Posts Tagged ‘BPO’

E-commerce boom offers a lifeline for listless BPO units

September 16th, 2014

The country’s business process outsourcing industry looks set to get its buzz back, as a pickup in the country’s e-commerce industry and increased focus on citizen services by the government creates new avenues for BPO players. Until now, the domestic BPO industry was dependent on telecom clients and bore the brunt of the slowdown as the telecom operators pushed BPO companies for increased cost savings. outsourcing49

The pressure saw BPO firms such as FirstSource SolutionsBSE 2.75 % and Hinduja Global Services stepping back from the market. But now, industry watchers expect the going to get better.

“We see the domestic market growing between 16% and 20%. New sectors are opening up such as travel and hospitality, e-commerce,” Karthik Ananth, director at consultancy firm Zinnov, told ET.

“Domestic companies are also looking at new business models, including upselling products to create a better value to the customer and a better deal for themselves.” According to Ananth, e-commerce firms are particularly looking at outsourcing non-core but essential parts of their business process services. For instance, Flipkart has signed a deal with the Essar Group’s BPO arm, Aegis, which was reported by ET last month.

Other firms have seen similar success.

“We have associated in the last month with one of the largest e-commerce players in India today. There is huge opportunity to get into strategic outsourcing, and why I keep using the word strategic is because it’s no longer about place an order or contact centres and back offices. It’s about social media interaction and e-mail interaction,” said Aditya Arora, managing director for Serco India.

The Modi-led government’s increased focus on citizen services is also expected to provide a fillip to the sector.

“You can’t have citizen services without technology enablement and process efficiency. We expect this to become a big chunk of the industry in the next two-three years. We are already facilitating discussion between the BPO industry and the state IT secretaries,” said KS Viswanathan, vice-president of industry initiatives at Nasscom. Nasscom estimates that the domestic market will grow to about $22.5 billion in this financial year.

Companies focused on the domestic sector are factoring in this growth and are making investments. Delhi-based Navigant, a small angel-funded BPO company, is looking to add 1,000 seats in the coming financial year to capitalise on the market. Tata Business Support Services, the customer service arm of the Tata Group, is looking to grow its topline to Rs 2,500 crore by 2018-end. The company reported revenue of rs 370 crore in 2012-13. The domestic sector is benefitting from a drive by Indian companies to provide higher value services for highticket customers.

“We are seeing more customers being willing to pay to offer better services to their most valuable clients. It is most prevalent in the telecom sector, where the companies are asking for people at international-service levels for higher paying clients. But such customer segmentation is beginning to happen in other sectors as well,” Sandip Sen, CEO at Aegis, had told ET recently.

Navigant CEO Ankur Bhatia said his company was seeing demand for more complex services and premium customer support from realty developers like Unitech.


World’s outsourcing king the Philippines faces new challenges

September 16th, 2014

Ms Ella Ong had been bouncing from one unsatisfying clerical job to another before she landed at the Philippine unit of a California-based call centre in 2007, mainly through her credentials as a liberal arts major.outsourcing48

Seven years on, Ms Ong is still with the same firm, one of a million workers that the Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) industry now employs.

“I’ve been able to keep my life together because of this job,” said Ms Ong, a 41-year-old single mother of three.

Call centres, and the larger BPO industry, are doing much more than keeping humble lives like hers together. They are fuelling the torrid growth that the Philippines has been enjoying for a decade.


3,000 jobs lined up for Saudi women at outsourcing center

September 15th, 2014

The first all-female business process outsourcing (BPO) service center in the Kingdom, which was inaugurated in Riyadh on Sunday, will aim to provide 3,000 local jobs to Saudi women in the next three years in line with nationalization efforts.outsourcing46

The BPO center was jointly opened by Saudi Aramco, General Electric (GE) and Indian IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Aramco and GE were the first clients of the center, which spans 3,200 square meters.

Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Prince Saud bin Khalid, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco president and CEO, John Rice, GE’s vice chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of TCS, and various dignitaries from government entities and business executives attended the official opening ceremony here.

Supported by the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), the center has begun operating with around 300 employees that have been trained in communication and presentation skills, corporate etiquette, global culture and basic computer programs, such as Microsoft Office and Excel.

About 100 of these new employees are fresh graduates, while the rest have two to three years of experience.

