IP to our contact centre, we chose Aspect because they are the experts at providing multichannel contact centre solutions. Aspect focused on the complex problem of managing contacts from all channels and made it easier with the Aspect Contact Server - and then they simply added IP. Also, they understand how to bring the voice and data worlds together in a way that also allows us to focus our strategy around our customers while remaining an aggressive and competitive business,” said Lloyd Linnell, chief technical officer of Stream International.

“Convergence is here today and smart businesses reap cost savings benefits in the contact centre starting now,” said Paul Tollan, UK Managing Director, Aspect Communications. “Aspect not only has contact centre expertise but can also provide companies with a clear vision of how to translate convergence into pounds by building contact centres that will provide a superior customer experience while reducing operational costs. The customers who have previewed our IP Contact Suite have endorsed it as the VoIP product of choice for the contact centre.”

"There are two areas customers should consider when evaluating an IP solution for the contact centre," said Elizabeth Ussher, Vice President, Convergence, GNS, META Group. "First, the experience of the customer and the agent should be at least equal to what they get with traditional voice today and can become better as companies choose to integrate other channels to enhance the experience. Second, the solution should fully leverage the benefits of convergence and prepare companies to continue doing so into the future." VoIP from Aspect will also enable companies to:

· Eliminate dedicated telephony lines for remote users and sites;

· Rapidly deploy new contact centres without requiring additional telephony ACDs;

· Centrally administer all centres, thereby reducing the administration infrastructure;


· Rapidly deploy new call centres without waiting for new phone lines to be set up;

· Easily integrate other channels and be prepared for powerful, next generation applications such as streaming, personalised video.


About Aspect Communications

Aspect has over 15 years of experience in the contact centre industry - first, with the ACD (automatic call distributor) and today with the contact server for managing all forms of communication. Aspect’s contact server captures all customer contacts from phone, fax, email and Web chat, analyses them, synchronises them and routes them to the most appropriate contact centre agent through a single system. Ensuring that calls are not endlessly rerouted to incorrect agents and that customers do not have to repeat their contact information over and over again, Aspect’s technology provides a pleasant contact centre experience for customers. With over 7,600 customer installations and over 78 percent of the Fortune 50 as customers, Aspect is the logical choice to help companies add IP capabilities to their contact centres. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with offices in major cities around the world. Aspect’s UK offices are based in Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Middx and can be reached on 0800 ASPECT (i.e. 0800 277328), or visit the company’s web site on http://www.aspect.com

For further information, please contact:

Michael Gray/Adrienne Routledge
Gray Associates
Tel: 020 8744 9168
Email: michael@grayassociates.co.uk, or adrienne@grayassociates.co.uk

Stephanie Hazan
Aspect Communications UK Ltd
Tel: 020 8589 1127
Email: Stephanie.hazan@aspect.com


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