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Stockley Park, London, 10 October 2001 - Aspect Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: ASPT), the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue, announces today that it has entered into an agreement with Opal Telecom, one of the most innovative providers of telecommunications services to the business community in the UK. The collaboration will allow the development of intelligent routing and contact centre services enabled by the Aspect Contact Server and the Aspect IP Contact Suite. The services will be delivered over Opal Telecom’s state of the art network.


The collaboration will focus on two key opportunities:


The development of a range of network-based customer call routing services that enable customer service operations to influence the routing of calls in real time. This capability could be used, for example, to determine what service level a customer is entitled to based on information held on a customer database. The network-based services will be delivered via the Opal Telecom network, and facilitated by the Aspect Contact Server. The two companies believe this will create a potentially cheaper, more feature-rich service offering for customer contact centre operators than is available on the market today, regardless of what ACD platform they are deploying (Aspect, Avaya, Nortel etc.).


The development of a range of multichannel customer contact centre services to be delivered on an Application Service Provider (ASP) basis by Opal Telecom and facilitated by Aspect's new IP Contact Suite. These new services will enable Opal to provide a complete hosted service to its customers across all layers of the CRM stack (i.e. including the management of all customer contacts via voice, web, email etc. and CRM database applications). Opal's customers will hence be able to add additional seats and media channels into their contact centres extremely easily, gaining the significant benefits of VoIP (in terms of cost of ownership and powerful new applications) without the risk of managing a VoIP network.


"Aspect is a leading supplier of Call Centre applications. Together with Opal's range of network based Call Centre services, customers can expect a new range of functionality at reasonable cost," said Neil McArthur, Chief Operating Officer of Opal. "Integrating Aspect's advanced features with Opal's network call control will set new expectations of functionality and cost in this market."


“To date, the Aspect Communications name has been synonymous with best-in-class CRM solutions for the enterprise” says Stefan Fafinski, Director of Advanced Technology at Aspect Communications UK. “With this announcement, Aspect is taking its considerable experience and technical know-how into the public network space to enable best-in-class services across Opal Telecom’s state-of-the-art VoIP network. For the first time, customers will have the choice of whether to build a state-of-the-art contact centre solution in house or to buy in those services from a world class service provider.”



About the Aspect Contact Server


Aspect’s contact server is the foundation upon which integrated, multichannel contact centers are built. The software connects all contacts, regardless of the communications channel customers choose to use, to the correct company resource on first contact and pulls together all relevant information from throughout the enterprise for enabling quick resolutions via live or self-service.


About the Aspect IP Contact Suite

The IP Contact Suite from Aspect Communications is a complete IP-based solution for multichannel contact centres in a single, integrated software suite. The product enables companies to capture all customer contacts from phone, email and Web interactions, analyse them, and route them to the most appropriate agent. Customers can even apply a single set of user-defined business rules to optimise contact handling. The IP Contact Suite provides a totally IP-based solution for companies building a customer service operation from scratch on a green field site - or can integrate with existing PBXs and IP networks to compliment existing IT and telecom infrastructures.



About Aspect Communications


Aspect Communications Corporation is the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue. Aspect is the trusted mission-critical partner of 76 percent of the Fortune 50, daily managing more than three million customer sales and service professionals worldwide. Aspect is the only company that provides the mission-critical software platform, development environment and applications that seamlessly integrate voice-over-IP, traditional telephony, email, voicemail, Web, fax and wireless business communications, while guaranteeing investment protection in a company’s front-office, back-office, Internet and telephony infrastructures. Aspect’s leadership in business communications solutions is based on more than 16 years of experience and over 7,600 implementations deployed worldwide. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, US with offices around the world, as well as an extensive global network of systems integrators, independent software vendors and distribution partners.


Aspect’s UK office is based in Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Middlesex, and can be reached on 0800 ASPECT (i.e. 0800 277328) or visit the company’s web site at http://www.aspect.com



About Opal Telecom

Opal Telecommunications was formed in 1995 in Manchester as a new player in the growing business communications market. From the outset Opal focused on developing advanced telecom services software, with products built for the “intelligent network”, such as interactive voice response, billing and internet computer platforms.

As the company grew, a partner was sought to help exploit its massive growth potential. In 1997 a partnership was formed with Martin Dawes Telecommunications (MDT), Europe’s largest independent mobile phone service provider.

The immediate success of the partnership led to the formation of a joint venture - Core Telecommunications - which was established in July 1997 and became the focus of multi-million pound investment from both companies. Martin Dawes business communications (MDbc), the fixed line division of MDT, continued its partnership with Opal following the sale of the MDT mobile operation to BT Cellnet for £130m in March 1999. Following the success of the partnership, Opal merged with MDbc, in January 2000, to form a single company, Opal Telecom.

Opal Telecom is already a leading UK licensed Public Telephone Operator and boasts an impressive portfolio of products, all geared to meet the specific needs of business customers. These include inbound and outbound telephone services, a range of internet products, and the latest in data-protection applications.



For information:

Adrienne Routledge/Michael Gray
Gray Associates
Tel: 020 8 744 9168
Email: Adrienne@grayassociates.co.uk; michael@grayassociates.co.uk

Stephanie Hazan
Aspect Communications
Tel: 020 8 589 1000
Email: Stephanie.hazan@aspect.com


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