News : Digicall Buys Local SOS Unit
Johannesburg, June 4, 2012 -- Business process outsourcing company Digicall Solutions has bought out the local arm of International SOS, under a franchise agreement, for an undisclosed amount.
International SOS provides medical and security services for partners such as Vodacom's emergency services. It operates from over 700 sites, in 76 countries, with 10 000 employees.
The local arm has been in SA since 1985 and runs an alarm centre in Johannesburg that is staffed by a team of doctors, nurses, ambulance coordinators, travel, sales and customer service specialists. Digicall will route emergency calls to the required specialist.
Digicall CEO Willem de Clercq says the outsourcing company has wanted to move into the kind of business International SOS provides. He says Digicall provides services to insurance companies, such as claims-handling, and can bundle the services, such as road-side assistance, into its current offerings.
In addition, says De Clercq, Digicall can offer its other back-office solutions to International SOS's clients. Within time, Digicall will seek synergies between the two entities, he adds.
Established in 2003, Digicall Solutions handles more than 150 000 calls and 100 000 fax and e-mail messages each month from its contact centre facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Its business includes emergency assistance for 150 000 policy holders.
De Clercq notes that Digicall is always looking for acquisitions and has been building up its cash resources over the last few years. He says the group will stick to what it knows and will focus on financial services.
"We have grown through a strategy of niche acquisitions and new start-ups. These businesses were aligned with our overall strategy of becoming a major player in the high volume, predictable claims and transactional processing space," says De Clercq.
Digicall took control of the South African unit last week and now has almost 1 000 staff members, says De Clercq. The group does not anticipate any job losses after the deal comes into effect.
Tjaart van Stryp, CEO of International SOS's South African business, says Digicall is a strong domestic partner that will help the company grow its footprint locally, regionally and globally.
The South African domestic business will continue to use the International SOS brand and will operate under a franchise agreement from International SOS.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About International SOS:
SOS, a provider of integrated advanced communications solutions for midsize and small businesses, supplies voice, data, and telephony management services. SOS solutions enable organizations to simplify communications, enhance productivity, and leverage real-time business intelligence. Often deployed over a single Internet Protocol platform, SOS’ solutions bridge the gap between legacy phone/data services and sophisticated telephony systems.
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012
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