Saturday, March 29, 2008

Microsoft - Aspect in Contact Center

Last week, Microsoft has announced a multiyear global strategic alliance with Aspect Software to bring Unified Communications and Software Powered Voice to contact center sector. Understanding on the announcement; Aspect will integrate its.NET-based contact center suite (Aspect Unified IP) with Office Communication Server. This will certainly useful to both new and existing Aspect customers. In the announcement there is a missing component which addressing Microsoft’s Contact Center strategy via Unified Communication.

We still have not heard Microsoft will offer in terms of a contact center solution as a part of in conjunctions with its OCS offering. It’s clearly Microsoft recognizes how important it is to have some sort of contact center solution offering for customer that are looking into an Enterprise Unified Communication Voice solution but yet still has not disclosed any sort of contact center strategy to date.

Microsoft has several options clearly working with Nortel, a leader in the contact center space to provide the needs to contact center capabilities is one of the option. While Microsoft made it clear that the investment in aspect does not impact its relationship with Nortel. I’m pretty sure Nortel folks aren’t exited with this news. Another option is to acquiring a company in the contact center market, such as Aspect or possibly Interactive Intelligence. Of course there still some rumors that Microsoft will acquire Siemens Enterprise Communications, Nortel, or any others which if true, would provide Microsoft with the needed contact center capabilities and expertise. These are still rumors and so far no truth to any of them yet.

I believes that there’s a good change that Microsoft will leverage both Nortel and Aspect’s expertise and than offer its own contact center offering, (may be competing with both companies). Regardless what route Microsoft is moving to, it’s important that they articulate iuts contact center strategy for those companies that are looking to OCS as an enterprise voice solution.

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