Sourcefit Blog Feed http://www.sourcefit.com/ Customized, transparent offshore staffing solutions from Sourcefit make outsourcing in the Philippines easier than ever. en-us Sourcefit Logo http://www.sourcefit.com/ http://www.sourcefit.com/themes/default/images/rss_logo.jpg <![CDATA[ Why Outsource Data Processing: Document Process Outsourcing Solutions in Terms of Input ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=92 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Why Outsource Data Processing: Document Process Outsourcing Solutions in Terms of InputDocument-intensive tasks represent about 5 to 15 percent of an organization’s revenue, making this area a significant opportunity to reduce costs, improve the bottom line, and retain customers. Effective document process management also ensures that a company maintains brand integrity. According to the Document Outsourcing Market Forecast: 2013-2018 (covering Europe and the United States) published by InfoTrends, companies outsource document processing to reduce print volumes, reduce operational costs, access new technologies, and improve regulation and compliance. Benefits of document process outsourcing (DPO) go far beyond cost reduction. The higher costs and increasing complexity of document management in a technology-driven, digital market means that business process outsourcing is one of the best ways for businesses to achieve process transformation. Service providers have the technology (including cloud and on-premise solutions) and the domain expertise to help companies of all sizes achieve their objectives.
Cost Savings through End-to-End Document Process Management/ DPO
Cost savings remains the primary reason companies outsource document processing and data entry. Third parties offer end-to-end services that include infrastructure, the latest software and hardware, labor, support and maintenance at much lower costs. Services can also be scaled up or down based on the company’s changing needs. Xerox illustrated how a company can control costs while optimizing efficiency through records management. The client, Marriot International, wanted to streamline their accounts payable and claims management processes and reduce time-consuming paperwork. Xerox developed a single, scalable platform that integrates easily with Marriot’s enterprise resource software (ERP) and claims processing system. Xerox also reengineered workflows to reduce dependence on paper-based processes. As a result, Marriott quadrupled their processing capacity, optimized costs, and improved cash flow management.
Improved Process Efficiency with Advanced Technology & Business Process Outsourcing
One of the biggest benefits of DPO is direct access to the latest technology without upfront investment. Software is customized to the client’s needs, and the third party provides support and management during the transition process. An example is automated accounts payable solutions that integrate with ERP systems. The employees log in invoice data into the ERP software and send the documents to the provider’s service centers to be imaged and hosted. This streamlines the AP workflow and eliminates time-consuming steps like data validation. The end users can then access the digital documents and authorize payment easily. Because of increased efficiency, an organization can better manage its cash flow and suppliers. Similar outsourcing platforms can also be applied to content management, mailroom, data entry and imaging services.
Increased Speed to Market through Document Digitization Services
At all levels of the organization, large components of business processes are increasingly dependent on digitized documents. For example, when Dow Chemicals needed to safeguard and preserve 5.5 million pages of critical documents that date back to 1937, the company outsourced document digitization to Xerox. Xerox scanned, organized, and enhanced the documents and made them available online for easy access. The result was a streamlined global R&D process and improved time to market.
Improved Customer Satisfaction through Multichannel Communications
Many companies maintain close ties with their customers through regular marketing and business-critical communications. These paper-based and electronic documents include invoices, promotional catalogs, credit notes and leaflets that are sent out to customers every single day. Business process outsourcing service providers can help improve customer satisfaction by personalizing promotional materials and emails and managing outgoing mail more efficiently. For example, digital communications provider Neopost helped a UK-based bakery grow their business through automated mail sorting and reduction of paper-based statements.
Outsourcing Document Process with Staff Leasing Philippines
To effectively outsource document process management, you need to work with a service provider that’s the right fit for your company. Learn more about Outsourcing and Outsource Staffing Philippines to have a better idea of the process, the outsourcing destination and their respective advantages. RELATED POSTS: Assessing the Impact of a Document Process Outsourcing Solution Document Process Outsourcing Case Studies & Success Stories Outsourced Document Processing: Top 10 Things to Learn Document Process Outsourcing (DPO) Services: Streamline Workflows & Drive Innovation Back Office Outsourcing: Industry Trends in 2015 Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO Destination Data Processing POPULAR POSTS Women in Outsourcing Companies Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing BPO Philippines 2015 News Flash Animation Design
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your own team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Assessing the Impact of a Document Process Outsourcing Solution ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=91 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Assessing the Impact of a Document Process Outsourcing SolutionOrganizations believe that they spend about 3 percent of annual revenues on document expenses, including labor, supplies, and hardware. However, the actual spending averages 5 to 15 percent of annual revenues, according to a recent study by InfoTrends. The study showed that majority of overall document expenditures are “hidden” or fragmented within the business, making actual spend value difficult to determine without a thorough assessment. These hidden costs are driving companies to reach out to Document Process Outsourcing (DPO) providers for both end-to-end solutions and assessment services. According to the paper Making it Personal: The Role of Trusted Document Advisors published by document process outsourcing provider Xerox Global Services, document-intensive functions and spend across the organization must be carefully analyzed before a solution is implemented. Benchmarking is one type of evaluation tool that allows the company, the service provider, document outsourcing firms, and office equipment manufacturers to gain insight into the market, competition, state of internal document processes and how these processes can be improved. Information uncovered from the analysis is used to create a document process solution that is integrated and in line with the company’s goals. Unlike traditional document process delivery models that focus on discrete delivery, end-to-end and integrated DPO solutions allow the company to leverage the provider’s expertise and technology without ceding control of the process. Regardless of an organization’s objectives (more efficient processes, paperless office, targeted sales collaterals), a comprehensive assessment of document processes, costs, and inefficiencies can reveal all of the company’s document needs. Assessing the impact of DPO solutions before implementation is becoming the norm. According to the InfoTrends study, a growing number of companies are including assessment services as a prerequisite before a service provider can submit a proposal. As organizations focus on reducing document-related costs and improving efficiencies through intelligent solutions, assessment services will continue to be in demand.
Levels of DPO Impact Assessment
DPO service providers use different models to evaluate a company’s document processes or data processing. InfoTrends categorizes document assessment intro three levels based on complexity, cost, and level of detail. All levels of assessment uncover actual document processing costs throughout the business and give the company a clearer understanding of what devices or solutions are required to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Level I Level I assessments are typically done in-house. These assessments often have very limited scope and require little or no assistance from an outside expert. Analysis at this level generates information that gives the company an overview and preliminary understanding of cost per page (CPC) of document processing machines and devices based on use and specifications. Level II Level II assessments are performed outside the organization by third parties. The provider gathers basic document processing data and information from secondary research then compares company data and performance metrics to data from a similar business and to industry best practices. Level III Level III is the most sophisticated and complex level of assessment. The workflow assessment involves close collaboration between the organization and service provider. The evaluation usually takes from a few weeks to a few months. Assessments may be performed in commercial print environments, in-plant/CRDs and other areas outside the organization.
Outsourced Service Assessment Process
DPO providers use different terms for the steps of the assessment process, but the underlying methodology is the same. InfoTrends identified key components of document assessment: Preparation or Planning Service providers follow a clear plan when assessing document processes. This step includes establishing a support structure internally. The provider must ensure that top management supports the project and understands why the evaluation stage is important to the success of the assessment. When the provider and management are on the same page, the result is a smooth operation. Gathering Data After the planning phase comes information gathering. The goal is to obtain spending and performance data about the organization’s document processes. Analysis The next step is assessment of the company’s current state. Data is compiled and analyzed, and key indicators are identified, including technology specs, causes of lag times, workflow inefficiencies, and potential bottlenecks. Recommendations After evaluating document processing data, the provider will recommend one or more solutions to help the company move from its present performance to a future state that eliminates inefficiencies and reduces cost and waste. The provider may suggest investing in new equipment and software, workflow reengineering or outsourcing end-to-end document management to a third party. Xerox Global Services identified specific steps when assessing the impact of a DPO solution: 1. Client information gathering. This step focuses on the qualitative aspects of the process. The provider and client discuss ideas to determine areas where the organization can improve. The provider uses tools to uncover new patterns of information and gain insights about current issues. A report is generated at the end of the process. 2. Decision support based on return on investment (ROI). The provider uses tools and methodologies to help the organization make informed business decisions. The provider gathers data to have a deeper understanding of the company’s current state and how a future state will affect costs, benefits, and risks. 3. Phased implementation. The provider creates a solution and develops a detailed implementation plan. The goal is for the company to outsource document management, data entry or data processing to a specialist or outside expert. Xerox reported that a successful outcome depends on change management and process control. A phased implementation that supports the company’s long-term goals, delivers early benefits, and makes the whole process manageable for the client and provider is recommended. In the early stages of the project, the client sets the direction and manages staff affected by the change. This approach minimizes disruption by anticipating and addressing potential problems.
