Spok aids communications in critical situations

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Print this page by Joan Tupponce
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Vincent Kelly leads Springfield-based Spok.

Doctors, emergency personnel and first responders are just some of the people that rely on Spok Inc. to make sure communications run smoothly when lives are at stake. “We help enhance the way people communicate in critical situations,” says Vincent Kelly, company president and CEO.

The Springfield-based company provides telecommunications and software for fields ranging from 911 call management to hospital workflow.

In addition to health care, the company provides services to government, public safety and industry. Last year, the company helped VCU Health’s event staff manage race-related messaging during the UCI Road World Cycling Championships in Richmond.

Spok was founded in Virginia in 1965 as Advanced Communications Inc., a two-way radio shop providing paging services to mid-Atlantic companies.

After several mergers and acquisitions, it was rebranded as Spok in 2014, with the merger of wireless communication and software provider USA Mobility and Amcom Software. The new name, Spok, was picked to evoke the spokes of a wheel, “each supporting the other and the overall network,” Kelly says.

About 60 of the company’s approximately 600 employees work at its Springfield headquarters. The rest are spread among its U.S. offices in Minneapolis; New York; Plano, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Bedford, N.H., and its international offices in Singapore, Dubai, London and Perth, Australia. “Most of our business is in the U.S.,” Kelly says. “We are mainly focused on English-speaking areas.”

In 2015, the company posted $189.6 million in revenue. Currently, health care represents 70 percent of its customer base while 8.3 percent of its clients are in government, 7.5 percent in large enterprises and 14.2 percent in other industries such as hospitality. Customers include Johns Hopkins University,

Stanford School of Medicine, Duke University, University of Virginia, University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center, NASA, Marriott and Amazon.

“All 31 hospitals on the 2016-2017 US News & World Report Best Hospitals list honor roll are Spok customers,” Kelly says.

The company also is the largest paging company in the U.S. “Pagers are still used in health care and emergency services,” Kelly says. “When there is a major storm, mobile devices often don’t work, but you can send messages to pagers, and it can get through. Pages worked in Hurricane Sandy.”
Virginia is a good place for Spok, Kelly says. “It’s easy for me to recruit talent in this market.”

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