Convergys is up for sale, with Reuters reporting that Silicon Valley-based Synnex Corp is in talks to acquire the BPO provider.
It is not clear why the world’s second largest call center company is on the market. The increasing rate of automation in the industry could be one of the reasons.
With more than $2.5 billion in annual revenue, Convergys runs delivery centers in around 150 locations across the globe, providing customer care, analytics, tech support, collections, work-at-home agents, and end-to-end sales.
The company was expanding rapidly until early last year, particularly after it purchased Stream Global Services in a historic deal, bolstering operations significantly in the Americas. It even made a bid to acquire its Indian call center rival Minacs.
It suffered a jolt earlier this year when its CEO Andrea Ayers resigned after nearly 30 years at the company. Then its first-quarter revenue fell 10% to US$674 million as companies like AT&T began reducing business with the BPO.
Reports say Convergys could have started looking for a buyer following the resignation of Andrea Ayers.
Convergys may have been concerned about the growing rate of automation in its industry, but the BPO provider has made its own use of the technology to speed up its internal operations and reduce cost. It announced in April this year that more than one-third of its workforce is utilizing robotic process automation, reducing customer handle times up to 45% and transaction error rates up to 98%.
Convergys spun off from Cincinnati Bell and became a separate, publicly traded company in 1998. In Latin America, most of its call centers are in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.
Synnex, which outbid Convergys to acquire Minacs, has been booming. Analysts say it wants to combine its international reach with Convergys’ call center capabilities.
Based in Fremont, California, Synnex operates in more than 30 countries and provides IT and outsourcing services to corporate customers.