Philippines Outsourcing for DPO and Back Office Support
Learn more about the Philippines as an outsourcing destination by visiting our Why the Philippines and Staff Leasing Philippines. RELATED POSTS: Document Process Outsourcing Case Studies & Success Stories Outsourced Document Processing: Top 10 Things to Learn Document Process Outsourcing (DPO) Services: Streamline Workflows & Drive Innovation Back Office Outsourcing: Industry Trends in 2015 Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO Destination Data Processing POPULAR POSTS Women in Outsourcing Companies Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing BPO Philippines 2015 News Flash Animation Design
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your own team of dedicated professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Document Process Outsourcing Case Studies & Success Stories ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=90 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Document Process Outsourcing Case Studies & Success Stories
Fortune Global 500 Insurance Company
A leading Fortune Global 500 insurance company worked with document process outsourcing (DPO) provider Ricoh to improve efficiency of its mission-critical document processes, improve customer satisfaction, transition into digital services, and reduce cost. A third party supplier of banks and insurance companies, Ricoh provided securely-managed solutions and leveraged its domain expertise in the banking industry to help achieve the company’s goals. Ricoh implemented a two-stage solution. The first stage involved transferring in-house production to Ricoh’s document processing office, while the second stage focused on developing improved document processes. Ricoh handled capture and distribution of inbound documents, close-loop printing and distribution, and page-level reporting,
How Outsourcing Helped
Risk Mitigation To eliminate risk, Ricoh used closed-loop production systems as it handled over 60 million documents every year for the company. Ricoh provided a secure intranet portal where users can order a multiple print services such as brochure and poster printing. Users can also submit documents for printing, check the documents and track production. Reduced Costs A company executive said that Ricoh’s service-based approach saved them money and improved shareholder return. By allowing Ricoh to manage mission-critical document processes, the company was also able to invest resources into core and strategic business activities. Improved Process Efficiency In the first phase of the project, the company’s print and distribution services were moved to Ricoh’s external document center. Ricoh also helped manage labor and asset issues related to the transition and shutting down of in-house departments. In the second phase, Ricoh introduced automation to speed up production and closed-loop systems (such as lot check controls) to reduce errors and improve auditing compliance. Because the documents were error-free, they reached the customers faster and increased satisfaction. Digital Transformation Ricoh provided digital mailroom solutions that reduce the company’s paper trail. Instead of paper records, inbound documents were archived, validated, and uploaded to the company’s management information system. The original records and data hub were thus easier to access.
Canon UK
Canon is a world-leader in imaging products for home and office. To maintain its strong market position and improve service levels while reducing costs, Canon UK (based in Reigate, Surrey) decided to work with document processing specialist Swiss Post Solutions. Canon realized that transforming the company’s document-intensive processes would require an outside expert. By working with Swiss Post Solutions, Canon gained access to innovative solutions and facilities required to run the company’s busy operations more efficiently.
How Outsourcing Helped
Increased Focus Outsourcing document processing to Swiss Post Solutions allowed Canon UK to invest internal resources into its core business. Access to Domain Expertise Canon UK understood that some processes were outside their domain expertise. Working with Swiss Post Solutions ensured that the right documents were sent to customers as quickly as possible, data was easily accessible, documents could be destroyed when required, and customer service exceeded expectations. Swiss Post Solutions started by using its benchmarking database to compare Canon’s practice with market best practices. It gave the company insight into the market and their competitors and ways to improve. Improved Process Efficiency Swiss Post Solutions scheduled mail rounds to prevent congestion during peak hours. Because the in-house staff was trained to cover for absent workers or those on holiday, it reduced the company’s dependency on untrained contract employees. New Technologies Introduced uFile, uBook, and iTrak were among the technologies that Swiss Post Solutions introduced to improve courier process efficiency. uFile is a data archiving management system, uBook is a booking and management system, and iTrak is a tracking system for inbound signature deliveries. According to Canon UK’s Facilities Manager, iTrak helped the company reduce waste by eliminating paper records and allowed packages to be tracked from dispatch to delivery. Improved Staff Retention and Productivity To improve career progression and retention of Canon UK employees, Swiss Post Solutions introduced personal development plans to guide the workers and basic equipment training to reduce reliance on engineers. When machine problems arise, mailroom staff checks the machine first and fixes the issue, if minor. Only serious problems are escalated to engineers.
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE)
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility provider, employing about 3,200 people and serving over 2 million customers in the entire state. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, with approximately $27.4 billion in revenues in 2014. BGE partnered with document process outsourcing provider Xerox to realize cost savings, improve process efficiency and boost customer satisfaction.
How Outsourcing Helped
Streamlined Billing Statements BGE wanted a more efficient, cost-effective way to send regular billing statements to its clients. BGE knew that outsourcing was the best way to achieve these goals. Xerox served as a single source provider of printing services, printing management and client communications. Xerox streamlined information to reduce the number of pages (reduced two-page billing statements by 99 percent), reduce print and mailing costs, speed up turnaround time to ensure regulatory requirements are met, and make the statements easier to understand. Xerox also increased the font size and positioned relevant information prominently for better accessibility and visual appeal. The provider planned to customize the statements with targeted information in the future. Reduced costs A BGE senior analyst reported that the company achieved dramatic cost savings ($297,000 savings in printing and mailing costs alone) as a result of the partnership with the DPO provider, as well as a reduction in paper output by 7 million sheets annually. Improved Customer Satisfaction Because the billing statements were simpler and easier to understand, Xerox helped lower complaints and call center inquiries while increasing customer satisfaction.
Seco-Carbology (Seco Tools)
Seco-Carbology or SC (now Seco Tools, Inc.) is a multinational developer, manufacturer and provider of innovative metalworking products for machining, including milling, hole-making, holding, and turning tools. SC wanted to support the sales activities of its distributors while retaining control over its brand. Specifically, SC wanted their dealers to access and customize sales collateral materials directly. The company’s existing sales collateral production system was time-consuming and prone to errors. The goal was to eliminate printing and storage in the document lifecycle and shorten the turnaround time in obtaining sales collaterals by allowing dealers to order preprinted sales materials easily and customize them. SC chose Xerox to provide full-service marketing and document processing solutions to achieve its goal.
How Outsourcing Helped
Reengineered Communications Reengineered documents were the key to driving down costs and improving client acquisition and retention rates at Seco Tools. The document advisors at Xerox combined the latest design techniques and behavioral science studies to improve the effectiveness of paper and digital communications. Xerox drew on variable data showing that personalized, one-on-one sales collaterals increased their value to the recipient, and that color personalization was more effective than black and white personalization at increasing the response rate. Personalized sales communications also reduced cost per response to 54 percent and increased sales by an average of 93 percent. Using their domain expertise, document advisors at Xerox were able to improve brand recognition, boost sales and improve the bottom line. Increased Dealer Participation Due to the streamlined process of obtaining sales collaterals, both dealer participation and sales of certain products increased more than 300 percent to meet demand. Customized Sales Collaterals Xerox created an almost 100 percent automated web-to-print portal that allowed dealers to customize and easily order sales and marketing materials from SC. A job ticket and a PDF file were created for each order received. Xerox also designed a tutorial for the distributors to help them learn the new system. Reduced Turnaround Time It used to take about a month for dealers to obtain sales and marketing materials from SC. Through the web-to-print on-demand portal, Xerox eliminated pre-printing and reduced the turnaround time from four weeks to one week.
