If it's communication services you need, why not go West? West Corporation provides technology-driven, voice-oriented services through about 45 call centers and automated voice and data centers. It offers inbound and outbound call handling (including 911 support through its Intrado subsidiary) for services such as customer support, technical assistance, and order processing. It also provides automated and Web-based customer care programs through its West Interactive division, and lead management, team selling, and sales management services through West Business Services. West additionally offers conference call services through its Intercall operations, and it is a leading debt collections agency in the US.
West does business through two distinct operating segments: Unified Communications, containing its conferencing segment, and Communication Services, consisting of emergency services such as 911 support and automated customer support. Although the company serves clients in a wide array of industries, AT&T accounts for 10% of total revenue. In 2011 total revenues increased more than 4%, thanks to revenue from several acquisitions it made that year. This caused a boost in net income in 2011, when West also benefitted from the lack of a refinancing expense that occurred in 2010. In 2011 net income more than doubled.
The company made a move to enhance its core call center operations when it acquired HyperCube, a provider of switching services for telecommunications providers, in 2012. Through its network of strategically located switches, HyperCube saves its customers money by offering toll free origination and other neutral interconnection services. It serves eight of the top 10 largest wireless companies in the country.
In 2011 the company completed a total of six acquisitions for an aggregate price of approximately $222.7 million. West expanded its expertise in a key market when it obtained Twenty First Century Communications, a provider of automated alerts and notification services catering chiefly to the utilities industry. Another 2011 deal was the purchase of Smoothstone IP Communications, a provider of cloud-based communications software, which West added to its growing Unified Communications business. West paid approximately $120 million for the company.
West has also made a big push to expand its West Interactive operations and focus its business on voice communications and automations technology. In 2010, it bought TuVox, a provider of on-demand speech and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) software. Through speech recognition technology, TuVox's software allows callers to say exactly what they need and then be routed to the appropriate destination. West sees TuVox's technology as highly complementary to its own growing portfolio of voice recognition services.
An investment group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Quadrangle Group LLC owns a majority of West's shares. – less