Fresh graduates were selected from educational institutions in the Saudi capital, including Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University, the largest university for women in the world, King Saud University (KSU) and Imam University out of 1,200 candidates interviewed for the jobs.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Al-Falih said: “Being the first all-female BPO service center in Saudi Arabia, this joint effort will bring significant value in diversifying the economy and society and will help address the challenge of creating jobs for talented and skilled female graduates by establishing a more diverse work force and boosting competitiveness.”

Echoing the sentiment, Rice observed: “The newly opened BPO center is proof of our commitment to support the Kingdom’s priorities around human capital development and the creation of employment opportunities for talented Saudi women.”

He described it as a new model for business customers to achieve higher operating efficiency in the Saudi market.

Expressing his delight, Chandrasekaran underlined, “skills, talent and technology converge here at the Kingdom’s first all-female BPO center, marking a new era for the information technology and BPO industry in the Kingdom.”

The center, which will undoubtedly reduce female unemployment rates (pegged at 34 percent in 2013), has already achieved a more than 70 percent nationalization rate.

The opening of the center was announced in September last year, with specialized services in finance, accounting, human resources, material supply and library services, in order to enhance operational efficiency for customers.


Nigeria: Tapping the Benefits of Outsourcing

September 12th, 2014

Outsourcing is an effective management strategy that enhances high returns on investments through cost cutting. Operators in the Nigerian information and communications technology industry are beginning to tap into the benefits of outsourcing, writes Emma Okonjioutsourcing48

Outsourcing of a company’s major operations to another company for proper management of resources is a global trend that is making economic sense to business owners. Companies in Nigeria are beginning to embrace outsourcing for economic gains and the telecoms sector is not left out.

In telecoms, outsourcing is the release of some managed operations of a company to another company with professional expertise, with a view to managing the operations on behalf of the original owner. It has become a global trend in the telecoms sector and the essence is to enable companies reduce operational costs and to enable them focus on their core business operations. The idea to embrace outsourcing started with Airtel, when it outsourced its call centre operations to Tech Mahindra, through the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) agreement.

It is very clear that Airtel is currently benefitting from its decision to outsource its call centre operations. It is believed that apart from the monetary gains, the system has also helped Airtel to focus more on its core business of providing voice and data services to its over 25 million active subscribers. After Airtel, MTN also outsourced its core centre operations in Lagos and Jos to Communications Network Support Services Limited (CNSSL), through the BPO agreement.

Last month, Etisalat Nigeria announced the sale of 2,136 of its towers to IHS Holding Limited as part of a broader strategy that would enable it focus more on its core business operations to drive improvements in the quality of its network performance and to accelerate rollout of 2G and 3G coverage and new services to its over 18 million customers. Just last week, MTN Nigeria, with a subscriber base of over 57 million, reached an agreement with IHS Holding Limited, to outsource its 9,151 telecoms towers otherwise known as base stations.

MTN reached an agreement in principle with IHS for the transfer and management of its towers. The transaction is expected to reduce MTN’s operating costs, drive network efficiencies and further expand MTN’s voice and data capacities, according to the telecoms company. Also last week, the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat), one of the agencies under the Ministry of Communications Technology, concluded its earlier deal with Platinum Plus Television (PPTV) to lease its Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite operations to the television station.

Tower sales and lease back by Etisalat The Etisalat IHS Holding Limited transaction is expected to close later this year. Etisalat’s partnership with IHS is designed to promote network sharing, ensure higher quality, sustain reliable mobile services, lower overall costs and also promote a cleaner environment through reduced diesel usage and increased investments in alternative energy solutions. Under the terms of transaction, IHS will invest $100 million in the towers, acquired advanced generators, efficient batteries and alternative energy solutions to reduce diesel consumption and improve efficiency of grid use.

Announcing the deal in Lagos, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willsher, said: “Continued demand for mobile connectivity along with increased consumption of data requires reliable and effective networks that are also cost efficient for network operators. The decision to sell our passive infrastructure to an experienced commercial partner, such as IHS, is part of our strategy to increase network coverage and capacity which is already rated number one for quality of service by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).”

CEO of IHS, Mr. AIssam Darwish, said: “We are delighted to have been trusted by Etisalat Nigeria with their passive network infrastructure. Our market leading operations team, managed through a state-of-the-art network operations centre and our continual investment in better, more efficient systems and technologies will ensure that the trust is well placed. This partnership will provide significant long-term benefits to Etisalat Nigeria, allowing them to focus entirely on marketing new customer propositions to a wider market.”