Staff Leasing Philippines for Document Process Outsourcing
There are many takeaways from these outsourcing case studies and success stories. One of them would be finding a service provider that’s the right fit for your business, whether this would be staff leasing in the Philippines or any other outsourcing location. These success stories also point out how crucial it is to work with a BPO company that can provide securely-managed solutions and domain expertise. Another common thread from these case studies of successful document process outsourcing projects – knowing exactly how the business process outsourcing company will handle risk mitigation, reducing costs, process efficiency improvement, reducing turnaround time, reengineering communications, increased focus, improved customer satisfaction, and digital transformation for your company. It’s also worth noting if your business can gain new technologies, better staff retention and productivity, and, if applicable, streamlined billing statements to clients, increased dealer participation and sales as a result of the streamlined process and increased productivity. Is outsourcing document process right for your business? Learn more by visiting our Should You Outsource page. You may also want to gain more information about Outsource Staffing Philippines. POPULAR POSTS Women in Outsourcing Companies Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing BPO Philippines 2015 News Flash Animation Design
TALK TO AN EXPERT TODAY
Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your own team of dedicated professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Evolving Workplace, Technology and How they Affect Women in Outsourcing, Shared Services & Managed Operations ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=88 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog: Evolving Workplace, Technology and How they Affect Women in Outsourcing, Shared Services & Managed OperationsThe business process outsourcing environment has many unique features that distinguish it from traditional workplaces. BPO services range from low-level data entry and back office processing to high-value solutions like consulting and strategic roadmaps, and the sector depends on a steady influx of skilled knowledge workers. Employees tend to go where the jobs are instead of settling down permanently in one location and working from there.
The Evolving Workplace: How it Affects the Outsourcing Industry & Women BPO Employees
BPO employees are also more likely to be shifted between different centers, and some may be sent abroad frequently for assignments or training. This can make employees itinerant and unable to stay in their jobs long periods, particularly in the early years of their careers (Gender Issues of Women Employees in the Workplace in the Indian BPO Sector by Murty, Pedireddi and Imtiyaz). In India, majority of the IT-BPO workforce is less than 30 years old, of which 25 percent or more are women (NASSCOM Foundation). A large proportion of the female BPO workforce is made up of young single females, who are likely to find job stability less attractive than older, married women in managerial positions, which makes up less than 6 percent of the female workforce. However, a new workplace trend is shifting from people mobility to mobility of products and services through the use of technology, which may somewhat reduce physical mobility in the BPO sector. The Philippines is another powerhouse that employs over 1 million people in the IT-BPO sector, more than half of which are women (IBPAP 2008). Like female BPO workers in India, women mostly work as call center agents and data processing specialists. In early 2015, the attrition rate in the IT-BPO sector hit an all-time low of 20 percent (2015 Towers Watson’s annual BPO/Shared Services/Call Center Industry Total Rewards Survey), indicating that companies are improving their compensation and benefits package to reward performance and retain employees. Many companies are also offering wellness and programs exclusively designed for female employees. Safer Workplaces One study reported that for women, feeling safe is the number one factor affecting their job satisfaction. This is also true for women in the IT-BPO sector, with its 24/7 nature that requires employees to work at night. BPO companies are enforcing stronger policies to ensure the safety of their female workers. In India, many firms provide free pick-up and drop off of women workers, with all vehicles equipped with GPS. Elsewhere, companies are taking a closer look at perceived security levels and taking immediate action in case of threats of violence. More Women in Leadership Roles While there are plenty of women entering the IT-BPO industry, women in leadership/boardroom roles and highly-skilled technology positions remain underrepresented. However, the industry predicts that more women will reach the top in business roles. Wipro senior VP for healthcare and life sciences said that in a few years, India’s IT industry will start looking like India’s banking industry, which is dominated by women CEOs. This trend of upward mobility for women can be traced to the flat-structured and informal work culture at leading Indian IT companies that also implement world-class HR practices. Earlier Financial Independence The rising wages in the BPO sectors of India and the Philippines are giving women more disposable income at a young age and opportunities for promotion even for those with minimum educational qualifications. This helps women reach their career and financial goals earlier than expected (Health, Social and Psychological Problems of Women Employees in Business Process Outsourcing: A Study in India by Amrita Gupta). Better Work-Life Balance Women look for companies that offer work-life balance, especially married women and women with children. Some BPO companies are revamping their compensation and benefits packages to better attract and retain women employees. These companies offer benefits like flexible shifts and work-from-home options, generous maternity leave policies, and sabbaticals to further the education of their female employees.
Technology, the Outsourcing Industry & Prospects of Women Employees
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog: Women in BPO, Shared Services, Managed Operations, Offshore IT - Technology, the Outsourcing Industry & Prospects of Women Employees
Rapid advances in technology have ushered in an era of female empowerment in the IT-BPO industry. Information and communication technology has greatly improved income and wages and increased the number of jobs in the sector. The impact of technology is clearly seen in leading BPO destinations India and the Philippines. According to the paper Digital Technology and Women Empowerment: Employment Dimensions in India by Ranjana Agarwal, India’s IT-enabled services grew at a rate of 65 percent in the last decade. The IT industry was expected to create 2.2 million jobs by 2008, employing women in IT-enabled services like call centers, technical support, medical transcription, back office processing, engineering and creative services, payroll and HR, and insurance claims processing. The IT-BPO industry is unique among other industries in that hiring is dependent on skills and talent and not gender. In India, about one third of the IT-BPO workforce is made up of women (Nasscom 2013), and about 25 percent of all science and engineering graduates in the country are women. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), India’s largest IT services provider, employs about 100,000 women, which is 33 percent of its total workforce. Women also make up 34 percent of the workforce at Infosys and 30 percent at Wipro. In the Philippines, women represent about 50 percent of the overall IT-BPO workforce, which is expected to employ 1.3 million people by 2016 (IBPAP, 2014). Studies attribute the growing number of women in the IT workforce to the nature of the work. Women are suited to IT roles because these require good communication skills, excellence at multiple tasks, and alignment of individual goals with business goals—attributes that are most common in female professionals (Frost & Sullivan). However, the proportion of women in leadership positions and very technical roles remain low. Men continue to outnumber women in the tech field by 4 to 1. While female IT leaders perform as well or even better than their male counterparts, there are very few female tech CEOs. Their number has also remained static since 2004 (Gartner CIO Agenda Survey Analysis by Gender). Gartner reported that the IT security segment in particular is short on women, representing only about 11 percent of the overall IT security workforce.
The Future of Women in IT and Outsourced IT Services
Online IT Work A new survey called Women in Technology by online staffing platform Elance indicates that virtual work may help close the gender gap in IT work. In the study that polled over 7,000 professionals worldwide, women found more IT jobs online than in the real world. Seventy percent of these women said that virtual work gives them more opportunities to succeed than traditional on-site work, and 60 percent said that it is easier to work as a contractor with multiple clients than finding full-time work in the IT sector. Working mothers also said that virtual work allowed them to balance work and family time better. Majority of women found that online IT jobs allowed them to improve their skills through more learning opportunities than traditional on-site work. To further encourage women to enter the IT-BPO field, respondents in the Elance study suggested providing equal pay to men and women with the same skills, having parents and teachers inspire girls and young women to study IT, providing more mentoring support for women, and providing more female role models in IT. IT Entrepreneurship According to NewRelic’s infographic The Fiercest Women in Tech, IT companies with more women in leadership roles have 34 percent higher return on investment. Over 187 million women worldwide own businesses and are opening businesses 1.5 times faster than men, suggesting that IT entrepreneurship is another field where women can close the gender gap. PREVIOUS Women in Outsourcing POPULAR POSTS PROMOTING EQUALITY, PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO Celebrating Women’s Day and Month: Women in the Offshore Outsourcing Industry Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your dedicated team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Women in Outsourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=87 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Women in OutsourcingMore than 50 percent of the world’s population is made up of women, but their contribution in the workplace and global economic growth remains under-represented. According to the International Monetary Fund Staff Discussion Note study Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity, men continue to lead in terms of labor force participation, while women do the majority of unpaid work. The number of women entrepreneurs and those in senior management positions also remain low, and labor market issues continue to restrict women’s options for paid work. Part of the reason is a global market that remains divided along gender lines. Although there has been significant progress in the last 100 years, women’s participation in the labor market could be greatly improved.
