U.S. tech firm ServiceSource to expand in Britain

LONDON Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:00am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. firm ServiceSource International said it would expand in Britain to meet demand from corporate customers who use its services to generate more revenue from existing clients.

The group helps companies, mainly in the technology sector such as Adobe Systems, AT&T and Verizon, to manage service contract renewals, an area of business often neglected, according to European managing director Martin Moran.

But tough European markets were encouraging firms to fight harder to keep the customers they had already won, he said.

"It's a more competitive environment, in terms of people not buying technology in the same way they used to," he said in an interview.

"The closure cycles are longer, the discounting is deeper and the competitive pressures are stronger."

ServiceSource uses data analytics to track and optimize the renewals process for its customers.

It launched its first application in the cloud - whereby data and services are accessed via the Internet - on Tuesday, which Moran said would give increased flexibility.

The group employs 360 people in Dublin, Ireland, and 160 in Liverpool in north-west England. He said it would take on another 100 people in Liverpool before Christmas to help meet demand.

Shares in ServiceSource, which is based in San Francisco and which listed on Nasdaq in March 2011, fell as much as 30 percent at the start of August after the company forecast third-quarter results below analysts' expectations.

They have since partly recovered, but Moran said the group could do more to explain its business strategy to investors.

"I'm not sure the financial markets quite understand that our business is about long-term investment with our customers," he said.

"We share the risk, but over the term of the contract we take a lot of the risk upfront. That's probably something we need to articulate better."

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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