Sykes, a global call center operation based in Tampa, FL, will open a sixth call center in Germany next year.
It is the first Sykes operation to be located in the eastern part of Germany and is being built with local government help to fit Sykes' specifications. Sykes will lease the center in Pasewalk, a town in the Mecklenburg region, once it is completed.
Unemployment in the former German Democratic Republic is much higher than in the Western part of the country. Local governments view call centers as job-creation engines and tend to provide incentive packages for incoming companies.
The center will have 432 seats on a single shift and will service the needs of Deutsche Telekom, Germany's former phone monopoly, which is now a private company.
Primary duties include directory information and general customer services. It is the second Sykes center to focus on services for Deutsche Telekom. Sykes currently employs 3,400 people in Germany.
Sykes CEO David Grimes called Pasewalk “an ideal location to further our commitment to the German marketplace. … Our European operations remain extremely strong as evidenced by the continued growth in our customer and technical support operations.”
Sykes, citing studies by IDC and others, expects outsourced call centers in Europe to grow by 20 percent to 25 percent a year at least through 2004.