Aspect Software has widened its performance management offering by purchasing AIM Technology's assets. This addresses concerns we had about the long-term suitability of Aspect's workforce optimization suite.
On 7 January 2009, Aspect Software, a provider of unified communications and contact center software and services, announced it has acquired substantially all the assets of AIM Technology, a provider of analytical performance management (PM) software.
Aspect's PerformanceEdge workforce optimization (WFO) offering is part of a broad contact center portfolio. The acquired product will be called PerformanceEdge Performance Management and gives Aspect control of PM capabilities that are central to contact center WFO. Aspect will offer two loosely integrated versions to meet the needs of the midmarket and large enterprise sectors in 1Q09.
AIM has about 50 implementations of its software across 25 organizations, many of which are also Aspect customers as a result of a partnership that began in 2003. The relationship was terminated in 2007 in favor of AIM’s main competitor, Merced Systems. But the fact that PerformanceEdge from Aspect is based on the Microsoft platform and AIM's developers are Microsoft-competent likely favored the purchase of AIM over Merced, which uses the Java platform. Aspect will support customers who purchased the Merced version of the PM tool for at least 12 months.
The deal addresses our concerns about the long-term suitability of Aspect's WFO suite (see "Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Workforce Optimization” ). We believe the need to tightly integrate a PM and workflow capability fueled this acquisition and will be a key factor in future releases. PM and the ability to have workflow capabilities across all WFO applications will help organizations get the most from their staff in the current economic conditions.
Aspect-Merced customers: Weigh the benefits of migrating to AIM’s platform for PM against continuing to use Merced. Balance the benefits of more-seamless integration and workflow in an AIM-based PerformanceEdge environment against the lack of disruption and ongoing use of Merced's PM tool.
AIM customers not committed to Aspect: Monitor the commitment and suitability of AIM for your long-term PM needs. Reinvestment may be required at some point.
Aspect customers seeking a PM offering: Add PerformanceEdge PM to evaluation shortlists based on its enhanced integration, workflow and reduced cost. Evaluate its suitability against competitors when non-Aspect data sources are dominant or you have complex requirements.
Non-Aspect customers seeking a PM capability: Evaluate PerformanceEdge PM as a stand-alone offering by assessing aspects such as its ability to connect to a wide variety of data sources and customer references, but appreciate the value proposition is now more closely tied to investment in the broader PerformanceEdge suite.
"Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Workforce Optimization” — The evolving contact center WFO market contains a diverse set of vendors, with significant variances in solution capability and market positioning. By Jim Davies
"Integrated Technologies Drive Contact Center Workforce Optimization Growth” — All leading call recording and workforce management vendors offer a WFO suite in a market that will grow at more than 9% through 2011. By Jim Davies and Sharon Mertz
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