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Microsoft adds Aspect to telephony push

Redmond takes a stake in call center specialist Aspect Software, which will throw itself into Microsoft's unified communications efforts.

As part of its push into business telephony, Microsoft said Tuesday it is investing in Aspect Software, whose technology is used to run large call centers. Aspect, in turn, will make sure its software works with Microsoft's unified communications products.

"A key pillar of Microsoft's unified communications vision is improving access to the people and information you need to do your job better and more quickly, and with Aspect, we are making this vision a reality for contact centers," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president at Microsoft, in a statement.

Later this year, Aspect plans to release a new version of its software that works with Microsoft's Office Communications Server 2007.

Microsoft is counting on telephony to be one of the biggest growth areas in its business division, the part of the company that includes Office.