Star Performers: Aspect Advances Analytics and Multichannel Support

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Aspect Software provides fully integrated customer interaction management, workforce optimization, back office, and cloud solutions. The 41-year-old company's offerings integrate speech and desktop analytics, multichannel services, and social customer care, among other technologies.

In 1973, one of the company's earliest clients, Continental Airways, used Aspect's Automatic Call Distributor in the first call center flight booking system. Since then, Aspect has accrued an impressive client and partner list that includes Microsoft, IBM, Apple, AT&T, British Airways, and Bank of America.

In a strategic move in 2013, the company acquired Voxeo. The purchase paved the way for Aspect to expand its existing solutions with the addition of Voxeo's IVR, self-service, proactive outbound, and cloud delivery infrastructure to its contact center offerings. The acquisition allowed Aspect to enter the SMB market while existing Voxeo customers were able to gain solutions for IVR, interaction management, and workforce optimization bundled into one contact center product. At the time, Aspect said that Voxeo's technology would add $50 million in annual revenue.

Prior to the acquisition, Voxeo was 100 percent focused on providing platforms for self-service applications such as IVR, mobile, and SMS, said an Aspect spokesperson in an email.

"Aspect's Unified IP platform did not have tight integration with these functions," the spokesperson said. "We now offer a truly omnichannel experience for our customers by enabling events like text messages that can be handed over to an agent in context, so the interaction can begin on one channel and can continue seamlessly on a second channel."

In March, the company launched Aspect Mentor for Real-Time Speech Analytics. The solution uses speech detection to monitor conversations in contact centers, and transmits alerts and guidance notifications to agents and supervisors based on what has been said—or not said—during a conversation.

"Real-time response positively impacts customer interactions by appropriately matching cross-sell/upsell opportunities or [ensuring] compliance mandates are met," said Spence Mallder, senior vice president and general manager of workforce optimization at Aspect, in a statement. "With the market for real-time analytics growing 20 percent year over year, we developed Aspect Mentor in response to our customers' desire to accelerate customer data gathering and analysis and enhance customer interaction value."

Additionally, the solution can be integrated with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as the Aspect Workforce Optimization 8 suite, which was released at the same time as Aspect Mentor.

Another major release from the company came in May with the rollout of Voxeo CXP Pro 14, a life-cycle management platform that encompasses several solutions, including IVR platform Prophecy 14.

CXP Pro 14 is also integrated with Aspect's Unified IP contact center software platform, furthering CXP Pro 14's IVR and multichannel self-service abilities. CXP Pro 14 includes a life-cycle management platform that enables developers to create, manage, and analyze customer self-service applications in multiple channels, such as social media and the mobile Web.

The product uses LumenVox automatic speech recognition (ASR) engines alongside Nuance and Prophecy ASR.

"There are two things that make CXP Pro 14 interesting relative to speech support," a company spokesperson says. "First, Prophecy 14 includes support for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V so the entire stack can be deployed in virtualized environments. This is great for scalability and helps reduce administration overhead. Secondly, the business user interface enables nontechnical staff to configure IVR behavior for things like business hours, menu options, marketing announcements, and more, without having to go through IT. This means changes can be made faster and businesses can become more agile."

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