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The Southern Cone division of US contact center platform provider Aspect Software will redouble efforts this year to seek business opportunities in the installed client base of partner company Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Aspect's Southern Cone sales director, Mauricio Ramírez, told BNamericas.
Aspect has had a partnership with Microsoft for some two years to jointly develop software applications in the unified communications (UC) area.
"We're going to tighten our relationship with Microsoft this year," he said. "There is a roadmap that will be worked on together behind the scenes. It will render fruit during the next few months."
"It's a plan focused on the Southern Cone. ... We are seeing to which of Aspect's corporate accounts and which of Microsoft's corporate accounts we can add value," the executive added. "Many of Microsoft's clients have contact center needs that have not yet been identified. Either that, or they're working with other contact center platforms."
Additional priorities include strengthening Aspect's local partner networks, continuing software rental sales and expanding headcount in Argentina.
The Southern Cone division of Aspect - which includes Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile - expects sales to increase 100% this year after surging 500% in 2010. Chile currently accounts for 70% of revenues, with Argentina and Peru representing other focus markets.
New clients signed up last year include Chilean state-owned bank BancoEstado and Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT) Presto credit card business.
Aspect expects Chile, Peru and Argentina to each account for 30% of Southern Cone business by 2013, the executive added.
CONTACT CENTER 2.0
In Chile, Aspect recently held an event regarding emerging trends in the contact center sphere, and Ramírez said the firm will hold similar conferences in Argentina and Peru soon.
The event, which also featured speeches from clients such as Brazilian IT and business process outsourcing firm Tivit and Chilean telco Entel, had a heavy focus on the impact of social networking on contact center campaigns.
"There is more of a focus on social networks," Ramírez said. "On the social networking level, there is work being done related to statistics and product differentiation. Today with a simple sampling on social networks, one can quickly understand market trends and then incorporate that into a campaign."
"In that sense, there is a lot of integration. ... There's significant penetration in Argentina and Chile, and it's coming on strong in Peru." Focal points for contact center activity in the Southern Cone include Santiago, Lima, Buenos Aires and Córdoba, the executive added.