For the second year straight, January has yielded an aggressive acquisition play in the CRM outsourcing space, this year with the announcement that Alorica is buying West Corporation’s agent services. This shows the emphasis that many outsourcers are placing on the North American contact center services market, and places Alorica in a stronger competitive position.
Alorica’s expansion enhances its competitive positioning
Over the past two years, Alorica has increased its prominence among contact center outsourcing vendors in North America. Recent moves involving new capacity in the Dominican Republic and Honduras have set the stage for its 2015 decision to buy West Corporation’s agent services division for $275m. This division yielded revenues of $580m in 2014, and should bring Alorica’s 2015 turnover to roughly $1.2bn (as per Alorica’s projections). In sheer magnitude, this positions Alorica nearly level with other leading US vendors such as TeleTech, Sykes, and Sitel, and will serve Alorica well when bidding for business among enterprises seeking vendors with solid revenues behind their name.
Alorica becomes a home-agent player at the right time
The acquisition of West Corporation’s agent services bulks up Alorica’s delivery platform in the Philippines and the American nearshore (with a rich nearshore English language opportunity via a beachhead in Jamaica). However, the onboarding of 5,000 home-based agents (about 27% of the total West US workforce) is an excellent base from which to target the virtual contact center market in the US. Not only does the US account for more than 90% of the global home agent market (see The Future of Home-Based Agent Outsourcing), but it is also forecast to grow in excess of 15% annually, and is rapidly gaining interest from non-traditional adopters of home-based services. If Alorica can seamlessly incorporate West’s home agents into its own offering, it will become a new virtual CRM power player.
Diversification beyond US should be Alorica’s next step
Outsourcers and enterprises alike will take notice of Alorica’s decision to take on West’s agent services. However, Alorica executives will need to determine the extent to which they wish to remain focused on the US market. At $1.2bn in revenues, over the long term Alorica would be wise to look for new demand markets, such as Western Europe and ANZ (in the case of the latter, this is a great opportunity for Alorica’s enhanced delivery presence in the Philippines). This will diversify Alorica’s base of revenues and further position it as a global contact center competitor in the eyes of prospective clients.
The Future of Home-Based Agent Outsourcing, IT019-003295 (January 2014)
Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst, IT Services