Table of Contents
This research study provides analyst commentary on the most important market forces affecting outsourcing trends in Europe for 2015 . This extensive Market Insight will provide enterprise organizations with a fundamental assessment of North American outsourcing providers and their capabilities in a single report. The study includes a profile of 23 of the market leaders in Europe.
Executive Summary—The Competitive
Landscape at a Glance
In 2015, European enterprises and governments alike understand the benefits of partnering with Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers for their customer contact needs. But the BPO landscape is highly competitive and there are an array of both pan-European and regional providers. Decision makers need to assess providers carefully and conduct careful due diligence in order to make the kinds of investments that best address their specific needs. The BPO Drama in Europe: A Dizzying Array of Mergers, Acquisitions, &
Still, that can be easier said than done. After all, it can be challenging to stay on top of the dizzying array of recent mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations in the industry in Europe, involving players as diverse as Acticall, Sitel, Comdata, Atento, Arvato, Webhelp, SNT Deutschland, Walter Services, Serco, SYKES, TeleTech, and Teleperformance. On July 10, 2015, Paris-based Acticall Group announced that it had agreed to acquire Sitel Worldwide from Onex Corporation. Acticall now adds some -plus employees to its portfolio of companies comprised of employees. Sitel will continue to operate as an independent brand and Bert Quintana will continue to serve as Sitel’s Chairman, CEO, and President. Acticall now becomes a major global player in the industry. But that is just the most recent development, just the most obvious example of increasingly active
Europe BPO providers. In 2013, Comdata purchased CallUs Turkey. It followed that by acquiring Atento’s operations in the Czech Republic. In 2014, Webhelp acquired SNT in the Netherlands, now Webhelp Netherlands, and FDI Payment Services, now Webhelp Payment Services. By June, 2015, Webhelp also announced that it had made two strategic acquisitions: Perry & Knorr, acquired from Germany’s Walter Services, and Italy’s OnLine. Suddenly, Webhelp has a significant presence in the German-speaking market and extends its pan-European coverage.
Meanwhile, in February, 2015, KPN announced that it had reached agreement to sell German subsidiary SNT Deutschland AG to the LIVIA Group, an industrial holding company based in Munich and Vienna, for an undisclosed consideration. And in March, 2014, TeleTech announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sofica Group, an independent customer management outsourcing Services Company founded in 2004, with operations in Bulgaria and Macedonia. The mergers and acquisitions came fast and furious in Europe, but so too did the reorganizations. At the end of 2011, Transcom initiated a turnaround plan aimed at improving financial and operational stability. And at the end of 2013, the company announced a realignment of the management structure. By the end of 2014, margins had improved significantly, and the region of North Europe was showing particularly strong results. By 2015, the company could state it was exiting the turnaround phase. In September, 2014, Bosch announced that Bosch Communication Center would be renamed Bosch Service Solutions, reflecting “the aim of becoming the leading provider in the field of business process outsourcing for innovative, technology-driven services”. The repositioning under the new name is
based on a strategic realignment.
Meantime, in 2011, SYKES launched a strategic review of operations in Europe, a region where it faced demand contraction from a number of global clients. SYKES’s goal was to stem the operating losses in EMEA and restore its financial position in that region to one of strength. A new plan entailed targeting markets with growth and profit potential while exiting non-strategic ones. Years later, the company now believes it has a footprint in EMEA that is not only more focused and more aligned with the marketplace, but also one that provides it with a strong foundation for funding strategic, regional investments that will generate sustainable financial returns. In the UK, back in July, 2012, the Secretary of State for Justice in the UK announced that an independent audit of the billing arrangements of the Electronic Monitoring contracts that Serco Group
operated had highlighted potential overbilling. As a result, the Serco Group developed and then set in train a comprehensive program of corporate renewal which included a complete review of its strategy. A vast reorganization resulted, and as of publication of this report, the majority of Serco Global Services was widely known to be up for sale.
In addition, in 2011, H.I.G. Capital acquired Walter Services. A restructuring of Walter Service’s nine companies via insolvency plans was successfully concluded by the end of 2013. Then came April, 2014, when Arvato took over five Walter Services GmbH sites in Germany, and June, 2015, when Webhelp also acquired parts of Walter Services. The now owner-operated companies within the smaller Walter Services Group total just over 2,600 employees. Then in May, 2015, Sitel announced the opening of its second Customer Experience center in Bulgaria. That was followed just weeks later by Sitel’s acquisition by the Acticall Group. Finally, as for industry leader Teleperformance, in 2012, co-founder Jacques Berrebi resigned from his position as Board advisor, relinquished all of his operating duties within the Group, and sold all of his shares in the company. The Group also transformed its head office in Paris, France, making it into a showcase meeting place for clients. And by November, 2014, Teleperformance announced it was changing its status from a French Public Limited Company (Société Anonyme, SA) to a European Company (Societas Europaea, SE).
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