As customer interactions continue to become more complex, the contact center industry is increasingly turning to mergers & acquisitions as an effective solution to expand scale, improve access to new technologies and enhance geographic coverage.
Contact Center Industry Trends
In February 2019, Century City-headquartered investment firm Skyview Capital completed its acquisition of customer care assets from Conduent Incorporated (NYSE: CNDT) and established Continuum Global Solutions to serve as the industry brand housing the new business. Skyview Capital’s carveout transaction launched Continuum with revenues of more than $400 million and a global workforce of approximately 16,000 employees. Committed to a rapid expansion of its contact center industry footprint, Skyview purchased Brooklyn, NY-based King TeleServices, resulting in an additional 300 customer care professionals to the Continuum platform, along with an impressive roster of prestigious enterprise and local government clients from across the United States.
Skyview’s acquisitions represent the latest in an array of recent contact center investment developments (Cisco/Broadsoft, Mitel/Shoretel, ConvergeOne/SPS, Teleperformance/Blackstone, Convergys/Synnex)—and further underscores the expanded role M&A plays in the $28 billion contact services industry.
Trends helping to shape today’s contact center industry and fuel M&A activity, include:
- Shifting operations to lower-cost countries (Malaysia, Estonia, Latvia and Greece are up-and-coming outsource markets);
- Increased use of automation and Artificial Intelligence technologies to improve agent efficiency and maximize customer self-help; and
- Increased data analytics contributing toward improved customer engagement strategies.
Driving Contact Center Mergers & Acquisitions
M&A has become an option of choice for contact centers looking to invest in advanced technologies, improve systems for integrating customer communications and build management and operational teams fully versed in all customer experience skill sets.
The newly merged company becomes better positioned to:
- Bring in-house the most current technologies (data analytics, machine learning, voice recognition, robotic process automation) to lower operating costs, grow revenues, increase efficiency and improve the quality of customer interaction;
- Expand infrastructure to effectively service all inbound and outbound channels;
- Install advanced analytics to support merging data from various channels;
- Increase scale as more agents and customers are added, allowing for fixed overhead costs being shared over a larger revenue base;
- Serve domestic and multinational customers, paving the way for the ability to leverage the most cost-efficient labor markets; and
- Create management and operational teams experienced in all aspects of customer interaction services.
For example, Continuum’s combined assets empowered the new company to immerse its global client base with advanced solutions including Robotic Process Automation (RPA) business process software and omnichannel routing solutions providing a seamless customer experience strategy across a multitouch point voice and non-voice platform. At the same time, the Continuum management team benefits from parent company Skyview Capital’s operational expertise to support the new company’s growth and its tech incubator division to develop and pinpoint technologies aimed at increasing agent productivity.
Merging or acquiring other contact centers or contact center businesses has become an attractive option for growing the bottom line. The Skyview Capital-Continuum Global Solutions partnership represents the business model of the future for the contact center industry—managing hundreds of thousands of customer interactions per day with advanced technologies and skilled professionals on behalf of the company’s multinational clients.
Prior to his appointment as President of Global Portfolio Operations for Skyview Capital, LLC, Darryl Smith served as Managing Partner for private equity fund CrimStone Partners. He previously held the CEO position for Waples Precision Manufacturing, Cimcon Finishing and Premier Logitech and served as Vice President, Portfolio Operations for Los Angeles-based Platinum Equity.