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Aspect and Microsoft's One-Two Punch

I just read Eric's report on the Avaya keynote, where he discusses the emphasis that Lou D'Ambrosio placed on customer service during his talk. Eric closed by saying that he was off to see what Gurdeep Singh Pall of Microsoft had to say in the second keynote of the day.

I just read Eric's report on the Avaya keynote, where he discusses the emphasis that Lou D'Ambrosio placed on customer service during his talk. Eric closed by saying that he was off to see what Gurdeep Singh Pall of Microsoft had to say in the second keynote of the day.Once again, the role of customer service and contact center technology was a key theme. Pall announced that Microsoft has entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with Aspect Software to help bring unified communications to contact centers. Regular readers of No Jitter will recall that just about a week ago, Aspect announced their intent to re-position the company's solutions as unified communications for the contact center. At the time, I complimented Aspect on a strong marketing story.

With today's announcement, Aspect delivers a solid product development plan as a follow-up to the marketing announcement. Microsoft and Aspect will work together to integrate OCS 2007 with Aspect's flagship contact center applications, Unified IP.

Gurdeep reinforced that the Aspect announcement is not an exclusive one. In the slide just before he brought Aspect CEO Jim Foy to the stage, Gurdeep highlighted the Nortel-Microsoft strategic alliance. He showed that a near-term future solution from the ICA alliance will be interoperability between Nortel's contact center solutions and OCS 2007. Gurdeep also welcomed other contact center vendors to work with Microsoft to allow their solutions to interoperate with OCS 2007.

As Microsoft explains it, they interoperate with many PBXs but have a special relationship with Nortel, e.g., Nortel was the first PBX to work with OCS 2007. The same will be true for Aspect in the contact center space. While Microsoft will work with other contact center vendors, as stated in the press release, Aspect will be "the leading option to new and existing customers."