SR Teleperformance S.A.
SR Teleperformance S.A.
Incorporated: 1978 as Teleperformance; 1990 as SR Communication
Sales: EUR 1.39 billion ($1.9 billion) (2006)
Stock Exchanges: Paris
Ticker Symbol: RCF
NAIC: 541820 Public Relations Services
SR Teleperformance S.A. is one of the world’s leading specialists in call center operations and related outsourced customer relationship management (CRM) services. The Paris-based company operates on a global scale, serving some 70 countries through its network of more than 260 contact centers in 42 countries. The majority of the company’s centers are stand-alone operations; however, the company operates more than 90 in-house call centers for major clients’ offices.
Inbound services represent 64 percent of the group’s activities, while outbound services, including customer recruitment and debt collection, represent 31 percent of Teleperformance’s operations. The company also develops and operates multimedia-based contact solutions for its clients, including web-based, fax, e-mail, and related services. With nearly 56,500 workstations in operation at the end of 2006, the company handles over one billion calls each year.
In addition to its call center operations, Teleperformance provides a complete range of marketing services and products, including customer research and targeting, image management, and the like, supported by the group’s vast database and nearly 30 years of experience. While France remains an important market for the company, accounting for 25 percent of its total revenues of EUR 1.19 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2006, the company has built a major presence in the rest of Europe, which adds another 22 percent to sales, as well as in North and South America, which represents approximately half of the company’s turnover.
The telecommunications industry provides Teleperformance’s major client base, accounting for some 47 percent of revenues; other important industries including financial services, technology and media, insurance, utilities, and retail and distribution. SR Teleperformance is listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange and is led by its founding team of Daniel Julien, Jacques Berrebi, and Christophe Allard.
FRENCH TELE-SERVICES PIONEER IN 1978
SR Teleperformance emerged from the 1990 merger of Société Rochefortaise de Communication (SRC), through parent company Société de Développement de Produits et Services (SDPS), and Jaurès Participations Conseils. SRC had originated in 1910 as a food producer, Société Rochefortaise de Produits Alimentaires, based, as its name indicated, in the town of Rochefort. In addition to its factory in Rochefort, the company also operated a plant in France-controlled Madagascar. Following World War II, the company consolidated its original food operations in Madagascar. In France, SRC began building up a wide range of interests, including packaging, industrial cleaning services, food manufacturing, and the operation of trade fairs. By the late 1970s, SRC had grown into a diversified conglomerate. Following a merger with Duprat et Durant in 1978, SRC’s major focus shifted to marketing and media services. The company also came under control of the Douce family, led by Jacque Douce, who had founded Havas Conseil, and then Eurocom, becoming one of the world’s most important figures in the advertising and market industries. Nonetheless, through the 1980s, SRC remained a highly diversified group—in 1982, for example, the company branched out into beer brewing, backing the launch of International Beer and Beverage Industries in Nigeria. By the mid-1980s, publicly listed SRC had come under the leadership of Jacques Berrebi and Christophe Allard.
During this time, Daniel Julien had launched what was to grow into one of the world’s leading CRM groups, Teleperformance. Julien founded the company in Paris in 1978, with just ten telephones lines. Julien, who held an economics degree from the University of Paris, was just 25 years old when he launched what was, at the time, a novel service, that of providing third-party call center assistance in France. The company’s early entry enabled it to grow strongly into the 1980s. By 1985, Teleperformance had captured the lead of the French call center market. The company also played the role of innovator in the market, developing a wide range of services, including marketing and customer service management methods.
With its position in the French market already solidly established, Teleperformance turned toward expansion into new markets. In 1986, the company set up subsidiaries in Belgium and Italy. The company put into place a broader expansion plan, and, in search of funding, came into contact with Berrebi and Allard, who had increasingly been developing SRC’s interests in the media, marketing, public relations, and advertising industries. The association enabled Teleperformance to roll out its operations onto a European wide scale. By 1988, Teleperformance had added subsidiaries in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The company also turned south, adding operations in Spain and Portugal, and continued filling in its European base with the establishment of subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
By 1990, Teleperformance’s fast growth encouraged SRC to refocus on its marketing-related operations. As part of that decision, Allard, Julien, and Berrebi worked out a merger agreement that first merged SRC and SDPS, then took over Teleperformance. The three founders also took over the company’s top executive positions, while the Douce family remained on as the majority shareholders in the new company, renamed as Rochefortaise Communication (RC). Following the merger, RC began divesting its newly noncore holdings. By the late 1990s, the company had refocused itself around a more limited core, including direct marketing, healthcare marketing and communications, and telemarketing.