Women in the Workforce: History & Workplace Changes in the Past Decades
Historically, women have been stereotyped as weaker than men, and this belief continued to resonate in the modern workplace. The primary role of the female was seen as a caregiver and the male was considered the provider. Companies once hired women only before they reached marriageable age and fired them when they got married. Forty percent of single women had jobs in 1900, while only five percent of married women were employed (In pursuit of equity: Women, men, and the quest for economic citizenship in 20th-century America by Kessler-Harris 2001). Women college graduates of 1900 and 1920 also had to choose between family and career (The meaning of college in the lives of American women by C.D. Goldin, 1992). Teaching was one of the few professions open to women in the 1900s to 1930s, but married women were excluded. Female teachers who wished to have a career in education during this period were thus prevented from having families, and the few women teachers who were successful in combining career and family taught only later in life and for short periods (Career or family? Choices and constraints facing Radcliffe College graduates by J.A. Preston, 2003). The shortage of men in World War II started to open up opportunities for women in the workforce. Both single and married women were recruited for work suitable only for men, and teachers with or without children were able to teach when the male teachers went to war. However, women were forced to leave factories when the war ended, and their jobs were given to returning soldiers. The female “nurturer” myth was reborn and allowed companies to fire pregnant women as well as preventing women with young children from seeking work (Unbending gender: Why family and work conflict and what to do about it by J. Williams, 2000). In the 1970s, male wages started to flat line, making way for more women to enter the workplace. Women started to work in areas previously dominated by men, and even mothers with young children entered the labor force. By the year 2000, there was a significant increase in the number of two-income families or dual-earner couples, with 40 percent of wives earning higher salaries equal to or larger than their husbands’.
Modern Trends
Today, more women than men receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees. According to The First Measured Century by Caplow, Hicks & Wattenberg, the number of women getting doctorate degrees are also approaching that of men. One third or incoming MBA students and half of law and medicine incoming classes are women (University of Michigan Business School & Center for the Education of Women, 2000). Due to decreased fertility rates and longer life spans, activities outside of child-rearing and child-bearing are also taking up a larger percentage of a woman’s life, allowing women to pursue careers full-time and until retirement. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey and census data analysis found that young women (25 to 32 years old) today are better educated than their male counterparts and are making more money compared to men their age due to rising wages of women and falling earnings of men. However, young women are more likely to say than young men that they do the same job and get paid less. The survey also found that women are more likely than men to say that change is needed to achieve gender equality in the workplace. Like men, women want job security, but women are more likely to say that being a working parent makes career advancement more difficult.
Women in Outsourcing: IT Outsourcing, Call Centers, Outsourced Accounting & Other BPO Jobs
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Women in Outsourcing - IT Outsourcing, Call Centers, Outsourced Accounting & Other BPO Jobs
Companies in the United States and Europe have been outsourcing manufacturing for decades, but it was in the late 1990s when tech firms were preparing their information systems for the Y2K threat that offshoring as we know it today took off. Due to a unique mix of information technology expertise and a very large talent pool, India became the primary destination for offshore services during this time. India continues to lead the world today in IT and business process outsourcing, followed by the Philippines, Poland, China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Czech Republic and many countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Tholons 2015 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations). India BPO Parallel to the steadily eroding myth in the West that women are the center of home and family, workplaces in India, the Philippines and other emerging economies have undergone similar transformations. According to a Nasscom India study, women account for about 50 percent of the business process outsourcing workforce in urban areas in India, while women working on night shift in the BPO sector constitute over 40 percent of the total workforce. However, despite the major economic contribution by women to the Indian BPO industry, there are many challenges that can undermine the progression of gender equality in the workplace. According to the CEO of Indian home portal Sitagita.com, communication and self-expression are key challenges for women in the country’s BPO sector. Women at junior levels often fail to speak up against issues like lack of safety measures in the workplace and graveyard shift work. Female BPO workers do not feel 100% safe despite considerable improvements like company pick-up and drop-off vehicles, hotlines and SMS services that monitor commuting employees, and background checks on taxi drivers. Issues also arise when a female BPO worker gets married. Instead of taking a leave of absence, women are often forced to quit their jobs because of pressure from her husband and family members. A Mercer and Nasscom survey on gender inclusivity in India’s IT-BPO sector showed that besides safety concerns, female workers struggle with flexible working hours and policy on leaves and absences. The study also revealed that companies wishing to attract and retain female BPO talents should have anti-harassment policies in place, healthcare and awareness programs, women’s recreational activities and family days. The Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF) suggested that the Indian government should make it mandatory for companies to install GPS in cabs and CCTVs in the workplace, and introduce self-defense training classes and efficient systems to address complaints by female employees. Philippines Outsourcing
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Women in Outsourcing – Philippines Outsourcing
The Philippines’ BPO sector has grown exponentially in the last decade, with a projected $25 billion revenue target and a 1.3 million employment target by 2016 (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines). Call center and back office services (finance and accounting, data entry, medical transcription, IT) remain the biggest service segments, accounting for 70 percent of BPO revenues. BPO companies are concentrated in urban areas like Manila and Cebu, and the main market is the United States (Philippines IT-BPO Investor Primer, IBPAP 2012). The BPO sector accounts for only about 1.7 percent of the Philippines’ total employment, but it remains a key source of jobs for college-educated women in the country. In 2008, women accounted for 55 percent of all BPO workers. About 80 percent of women employed by BPO companies have degrees in the social sciences, engineering, and business (Gender Equality in the Labor Market in the Philippines, Asian Development Bank).
Impact Sourcing and Women Workers
Impact sourcing is the employment of disadvantaged but high-potential people in web-based or BPO jobs. Because work in the BPO industry has the potential to raise the standard of living of disadvantaged communities, some companies are providing work to the world’s poorest citizens in low-employment areas. According to the co-founder and chief development officer of Digital Divide Data (DDD), an impact souring company that provides content services to high-profile clients like Harvard and Stanford, there are more than 24 BPO companies in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya and Pakistan that hire disadvantaged workers to deliver services to global clients. Organizations like DDD can help expand opportunities for low-income women to gain better skills and get the career they want in locations were education and jobs in the IT industry are very limited. The growth of global business process outsourcing is furthering employment opportunities for women all over the world. To maintain this positive trajectory, governments must ensure that women have the necessary skills for BPO jobs, introduce initiatives that make it easier for women to be employed in areas previously dominated by men (e.g. information technology), improve safety and working conditions especially for night-shift female workers, and analyze reasons for pay differentials between men and women in these sectors.
Outsourcing Industry: Benefits for Women
Business process outsourcing is a growing sector of the global economy, presenting expanded employment opportunities for women and increasing the demands made on them. The impact of outsourcing on women is shown clearly in emerging markets and top BPO destinations India and the Philippines, where the sector has generated new income and entrepreneurship opportunities especially for well-educated women. Despite the challenges, the IT-BPO industries in India and the Philippines are noted for extremely high diversity in terms of gender. Above all other factors, workers are hired based on talent, allowing highly-educated women to assume a wide range of positions in the industry. Improved Income Global impact sourcing alone is projected to reach $20 billion in revenues by 2015 ($10 billion of which will be the direct income for 780,000 people) and employ 2.9 million people by 2020 (Avasant). The Monitor Group (2011) suggested that employees in data entry and conversion, content management, transcription, call center services, digital publishing and other BPO segments will increase their income from between 40 percent up to 200 percent. New Skills Acquisition Employment in call centers and BPO firms help women acquire new hard and soft skills, not only improving their product knowledge and technical proficiency, but also their assertiveness, communication, listening and interpersonal skills (Health, Social and Psychological Problems of Women Employees in Business Process Outsourcing: A Study in India by Amrita Gupta). Empowerment Relatively high wages and benefits provided by BPO firms allow female workers to gain more autonomy and freedom, empowering them. Well-educated women working in call centers gain knowledge and experience from both their local environment and the West, making them better equipped to be global employees. For example, some Indian women work in call centers not only to support their family but also to advance their education and do work that they truly want (Can Career-Minded Young Women Reverse Gender Discrimination? A View from Bangalore’s High-Tech Sector by Clark and Sekher, 2007). Increased Investment in Healthcare Thanks to higher wages and female-friendly policies, the BPO industry is helping women invest more in health and wellness. Many Indian companies provide generous maternity benefits and 24/7 childcare for their female employees (How Outsourcing is Boosting Prospects for Indian Women, CNET 2012). Changing Perceptions of Female Roles and Abilities In India, parents traditionally have enormous influence over their daughters’ career choices. With the growth of the IT-BPO sector, middle-class parents are becoming comfortable with their daughters working in graveyard shifts or travelling for business.
