Phoenix-based OpenTech Alliance Inc. has purchased the call center customer base of US Storage Search Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The two companies signed the deal in December. OpenTech, maker of the Insomniac self-service kiosk, recently shifted the call center customers of Omaha, NE-based US Storage Search to a new call center service known as Live! XpressRes.

“The acquisition has been in the works for some time. [US Storage Search] had made a strategic decision to discontinue offering a traditional call center service and focus on their core business,” said Robert Chiti, president and CEO of OpenTech.

“Our strategy is to grow OpenTech through internal development, acquisition and partnership, so acquiring their customer base was a natural for us,” Chiti said.

The US Storage Search customer base consisted of about 400 facilities, Chiti said. About three-fourths of those customers decided to stay with OpenTech.

Picking up the phone

US Storage Search owns the self-storage aggregator site USStoragesearch.com. In January, the company entered a licensing and marketing agreement with web development firm B2 Interactive to control the site

On Jan. 31, US Storage Search ended its call center services. Its center took calls forwarded from self-storage facilities after hours or when employees couldn’t get to the phone. US Storage Search was paid for each reservation that was made.

Chiti said OpenTech began serving US Storage Search’s call center customers right after the shutdown. The new Live! XpressRes is operating on the same payment model as the one for US Storage Search, charging $85 for each reservation. For now, Live! XpressRes is available only to former US Storage Search customers.

“We are evaluating if we want to roll that out to our other customers and expand that offering. We are looking at call volume and the profitability to it,” Chiti said.

OpenTech’s already had a center that accepts calls for about 1,200 facilities. This center operates on a monthly subscription model, with the premium offering priced at $450 a month.

OpenTech recently hired Carol Krendl, CEO of SkilCheck Services Inc., as a consultant to evaluate and improve its call center. The company also added a hiring manager for the center.

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Alexander Harris