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After Acquiring Symphony Ventures, Sykes Names Ian Barkin as Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer

Global outsourcer Sykes Enterprises has announced the appointment of Ian Barkin — co-founder of global intelligent automation (IA) and robotic process automation (RPA) leader Symphony Ventures, Inc. to be its chief strategy and marketing officer.

In November of 2018, Sykes acquired Symphony Ventures a company co-founded by Barkin, making it one of the first front-office business process outsourcers with significant automation capability. The Symphony transaction is the latest in a series of recent strategic acquisitions and partnerships that Sykes has embarked upon to solidify its position as a leading digital customer experience company. While its suite of solutions traditionally focused on post-sales customer & technical support, the portfolio now extends across the entire customer lifecycle, from marketing to sales to care. By investing in Symphony, Sykes further expands its services to support clients’ RPA and IA initiatives, designing implementing and managing digital operations.

“Bringing Ian aboard is paramount to quickly and efficiently combining Symphony’s capabilities with those of Sykes and our other recent investments,” CEO Chuck Sykes stated in the company announcement. “Ian will help drive the organization to the next level, working with the team to advance the Sykes brand and service suite.”

As Symphony co-founder and CSO, Barkin helped the firm become an RPA leader and directed marketing and branding efforts that established it as a top brand in the marketplace. He’s held leadership positions within consulting and BPO industries and has led innovation initiatives across our industry.

“The visionary leadership at Sykes is shaping the evolution of outsourcing,” Barkin said. “They recognize an imperative to transform and have created an unrivaled portfolio of the capabilities that enterprises are looking for in a digital transformation partner. I am proud and excited to join this team and, together, define and build the future of work.”

“Building strategic partnerships with relevant, leading brands continually positions Sykes at the cutting edge of our industry,” Sykes says. “We are thrilled to welcome Ian to the team and work closely with him as we continue to establish ourselves as the clear partner of choice for forward-thinking enterprises.”

Since 2012, Sykes has made several investments that expanded their digital capabilities, including Clearlink (2016), a digital marketing, sales and data science provider; Qelp (2015), an innovator of online self-help software; and a partnership with XSELL Technologies (2017), which enhances the sales capabilities of its agents through a cloud-based machine learning platform. The acquisition of Alpine Access in 2012 also differentiated Sykes with an established, reliable and secure home-based service option that allows for rapid scalability and flexibility.

Just recently, HFS Research ranked Sykes #1 for vision and go-to-market strategy in their Front Office Customer Engagement Operations Top 10 report.

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