RealTime IT News

Veriant Software Audits the IRS

Veriant Systems, Inc. , announced today plans to incorporate its ULTRA customer relationship management (CRM) software into select Internal Revenue Service (IRS) support centers this year.

The multi-million dollar contract signed with the IRS is the software side of a solution the government agency has been looking to address since the passage of the "Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998."

The IRS has a long history of customer complaints and even has a committee devoted primarily at looking at how complaints are handled and how they can be improved. Veriant's ULTRA software suite is expected to increase the effectiveness of the agency's call centers by logging and recording every phone call, e-mail, chat message or voice over IP made by taxpayers to the center and analyzing how they can be improved.

The software company has a close relationship with the government, mainly in its video surveillance analytics software, and officials say the scalability of its ULTRA software package made it the logical choice for the IRS.

"Verint has significant experience with major government implementations and our ULTRA solution is uniquely designed for a large-scale, multi-site organizations like the Internal Revenue Service," said Dan Bodner, Veriant president and CEO. "ULTRA will deliver actionable intelligence that will enable the IRS to enhance operational efficiency and provide a positive taxpayer experience."

Working with government institutions, especially one as high-profile as the IRS, creates challenges of its own. The information gathered and analyzed by Veriant's software undergoes quality review at both the local level and is sent to a centralized site, where the information will be assessed by both the IRS' quality control committee and members of Congress.

Installation begins almost immediately: the contract calls for Veriant to get two call centers up and running by the end of the year. In 2004, the company expects to install the software at two sites every month until all 46 call centers are using the program.

Despite the size of the project, Lou Boudreau, Veriant chief technology officer, doesn't expect to fall behind in their schedule, despite the fact technicians will be moving throughout the country installing software and training IRS customer support reps.

The software company is presented with one of the biggest projects it's ever handled - "it's way beyond our typical contract (and) it's the biggest I've ever seen," Boudreau said - which relies on a variety of factors: the IRS call centers purchasing and integrating the servers at every location, as well as Ascent Communications (which was awarded the project in conjunction with Veriant for the data transfer side) getting their systems up and running on time.

"We've been working on this opportunity for the past 18 months," he said, "and have had several kickoff meetings to plan. I wouldn't call what we are doing as hectic."