SOURCE: Aspect

January 21, 2010 08:15 ET

Aspect Customer, American Century Investments, Wins Contact Center Leadership Award From Ventana Research

Investment Management Firm Recognized for Leveraging Workforce Management Capability in Productive Workforce to Substantially Enhance Customer Care Through Long-Term Planning

CHELMSFORD, MA--(Marketwire - January 21, 2010) - Aspect, a global provider of unified communications (UC) and collaboration services and software, today announced its customer, American Century Investments, a leading privately-held investment management firm, has won the 2009 Contact Center Leadership Award from Ventana Research, a business and IT research and advisory services firm. American Century Investments won the award for its use of the workforce management capability of the Productive Workforce™ UC application for the contact center and an innovative staffing strategy that improved its call center operations. The Ventana Research Leadership Awards recognize exemplary individuals and organizations that have demonstrated business leadership.

"We're honored to be recognized for our commitment to improving customer care through our efforts to optimize our contact center processes," said Nina Westvold, director of contact center operations, American Century Investments. "Thanks to our careful planning and Aspect's workforce management capabilities, our contact center has been better positioned to handle the variability of customer demands in the financial services industry, particularly throughout the past few years. Any organization that understands the importance of long-term contact center strategies should consider Aspect's workforce management solution to gain greater control in forecasting, planning and scheduling for optimized performance."

American Century Investments used the workforce management capabilities of Productive Workforce to develop a strategy for using current and historical contact center data to better predict longer term forecasting requirements. This strategy involved a Capacity Planning Model, which was designed to analyze how the data for every metric could potentially impact the contact center -- including call volume, staff levels, attrition and hiring projections -- to understand how all the parameters would impact service levels in the long-term. To ensure the Capacity Planning Model was successful, the company needed a solution that could run the complex "What If" scenarios required for the strategy. Using the substantial real-time and historical reporting capabilities in the workforce management capabilities of Productive Workforce, the company could identify patterns that impacted service levels and organize the data for the Capacity Planning Model.

Today, the Capacity Planning Model and the workforce management capabilities from Aspect are used across American Century Investment's contact center and play an integral role in how scheduling, off-phone planning and hiring decisions are made. As a result, American Century Investments has seen a number of dramatic service improvements:

--  Customer care has improved significantly and the average speed of answer
    (ASA) decreased from more than four minutes to approximately five seconds.
--  The abandonment rate plummeted from more than 14 percent to one percent.
--  Service levels improved from under 40 percent to 90 percent, surpassing
    the company's goal and board of directors' mandate of 80 percent.
--  And with a more efficient utilization of contact center resources,
    American Century Investments was able to reduce the need for new hiring,
    saving approximately 8-12 phone representatives at a cost of $400,000-
    $600,000 annually.

"In many financial organizations, the customer service and contact center operations have become even more critical to business goals in the last year as the global economic crises have introduced more volatility than usual and customers require more personalized service," said Brett Williams, director of product management, Aspect. "Successful companies, like American Century Investments, are recognizing that the workforce optimization capabilities within Productive Workforce are necessary to accurately plan and forecast, save costs, optimize resources, and gain a competitive advantage in the contact center."

About Unified Communications Applications for the Contact Center

Unified communications (UC) applications for the contact center use software to target operational objectives with specific capabilities from the Aspect Unified IP and PerformanceEdge platform products. The applications deliver inbound routing, outbound dialing, voice portal and Internet contact, workforce management, performance management, campaign optimization, recording and eLearning capabilities to help organizations enhance customer service, collections and sales and telemarketing business processes. Unified communications applications include Blended Interaction™, Seamless Customer Service™, Productive Workforce™, Streamlined Collections™, and Optimized Collections™.

About American Century Investments

American Century Investments is a leading privately-held investment management firm, committed to delivering superior investment performance and building long-term client relationships since 1958. Serving investment professionals, institutions, corporations and individual investors, American Century Investments offers a variety of actively managed investment disciplines through an array of products including mutual funds, institutional separate accounts, commingled trusts and sub-advisory accounts. The company's 1,300 employees serve clients from offices in New York; London; Hong Kong; Mountain View, Calif. and Kansas City, Mo. James E. Stowers Jr. founded the company and serves as co-chairman of the board. Jonathan S. Thomas is president and chief executive officer and Enrique Chang is chief investment officer. Through its ownership structure, more than 40 percent of American Century Investments' profits support research to help find cures for genetically-based diseases including cancer, diabetes and dementia.

About Aspect

Aspect is a global software and IT services firm specializing in applying Microsoft unified communications and collaboration to help customers achieve optimal results through enhanced business processes across the enterprise and in the contact center. Aspect provides IT consulting, integration services and business applications. For more information, visit

Follow Aspect on Twitter at

Aspect, Blended Interaction, Seamless Customer Service, Productive Workforce, Streamlined Collections, Optimized Collections, and Aspect Software are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Aspect Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information