Yesterday, Concentrix announced that it is entering into negotiations to acquire Webhelp for $4.8 billion, with the transaction expected to close by end of year. This is, of course, quite the acquisition! Webhelp is a well-established player in the contact center outsourcing space (especially in EMEA) and will provide Concentrix with the global coverage they’ve long lacked.

The Season For Consolidation

Many companies are looking to consolidate vendor contracts and simplify their partner engagements. Global reach for customer service matters, whether it be to support multiple languages or to enable “follow the sun” support models. Webhelp’s strong EMEA presence unlocks a number of attractive markets for Concentrix and its customers — especially Africa, which has seen a recent increase in demand. It also doesn’t hurt that Webhelp has had success managing work-from-home programs, allowing for easier access to language resources across EMEA. This will be a welcome change for Concentrix clients looking to simplify their partner ecosystem and eliminate the multipartner mathematics of evaluating performance outputs.

Concentrix has been savvy about acquisitions before, including its 2018 pickup of Convergys that provided reach into new verticals and some customer interaction technologies, so there is some reason to be optimistic that a Concentrix/Webhelp hookup has a chance of working out — despite the broad differences in company cultures. And of course, such a deal provides opportunities for “trimming the fat,” including back-office operations and reducing real estate footprint where sites overlap (as an example, both companies have sites in the two major BPO hubs in Colombia).

A Tale Of Two Giants

In customer service outsourcing, most players have difficulty challenging Teleperformance’s market supremacy. In Forrester’s 2020 evaluation of global omnichannel customer service outsourcers, Teleperformance was a clear market leader, primarily thanks to its deep geographic reach and language capabilities. With the acquisition of Webhelp, might Concentrix be poised to challenge the throne? Maybe. I’ll wait to see how well it manages to maintain Webhelp’s unique strengths, namely its sharp focus on the agent experience. Either way, though, Teleperformance will need to scootch over and give the newest giant a seat on the mountain.