Greater Participation in the Male-Dominated Outsourced IT Segment
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Women in Outsourcing – Outsourced IT Segment
Information technology is a male-dominated segment, but the global expansion of IT and BPO has opened up new avenues for women workers. The IT-BPO outsourcing industry in India and the Philippines is a meritocracy that favors skills and talent above gender, allowing highly-skilled, educated women to hold positions in an environment previously open only to men. The promise of higher wages and female-oriented benefits can encourage women who are still in school to major in IT and software degrees to further improve their employability. Nasscom India estimated that women made up 20 to 25 percent of science and engineering graduates in the country. In 2008, women accounted for 28 percent of the country’s overall IT workforce, a relatively higher proportion compared to other sectors of the economy. Gender equality in the Indian workplace has spread to rural areas and small towns as well, where IT-BPO jobs are giving disadvantaged women better earning opportunities and ways to learn new skills and knowledge-based services. Improved communications technology is breaking down barriers to women’s economic advancement. Women can now engage in electronic activities like e-commerce, e-government, and e-learning, and without the need for face-to-face interaction with men, especially in areas where the practice is discouraged.
Case Studies & Examples in BPO: Opportunities for Growth and Self-Reliance
Employment for Women in India’s Rural BPOs According to industry estimates, women make up about half of the BPO workforce in urban areas in India, but the percentage is even higher in rural BPOs. An article published by the Times of India found that some rural business process outsourcing firms hire more women than men. The BPOs reported that over 60 percent and sometimes even 100 percent of their employees are women. Women are just as good as men in terms of skills and understanding a task, and they are more likely than men to stay in a job for the sake of loyalty, said the HR manager of rural BPO firm Desicrew Solutions. The employees of Desicrew Solutions are 80 percent women, housed in seven offices in the villages of Tamil Nadu and two centers for women in the area. Sometimes, necessity drives rural BPOs to operate all-women facilities. The CEO of JSoft Solutions said that many fathers do not want to have their daughters working with men, and the social stigma of seeing a boy and girl together is so pervasive that they had no choice but to hire only female employees. Vintes is another rural BPO operating in Kerala that has an all-female workforce. The Vintes director explained that young men in rural areas are better equipped to go to cities and seek better paying jobs, while young women, including those who are educated, often stay behind in the villages due to family and societal pressures. The surge in employment of women in rural BPOs is also driven by better entrance test scores in women compared to men. HDFC Bank gave the same test to men and women applying for jobs, and the women were more successful. Today, 75 out of 125 employees in HDFC’s captive BPO in Andhra Pradesh are women. JSW Steel: Improving Living Standards of Women in Vidyanagar Women in rural India face many challenges: lack of access to education, lack of employment opportunities, early marriage, and family responsibilities. JSW Steel helped improve rural women’s economic status and raise their standard of living by establishing BPO operations in Vidyanagar, an emerging industrial complex. JSW set up a center to train over 1,000 female high school graduates in the area. The women were also given a stipend and transportation allowance for six months. Currently, 150 women are hired as business associates, while others have found jobs in JSW steel and other companies. Due to skills-based employment opportunities, JSW also helped reduce migration to other areas and retain skilled workers for new industries in the region. Political and Capital Empowerment of Women in Kerala In 1999, the government of Kerala State in India started outsourcing IT services, data entry and digitization, and PC assembly and maintenance to cooperatives made up of below-poverty-line women. In the study called Social Outsourcing as a Development Tool, published in 2009 by the University of Manchester, the women described their empowerment in terms of improved self-identity, self-confidence, and status. They were more confident when dealing with other people and approaching institutions. Other members of the community also approached them with IT-related questions and questions on how to set up a business. Ten percent of the respondents reported that they were more involved in politics, and a similar proportion of women said that the project increased their participation in social functions. These women were also responsible for hiring and managing male employees, breaking away from traditional female goals of static security. Economic Diversification for Women in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia’s firs all-female business process outsourcing center opened in 2014, giving local women employment opportunities in HR, finance and accounting, materials supply, and back office services. In a country where the unemployment rate among women is 34 percent in 2013, the center’s opening is good news to female graduates. The center’s inauguration will boost Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness in the outsourcing sector, and more important, create jobs for skilled Saudi women. Owned by General Electric (GE), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Saudi Aramco, the 3,200 square meter facility is expected to create 3,000 jobs for women over the next three years. About 300 employees have already been hired, of which 90 are fresh graduates. The center’s first female employees received more than 80,000 hours of intensive training in areas like MS Excel, presentation skills, corporate etiquette, global culture, and communications. TCS CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran called the event a “new era” for the country’s IT-BPO industry.
Increased Employment in India, China and the Philippines
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Women in Outsourcing – Increased Employment in India, China and the Philippines
Top outsourcing destinations India, China and the Philippines are experiencing strong economic growth through BPO, and the women in these countries are benefiting from improved employment prospects. In the Philippines, for example, the BPO sector employs over 1 million workers, half of which are women. India’s ICT ad back office services boom is also increasing job prospects for women. The BPO sector offers unprecedented flexibility in time and space, allowing scores of women to work at home or outside the office for the first time. Women can now improve their incomes and become more financially independent while having the option to assume traditional roles. PREVIOUS Promoting Equality, Promoting Development: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO, Celebrating Women’s Day and Month: Women in the Offshore Outsourcing Industry NEXT Evolving Workplace, Technology and How they Affect Women in Outsourcing, Shared Services & Managed Operations POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your dedicated team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Celebrating Women’s Day and Month: Women in the Offshore Outsourcing Industry ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=89 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Celebrating Women’s Day and Month: Women in the Offshore Outsourcing IndustryWe are closing the month on a high note – celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) and National Women’s Month with two posts about women in the outsourcing industry. IWD is celebrated globally on March 8. In the Philippines, the entire month of March is celebrated as National Women’s Month (Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988). You can learn more about the 2015 celebration on the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) website. This year's celebration is doubly memorable because it also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This historic declaration from the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 was signed by 189 governments. It’s a roadmap that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights across the globe. You can also find out more about the goals of equality, peace and development from CEDAW. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and serves as an international bill of rights for women. Our first post, Women in Outsourcing, gives an overview of women in the workplace, not just in the BPO industry, and the changes that happened in the recent decades that helped make taking on jobs in the outsourcing industry an option for women. We also specified some of the ways the outsourced services industry can help women become more self-reliant and provide financial stability for themselves and their families. The post also features some case studies or examples of how women gained opportunities for growth in BPO. The second article, Evolving Workplace, Technology and How they Affect Women in Outsourcing, Shared Services & Managed Operations, provides more information on workplace changes and technology. These two factors are driving change in business and in the outsourcing industry as they also help women gain employment and the opportunity to improve their prospects. Figures from the PCW website indicate that more women in the Philippines are attaining higher education. During the school year 2005-2006, for example, 54.48 % or more than half of 2,483,645 total enrollees are females.