Outsourcing telecoms towers by MTN:

On the other hand, the MTN, IHS Holding Limited is expected to reduce operating costs, and drive network efficiencies, is line with the company’s continued efforts to further raise service levels for its customers in Nigeria. Under the terms of the transaction and subject to requisite regulatory approvals, the 9,151 towers will be transferred to a new company, which will be owned jointly by MTN and IHS, but IHS will have full operational control of the underlying business. The new towers company will market independent infrastructure sharing services to other mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country. The transaction is expected to close at the end of this year.

According to CEO of MTN Group, Sifiso Dabengwa, said: “We are delighted to have entered into a further transfer transaction with IHS in our largest African market. IHS’ deep knowledge and considerable experience in the sector will help drive efficiencies and enhance our network uptime, allowing us to concentrate on further raising our own service levels, improving the customer experience and ensuring we remain the number one operator in Nigeria.”

It is expected that on completion of the transaction with MTN, IHS will be managing over 20,000 towers in Africa. It was gathered that as part of the deal, the new towers company has committed more than $500 million of additional investment over four years into tower upgrades and a maintenance programme to improve quality of service and enhance the customer experience on the MTN Nigeria network. In addition, further investments will be made into IHS’ centralised Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Nigeria to optimise operations and increase IHS’ market network uptimes of over 99 per cent. IHS anticipates creating a considerable number of technical and engineering direct and indirect employment opportunities to be sourced locally in Nigeria.

Airtel’s new move:

Although THISDAY gathered from a reliable source that Airtel, which first started the BPO arrangement with its customer care centres long ago, is already in talks with Helios Towers to outsource its base stations, the telecoms company has, however, not made any public pronouncement to this effect. The source said Airtel had been negotiating with Helios Towers for some time now, but may have decided to remain mute, pending when the intended transaction is sealed. However, 2009, Airtel outsourced the management of its base station operations to Ericsson and still maintains that arrangement till date.

Lease of NigComSat’s DTH Satellite operations:

The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) has also seen the need for outsourcing as it concluded its earlier deal with Platinum Plus Television (PPTV), to lease its Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite operations to the television station.

The conclusion of the deal took place in Abuja last week after a series of update meetings between NigComSat Limited board and PPTV management. Head, Corporate Communication of NigComSat, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore said the leasing of NigComSat’s DTH facility to an indigenous television station, was performed by the acting Managing Director of NigComSat, Abimbola Alale and PPTV Chairman, Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu.

Alale said the agreement with PPTV was signed in November, 2013, which enabled PPTV to carry out a technical audit to ascertain the workability of the system as well as the desired services to be delivered. “Having been satisfied with the process, we decided to hand over the platform to PPTV,” Alale said. Kachikwu said the new platform would definitely make a difference to Nigerians because PPTV would leverage on the NigComSat-1R capacity and the DTH Headend, to provide triple play services for subscribers.

Economic benefits Looking at the advantages of outsourcing and outright sales of telecoms facilities, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo said the move does not only have economic impact on the country, but will also ease telecoms operators of the burden of grappling with too many operations in the process of trying to serve customers better. According to him, “BPO arrangement is a global phenomenon that has helped economies to develop fast, and the idea of adopting outsourcing in Nigeria, is a welcome development that will impact positively on service quality.”

Speaking on the efficiency in managing telecoms facilities and telecoms operations that are either leased or sold out, Adebayo said those that handle outsourcing are professionals in their own rights that have the expertise and competence to manage the facilities. He said such agreement would help telecoms operators to operate light and effectively concentrate on their core business operations, which he said, would lead to improved service quality across networks. “It will make telecoms operators more efficient, smaller in operations, such that they will have all the time and strategies to improve on service quality,” he said.

Operators in the Nigerian telecoms sector, no doubt, are beginning to see the economic benefits of outsourcing, hence the continuous outsourcing of businesses in recent times in the sector.


