Aspect Communications Announces IP-based Self-Service with VXML
Aspect Communications Announces First IP-based Self-Service with VXML
Aspect Continues to Prove Customer Service Benefits of Converged Network by Enabling New Types of Voice Self-Service Applications
San Jose, California, USA. July 31, 2002.
Aspect Communications Corporation, the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue, today announced the first IP-based self-service offering with VoiceXML (VXML) capabilities. The combination of IP-based self-service with VXML changes how customers use voice self-service. While customers are accustomed to voice self-service for routine tasks like checking balances and paying bills, IP and VXML open a wide range of more complex activities like filling out forms, placing detailed orders or completing any transaction that could also be handled on the Web. Aspect's offering will provide customers tremendous flexibility in how they interact with businesses. Using IP-based self-service that supports VXML, enterprises can simplify their infrastructure and reduce costs by automating many more customer service tasks than are automated today.
Aspect's solution has several unique features that will let companies quickly and affordably develop newer, more useful self-service applications for customers. It offers a single development environment for creating rules that handle self- and live-service via voice, the Web and e-mail. Aspect's software is completely standards-based and integrates with VXML 2.0, allowing customers to perform the same self-service functions over the phone that they perform on the Web. Using natural language, customers can request information, fill out forms and place orders, and the enterprise uses the same databases, application servers and business rules as it does for the Web to process the voice self-service interactions.
The Aspect IP Contact Suite enables fully integrated multichannel communications, including traditional voice technologies (PSTN), VoIP, e-mail and Web collaboration. Voice traffic travels over the same IP network as data and other communications such as e-mail and Web-based communications, versus over a separate circuit-switched network. Aspect's solution merges all communication into a unified queue and delivers it to the integrated desktops of service representatives. One network for voice and data centralizes administration, and the browser-based desktop applications empower the representatives to respond to contacts via all channels -- voice, e-mail, Web chat, assisted browsing and more -- on a single desktop with an easy-to-use interface.
Unlike stand-alone IVRs, Aspect's self-service software is fully integrated into the Aspect IP Contact Suite, forming part of a reliable and affordable overall solution for managing customer contacts. The single development interface also reduces application development time and costs. Aspect's self-service technology provides automated customer service, using links to databases and platforms to ensure that customers have access to the appropriate information needed to complete transactions. The software gives customers the ability to request live assistance, routing the contact along with relevant information to the appropriate representative. Aspect self-service also features the most advanced speech recognition technology available, allowing customers to interact using natural language instead of limiting responses to a word or number.
"Aspect equals convergence," said Gary Barnett, Aspect's chief technology officer. "A lot of companies are talking about convergence, but Aspect is proving the benefits of convergency by bringing it to the contact center in a way that lets businesses reduce costs and improve customer service. We've extended the capabilities of the Aspect IP Contact Suite to include voice self-service, and we're proud to be the first in the industry with VXML capability. Unlike stand-alone IVR vendors, Aspect offers proven, reliable self-service that is fully integrated into a part of an overall solution."
About VoiceXML -- What Aspect Technology Partners Say
"VoiceXML enables companies to provide a wide range of new voice self-service capabilities that will significantly improve customer satisfaction while keeping service costs down," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer, SpeechWorks. "As the leading vendor in the speech recognition industry, we look for partners that provide standards-based solutions. The Aspect IP Contact Suite, particularly with the addition of VoiceXML capabilities, is an exciting standards-based solution, and we are proud to support it."
"Nuance believes open standards will benefit developers and end-users alike, and spur the creation of innovative new speech applications," said Lynda Smith, vice president and chief marketing officer, Nuance. "As the speech software experts, we're excited to partner with Aspect to deliver standards-based self-service solutions to companies worldwide."
About VoiceXML -- More Information
"Advances in speech-recognition and speech-synthesis software -- plus ever-faster and cheaper computing -- are finally bringing the prospect of a voice-enabled Internet within earshot." New York Times, Dec. 31, 2001
VoiceXML is an extensible markup language for voice applications on the Internet. VXML allows users to access Web pages over the telephone.
The potential for voice-enabled Web service is enormous. Worldwide only about 150 million personal computer users have Internet access, while there are 1 billion telephone users.
VXML was the first industry standard and is being promoted by companies such as IBM, AT&T and Motorola.
VXML enables developers to build automated voice services using the same technology they use to create visual Web sites, significantly reducing the cost of construction and delivery of new capabilities for the traditional phone customer.
VXML allows for a standard development environment, shorter and simpler application development, application portability and the decoupling of data from telephony.
About Aspect Communications
Aspect Communications Corporation is the leading provider of business communications solutions that help companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, gather market intelligence and increase revenue. Aspect is the trusted mission-critical partner of 76 percent of the Fortune 50, daily managing more than 3 million customer sales and service professionals worldwide. Aspect is the only company that provides the mission-critical software platform, development environment and applications that seamlessly integrate voice-over-IP, traditional telephony, e-mail, voicemail, Web, fax and wireless business communications, while guaranteeing investment protection in a company's front-office, back-office, Internet and telephony infrastructures. Aspect's leadership in business communications solutions is based on more than 16 years of experience and over 7,600 implementations deployed worldwide. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with offices around the world, as well as an extensive global network of systems integrators, independent software vendors and distribution partners. For more information, call 1-877-621-3692.
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