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Case Study

Customized, Global Training Solution Helps Transform Staff into Unified Communication Experts

Client

Aspect

For more than 35 years, Aspect has distinguished itself by helping companies with strategic planning and technology implementations of high-stakes, complex customer-facing business processes. Headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Aspect helps organizations turn the potential of unified communications into real business results across the enterprise and in the contact center.

Situation

Transform Employees into Unified Communications Experts

Aspect had developed a business strategy to become the go-to Microsoft Unified Communications (UC) System Integrator. A very important part of this strategy was centered on education, transforming technical and sales staff into UC experts. Training would need to be delivered in five cities on three continents to approximately 200 participants. The program would need to include ongoing communication with 100 operational contacts in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Customized training was needed to fit the unique needs of Aspect, which included employee skills development and certification in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Voice Ignite.

Solution

Certification Training Program Delivered Globally

The UC requirements were based on recommendations from the Microsoft Unified Communications Group (UCG) and were mandated as "must have" attributes for any viable solution. Although the end-results were specific, the implementation of the solution would be at the discretion of the Microsoft Certified Partner Learning Solutions (CPLS) provider. With that in mind, Global Knowledge recommended a solution that was creative and unique in its range and adaptability.

The solution that both Aspect and Global Knowledge created would support up to 200 employees with seamless training on three continents. The instructor-lead format would be the primary delivery method with assessments and pre-learning to help determine each student's individual needs. The courses would focus on Server 2007 and 2008, as well as Technology Specialist (TS) exams were a part of the curriculum. Testing was to be done on-site, at the end of each week of a training course.

The training solution's main goal was to maximize the experience of each attendee regardless of their pre-requisite knowledge. To increase each attendee's assimilation of the information, Global Knowledge launched an eight-week pre-work program that featured 24/7 access to resources, including self-paced e-learning courses with post-assessment tests, Transcender practice exams, and an online repository of Microsoft reference materials.

The training went above-and-beyond a typical classroom environment. Global Knowledge integrated its "Boot Camp" learning style into the solution core. The Global Knowledge instructors were passionate about imparting their real-world knowledge and experiences regarding UC technologies and understood the significance of Aspect's needs and how students would be applying it to their jobs.

Results

Training Enabled Top-Notch Client Solutions

From Aspect's perspective, the training program not only resulted in increasing the number of certified employees in their organization, but it also allowed Aspect to provide better services to their clients Aspect's UC Services practice helps organizations identify the right opportunities for UC across the enterprise to improve business and communications processes as well as navigate implementation obstacles. In its initial client deployment, Aspect installed and configured Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and integrated its voice capabilities into the client's PBX system in less than one week.

With this feature utilizing the instant messaging and presence technology available in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, agents can identify available experts in the enterprise based on specific skill sets to address customer inquiries, therefore streamlining business processes and improving first-call resolution. The company has seen impressive operational efficiency numbers, including reduced conference calling costs of $75,000 per month and additional cost savings from the company's use of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. Microsoft has certified Aspect as an Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 Voice specialization partner for the Microsoft Unified Communications Solutions competency.