Spok Company History

Through the Years: Our History

1965: In the Beginning

Advanced Communications Inc., was established by Harry L. Brock, Jr. as a small, regional paging company serving the Mid-Atlantic States. By the time it was incorporated as Metrocall in 1982, it had grown considerably. When the company went public in July 1993, it had about 200,000 pagers in service and was operating mainly along the eastern seaboard, from New York through the Carolinas. Expansion continued as Metrocall went on to acquire a number of other companies. Product enhancements, affordability and the growing acceptance of pagers by the general public also fueled growth. Toward the end of 1999 Metrocall strengthened its focus on internet-based wireless services by forming Metrocall.net to offer bundled service solutions to the small office/home office (SOHO) market and to small and midsized enterprises. The scope included broadband internet access, wireless email, filtered content, and other applications and services. With more acquisitions, Metrocall grew to provide services all over the nation, becoming one of the largest wireless data and messaging companies in the United States.

1984: Our Start in Software

Amcom Software was founded in Minneapolis by Jack Collins, who wanted to help businesses become more efficient in their communications. The company offered mission-critical communications technology solutions for organizations that depended on speed, accuracy, and productivity to support day-to-day business continuity and event-driven communications. Technology offerings included solutions for call center communications, emergency management, wireless messaging, and paging infrastructure. By the early 2000s, the company was providing solutions to more than 400 blue-chip companies in healthcare, education, finance, and utilities, along with a range of government agencies.

1986: Paging Powerhouse

Arch Wireless, Inc., originally Arch Communications Group, was founded to provide traditional paging products and services to New England. The company grew rapidly through a number of mergers and acquisitions, and benefited from strong consumer demand for traditional paging services throughout the 1990s. In 1998, Arch Wireless acquired MobileMedia Corp. to form the second-largest paging company in the United States.

Responding to consumer demand for advanced messaging services, Arch acquired PageNet in 2000, making it the largest paging company in the country with nearly 17 million subscribers. The company’s prevailing mission was to provide customers with two-way messaging and universal access to preferred information sources, and the ability to communicate with everyone, anywhere, anytime, and in every direction.

2000: Approved by the Military

Amcom’s Automated Directory Attendant System (ADAS) for speech recognition received Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certification and was listed under the Department of Defense’s Unified Capabilities Approved Products List. This accreditation means these solutions provide the level of security and interoperability required by the U.S. Government and the U.S. Military. This is the first of many Amcom solutions to receive JITC certification over the years.

2004: Paging and Software Unite

Arch Wireless, Inc. and Metrocall Holdings, Inc. merged to create USA Mobility. The mission was to provide affordable and reliable wireless communications and software solutions throughout the United States, specifically to the healthcare, government, large enterprise, and emergency response sectors. The new company operated the largest one-way paging and advanced two-way paging networks in the U.S., and wireless network coverage was expanded to unprecedented levels. Throughout the 2000s, millions of business and government customers relied on USA Mobility services to wirelessly connect their workforces to each other and to the systems they used in their daily operations.

2007: Sophisticated Telecommunications

Amcom Software and Xtend Communications merged to become the market leader in mission-critical communication solutions for organizations in healthcare, government, education, hospitality, public safety, and corporate markets. Xtend offered sophisticated telecommunications solutions, with products and services built with the public branch exchange (PBX) at the core and designed with a wide range of personalization capabilities to meet each customer’s unique needs. The combined company was now serving nearly 80 percent of the top-ranked hospitals in the country, and could provide an expanded product suite to a broader market.

2008: Expanding into Emergency Management

Amcom Software acquired Telident 9-1-1 Solutions from Teltronics, Inc. in order to bolster its suite of emergency management solutions and expand its capabilities to meet the needs of a broader range of customers. Teltronics offered technology that provided E9-1-1 capabilities that helped customers protect people by pinpointing the source of 9-1-1 calls within their facilities with greater speed and accuracy. The company’s solutions also allowed organizations to ensure compliance with national, state, and local emergency communications requirements.

Amcom acquired another important company during this same year, bringing on board Commtech Wireless, a leading provider of technology that connected critical data sources, such as nurse call system alarms and patient monitors, to the right people via their preferred communication devices. The addition of Commtech Wireless enabled Amcom Software to meet growing demand from customers—especially in the healthcare, government, and hospitality industries—to further streamline communications, improve response time, and enhance effectiveness.

2009: Demand for Call Center Sophistication

Growing demand from small to midsize organizations for mission-critical communication solutions prompted Amcom Software to acquire SDC Solutions. SDC integrated-industry standard technologies to provide easy access to centralized directory knowledge. At that time, SDC Solutions’ products were handling communications at some of the most prestigious healthcare, hospitality, higher education, government, and corporate organizations in the United States. The acquisition also addressed a growing number of requests from SDC Solutions’ customers to extend their mission-critical software to help manage problems related to 9-1-1 call management, incident management, and critical paging infrastructure, which Amcom was able to provide. The combined companies further strengthened Amcom’s leadership position in the market for call center and emergency management software, dramatically increasing its customer base and expanding the solutions available to the growing company’s customers.

2011: A Powerful Combination of Mission-Critical Communications

USA Mobility acquired Amcom Software, enhancing its focus on software solutions and messaging, and creating a company at the forefront of mission-critical unified communications. As a leading provider of wireless messaging and communications services, USA Mobility wanted to incorporate software solutions that enabled seamless, critical communications. Increasingly, organizations were looking for ways to communicate with an ever-growing, diverse array of methods and devices. The acquisition created a powerful combination of strengths that resulted in one company with two strong brands and a shared mission: helping customers run critical communications reliably, efficiently, and accurately.

2012: Improving Patient Safety

Amcom Software acquired a critical test results management solution from IMCO Technologies of Pewaukee, Wis. The newly renamed Amcom® Critical Test Results Management solution brought together once-disparate pieces of information essential to the effective communication of test results to the clinicians who ordered them. In particular, the solution integrated the critical test results functionality from IMCO with Amcom’s suite of communication workflow solutions, including smartphone messaging. The solution could now support traceable, closed-loop test results information that empowered physicians to provide better care for their patients. Now hospital customers could improve patient safety and caregiver productivity by streamlining the delivery of critical test results to ordering physicians. The acquisition was a response to requests by many hospital customers who were asking for this type of solution to meet the guidelines established by The Joint Commission in its National Patient Safety Goals.

2013: The “E” Award

Amcom Software was awarded the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition a company can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Significant factors in consideration for the award included four years of successive export growth and a company’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports. The “E” Award program was established in 1961 to provide recognition to America’s exporters. A total of 57 U.S. companies were presented with an award in 2013. U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank said “It is businesses like Amcom that are strengthening the economies of local communities, creating jobs, and contributing to the worldwide demand for ‘Made in the USA’ goods and services.”

2014: Spok is Born

USA Mobility and Amcom Software reflected the integration of the two companies by rebranding as Spok. Why “Spok?” “It evokes an integral part of a greater whole: like the spokes of a wheel, each supporting the other and the overall network,” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer. “It’s about movement, strength, reliability, and speed—all the things needed in your critical communications.” The new name reflects the company’s transition from providing reliable paging services and market-leading software offerings to an expanded, integrated set of solutions that solve a host of complex challenges in a variety of industries. It represents a new, single identity as a global software leader in critical communications.

2014: The Spok Care Connect® Platform Makes Its Debut

Spok introduces Spok Care Connect to provide enterprise critical communications in healthcare. Spok Care Connect helps today’s hospitals confront myriad communication challenges by offering one unified technology platform that can solve multiple challenges across different areas and departments.