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Aspect Telecommunications introduces Network InterQueue.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 7, 1995--Aspect Telecommunications (NASDAQ/NMS: ASPT) Tuesday introduced Network InterQueue, a powerful new capability for its call transaction processing platform, the Aspect CallCenter.

Network InterQueue features allow multiple Aspect CallCenters in different geographic locations to be networked and operated as a single site. Aspect's new offering responds to the needs of companies who have distributed their call centers to take advantage of the benefits different locations offer.

"Companies distribute their call centers geographically to take advantage of lower facility and real estate costs, stable pools of qualified workers, lower labor costs, and better tax rates," stated James R. Carreker, president and chief executive office of Aspect Telecommunications. "Networks InterQueue allows our customers to operate call centers in more than one site and still reap the benefits of centralized management and consolidated resources."

The Aspect Call Center automates the processing of calls - as many as 100,000 calls in a busy hour - for a variety of companies in different industries that depend on their call centers to generate revenue, service customers and protect their market position. In this environment calls must be answered promptly and the person answering the call must be qualified. In these busy call centers, agents are typically assigned to "applications," such as customer service or product sales and organized into agent groups within those applications, often according to specific skill sets, such as knowledge of specific products.

With Network InterQueue, Aspect customers can simultaneously queue a single incoming call at all their Aspect CallCenter sites and agent locations - queuing the call at as many as 52 Aspect CallCenters and up to 192 agent groups and 128 supergroups per remote site as well as at the originating Aspect CallCenter. Because callers can be routed to the first available agent across multiple sites and agent groups, all qualified resources can be uniformly applied to meet sales and customer service goals.

Network InterQueue allows companies to manage all their Aspect CallCenters from a resource and management perspective as if they were one large, homogeneous system. With Aspect's optional CustomView products, call center managers can monitor their call center activity from a centralized desktop personal computer and make changes to optimize call traffic patterns. A unique caller tracking feature traces the life of a call as it moves among multiple sites via Network InterQueue or between other applications associated with the Aspect CallCenter. Standard reports available with CustomView provide call history across multiple sites, including the number of calls offered to other sites, the number of calls accepted by remote sites, and service levels at each site. CustomView also provides tools to create customized system-wide reports and displays.

"This breadth and depth of call tracking detail is unique in the industry," stated Vickie Marvich, product marketing manager for Aspect's Network InterQueue. "By providing a broad overview of traffic patterns across sites as well as very specific detail, call center managers gain immediate insight into the fine tuning adjustments required to improve customer service and balance call loads."

Network InterQueue also gives call center managers the means to optimize their agent resources. For the best customer service, calls should be routed to agents most qualified to handle the call. With Network InterQueue, call center managers can look at agent skill sets as a whole, eliminating the need to staff for all skills at all sites. Agents can reside in various facilities, including remote offices or their homes, and still answer calls on an evenly distributed basis.

Customer service improves, too, with Network InterQueue because calls are answered more quickly. And, often, this improved customer service can directly - and positively - impact revenue. Aspect's solution in this arena is particularly cost effective as well, because Network InterQueue uses data channels to queue calls and transfer information between call center sites, freeing up valuable voice channels.

Voice channels are used only for the actual transfer of the call, which remains queued on the originating call center until a remote agent group accepts the call.

Network InterQueue at British Airways

Aspect's first Network InterQueue installation is at British Airways, who needed to cope with dramatic fluctuations in incoming calls for flight bookings and queries. British Airways uses Network InterQueue to link its three Aspect CallCenter sites in the United Kingdom, and they queue calls simultaneously at each site and continually monitor agent availability.

All information associated with the call, such as where the caller is located and the length of time the caller has waited in queue, is transferred when a remote site accepts the call. By pooling staff resources across its three sites, British Airways can maintain a high level of customer service even when the number of calls increase dramatically due to one-time events, such as television promotions.

How Network InterQueue Works

With Network InterQueue, calls can be simultaneously queued at all networked Aspect CallCenters and agent locations. Using an intelligent lookahead call routing process, Network InterQueue determines how to route a call across the network of Aspect CallCenters based on a comparison of call traffic and conditional parameters that are customer defined.

For example, Aspect customers can determine that all calls not answered within five seconds at a specific call center should be queued at their other sites as well. Conditional parameters also enable individual sites to make decisions dynamically about when to accept calls from other locations.

When remote sites are busy, for example, they may choose to take only high-priority calls from other call centers, such as one from an airline frequent flyer or a caller with a premium customer service contract in the software industry.

Because Network InterQueue sends the queue time to remote sites, which use that information to place the call in the proper position in queue, both calls arriving directly from the public telephone network into that site and calls that are delivered via Network InterQueue can be treated equally.

Network InterQueue configuration, pricing and availability

Network InterQueue uses digital trunking T spans (E spans in Europe) with Aspect Primary Rate Interface hardware to physically connect Aspect CallCenters. One channel in each group of spans between two sites is reserved as a high-speed inter-processor data link and used to pass call queuing and acceptance information in real-time between Aspect CallCenters.

This approach keeps valuable voice channels free until an agent becomes available to take the call. Built with future requirements in mind, Network InterQueue's ability to support as many as 52 Aspect CallCenter sites far exceeds the requirements of today's multiple-site marketplace, which typically needs no more than 2-6 call center sites to support their business.

Pricing for Network InterQueue is $12,500 per Aspect CallCenter site.

Network InterQueue has been available in the United Kingdom since the fourth quarter of 1994. Field trials in North America began in January of this year, and general availability of Network InterQueue in North America is set for this spring.

About Aspect Telecommunications

Aspect Telecommunications is a global provider of comprehensive business solutions for mission-critical call centers -- call centers that exist to generate revenue, service customers and protect market position as well as handle calls.

Aspect solutions include call transaction processing, call center automation, interactive voice response and call center networking as well as tools and applications for management information and sharing that information with the rest of the corporation.

Aspect is also a provider of services vital to call center environments, including business applications consulting, training and call center integration services. Aspect Teleservices, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides outsourced software technical support services.

Aspect Telecommunications is headquartered in San Jose, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. -0-

Note to Editors: The Aspect logo, Aspect CallCenter and CustomView are registered trademarks and Network InterQueue is a trademark of Aspect Telecommunications Corp. All other product or service names mentioned in this document may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

CONTACT: Aspect Telecommunications

Vickie Marvich, 408/441-2243
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