BUILDING A GLOBAL NETWORK IN THE 1990S
Teleperformance in the meantime had continued to grow strongly. The company launched a new range of services, including developing the first outsourced customer care center operations in 1990. Teleperformance also launched its first customer care survey operations at this time. With its European expansion largely in place, the company was able to claim leadership of that market by 1995. By then, Teleperformance had begun looking beyond the Atlantic for its future growth. In 1993, the company set up a subsidiary in the United States, which was already the world’s largest call center market. By 1995, the company had moved north, setting up a dedicated Canadian subsidiary.
Teleperformance’s mission is to serve you as a global contact center expert, offering nearly 30 years of experience and innovation and bringing our excellence to your customer experiences. Our expertise will serve your ambitions.
Our values are the foundation of the Group: Teleperformance commits to meet and exceed its client expectations by providing contact center solutions around the world 24/7 and by delivering superior performance in customer management, while strictly respecting highly ethical and socially responsible values.
Teleperformance’s expansion took off in the second half of the 1990s. Acquisitions formed a major part of the company’s growth during this time. In 1996, for example, the company moved into Mexico, buying a stake in that country’s Merkafon. The company also boosted its presence in Italy through the purchase of Promoplan, in Switzerland with the acquisition of TP Suisse, in Belgium through marketing services group Design Board, and in France with the purchase of Troubat, a specialist in healthcare communications. The following year, the company added Greece to its network, acquiring that country’s Service 800, while Teleperformance gained a leadership spot in Spain through the purchase of Iberphone. At the same time, the company continued to enter new regions through startup operations, adding Denmark and Norway to its European network.
Teleperformance branched out into the Asian Pacific starting in 1996 with the creation of Teleperformance Australia and operations in New Zealand. The company added a subsidiary in the Philippines, which also became a major offshore outsourcing center for the company. Teleperformance then added South Korea to its list, through the creation of a joint venture with IMC Marketing in 1998. By the end of that year, the company had established a call center in Singapore, as well.
In the meantime, Teleperformance had entered the South American market. The company bought telemarketing company FST in Argentina in 1998. Brazil also became an important market for the company in the region following the creation of a subsidiary there in 1998.
By the end of the decade, Teleperformance was able to lay claim to a leadership position in the global call center and CRM industry—outside of the United States. At the dawn of the 21st century, Teleperformance launched an effort to build its presence in the all-important U.S. market, completing a series of acquisitions. These included Americall, SAC, a 51 percent stake in NSDI, and Noble Systems, all in 1999. By the end of that year, the company boasted more than 2,500 workstations in the United States alone.
CRM FOCUS IN THE NEW CENTURY
The growth of its call center and CRM business led Rochefortaise Communication to adopt a new strategy for the start of the 21st century, restructuring its operations around Teleperformance as its core. In keeping with the new strategy, the company changed its name to SR Teleperformance in 2000. In addition to Teleperformance, which generated 75 percent of the group’s sales, the newly named company included, at least temporarily, two remaining divisions: marketing services and health marketing. The latter was phased out by the middle of the decade.
SR Teleperformance concentrated on consolidating its position on the global market. The company extended its Latin American network, adding operations in the Dominican Republic in 2002, El Salvador in 2004, and Chile in 2006. The company also extended its control of Merkafon in Mexico to 100 percent; that company, renamed as Merkafon-Teleperformance, was by then a leading provider of CRM services to the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. In the United States, meanwhile, SR Teleperformance had continued to broaden its base, buying CallTech Communications in 2004. That year the company took over its main U.K. rival MM Group, taking the lead in that market, as well.
