Nearshore Americas

Managed Services Player Serco Expand BPO Operations in Central America

Managed services firm Serco Global Services is gearing up to expand Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) capabilities in North and Central America. With US- based locations –– Fargo, ND and Campbellsville, KY –– nearing their maximum capacity, the company is poised to add additional centers to meet growing demands. And also plans to expand operations at an existing nearshore facility located in Guatemala.

Nearshore Americas recently had the chance to ask Steve Sieke, CEO of  Serco Global Services, Americas, about his company’s plans in the region and what trends he sees developing in nearshore BPO.

What factors drove Serco to expand its presence in the Americas, especially Central America?

SS: Serco is an international services provider with more than 100,000 employees delivering a wide range of services to governments and private customers in more than 30 countries worldwide. We are seeing significant growth opportunities in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), not just here in the Americas but also globally. To appropriately focus our efforts, we recently combined all of our middle and back office capabilities to create a new global BPO division.

“This new division, Serco Global Services, has immediately become one of the world’s largest top 20 BPO providers. We combined the capabilities already resident in Serco with a number of key acquisitions in the BPO space, including: Intelenet, a BPO company with an existing international footprint and industrial-level capacity business services,; The Listening Company, a contact center services specialist in the UK; Excelior in Australia; and, the public-sector BPO business of Vertex in the UK.

Serco already has an established presence in the Americas through frontline and BPO contracts with federal, state and local clients. So building on this base is an obvious next step in the region.

We want focus our BPO services in the Americas on achieving not just process outputs, but business outcomes. We believe that the end-to-end integration of services like this will be a major transformational driver in outsourcing, and the maturity of the BPO market in the Americas makes it the ideal region for this new kind of service. Coupled with these broad drivers of growth in the Americas overall, our growth in capability in Central America specifically reflects the trend toward nearshoring and the desire by our clients to see a balanced geographic portfolio. In addition, Central America offers highly competitive, accent-neutral voice services, coupled with a strong cultural affinity with the US, making it a positive choice for both clients and service providers.

What types of services will be delivered from facilities in the Americas?

SS: Serco provides end-to-end solutions for our clients, offering an integrated portfolio of front-line, middle and back office services. Serco’s customers around the world are increasingly looking for more end-to-end services that combine frontline capability with middle and back office operations, helping them to drive more efficiency and better quality services.

We have more than 1,000 people on our Americas services teams in the U.S. and Guatemala. These employees currently support several brand name travel and hospitality industry clients. Our services in the Americas will grow to reflect those of the global division, which addresses business needs in telecoms, banking and financial services, travel and hospitality, utilities, logistics and healthcare, and across a range of functions including customer services, finance and accounting, HR and procurement.

Have you seen a rise in demand for nearshore BPO services?

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SS: The BPO market continues to evolve rapidly, with new geographies and capabilities reflecting the growing demands of clients who must balance cost, risk and performance. With our capabilities and centers in nine different countries we can meet our clients’ needs whether they require near or off-shore support. Nearshoring can be a choice for clients who are seeking to resolve time zone issues, reduce cultural and language differences, and enable collaborative work for faster delivery. This has made nearshore locations such as Serco’s facilities in Guatemala popular, particularly when combined with offshore delivery for non- voice work. At the same time, there is at times a requirement for onshore support which Serco embraces with plans for further growth of our US delivery centers.


Dan Berthiaume

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