Aspect Software has been a vendor in the contact center market for more than 40 years, providing on-premises telephony management systems, workforce management and BI systems. In conversation with Anushruti Singh, Chris Koziol, President at Aspect Software talks about Indian emerging market ans prospects for the company here.
The trend we are seeing is shifting from voice to omni channel, How Aspect is seeing the migration happening and what are the verticals you are focusing in Indian market?
Business are now shifting from traditional methods of engagements to new and different level of engagement solutions and its a new form of marketing, which is giving them edge in how well they engage with their customers seamlessly across channels. And it is directly impacting their business in many manners.
In my opinion, emerging markets are more prone to adopt latest technologies than compare to mature markets. For example we have deployed our solutions to Facebook Messenger. The reason behind that is that emerging markets do not have historical implementations and they are more keen on adopting newer solutions for their business. Secondly, to get recognition; companies nowadays are competing with each other and here customer engagement comes which gives them boost in customer royalty, customer retention, turnover etc. and is a new form of marketing.
Also markets in Australia, Europe and North America are way ahead than some of the emerging markets in Asia in terms of adoption of true cloud capabilities and Omni channel. And if we talk about India, here adoption is happening but still there are some of the restrictions and regulations which are slowing the speed. We just need to solve the challenges.
However there is lot of happenings going on in the emerging markets in India. There is a lot of focus on verticals like NBFC, E-Commerce and startups. They are also experimenting and leading the charge in making the transition from Voice to Omni channel services and they are the one which are providing us better business here.
Tell us about Aspect Via, how it is helping customers to transform from siloed center to all cloud customer engagement centre?
With changing tech scenario Aspect also has changed a lot and we have continuously excelling and rehashing our solutions portfolio according to the ever changing market. The big factor that is driving change is mobile technology and changing customer need with demand of doing business anywhere and any time. So, we have identified some areas and made some major investments to augment self service technology and agent assisted technology.
With acquisition of Voxeo, we used IVR platform and the asset was mobile platform which we called CXP Pro that enabled self service and omni channel capabilities. This further helped in developing Aspect Via.
Aspect Via addresses the preferences of the digital-first consumer with interactive voice (IVR) and text (ITR) response powered by Natural Language Understanding (NLU) for more conversational, automated exchanges with today’s self-reliant, mobile consumer. When live assistance is required, Aspect Via seamlessly connects customers to the best agent, with the right skills. Interaction context is preserved so team members can delight customers with personalized, frictionless customer experiences. This makes the delineation between self-service and live service invisible to the consumer across voice and digital channels.
Aspect Via offers:
The only customer engagement center with native interaction management, workforce optimization, IVR and self-service capabilities
Developed as one platform, based on proven technologies from Aspect’s marketing-leading portfolio
Common UI for configuration and administration across all capabilities
Shared real-time and historical reporting across all capabilities
Role-based UI provides an easy to use, streamlined UX for agents, team leads, and administrators
Designed exclusively for the cloud
How the user friendliness of the solutions play a role in success of the portfolio?
User friendliness is the biggest key factor in the success of our solutions not just for the end customers but from the agent perspective also. From the customer standpoint, the solution should be easy to use as he is the one doing conversation via different platforms. They should be able to interact. For this, we have made major investment for capability of natural language understanding which enables us to provide a customer interaction from the digital and self service standpoint in a very conversational manner. That capability has given us profound impact on our ability to really seamlessly engage with a customer.
For our agent ecosystem, about 4 years ago we have changed our agent interface for better performance and to enhance the agent experience. We invested heavily in this and used some outside design firm help to re-factor our agent interface. This has also helped us grow immensely.
How Aspect is following AI trend and chatbot trend, is it also a focus point?
A chatbot is a next step in enhancing customer experience and its a trend that is growing rapidy. Customers today need self-service and easy interface to interact with. Chatbots are providing this. At Aspect, we have started leveraging our CXP Pro application to enable the development of chatbots. Some of the examples are wide ranging- it could be an application like a virtual concierge that we have implemented for a local hotel chain in London.
Do you have R&D facility here in India?
From Go to Market perspective, India is very critical market for us. It also act as port for our activities around the globe. We have at least 25% out of our global workforce based in India. This workforce is responsible for development of solutions, technical services etc. Majority of Indian workforce is based out in Bengaluru, where we have Centre of Excellence. This CoE is not only provides R&D but innovation team present here also develop customer specific integrations for global customers as well. We also have three customer care centre round the globe (Tennessee, London and in Bengaluru), they provide 24*7 customer care to the customers, and is enable to provide and follow the technical support.
Who are your main competitors?
Traditionally if we look at the competition it is Avaya, Genesys and Cisco, as they also deal in Unified Communication infrastructure. We have designed our solutions to coexist in their environments so we can wrap around those investments and add value to customers so they don’t have to replace those investments out. In the agent productivity space, our primarily competitors are Nice and Variant. We also have lot of emerging competitors like Point solutions. But our integrated workflow approach and customer engagement centre capabilities gives us strong competitive advantage over them.