SY 2005-2006 Enrollees in the Philippines

Total

Women

Men

2,483,645

54.48 %

45.52%

Source: Philippine Commission on Women

On the same school year, majority of female enrollees in the Philippines took up Medical and Allied Discipline courses, followed by Business Administration and Related Discipline courses.

Enrollees

Medical, Allied Discipline

Business Administration, Related Discipline

SY 2005-2006 Total

27.44 %

24.35 %

SY 2004-2005 Total

23.25 %

24.77 %

Source: Philippine Commission on Women

Figures released on July 2009 by the Philippine Statistics Authority indicate that there are more female employees handling business process outsourcing tasks in the Philippines:

2005 Total Workers in BPO Philippines

Women

Men

81,578

45,225

36,353

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry

Women outnumber men in at least three outsourced services: Medical Transcription, Data Processing and Call Center services.

Outsourced Services

Women

Men

Medical Transcription

74.4 %

25.5 %

Data Processing

65.2 %

34.8 %

Call Center

58.8 %

41.2 %

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry

Majority of the 45,225 women surveyed work in call center companies in the Philippines:

BPO Service

Percentage

Call Center

62.8 %

Data Processing

14.4 %

Other Software and Consultancy and Supply

8 %

Other BPOs

11 %

Data Activities and Online Distribution of Electronic Content

3.8 %

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry
Skills, education, training, technology, and an evolving workplace are helping open doors for more women to gain employment and opportunities, at least as far as these services in the Philippine outsourcing industry are concerned.We hope that the two new posts, Women in Outsourcing and Evolving Workplace, are continuing explorations of some of the ideas in our 2012 article Promoting Equality, Promoting Development: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO . If you want to learn more about outsourcing, please visit What is Outsourcing. Let us know what you think through our comments section below or through our social media channels. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Document Process Outsourcing (DPO) Services: Streamline Workflows & Drive Innovation ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=86 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Document Process Outsourcing (DPO) ServicesDocument-intensive business functions account for about 5 to 15 percent of an organization’s revenue, according to a paper published by document process outsourcing provider Xerox Global Services. Document processing is a key area where businesses can realize significant savings, improve the bottom line, streamline workflows, and drive innovation. A growing number of DPO providers are offering document processing solutions beyond traditional, discrete services and moving towards end-to-end process management. This service delivery model enables buyers to retain control of their brand, achieve end-to-end cost transparency, and achieve an ideal balance of stock quantities. Key DPO providers like Canon, Xerox and HP offer integrated services that digitize, capture, organize, print, distribute, and archive information. Providers also help optimize transactional documents through real-time, interactive, and high-volume document creation using market-leading methodologies and advanced technology. Smaller providers may focus on delivering discrete or individual DPO services that are tailored to a specific industry.
Document Process Outsourcing Services by Industry
Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Service providers handle processing and printing of loan, mortgage and credit card applications, tracking and updating applications, creating and maintaining commercial and individual lending documents, storing signature cards, digitizing statements, creating and presenting reports and documents, and financial data entry. Manufacturing In the manufacturing industry, DPO services include order requests processing, scanning of purchase orders, processing warranty claims and safety communications, creating floor plan agreements and updating, tracking, retrieving and maintaining invoices. Healthcare The Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare has initiated sweeping changes in healthcare document processing. DPO service providers are rising to the occasion with broader offerings that include cloud-based services. Traditional DPO services in the healthcare sector include printing, mailing, management, and production of bills and statements (including explanation of benefits or EOB statements), customizing and presenting medical bills and statements, processing beneficiary changes, and scanning claims. Consumer and Retail DPO services in the retail sector include printing, archiving, and storing contracts, creating and presenting bills and statements, bulk mailing, producing electronic bills and documents, scanning invoices, and processing customer surveys. Public Sector or Government Government DPO services include managing paper and electronic communications, processing government forms and property tax records, storing sensitive and private data, processing mail room tax returns, scanning and archiving communications from citizens, and digitizing, scanning, and extracting data. Transportation For efficient document processing, businesses in the transportation sector hire providers to process, and manage invoices, rental agreements, maintenance records, compliance and regulatory documents, tickets, travel contracts, customer correspondence and scheduling distribution.
Back Office or Transactional DPO Services
Some providers offer only discrete or transactional DPO services using flexible service delivery models. Individual DPO services include document scanning, data capture, document preparation, printing, data entry and validation, and cloud-based document access and storage. The provider may also offer workflow engineering, consultancy and other services that are on the high end of the DPO value chain. Document Preparation Documents are inventoried, labeled, and organized before they are scanned. The service provider will scan, route or dispose of related documents (as required) in the preparation process. When office space is limited, some providers offer mobile scanning to keep information on-site. Data Capture and Data Entry Providers use advanced imaging and character recognition technology to acquire data from paper and electronic sources and convert information into machine-readable format. Third parties also provide high-resolution scanning for critical documents and linking related documents for easy retrieval. The technology used is often proprietary to the company, like OCR (optical character recognition), ICR (intelligent character recognition), and ADR (automated document recognition) software. Some providers offer multi-channel capture at the enterprise level to receive, sort and open documents, and extract useful data from scanned digital images. Data Validation Data is checked or validated after it is scanned and entered into a database. Major DPO providers use advanced automated transaction processing (ATP) technology to automate manual and repeatable processes, especially when processing large volumes of information. Cloud-Based Storage and Access or Digital Vault With secure cloud-based document storage and retrieval, managers can tailor a customer’s access privileges and security. Documents can be editable or set to read-only with 24/7 availability via an internet connection. Providers can make documents accessible from any location for distribution or archiving, regardless of the location of the original document. Other services include secure records management from creation to scheduled disposal. Data Encryption DPO providers offer encryption and securitization of sensitive information and for meeting regulatory requirements such as the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and Financial Modernization Act. Customer Communications Management The DPO service provider can improve customer relationships, promote corporate branding, promote products, and communicate information to customers by creating and managing personalized communications. Presentation and delivery channels are tailored based on client preferences. Customer communications are generated in real time and can be produced in high-volumes through the use of automatic character recognition technologies. Output/Printing Output services include print and mail (creating forms, distributing invoices, financial statements and customer correspondence), design (creating, merging and distributing content to multiple channels), and electronic documents (creating and presenting documents digitally instead of printing paper documents). Help Desk Services Document-related inquiries from staff, vendors and customers can be handled by a third party. Help desk service personnel are trained and have in-depth understanding of business and customer needs, allowing them to serve as a seamless extension of the in-house staff. Disaster Recovery DPO providers have tested disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place in the event of force majeure or unforeseen circumstances. Services include dual-site processing and redundant storage. Workflow Engineering and Consultancy Document imaging specialists or advisors help organizations reduce errors, speed up processes and eliminate middle layers and needless steps in a document lifecycle. Document specialists also integrate their services with legacy systems, workflow automation software, and application processing software.
End-to-End Document Process Outsourcing Services
An organization has different document-intensive functions, including customer-facing, technical, marketing, legal/regulatory and finance and accounting. The DPO service provider takes over management of one or more document-intensive business processes while allowing the company to retain ownership and control. The third party provides technology and domain expertise to improve process efficiency and reduce costs. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Services Major DPO providers like Xerox and HP offer cloud-based and on-premise document processing solutions to organize and manage data for large businesses. End-to-end management includes creation, processing, retention, and archiving, as well as automation of business critical processes. Customer-Facing Services Customer-facing processes focus on fulfillment of customer requests or orders. DPO providers handle production, distribution and management of documents like invoices, customer communications, and customer records. Technical Document Services Technical document processing is the production and management of technical documents delivered to customers or other businesses. A DPO provider may handle creation and distribution of repair manuals, product manuals, design specifications, blueprints, supplier documents, and service bulletins. Sales and Marketing Services Marketing services are typically external-facing and involves the production and management of marketing and communications documents. Service providers may manage an organization’s communications programs and handle customer collateral fulfillment. A third party may also optimize transactional-promotional communications by adding marketing messages to post-sales bills, statements and invoices. Legal and Regulatory Services Service providers handle production and management of documents that ensure regulatory compliance, typically in the insurance, product safety and banking and financial services sectors. Finance and Accounting F&A document processes include invoicing and payment of buyers and suppliers, and capture, scanning, reporting, updating, and archiving of financial information. A third party may handle specific functions like management of invoice matching and dispute resolution or general services like design, storage, and management of operational forms (electronic or paper-based). Administrative Services DPO service providers undertake end-to-end administrative document management, production and printing using the latest technologies.
Comparison: Document Process Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing
