2015 has been a busy year for Sitel. Its recent sale to Groupe Acticall has proven to be a source of enthusiasm and optimism for executives of the Nashville-based CRM services vendor, and this was evident at the company’s recent analyst day held in Las Vegas. In Ovum’s opinion, Sitel must take advantage of its presence in the virtual agent domain and focus on value-added services in order to reassert its credentials as a leader in this space.
Following its sale by Onex Corporation, Sitel is eager to position itself for marked growth in the near-to-medium term, and this is wise: Ovum’s most recent CRM Outsourcing Business Trends Survey indicates that enterprise contact center managers place more importance on their contact center partner’s financial strength today than in recent years. Over the past three years, Sitel’s revenues have been relatively flat (growing by less than 1% annually since 2012). Clearly competitors, industry observers, and prospects/clients will be watching closely to see how Sitel can improve its top-line growth to levels more in line with other global players.
One angle that Sitel should take is to further expand its home-based agent delivery capacity. Over the past few years, this has proven to be a successful niche area for the company. This division has effectively doubled home agent volumes over the past 12 months, and Sitel is a leader among bricks-and-mortar outsourcers in providing these services. By continuing to innovate in the delivery of virtualized agents (including front-line support, security/data protection, and remote workforce management), Sitel has the potential to take advantage of a contact center services segment that is growing by over 10% annually, based on Ovum’s most recent forecast. It is also in a good position to use its European presence to grow this business model in countries where virtual contact center delivery has not yet taken hold but where latent interest is said to lie (especially in the UK and Germany, which are considered the most promising markets for these services).
Perhaps more strategically, Ovum sees tremendous revenue growth potential for Sitel’s broader CRM service offering. A primary benefit of being part of Groupe Acticall is the capacity to take advantage of the larger company’s significant legacy in back-office deployments, analytics, training-as-a-service, digital services, and consulting. These are areas in which Sitel needs to expand its footprint as a way to differentiate itself from the competition. Based on the messages from its recent analyst day, this approach looks like a certainty. In a marketplace that is ripe with consolidation and contact center outsourcers constantly looking for a niche in which to exert themselves, this strategy will bring better visibility and almost certainly a gain in top-line revenues.
Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst, IT Services
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