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The New, New, New Aspect?

I keep folders on my computer to file news and briefing material by company. In 2005 I created a folder "New Aspect" to categorize information related to the roll-up of Concerto and San Jose-based Aspect Communications. The Aspect folder remained, filled with information about the original Aspect Call Center and TCS workforce optimization solutions. With many customers still around on the so-called Signature Aspect CallCenter platform, the folder continues to be useful.

Three years later, on the VoiceCon Orlando stage, one could argue a new new Aspect emerged. In March 2008, Aspect described its intent to re-position the company's solutions as unified communications for the contact center, and Microsoft and Aspect announced a strategic relationship. It was a bold move but one that was backed by Microsoft's intention for Aspect to be "the leading (contact center) option to new and existing customers."

What few knew in March 2008 was that the world was heading into a global recession, one that would affect the entire world economy. That combined with the slow progress of Microsoft OCS to Lync meant that there were relatively few prospects for a contact center solution to work with Microsoft-based voice platforms. That slow progress also gave a handful of other contact center solution vendors time to build their own Lync-compliant solutions, negating much of Aspect's first-mover advantage.

In June 2012, I posted on No Jitter Aspect Highlights New Microsoft Integration at Customer Event. Emphasizing the people and assets acquired with the purchase of Quilogy in 2010, Aspect mapped out a broader integration with Microsoft solutions, not just Lync but SharePoint and Dynamics (CRM) as well, that looked promising but still required execution.

Since June, Aspect has changed-out just about every member of its executive team, two announced in a press release today. The new slate includes: CEO (Stewart Bloom), CMO (Jim Freeze), President and General Manger of the Interaction Management business unit (Chris Koziol), and GM of Workforce Optimization and CTO (Spence Mallder) and CFO (Bill Krakauer). Michael Sheridan remains EVP of Sales.

On a call with CEO Bloom this week, it wasn't me who first used the term new, new Aspect. Internally as well as externally there is a sense that a re-start is required to return Aspect to growth and fulfill the promise of the road map laid out for users in June. All of the new executives have their work cut out for them but perhaps none more than CMO Freeze. Bloom reported that Aspect has won 250 new logos in the last 10 quarters, averaging 100 per year. Some of these were described as tight races with market leaders Avaya and Cisco. It's time to tell those stories.