Document process outsourcing (DPO) is the practice of hiring a third party or outside expert to handle an organization’s document processing functions. The service provider employ data entry professionals and use advanced document processing tools to convert data from paper-based or electronic documents into machine-readable information. Besides providing individual services like scanning and printing, third parties also offer end-to-end document processing and consulting or advisory services. Document process outsourcing is a special area of business process outsourcing (BPO), which encompasses a wide range of services: front office (customer service), back office (finance and accounting, human resources), information technology (infrastructure, maintenance, support, software development), legal (patents, research), and knowledge processes (core activities). Differences Process Ownership According to the article Document Process Outsourcing vs. Business Process Outsourcing in 2013 & Beyond published on the AIIM.org blog, one of the main differences of DPO and BPO is how the organization retains ownership of the process. DPO allows a company to take full ownership of the process and retain responsibility for outcomes, while taking advantage of technology that improves the function. For example, third platform technologies (like the cloud) have enabled business of all sizes to leverage advanced document processing tools that streamline workflows and improve efficiency. With cloud-based document processing services, what used to be accessible only to enterprises or large companies can now be easily accessed by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with limited resources. The cloud-based DPO service delivery model in particular enables business to improve process efficiency without turning over responsibility for the entire process to the third party. Other benefits of the DPO model over traditional BPO service delivery models are reduced cost (small investment in infrastructure and labor) and shared risk (the third party also assumes responsibility when things go wrong). Level of Engagement In its study Document Process Outsourcing: Business Strategies for Successful Market Engagement, InfoTrends reported that traditional BPO contracts differ from DPO agreements in terms of the level of engagement. While traditional BPO models focus on the delivery of discrete or individual services, DPO focuses on a specific business process and their associated metrics. For example, a DPO provider handles end-to-end management of document-intensive processes in an organization’s Finance and Accounting department, including processing of accounts payable, insurance claims, sales order, and mortgage applications. As a subset of BPO, DPO is tied directly to a provider’s document processing expertise. The outsourced process (Finance and Accounting is an example) includes management of multiple document lifecycles and delivery of documents to end-users. DPO and BPO Trends According to an InfoTrends study, cost reduction remains the primary driver for BPO market growth, but it is not the only driver. Today, companies outsource strategically; that is, to improve business processes and drive innovation. The number of companies using metrics that go beyond cost savings is increasingly growing, indicative of the move towards market-facing outsourcing solutions. Modern BPO is all about long-term value, and companies that outsource document processing are following that trend. Like other BPO providers, DPO providers are expanding their offerings to include end-to-end process management. Another trend that informs BPO is third platform technologies that include big data, mobility, social business, and cloud-based services. The cloud in particular is changing the way companies process documents. Service providers are wooing buyers with cloud solutions that will transform businesses into paperless organizations. DPO provider CloudX said that BPO is headed towards an integration of technology and process outsourcing. Buyers will be able to improve document-intensive processes while retaining control through advanced workflow automation, intelligent character recognition, flexible solutions, business intelligence, and advanced document management technology that providers offer. CloudX added that the DPO approach is best used for functions like accounts payable invoice processing, explanation of benefits (EOB) processing, sales order processing, and human resource onboarding. POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your dedicated team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Outsourced Document Processing: Top 10 Things to Learn ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=85 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing: Top 10 Things to LearnOutsourced Document Processing is the transfer of responsibility for an organization’s document-intensive functions to a third party or specialist. Document processing is the conversion of paper-based or electronic documents containing handwritten, typed or scanned text and images into a digital format. The digitized images and captured data are typically uploaded into an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). The provider may utilize the services of experienced data entry professionals and various document processing tools for conversion, such as Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Document-intensive functions are at the heart of most business processes, from procurement to accounting to corporate strategy. Common document processing services that are outsourced include document preparation, document scanning, document indexing and linking, data capture, data encryption, records conversion and retention, records management, document process or workflow engineering, help desk, disaster recovery, integration with legacy systems, and cloud-based secure document access. An InfoTrends study reported that companies outsource document processing mainly to reduce cost, improve process efficiency, drive innovation, and add value. Service providers have the technology, domain expertise, and deep understanding of customer needs to provide a high level of efficiency at a lower cost.
1. Market Size and Forecast
According to the Global Document Outsourcing Market 2014-2018 study by TechNavio covering the Americas, APAC, and EMEA regions, the global document outsourcing market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.25 percent from 2013 to 2018. The increasing number of companies looking for end-to-end document process outsourcing is driving growth. However, TechNavio reported that while offerings from service providers are expanding, lack of flexibility with service level agreements (SLAs) may challenge the growth.
2. Evolution of Outsource Document Processing Industry
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing- Evolution of  Outsource Document Processing Industry
Canon Group and InfoTrends charted the history of outsourced document processing in its 2011 white paper The Evolution of Document Process Outsourcing. In the early 1990s when BPO contracts were in its infancy, document outsourcing providers saw opportunities to offer document-intensive services as standalone agreements or in collaboration with major BPO providers. InfoTrends predicted that the United States document outsourcing market will reach almost $1 billion in value by 2014. Meanwhile, Western Europe’s document outsourcing market was expected to reach €2.7 billion in 2014. Today, outsourced document processing continues to grow, driven by demand from companies looking for end-to-end document processing solutions. DPO is increasingly seen as more than just a cost-reduction tool, but a strategic solution that improves business process efficiency and drives value. DPO continues to evolve within the segment, with a growing number of service providers expanding their offerings beyond traditional document processing services. From traditional document processing where individual services or tasks like scanning and printing are undertaken by a third party, DPO service providers today perform all steps within the outsourced process (end-to-end DPO). InfoTrends now defines DPO as the outsourcing of a document-intensive process with multiple tasks to support a single business function. For example, an organization hires a DPO provider to handle end-to-end document processing for its entire Finance and Accounting (F&A) division. According on InfoTrends, a document process has a specific input and output, and the process consists of a well-defined sequence of activities and a well-defined output recipient. The specific business process can also be named. For example, the input is sales leads, and the output is physical and electronic promotional materials. The activities may include web and graphic design, data management, distribution, and tracking. The recipient in this case is the client, and the business process is new customer acquisition.
3. Mergers and Third Platform Impact
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - Mergers & Third Platform
Industry mergers and the so-called “3rd platform” (four key technologies that include mobility, big data, social business and cloud) are driving transformations in all BPO segments, including DPO. A few years ago, major BPO providers like Accenture and IBM partnered with DPO specialists to provide standalone services. Today, BPO and DPO services are becoming closely integrated due to customer demand for comprehensive services. Bundled services allow companies to reduce the cost of managing multiple vendors, better utilize vendor resources like multi-location outsourcing, and build closer, more collaborative relationships. This in turn leads to better value and greater innovation. DPO providers are leveraging cloud services, social media, mobile devices and big data to help companies become fully digital, market-facing businesses.
4. Outsourced Document Processing Trends
Outsourced document processing in the 21st century is more than just a cost reduction activity. InfoTrends reports that companies are increasingly turning to DPO to drive innovation and process improvement. According to a study conducted by Forbes Insights and Infosys, more companies are using metrics that evaluate more than just than bottom line savings. While it is true that cost reduction remains a number one concern, companies are also looking for other ways to improve workflows and drive long-term value. Value-added benefits like higher productivity, improved customer service and new revenue streams are some examples of what companies are looking for when they partner with third party DPO specialists. In turn, DPO providers are expanding their offerings to meet demand. For example, DPO vendor Océ Business Services helped a rental car company cut costs and improve efficiencies by handling the reorganization and management of the client’s internal document process. Océ took over end-to-end document processing, from document origination to digital conversion of vehicle contracts and maintenance records. Océ also handled document scanning and process management and control. As a result of outsourcing document processing to Océ, the client saved $700,000 annually on rental contract imaging and indexing and reduced their turnaround time by 12-24 hours.
5. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - Intelligent Character Recognition
Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) refers to technologies that recognize and analyze handwritten characters from scanned images. It is a more specific type of optical character recognition (OCR) that is ideal for digitizing documents containing different styles of handwriting. In document processing, ICR software is used to identify any character contained in a digitized image. The ICR software returns this information in a way that is recognizable to the machine and end user. Process The document is scanned and saved as a high-resolution digital image (usually TIFF) and fed to the computer. The ICR software analyzes the image and translates the data into machine-readable characters. Modern ICR software consists of a neural network (self-learning) system that automatically updates the recognition database. In this sense, the software’s level of intelligence can be programmed. Accuracy levels vary when digitizing hand-printed text with ICR software. To achieve high recognition rates and accuracy, multiple engines are often used. According to Top Image Systems’ Principles of Character Recognition, ICR software may use semantic, statistical, or hybrid character recognition. Statistical The statistical approach involves looking for spatial distribution patterns of pixel values in a scanned image of a handwritten character or digit. For example, looking at the handwritten digit “1” and “8,” the ICR software would identify the ratio of black pixels to white pixels in each image (as represented by histograms of the two digits) and differentiate between them. Semantic Scanned images of handwritten characters form lines, contours, and spaces. The semantic approach to character recognition identifies the contours and lines formed by pixels of scanned images and looks for patterns or relationships for each character. For example, there are various but not unlimited ways to write the letter “a.” All the possible depictions can be compiled in a database and used by the software for analysis and comparison. However, the semantic approach may fail to recognize a character when the scanned image of the character is broken and the contour cannot be traced properly. Hybrid Hybrid intelligent character recognition is a combination of statistic and semantic approaches, designed to overcome the limitations of each method. Character recognition engines perform best with a specific image or document; ICR software can thus incorporate all of these engines to create the best possible result. When digitizing handwritten numbers for example, ICR engines designed to read numbers have higher “voting” rights. When digitizing handwritten text, ICR engines designed to read letters take preference.
6. ICR in Forms Processing
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - ICR in Forms Processing
