IRS adds call center services

The Internal Revenue Service awarded a $150 million follow-on contract last week to Aspect Communications Corp., a software company that provides voice recognition and other customer service technologies.

The one-year contract with five one-year options covers maintenance, services and training to support the Aspect-built contact center infrastructure that is in standard use at 40 IRS contact centers across the country. The last contract was a 10-year, $71 million deal for hardware.

The Aspect solutions include voice recognition technology, which helps taxpayers get answers over the telephone, and eWorkforce Management, which helps managers forecast call volume and schedule personnel accordingly.

"This technology is really a tuned environment to make sure we're getting the right connections and to make it more efficient," said Larry Sells, vice president of Aspect's Government Solutions unit.

The San Jose, Calif., company provides business communications services including mission-critical software, e-mail, voice mail and wireless business communications. In 2000, more than 110 million taxpayers called the IRS with questions.

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