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Aspect records quality monitoring buy

With the purchase of SophistiCom, Aspect adds quality monitoring to its performance management suite.

Aspect Software Inc. rounded out its performance optimization portfolio yesterday with the purchase of SophistiCom Technologies Inc.

The Westford, Mass.-based contact-center software vendor acquired substantially all of the assets of the privately held, Schaumberg, Ill.-based company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aspect will incorporate SophistiCom's quality management application, which includes call logging of all customer interactions, into a new product called Aspect Quality Management. The tool will help companies address regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, and employee development concerns in the contact center with SophistiCom's recording tools.

"It's a good move; it was really the only piece of a workforce optimization suite that was missing from Aspect's performance management product line," said Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research Inc. in Cave Creek, Ariz.

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The move comes slightly less than a year after Aspect's merger with Concerto, in a $1 billion deal. Concerto itself acquired Rockwell FirstPoint Contact in September, 2004. Although it may seem soon to add another company that will further complicate Aspect's product line, the move makes sense because both Concerto and Rockwell were considering purchases of quality monitoring software, Stockford said.

Additionally, SophistiCom was designed to integrate with other applications via .NET and Web services. It already features integration with Aspect's CallCenter automatic call distributor, the NEC CCDesign product line, and the Apropos Interaction Management platform. The short-term product roadmap will feature integration with Aspect's other products, improving recording, reviewing and reporting on customer interactions, according to the company.

The full portfolio will allow the synchronization of all performance optimization capabilities in the contact center, including quality management, performance management, workforce management, and interaction optimization, according to Aspect.

The move should also help the company branch out into new customer accounts. "It's not a surprise, but what's interesting now is Aspect can come to the party with inbound workforce optimization, outbound or blended," Stockford said. "That'll open quite a few doors that otherwise wouldn't have had much of a chance."

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