Synnex Buys IBM’s Customer Care Unit

Synnex CEO Kevin Murai

Synnex CEO Kevin Murai

Synnex Corp. shook up the business outsourcing segment yesterday when it acquired IBM Corp.’s customer care business unit for $505 million and struck a multi-year deal to provide services back to Big Blue.

The assets and resources acquired from IBM will be rolled into Concentrix, Synnex’s wholly owned customer care business, adding more than $1 billion annually in revenue.

“We are very excited to bring together these two great teams, each recognized by their clients as leaders in providing outstanding and innovative solutions,” said Synnex CEO Kevin Murai. “This acquisition will significantly extend our portfolio of offerings and delivery capabilities that will make Concentrix a global Top 10 player in this growing market.”

As part of the deal, Concentrix will provide customer care support to IBM and its customers.

IBM’s Global Process Services unit will continue to provide business process outsourcing services, but will shift its focus and expand upon existing practices in finance and administration, procurement and supply chain management, human resources and other back office functions.

“This partnership between IBM and Synnex will provide our clients with the innovation they have come to expect from IBM through our deep capabilities in advanced analytics, social business, cloud and smarter commerce, complemented by Concentrix’ flexible and adaptive global customer care delivery network,” said Lori Steele, general manager of IBM Global Process Services.

Synnex’s investment in the IBM customer care unit comes at a time when distributors are looking to augment their “pick, pack and ship” core business functions. Avnet Inc. has spent hundreds of millions acquiring solution providers with deep professional services resources to build an outsourcing bench. Ingram Micro is developing professional services capacities. And Tech Data has invested heavily in developing cloud automation resources and support.

Making Synnex’s play interesting is the general market trend of technology companies providing end customers with more back office support. Services are evolving beyond just managed and cloud to include application management and data processing. Synnex taking on a greater BPO function will provide it a leg up on others in the ability to deliver value-add business services.