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Aspect Communications, a leading provider of enterprise customer contact solutions, today announces the UK availability of Aspect Uniphi Suite.

Aspect Uniphi Suite is an advanced contact centre operating environment that combines communication routing, data integration, advanced speech, reporting and analytics applications into one tightly integrated open standards-based software format.

Now, businesses can have a single view of their contact centre operations and a single point of control for developing and administering business rules that handle live- and self-service interactions - no matter where agents or resources are located.

Uniphi Suite supports both PSTN and IP switches, more easily interfaces with existing enterprise applications and provides a centralised cross-media view of a customer's entire experience. Uniphi Suite lets users leverage existing investments and the latest technologies to create optimal customer interactions.

Aspect customer CPM UK Ltd., a growing pan-European outsourcer with centres in London, Paris and Barcelona, has adopted Uniphi Suite to meet rising customer expectations. "Uniphi Suite simplifies multichannel customer support," said Stephanie Rouse, commercial director, CPM.

"Using a single interface and development environment, we can manage all customer interactions. We're in a competitive market, and being agile and fast when responding to changing customer expectations is very important. Uniphi Suite gives us that flexibility, while helping us keep costs in check, reduce time-to-deployment and simplify administration."

Uniphi Suite features a single-agent desktop for managing customer interactions across media channels including voice, e-mail and Web and for providing centralised reporting and analytics. Additionally, Uniphi Suite supports a common set of technology standards, including Web services, SOAP, SIP, VXML, HTTP and SNMP, and it leverages one set of business rules across each application in the suite, all of which enables systems administrators to define, develop and deploy contact centres virtually anywhere more quickly and easily than previous enterprise applications of this scale. Customers can develop once and deploy once across the entire enterprise, resulting in significant up-front cost savings.

"We applaud Aspect's innovation," said Sanjay Katyal, director of CRM ISV Ecosystem, Developer and Platform Evangelism Group at Microsoft Corp. "By supporting the .NET framework, Microsoft Exchange, Web services and SOAP, Aspect Uniphi Suite is well positioned to enable businesses to develop next-generation contact centres that integrate well with the enterprise and open up a variety of new possibilities for communicating with customers, partners, vendors and employees globally."

Customers can integrate Uniphi Suite with their traditional Aspect solutions and add new contact centre capabilities as needed. Uniphi Suite also supports IP-PBXs, so companies can benefit from both advanced contact centre capabilities and IP. Uniphi Suite supports Cisco CallManager, a popular IP-PBX, with support for other market-leading IP-PBX's to follow.

While Aspect's new solution supports both PSTN and IP environments, leading IP-PBX providers believe their customers will increasingly seek out solutions that will enable them to leverage their investments and develop advanced contact centres.

"Convergence of digital telephony and IP has been happening at a rapid pace ever since 3Com introduced the first IP-PBX, the NBX(r) in 1998," said Dave Hattey, 3Com vice president and general manager, enterprise voice solutions. "Our enterprise customers tell us that they need the high reliability and extraordinary flexibility of IP to reduce their costs and strengthen their customer interactions. Now, with Aspect Uniphi Suite, contact centres can take advantage of a smooth migration that enables an entirely new set of session-initiation-protocol- (SIP) based convergence applications."

According to Art Schoeller, senior analyst at The Yankee Group, historically, IT and contact centre environments were distinct and used separate systems and transport technologies. The contact centre industry is now undergoing its shift to "open systems," which is bringing it closer to the IT world and therefore has broad implications for enterprises.

"Leading contact centre solutions providers are moving aggressively towards integrated software suites to meet the enterprise demand to eliminate integration points of pain," said Schoeller. "By providing tighter integration not only do these solutions reduce cost, but they also increase the flexibility of the enterprise contact centre by integrating applications for managing communications, workforces and information. Next-generation solutions such as Aspect Uniphi Suite make those capabilities available on open software and offer tools familiar in the IT world.

Among other things, such solutions can help IT and contact centre experts to collaborate more effectively and ultimately enable businesses to better integrate the contact centre into their overall operations. In the long run that should help drive better customer service and business analytics."

"Aspect Uniphi Suite is designed to appeal to both existing and prospective customers. The solution serves companies looking for ways to simplify development and administration or to expand their contact centres based on next-generation solutions. Uniphi Suite offers businesses the flexibility to deploy customer service operations virtually anywhere," said Gary Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Aspect. "It allows us to meet new customer demands created by powerful business and technology trends, such as workforce globalisation, distributed enterprises and the convergence of voice and data."

Uniphi Suite includes the Aspect Uniphi Engine, Uniphi Contact Center, Uniphi Voice Portal and tight integration with Aspect's workforce management software.

The following technology components and interactive processes that capture, organise, map, drive and route information and user requests to agents in order to deliver optimal customer experiences are included in the Uniphi Engine:

- Graphical User Interface
- CTI
- E-mail Response
- Web Interaction
- Scheduled Callback
- Database Access
- Multichannel Routing
- Resource Skills Matching
- Privilege-based Security
- Reporting & Analytics

Uniphi Contact Center is an advanced automatic call distribution application offering IP switch support, inter-switch routing and scheduled callback.

Uniphi Voice Portal is an advanced interactive voice response application with text-to-speech and advanced speech recognition, leveraging VoiceXML standards.

Uniphi Suite combines a wide range of contact centre capabilities into a single solution that is designed to meet the needs of advanced contact centres both today and in the future. Uniphi Suite is the latest development based on Aspect's Uniphi architecture.

About Aspect Uniphi Architecture

Aspect Uniphi architecture is designed to unify the contact centre and the enterprise by integrating the applications that drive customer communications, contact centre and customer information, and workforce productivity-resulting in better insight to business and customer activity. The Aspect Uniphi architecture extends Aspect's vision of delivering proven, multi-product solutions, whether PSTN, IP-hybrid or pure VoIP, while still lowering total cost of ownership and protecting contact centre investments as new technologies and standards emerge.

About Aspect Communications

Aspect Communications Corporation is a leading provider of contact centre solutions and services that enable businesses to manage and optimise customer communications. Aspect's global customer base includes more than two-thirds of the Fortune 50 and leading corporations in a range of industries, including transportation, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail and outsourcing, as well as large government agencies. The company's leadership is based on 18 years of expertise. Aspect is headquartered in San Jose, California, with 24 offices in 11 countries around the world as well as an extensive global network of systems integrators, independent software vendors and distribution partners. Aspect's UK offices are in Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Middlesex and can be reached on 0800 ASPECT (i.e. 0800 277328).

Aspect, the Aspect logo and the phrases and marks relating to other Aspect products and services discussed in this press release constitute one or both of the following: (1) registered trademarks and/or service marks of Aspect Communications Corporation in the United States and/or other countries or (2) intellectual property subject to protection under common law principles. All other names and marks mentioned in this document are properties of their respective owners.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Sleath
Aspect Communications
+44 (0)20 8589 1000
andrew.sleath@aspect.com

Michael Gray
Gray Associates
Tel: +44 (0)20 8744 9168
michael@grayassociates.co.uk



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