Connect Managed Services acquires Amazon Connect provider CoolHarbour and the assets of US based UVN

Connect Managed Services announces the completion of two significant acquisitions. The first is CoolHarbour, a specialist customer engagement and unified communications consultancy and systems integrator and the second being the assets and technical teams of US based, UVN. Financials of the deals have not been disclosed. Connect Managed Services is backed by, mid-market private equity investor, LDC.

CoolHarbour pioneered the adoption of Amazon Connect, the on-demand contact centre service from Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Europe and is on track to become the first UK company to gain Amazon Connect accredited reseller status in the contact centre market. The company is already actively helping Amazon sell, integrate and deploy their cloud contact centre service.

Developed on the market leading AWS platform, Amazon Connect is disrupting the established call centre market. Through its Lex service, Amazon Connect enables callers to engage with businesses using Natural Language Understanding and have their intents accurately determined to maximise the chances of reaching the correct person, achieving greater customer experiences and efficiencies. It has unparalleled integration capabilities through its Lambda services and delivers unmatched scalability and enterprise grade availability.

Amazon Connect’s flexible, consumption based commercial model virtually eliminates the need for traditional upfront capex investments and ensures that substantial operating cost savings can be achieved, thus empowering organisations to very quickly build contact centres and then scale up. As such, Amazon Connect is an extremely attractive proposition for forward thinking organisations looking to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace and is highly complementary to the existing Connect contact centre portfolio of Genesys, Cisco and Avaya. It is a proven, robust solution which Amazon has been using for almost ten years across thousands of simultaneous contact centre agents throughout the world.

UVN USA currently delivers technical and engineering support to blue chip enterprises based across the United States, complementing Connect’s existing US footprint and customer portfolio.

Alex Tupman, CEO Connect Managed Services said. “Cost control, exceptional customer service along with improved business and operational capabilities remain high on everyone’s agenda. As a trusted partner, we are constantly looking for new ways to help our customers to achieve these important objectives. There is growing interest in Amazon Connect and we are already seeing a shift to AWS within our own client community, with a number moving, some or all, of their IT applications to this environment. With innovation at the core of everything we do, the timing of the CoolHarbour deal is perfect, as we are currently helping some of our clients to deploy Avaya, Cisco and Genesys implementations onto AWS. The Lex Natural Language Understanding capabilities of the CoolHarbour team adds even greater value to our Avaya, Cisco and Genesys users, enabling them to better serve their own customers’ needs. The expertise and experience they bring to the Connect family is also an important component of our own business transformation journey. Add to this the growing demand for our solutions in the United States, the UVN deal provides invaluable, technical engineering & customer support to our overall capabilities in this important market. These will help to underpin Connect’s geographical footprint and ambitious expansion plans in North America. We firmly believe both these acquisitions provide a win, win situation for everyone involved.”

CoolHarbour was founded in 2014, by Faraz Khan, Jamshaid Anwar and Wajahat Khan. The firm has been entirely focussed on providing next generation call centre technology to an impressive blue-chip customer base. The entire team is moving across to Connect, adding deep domain expertise across AWS and Microsoft cloud communications to the existing Connect capabilities. Jamshaid will be responsible for spearheading the drive to increase adoption of Amazon Connect and its related services within Connect’s rapidly expanding user community across the globe.

Jamshaid said. “It was very important that we found the right partner to help us to take the business to the next level and we are delighted to be joining the Connect team. They enjoy a great reputation for innovation and excellent customer service, together with a global reach that is second to none in the business. The opportunity to integrate our Amazon Connect call centre skills and experience with a progressive firm like Connect was exactly what we were looking for. This will be hugely beneficial for CoolHarbour’s customers as it will enable us to better support their existing infrastructure and software (Genesys, Avaya, Cisco). Together, we have now created an entity that is truly unique in the industry, and with interest in Amazon Connect growing apace, we are thrilled to be working with Alex and his management team to satisfy the growing demand for this highly innovative, and potentially disruptive, call centre capability.”

Alex concluded. “We are very excited about the first mover advantages the CoolHarbour acquisition represents both for the company and our users. Virtually every major organisation is on a business transformation journey and the adoption of AWS, across all sectors and geographies, is certainly gaining momentum. Add into the mix that most unified communications providers and contact centre vendors are also racing to develop their products to run on Amazon and the market dynamics have suddenly become very interesting indeed.”

Connect Managed Services is backed by mid-market private equity investor, LDC following the multimillion-pound management buyout in April 2014. In June, it reported a 39% increase in turnover and a 240% increase in profits (EBITDA) for the 12 months to December 2016 compared to the previous financial year.

This track record for Connect Managed Services has been powered by significant new contract wins and has seen the business gain Advanced Technology Partner (ATP) status with Cisco. In July 2017, Connect Managed Services completed the acquisition of PC-1 which manages some of the largest contact centres in the UK for customers such as NSPCC, Northumbrian Water and Vodafone.