These purchases allowed SR Teleperformance to claim the number two position in the global CRM market by 2005. At the same time, the company continued to build up its position in individual markets. For example, the company took the lead in the German market through its purchase of All by Phone + Net in 2004, followed by the takeover of twenty4help from Internet service provider United Internet in January 2007. By then, the purchase of majority control of Swiss Contact Management Group (SCMG) in 2006 had given the company a leading position in the Swiss market as well.
- Daniel Julien establishes Teleperformance as a call center with ten telephones in Paris.
- Teleperformance is number one in French customer relationship management (CRM) industry and launches an international expansion.
- Teleperformance merges with SRC (Société Rochefortaise de Communication, founded in 1910) and repositions itself as a marketing and public relations group.
- Company’s name changes to SR Teleperformance and it restructures around a core of CRM business.
- SR Teleperformance is world’s second leading CRM group.
Eastern Europe became the country’s latest frontier at mid-decade, as the company moved to establish itself in the major markets in that region. The company’s first move came with the establishment of Teleperformance Romania, as a subsidiary of Teleperformance Greece, in 2005. In 2006, the company moved into Hungary, buying 70 percent of call center group Photel. By the end of that year, Teleperformance had also acquired operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. SR Teleperformance intended to play a leading role in the ongoing consolidation of the global CRM market in the new century.
M. L. Cohen
All by Phone + Net (Germany); Americall de Mexico, S.A.; Americall Group, Inc. (United States); B.P.S Associates Ltd. (United Kingdom); Call & Sell (Netherlands); Cash Performance 90 90; Centrum Inwestycyjne (Poland); Centrum Teleperformance Polska (Poland); Fonomerk (Spain); Iberphone (Spain); IIn & Out, SpA (Italy); Infomobile; Lion Teleservices CZ (Czech Republic); Lion Teleservices SK (Slovakia); MarketVisions (Germany); MM Teleperformance Holdings Ltd (United Kingdom); NAFTA (North America and Mexico) Teleperformance Group, Inc. (United States); NETC GmbH (Germany); Plurimarketing (Portugal); S.A. (Greece) (70); Société Européenne de Télémarketing (Belgium); Société Martiniquaise de Centre d’Appels (M.C.A) (90); Teleperformance Denmark AS; Teleperformance Finland Oy; Teleperformance France; Teleperformance Norway; Teleperformance U.K.; Teleperformance Unternehmensberarung (Austria); Teleperformance USA; Teleteam Marketing AG (Switzerland); TP Lebanon; TP Nordic (Sweden); TP Romania.
Sitel Corporation; ACS Inc.; NCO Group; ICT Group, Inc.; ClientLogic; eTelecare Global Solutions; PCCW Contact Center Business; GC Services L.P.; APAC Customer Services Inc.
Buffardi, Michelle, “Teleperformance USA Buys AOL Call Center,” CommWeb, October 23, 2006.
“CBCC Merges with Teleperformance,” South American Business Information, July 8, 2004.
“French Group Extends into Mexico,” Precision Marketing, May 31, 2002, p. 9.
Hammer, A. J., Brooke Anderson, and Sibila Vargas, “Teleperformance to Invest US$500k in Contact Center Expansion,” America’s Intelligence Wire, February 9, 2006.
McCawley, Ian, “SR Teleperformance Buys Out Infomobile Operations,” Precision Marketing, September 17, 2004, p. 9.
“MM Group Rebrands After Teleperformance Merger,” Precision Marketing, December 17, 2004, p. 3.
Read, Brendan B., “Teleperformance Closes, Acquires Centers,” CommWeb, November 21, 2003.
Schelmetic, Tracey E., “Teleperformance USA and CallTech Communications Merge,” Customer Interaction Solutions, March 2006, p. 20.
“Teleperformance Buys 70pc Stake in Hungarian Call Centre Company,” Hungarian News Agency, July 4, 2006.
“Teleperformance Strategic Move on the German Market,” PR Newswire, January 19, 2007.
“Teleperformance 2006 Revenues—Organic Growth Exceeding Objectives,” PR Newswire, February 7, 2007.
“United Internet Sells Subsidiary to Teleperformance,” Borsen Zeitung, January 23, 2007.