Aspect Returns To Its Roots

By Irwin Lazar
On Jan 15, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When I last attended an Aspect analyst conference in Chicago two years ago I found a company that was in the midst of refocusing away from its core competency in the contact center space; moving toward a new direction that emphasized its relationship with Microsoft and its ability to provide professional services to support Lync and SharePoint through its acquisition of Quilogy. Fast forward to this week, where Aspect held another annual analyst event, this time in its new Phoenix office, and one thing is clear, Aspect is focused back in the contact center and customer engagement space.

The last two years have brought much change to Aspect. Gone is almost all of the senior management, replaced with new blood from a variety of different backgrounds. Perhaps most importantly, Aspect has undergone a cultural change thanks to its acquisition of Voxeo, a cloud-based provider of IVR and other customer engagement solutions. Rather than assimilate Voxeo into the Aspect culture, Aspect has gone the other way around – adopting Voxeo’s start-up mentality to refocus its own efforts on customer interaction and innovation. It was clear from the look and feel of the newly renovated Aspect offices that this is a company that looks more like a silicon valley startup than one with over 40 years in the contact center business.

At this week’s event Aspect made clear its focus on the cloud, on transforming legacy customers from single channel to multi-channel with advanced integration, analytics, and workforce optimization, and providing professional services to help its customers transform their overall customer engagement strategies as they look to deliver a consistent message and experience across all touch points.

Aspect’s new focus resonates well with what we are seeing in our research. As my colleague Lisa Durant noted in her blog last week, our clients and research participants are increasingly struggling to bridge channels, to seamlessly interact with customers across web and mobile, and to effectively gauge the impact of customer service on measurements like Net Promoter Score. Still, Aspect has some work to do. Its offerings feature a broad array of products acquired and developed in house, with more need to harmonize and integrate offerings into a common set of features. It lacks some of the mobile and web integration that its competitors like Interactive Intelligence and Genesys deliver. Most importantly, it needs to convince both its legacy customers, as well as those of its competitors, that the problems we saw in our past PilotHouse studies in areas such as technology innovation, customer service, and value are a thing of the past. If Aspect’s improved financial performance is any guide, it’s succeeding on that front.