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At the SuiteWorld conference in San Jose, Aspect Software CIO Jim Haskin admitted that changing customer behaviours meant the business had to change direction on its traditional call-centre background.
“We’ve traditionally been focused on the call centre, but as a company we’re going through a tremendous amount of change,” said Haskin.
“Not only are we moving our products into the cloud like a lot of companies, and we very much live with that hybrid model, but we’re also focused now on customer experience and starting to think way outside of the call centre.”
Haskin used the example of its customer Edwardian Hotel Group, which uses the firm’s software to enable hotel guests to text the hotel front desk or concierge with questions, queries and requests.
“We all go and check into our hotel, have issues when we check in and go through the process of calling the front desk with issues. In the Edwardian Hotel Group, they use our interactive text technology to essentially enable you to pick up your phone and text [the front desk],” he said.
“In some ways, that’s pretty far away from the call centre, yet it’s a customer experience issue. So we’re doing that in some other interesting ways.”
Since its beginning as call centre software provider, Aspect has branched into other types of customer engagement systems, such as web chat, instant messaging, digital self-service and cloud-based contact centres.
In early 2016, Aspect Software developed the Aspect Mila, an interactive chat bot that acts as a personal scheduling assistant to drive employee engagement.
Each of these different systems cater to a digital way customers are attempting to engage with businesses, a phenomenon forcing more and more businesses to re-think their customer-facing strategies.
Dealing with legacy systems
But Haskin admitted Aspect has a “rich legacy” of providing call centre services globally across many industry sectors, such as transportation, banking, hospitality and insurance.
To cope with the volume of change the business faced as a result of customer demand, Aspect adopted NetSuite’s OneWorld to consolidate global operations for its financials, billing and multi-currency transactions.
The firm first moved to NetSuite in June 2016 after some of its old on premise platforms were left unsupported, and the legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems left behind as a result acted as a barrier to change for the business.
“Most of my IT team was focused on all of the maintenance and carrying and feeding of those systems,” said Haskin.
He added that by implementing NetSuite in its business, Aspect was able to “shift that cost for research and development” to NetSuite, which would now be implementing patches and updates to the supplied services on Aspect’s behalf.
“I think fundamentally it’s both to remove barriers for innovation – whether it’s old legacy systems or speed of change – and ultimately focus on speed to market,” he said.