• February 24, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Aspect Inks a UC Distribution Deal with Dell

Aspect, a provider of customer contact and Microsoft platform solutions, today announced a go-to-market relationship with Dell Services to deliver Microsoft-based unified solutions for the contact center and across the enterprise.

Under this agreement, Aspect solutions are available immediately as part of Dell's Unified Communications portfolio worldwide. The partnership extends the full range of Aspect's two unified communications offerings—Aspect Contact for smaller contact centers and Aspect Unified IP for larger contact centers—to all of Dell Services' clients across the globe. The Aspect Contact solution offers inbound call routing, unified messaging, IP communications, and a few other capabilities, while Aspect Unifed IP is a much more full-featured offering that includes inbound and outbound calling features, a voice portal and interactive voice response system, IP communications, campaign optimization, and the full range of unified communications and collaboration tools. Both are tied to the Microsoft Lync unified communications platform, which offers instant messaging, presence, conferencing, enterprise voice communications, and Microsoft Office integration.

"When Dell is out talking to customers about getting rid of their legacy PBX systems, we will be a part of that discussion," explains Mike Sheridan, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Aspect. "As Dell goes to market with unified communications, we will be a standard part of that. In fact, we will be the only product Dell will offer its customers."

According to Sheridan, more and more contact centers are moving from legacy PBX systems to a unified communications environment, and neither Microsoft nor Dell had a solution specifically geared for the contact center. "This takes it up a notch for Microsoft and Dell and how they can be applied to the contact center," he states.

"With more than 8 million available seats across the globe, unified communications in the contact center is a growing and untapped market opportunity," Sheridan points out. "Aspect's relationship with Dell will provide our customers with a truly comprehensive Microsoft Lync-based unified communications and collaboration solution."

"Our relationship with Aspect will allow customers worldwide to acquire end-to-end, next-generation unified communications solutions incorporating hardware, software, services, and support from a single vendor," said Kevin Jones, vice president of Dell Services, in a statement. "We believe customers that share our joint vision of a software-powered communications ecosystem will find great value in this."

Though the Aspect UC offerings are not designed for any specific industry verticals or market segments, Sheridan says they are a natural fit for and have already seen great traction in the education, retail, e-commerce, and healthcare industries.

Golfbreaks.com, a European golf tour operator, is one of the earliest adopters of the software platform delivered by Dell and Aspect.

"With more customers than ever booking with us, we required a way to meet the challenge without increasing headcount, and to do more with less," said Steve Hemsworth, managing director at Golfbreaks.com. "Our customer service is why people keep coming back to us, but as demand increased, the lack of channel integration was putting a strain on our agents and systems, increasing administration time. Customer preferences for the way they contact us are changing, as are the times at which they choose to contact us. Hopefully the new support for SMS and email, as well as integration with our CRM system, will make booking with us easier and quicker than ever."

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