International SOS heeds the call of foreign travelers in distress. The company responds to traveler emergencies and calls for assistance through more than 30 International SOS medical care clinics and 25 alarm response centers staffed with doctors, security experts, translators, and air and ground transportation providers. These facilities are located across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. International SOS sells memberships to its global assistance network to individual travelers and small groups, as well as large multinational corporations, governments, not-for-profit agencies, and schools that have employees visiting or working abroad.
Its corporate client base includes a majority of global Fortune 500 companies spanning a wide range of industries, from financial services and pharmaceuticals to retail and technology. Other key sectors that International SOS serves include oil and gas, mining, and large-scale construction. Subsidiary MedAire provides emergency medical training and equipment to the aviation and maritime industries. Employees of clients in these industries often work in remote and demanding locations where natural disasters, infectious diseases, and security threats in hostile environments present significant safety concerns. Demand for international assistance services is also high because of occupational safety and health regulations that force organizations to minimize risks to employees traveling abroad.
After the devastating Haiti earthquake in early 2010, International SOS, in conjunction with joint venture partner Control Risks, assisted more than 100 organizations with evacuations and emergency medical care in support of clients and their employees. Through its TravelTracker service, it identified which clients had employees in Haiti, while its alarm centers in the US and the UK managed client calls and inquiries.
In early 2011, International SOS expanded its offerings to include concierge services when it acquired VIPdesk.com. The company provides clients in the auto, travel, financial services, and retail industries with services that include dining recommendations, reservation making, and scheduling and customer service through VIPdesk's virtual contact center (which is actually about 300 home-based customer services representatives). The company also offers its clients help with devising and managing customer loyalty and rewards programs. – less