Infosys BPO recognized as a Leader in Legal Process Outsourcing by NelsonHall

September 11th, 2014

Infosys BPO has been recognized as a ‘Leader’ in NelsonHall’s Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) assessment – NEAT (NelsonHall’s Evaluation & Assessment Tool). NEAT is a method by which strategic sourcing managers can evaluate outsourcing vendors and is part of NelsonHall’s ‘Speed-to-Source’ initiative. According to the report, Leaders are vendors that exhibit both a high ability relative to their peers to deliver immediate benefit and a high capability relative to their peers to meet client future requirements.infosys

The report states that Infosys BPO’s LPO practice has strong experience in contract management services and has an established presence in the legal publishing space. It is well established globally as a BPO provider, which allows flexibility to deliver LPO services onshore. The company’s strong BPO capabilities including people, technology and process experience, enable it to handle a wide range ofservices.

Infosys BPO delivers LPO services to law firms and corporate law departments, mainly from the Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, International Publishing and Telecom sectors. These services are primarily delivered from four onshore and offshore centers located in India and the U.S. The company also delivers LPO services out of other onshore centers on client request.

Coralie Marti, LPO Analyst, NelsonHallsays “Infosys BPO has demonstrated strong capabilities, most notably in legal personnel and processes; in particular, for the delivery of contract centralization and standardization services to GeneralCounsels”.

Michael Sonsteng, Strategic Practice Head – Legal Process Outsourcing, Infosys BPO says “The demand for LPO services will keep growing, and we have the capabilities to continue building robust offerings across LPO service lines. Our widespread global delivery capabilities, along with our intensive domain expertise, has enabled us to create enhanced business impact for our clients. This recognition reiterates the fact that we have been able to generate considerable value for our clients.”

Shares of INFOSYS LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.3668.1 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 3736.8. The total number of shares traded during the day was 48923 in over 4464 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 3719.9 and intraday low of 3663.45. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 179796663.


Intelligent Office UK expands shared services offering in Glasgow

September 10th, 2014

Intelligent office UK, outsourced service provider of onshore business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions is planning to open its second onshore shared services centre in Glasgow.outsourcing42

The new centre will provide document production, document conversion and digital transcription services to law firms throughout the UK. It will also create over 100 full-time positions adding to its 700 work force.

Clients of Intelligent office UK include Stephenson Harwood, Wragge & Co, Bevan Brittan and Farrer & Co.


BPO firms recruiting Filipino nurses as clinical analysts

September 9th, 2014

Filipino nurses who are looking for opportunities to gainfully practice their profession should consider applying for well-paying clinical service and medical coding jobs in the business process outsourcing or BPO sector, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said.outsourcing41

“We have a growing number of BPO companies here, particularly those servicing the US healthcare industry, that are recruiting nurses for local employment. We are hopeful that these job openings will somewhat help ease joblessness among nurses,” said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.

He said unemployment remains high among nurses, mainly because the country continues to produce a large surplus of them. This year alone, the Professional Regulatory Commission issued licenses to 22,222 new registered nurses.

“These outsourcing jobs for nurses require strong communication as well as analytical skills, and the readiness to work in shifts,” Romulo said.

He said Teaneck, New Jersey-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., is signing up “nursing associates” to build up its global clinical services. It has five offices in the cities of Pasig, Taguig, Makati and Cebu.

Makati-based VMCO Corp., a subsidiary of Visaya Knowledge Process Outsourcing Corp., is also enlisting nursing graduates as well as registered nurses for medical coding jobs, according to Romulo.

He said medical coders review and analyze in detail the medical records of hospitals, physicians and diagnostic centers, and list out all findings and treatments, including procedures performed.

They then convert the records into international medical codes, making it easier for healthcare providers in America to electronically manage and access their data, he said.

Romulo said Ireland-based Accenture plc is also drafting Filipino nurses for local employment as clinical support analysts. Accenture favors the hiring of local nurses who have passed the US State Boards of Nursing Inc.’s National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and US-registered Filipino nurses with active or inactive US licenses.

Accenture already has more than 35,000 Filipino employees in 16 offices in Metro Manila and Cebu.

Romulo authored the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which has helped to attract global corporations to either establish new in-house outsourcing units here in Manila, or to relegate their non-core, business support activities to highly specialized independent BPO firms operating here.

The law mandates all entities, including BPO firms, to protect the confidentiality of personal information collected from clients and stored in information-technology (IT) systems, in accordance with rigorous international privacy standards.

The Philippines’ highly labor-intensive, BPO and IT-enabled services industry includes contact center services; back offices; medical, legal and other data transcription and coding; animation; software development; engineering design; and digital content.

The IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines sees the industry yielding up to $27 billion in annual revenues and directly employing some 1.3 million Filipinos by 2016.


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