Call centre services firm Aquira have announced that they are to go into administration with the loss of 220 jobs primarily within the call centre in Glasgow. The call centre was primarily an outbound telemarketing company with a number of clients including Vodafone and Scottish Power.
Aquira was formed in 2007 offering data, analytics services and also sub-outsourced a large amount of call centre work to various call centres in The UK and overseas. Last year, they took the plunge and established their own call centre in Glasgow.
Whilst it's too early to speculate on the reasons behind the sudden demise at Aquira, it probably has far more to do with the industry in which they operate as opposed to internal failings. Although I had no direct dealings with Aquira, the people I spoke with who did predominantly had good things to say about the company. However, they operate in an industry in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a profit. Within the outbound industry, Aquira were one of the pioneers of using data and analytics to profile individuals who were more likely to buy. This model is clearly the future of outbound telemarketing but across the board we are seeing the diminishing effectiveness of consumer telemarketing especially in Aquira's primary sectors.
It had been rumoured for some time that Aquira were trying to sell their business but this appears to have come to nothing. The outbound market in The UK is going through a period of change among its largest vendors. LBM were acquired by Stream last year (who in turn were acquired by Convergys), 2 Touch were acquired by Parseq and some of the other vendors have tried to shift their work more towards customer services and away from telemarketing.
This is unlikely to be the last we hear from Aquira or at least those involved in running the business. The company was owned and managed by senior industry individuals and I believe that we are likely to see them involved in the data and analytics space some time soon. We wish them all the luck.