By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
As with any merger, the Amtelco-Telescan merger raises natural and expected questions among stakeholders. I had an opportunity to discuss some of these with Bernie Torvik, vice chairman of Amtelco, and Roger Young, president of the Telescan Division of Amtelco. Here is what they had to share:
Peter: Congratulations on the merger of Amtelco and Telescan. I’m sure you’re very excited. What synergies and opportunities do you see as a result?
Roger: Thank you, Peter. We’re very excited about the new partnership between Telescan and Amtelco. While current plans are to operate both entities pretty much on a “business as usual” basis, we are excited about future opportunities to bring to both Telescan and Amtelco owners new revenue-producing features. Having access to expanded development and support resources should benefit all of the customers in the future.
Peter: Both Amtelco and Telescan have some products that are platform independent. Will these be cross-marketed to each company’s respective customers?
Bernie: Both Telescan and Amtelco have been developing platform-independent applications. We are evaluating how these products would best be marketed. Having a partnership rather than a competitive relationship will allow us to be more efficient and productive in producing new applications, which can serve both platforms and be integrated more tightly if warranted.
Peter: Any specific new product initiatives yet?
Roger: Among many possibilities, one idea is new products for mobile platforms. Both companies have already delivered solutions for Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 8. We see a rapidly growing opportunity not only for secure delivery but also for enhanced interaction with the mobile client.
Peter: Amtelco and Telescan both enjoy the support of their respective user groups, NAEO and TUNe. Do you expect any changes in how these groups function?
Bernie: NAEO and TUNe are both vibrant, effective, independent user groups. It will be up to the leadership of these groups to explore whether some combining of resources might benefit their members. Telescan/Amtelco looks forward to working with both groups regardless of how they may determine to structure themselves. In any event, we would anticipate that all members will continue to thrive and get the considerable benefits that come from an association of users.
Peter: Telescan will remain in St. Louis and become a division of Amtelco. What practical implications does that have for Telescan customers?
Roger: Our most important short-term goal is to assure our Telescan customers that their investment is safe and that any future changes will be in their best interests. We were fortunate to be able to retain all of the Telescan employees, who will continue to operate from the existing St. Louis location under the same leaders. Patty Anderson will continue to work with her customers and work with Amtelco territory reps to insure that Telescan customers are aware of all of the potential options available to them as they become available.
Peter: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Bernie and Roger: Just to repeat that we’re all excited by the new partnership and look forward to helping to build a bright future for all of our current and future customers. Thank you for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with members of the TAS industry.
Peter: Thank you for your time; I wish you both the best.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.