Cincinnati Bell (News - Alert) has made some dramatic decisions recently. Following last week’s announcement that the company intends to file an IPO by the end of the fourth quarter, the company has continued to conduct business out loud by announcing today that they will employ StarTek to handle call center operations.
The announcements have put Cincinnati Bell, a company that has been around since 1873, in the spotlight, but is this the kind of publicity a company wants before filing an IPO?
Although the company has evolved dramatically, it may seem odd that a business that is centered on serving a localized market would take call center jobs from their Tri-State population and deploy them to a company that favors the Philippines for outsourcing.
StarTek is based out of Denver, Colo., and is now handling Cincinnati Bell’s call center tasks. Cincinnati Bell announced today that they would spend the next 60 days in discussion with the union.
Out of the 150 jobs affected from this business arrangement, 137 of those are union positions, with the remaining 14 salaried.
“Expanding this relationship and leveraging the scale, expertise and technology of our partner will help ensure we can continue to provide high-quality customer service despite declines in local service voice revenue,” said Marc James of Cincinnati Bell, explaining the company’s decision.
President and CEO at StarTek, Chad Carlson, issued a press statement summarized as stating that the company will make great efforts to restore local jobs, as they are big proponents of keeping jobs in the U.S. Business Courier reports that the majority of offshore jobs are located in the Philippines.
Cincinnati Bell has transformed a great deal in the past couple of decades. Cincinnati Bell provides wireless telephony service, Internet access, fiber optics communications and electricity. In 2010, the company acquired a data center business, Cyrus One. There is speculation that the IPO is a strategy to assist in the growth of their data center, which by all other accounts, is treated as a completely separate entity.
Besides the data center, Cincinnati Bell, even in name suggests a localized business. In fact, even their retail energy service, Cincinnati Bell Energy, boasts the use of “regional wind power.”