Microsoft has bought a stake in call centre technology developer Aspect Software as part of its expansion into unified communications (UC). Aspect produces a platform, called Unified IP, that lets call centre operators contact resources in other branches of the company to answer customers’ enquiries. Under the deal, Aspect will optimise Unified IP to work with Microsoftâ€™s enterprise communication software, Office Communications Server. The company says a new version of Unified IP, compatible with Microsoft’s platform, will be released by the end of the year. The companies are also collaborating to extend Unified IP’s functionality to include seamless passage between different interaction channels, including phone, instant messaging, email and conferencing.
Microsoft announced its intentions to move into UC in Oct, when it released Office Communications Server. The platform lets businesses place phone calls through Office software applications such as Word and Outlook.