The hallmark of any successful BPO is its ability to ensure ongoing viability by way of multiple revenue sources.  And, while many third-party contact center players purport to take this strategic approach, the reality is that very few walk the walk.  This is not the case with Teleperformance, whose 2017 revenues indicate not only strength in its annual turnovers, but also its capability of winning business using innovative means.  Other players in the sector will need to respond in order to remain competitive.

At Teleperformance’s 2017 revenue announcement, held in Paris on March 1st, it was clear the company had much to be happy about.  Its performance of €4.2 billion is an increase in business of 9%, relative to the previous year, and takes the global player just a fraction shy of $5bn USD.  But digging deeper into the announcement, what shines through for Teleperformance are some the sources that drove these turnovers.  A figure that immediately jumps out is an increase in the firm’s Ibero-LATAM revenues, up nearly a quarter since 2016.  During its announcement, this growth was credited to a strong performance at Teleperformance’s multilingual hub in Portugal, coupled with larger volumes of nearshore work coming into both Mexico and Colombia from US clients.  However, there were other revenue sources that were equally notable.

From a vertical standpoint, Teleperformance deserves credit for having diversified its industry footprint to the point that in 2017 no single sector accounted for more than 14% of its global business. In an era where many outsourcers’ revenues are still dominated by two or three verticals, Teleperformance has managed to diversify well.  Of particular note was the growth of firms competing in the digitally-driven ‘new economy‘.  This is a rapidly expanding source of income for Teleperformance from a sector that the outsourcer community is eager to tap, but in which few have succeeded in doing so.

Among the most interesting revenue sources discussed by Teleperformance in its 2017 release was that of specialized services, which include its translation offering (Language Line) and visa processing (TLScontact).  This line of business grew to over €600m in 2017, up over 10% from the previous year.  There is every indication that the firm will continue to place more emphasis on this division, given its propensity to generate both solid revenues and very strong margins.

At the end of the day, Teleperformance remains the largest pure-play front office BPO globally, and the 2017 revenue announcement is indicative of why this is the case.  Its leadership has demonstrated a willingness to get out of the comfort zone of traditional contact center services delivered to the usual vertical suspects, by branching into emerging industries and innovating in new functional lines.  As 2018 continues, savvy industry watchers will be looking for more evidence that this strategy is paying off.  They will also be monitoring what Teleperformance’s competitors are doing in response.