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Microsoft NSI Ramps Up to 13 Competencies

Aspect Software this month renewed its Microsoft Partner Network membership with an impressive 13 competencies. Even for a Microsoft National Systems Integrator, that's a lot of competencies.

Aspect, a provider of customer contact and workforce optimization solutions, is based in Chelmsford, Mass. and has 1,900 employees worldwide. Microsoft made an equity investment in Aspect in 2008 to guarantee a global partner for delivering contact-center solutions based on the Microsoft unified communications platform. The platform at the time was Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, a product that has morphed into Microsoft Lync Server 2013.

In the interim, Aspect has greatly expanded its Microsoft practice beyond the call center. A major expertise build-out occurred when Aspect acquired Quilogy Inc., a Microsoft NSI, in January 2010. Aspect is continuing to invest in Microsoft training and certification internally, as well.

As of this month, Aspect has seven gold competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network -- Communications, Collaboration and Content, Digital Marketing, Mobility, Business Intelligence, Customer Relationship Management, and OEM. The company's six silver competencies are Application Development, Data Platform, Application Integration, Midmarket Solution Provider, Hosting, and Learning.

That's way up from last year, when Aspect renewed its MPN membership with three gold competencies and nine silver competencies. The golds at that time were Communications, Portals and Collaboration and CRM.

Microsoft global channel chief Jon Roskill said in a statement that having a single gold competency puts partners in the top 1 percent of Microsoft's partner ecosystem. Having more than one gold competency is even rarer territory. In a global review of Microsoft's Pinpoint directory of partners last year, RCP found only about 50 companies worldwide had more than half a dozen gold competencies.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 21, 2013