Translation Service LanguageLine Accents the Teleperformance Portfolio

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Translation Service LanguageLine Accents the Teleperformance Portfolio

Contact center outsourcing powerhouse Teleperformance has seldom ventured outside of its core of contact center services, so it was with great interest we learned of its recent $1.5 billion acquisition of LanguageLine Solutions, a provider of over-the-phone and video translation services. In today’s world of “going digital,” this acquisition is more about filling a market gap and increasing the value of non-automated interactions, and fulfilling the talent strategy that supports “OneOffice” than about enabling the automated or digital interactions themselves. This is a smart move that complements Teleperformance’s business and will help to better serve its clients. 

Translation service fits well into a comprehensive talent strategy

LanguageLine fits well into Teleperformance’s portfolio, as one of the many contact center service providers trying to carve out a new value proposition and maintain relevance in a rapidly changing market. LanguageLine’s 8,000 interpreters, supporting 240 languages, are largely work at home employees; the home based delivery option is one we’ve watched grow in recent years as a solid strategy to find and retain better talent. Companies like LanguageLine have created a common market for interpreters, most of which are formerly self-employed contractors. It provides these contractors with a network, benefits, and corporate culture, but the flexibility of the work-at-home, and the satisfaction that comes with assisting customers with higher value services.

We can surmise that much of the translation service are of higher value than the average contact center interaction; the majority of the interpreters’ calls are over 10 minutes long, indicating more calls greater in complexity than average. LanguageLine is protected from (simple) automated interpretation services due to the majority of clients coming from highly regulated industries including healthcare and BFSI, supporting our that automation generally isn’t replacing contact center jobs, it is making them more challenging and interesting. 

LanguageLine will help Teleperformance better serve the healthcare vertical

We see the greatest opportunity here in particular to increase the value of the service provider’s healthcare offerings (LanguageLine’s revenues are close to half from the healthcare vertical).   Teleperformance has a sizeable and growing presence in the payer space, and we speculate that using the video translation services of LanguageLine could help create a unique value proposition at those sites where Teleperformance runs the interactions for people enrolling in health insurance. Healthcare organizations are highly sensitive about interactions with their constituents, and the context and finesse needed to handle these translations are great, so Teleperformance’s ability to handle these interactions well would be a big differentiator.

Taking the LanguageLine service and integrating it into Teleperformance’s already well rounded customer experience portfolio will be the key to success. Teleperformance is no stranger to adeptly integrating major acquisitions (i.e. TLS Contact, Aegis U.S.).  LanguageLine has proven to be an adaptable organization, starting off as a translation service for Vietnamese refugees in 1982, and was owned by AT&T from 1990-1999, before being sold to a private equity firm. Teleperformance shares a number of clients with LanguageLine and partners with them on specific projects, something the service provider has proven works well through the TLS Contact acquisition. Teleperformance should in theory be able to position complementary services for business results with clients that overlap.

The Bottom Line: LanguageLine’s expertise helps Teleperformance further hone its already smart talent strategy.

The acquisition confirms the service provider’s focus on home based agent delivery and higher value interaction services.  The fact that LanguageLine already has a well established remote video interpretation service shows that it is pivoting the business toward important trends and keen to serve the customer of the future.  This acquisition takes a talent and vertical expertise focused approach to support OneOffice; it is a really smart move to fill a market gap, reaffirming Teleperformance’s commitment to sustained growth and serving its clients by developing and retaining the best possible talent.  

Posted in : Contact Center and Omni-Channel

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