Form processing used to be performed by data entry workers who read the documents and manually keyed in data into a computer. Automated Forms Processing was born in 1993 and involved a three-step process: capturing the image of the original document and preparing the image for ICR, capturing the information, and processing the results for automatic validation. Today, companies use scanners and ICR/OCR form processing software to automate this process and achieve about 98 percent accuracy, similar to the accuracy achieved during manual data entry. Forms processing software often uses a combination of ICR, optical character recognition (OCR), and optical mark recognition (OMR) systems to digitize handwritten text, machine-printed type, marks on check boxes, bar codes, and signatures from scanned images. ICR technology automates data entry functions when digitizing hand-filled forms, surveys and applications. The software interface may include scanning, recognition, verification, and management tools for processing large volumes of data. Organizations that collect data on paper-based forms may use forms processing software to automate data entry. Data entry professionals may then validate and proofread the data to improve accuracy. Data entry automation with ICR software is recommended for companies that handle 100 or more forms per month.
7. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Optical character recognition (OCR) is the process of converting scanned text images into a form that machines can easily recognize, edit, search, store and display. Optical character recognition systems are commonly used in document processing to transform data from paper and digital records into machine-encoded text. Besides reducing their paper trail, businesses use OCR to reduce data entry errors, consolidate data entry, create human readable text, and encode large volumes of data. The OCR input (original document) can come from several sources, including handwritten text (prescriptions, snail mail correspondence), printed material (passport, invoices, business cards), and scanned images with printed text and handwriting. The output is stored and delivered in a specific file format, such as PDF. The PDF file can be further optimized for the web to ensure fast download and access. History The Internet has changed the way users access printed material and library resources. Many prefer documents in electronic format that can be easily accessed with an internet connection. Digitized text is also easier to use in document processing activities like text-to-speech, data and text mining, and machine translation. For businesses that have massive legacies of paper records, optical character recognition was a strategy towards a better organized, paperless office. In its infancy, OCR involved the use of high-speed scanners and advanced OCR software that automatically converted thousands of pages into user-friendly electronic text. According to the article Optical Character Recognition published by MacUser magazine in August 2012, companies in the late 1980s that had invested in expensive scanning equipment and OCR achieved only 98 percent accuracy, meaning that there were 10 or more errors on an average page. Today, many OCR software makers claim 99 percent accuracy, but only when used on good-quality, clean images like Microsoft Word documents and not on historical newspapers and material.
8. OCR Process
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - OCR Process
Digitizing printed matter typically begins with the scanning of original documents. The data is then saved as various digital formats and made accessible online. Data entry professionals and archivists work with two types of print documents (text-based and graphic based) and use different techniques to digitize them. Graphic-Based Materials Graphic-based printed materials include drawings, manuscripts, slides, posters, historical photos and documents with illustrations or images. Many old and historical documents (newspapers, magazines, books) are considered graphic-based because they often have unusual fonts, stains, and colored backgrounds. The documents are scanned in color at very high resolution to create reproductions that are as faithful to the original as possible. The reproductions are then saved in image formats that suit the method of presentation. For example, archival images may be saved as TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) master files and converted into JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) access files for online viewing. Text-Based Materials Text-based materials include journal articles, reports, meeting minutes, dissertations, research papers, and modern books, magazines, and newspapers. Text-based materials are scanned and converted into machine-encoded text.
9. Optical Character Recognition Software
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - Optical Character Recognition Software
OCR software works with a bitmapped image of the document to separate each character or glyph. The software analyzes each glyph and matches it to one that is in the character set of a recognition language. After the blocks of characters are separated into words, each word is checked against a dictionary. The word that fits best is the output. When there is no good word-character match to be found, the software returns recognized characters and marks. Modern OCR engines use multiple algorithms and average the result to obtain a single reading. Unlike humans, however, OCR software has yet to assemble words into the context of sentences or paragraphs, which increase the chances of errors. Recognition performance is also affected by the quality of the scanned image and the type of software used. OCR works best with high-quality, black and white images without blurs or smudges and with a dedicated software package. To further increase accuracy, human proofreading is a must. OCR Core Algorithms To recognize characters, OCR uses two basic algorithms: matrix matching and feature extraction. Matrix matching involves comparing what the OCR scanner “sees” as a character to a library of character templates. When a match is found, the software names the image with a corresponding ASCII character. Matrix matching is recommended for documents with a limited set of type styles and with little or no variation within each style. Feature extraction (also called intelligent character recognition or topological feature analysis) is a more advanced process. The software looks for features like closed shapes, stroke edge, the background color, diagonal lines, open areas, etc. and compares these features with an abstract representation of that character. Feature extraction works best when the characters are less predictable.
10. Data Entry
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Outsourced Document Processing - Data Entry
Data entry is the process of entering text, numbers or facts into an electronic spreadsheet or database. Data can be keyed in manually into a computer by an individual (manual data entry) or by a machine entering data electronically (automated data entry). Data entry belongs under the broader umbrella of data processing or information processing. Data processing is the gathering and manipulation of data, while information processing refers to stages or changes that information undergoes. Data processing functions include capture, entry, validation, sorting, summarization, aggregation, analysis, reporting, and classification. In business, the term data entry is often used in the context of forms processing and commercial data processing. History Humans have been processing data for centuries. The history of electronic data entry can be traced back to the 1700s when punched cards were first used to control machinery and record and process data. From the 1900s to the 1950s, most organizations used punched cards for data entry, storage and processing, thus increasing demand for workers to run keypunch machines. In the 1970s, typewriters and keypunch machines were gradually replaced by computers with video display terminals or screens that allowed the typist to see the data before it was printed. Today, data entry is performed by data entry clerks or typists with the help of computers, scanners and forms processing software. Data usually comes from paper documents or scanned images, which are transferred into the database using a keyboard, recorder or scanner. Modern organizations accumulate vast amounts of data, including operational/transactional data (cost, sales, payroll), non-operational data (forecast, industry figures) and meta data (information about the data). Manual Data Entry Manual data entry is performed by humans entering data from a paper document or scanned image into a physical database (such as a record/tally sheet) or into an electronic database. According to Teresia R. Ostrach’s Typing Speed: How Fast is Average?, the average typing speed of data entry professionals is between 50 to 80 words per minute, which is relatively sluggish compared to the speed of automated scanning equipment. Other issues with manual data entry are the high labor and overhead costs associated with employing data entry professionals and the possibility of typographical errors. Automated Data Entry Automated data entry is performed by human operators but with much of the work done by machines or computers. Computers feature customizable interfaces, built-in templates that map the document, and different character recognition software that analyze scanned images of paper documents. Optical character recognition (OCR) is used to read machine printed characters, while intelligent character recognition is used for handwritten characters. Check boxes, bar codes and magnetic ink are read using optical mark recognition (OMR), bar code recognition (BCR) and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) software, respectively. Data Entry Professionals A data entry professional records, updates, maintains, and retrieves data held in computer systems. Data entry workers may use special keyboards to speed up the work and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury. Companies typically require data entry workers to be proficient in touch typing and have basic knowledge of databases, word processing software, and spreadsheets. The job description vary depending on the industry, but the general nature of work requires little or no technical knowledge. Organizations may choose to hire data entry professionals in-house or outsource data entry to a third party. Data entry tasks can be integrated with customer service tasks. These include entering customer information into a database during new account openings, lead generation, and new customer acquisition. A data entry/customer service professional may also be assigned to update electronic medical records, process invoices and confirm or verify client records through phone, SMS, chat or email. POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of building your dedicated team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=84 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Technical support or tech support refers to services that assist users of electronic services or mechanical products. Products include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, software, hardware, IT infrastructure, and cloud-based services. The goal of technical support is to resolve issues related to a specific product or service. Companies provide free or paid technical support for the products they sell. Support can be given in person by support staff in a brick and mortar store, over the phone, and online via chat, email, forum comments or incident reporting. Many enterprises also have in-house IT departments that provide troubleshooting and support for their own employees. Some small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may outsource technical support for their employees to reduce costs and gain strategic benefits.
Technical Support Outsourcing
Technical support outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third party or outside expert to handle an organization’s tech support functions. Tech support outsourcing is typically included in a company’s IT outsourcing budget and IT outsourcing campaign. According to a study by market research firm Parks Associates, the technical support market for SMBs in the United States will grow 14.4 percent (compound annual growth rate) from 2012 to 2016 and reach $25 billion by 2016. Market growth will be driven by increasingly complex networks and trends like cloud services and bring your own device (BYOD). As companies rely more and more on 24/7 uptime, major outsourced tech support providers are introducing new and robust forms of technical support that targets small businesses. Providers will leverage their existing relationship with SMBs to deliver these new products. Similarly, large enterprises are under pressure to keep pace with technology and reduce massive expenses associated with business disruption due to unexpected downtime. Enterprise tech support providers are expanding and improving their offerings to meet these needs.
Technical Support Coverage
Technical support professionals are also called technicians, tech support officers, help desk operators, maintenance engineers, and applications support specialists. Tech support specialists have in-depth understanding of technology products and information systems, and they apply their technical knowledge to resolve hardware, software, network, or systems issues. Tech support professionals help customers through various channels: direct questions and basic issues can be answered through telephone, SMS, or online, while face-to-face interaction may be reserved for complicated hardware or software problems. The quality of technical support that a customer receives usually depends on whether the service is paid or free. Most companies offer free technical support to customers through various channels, but only a few provide dedicated, one-on-one support. Premium technical support services are typically available as a subscription or pay-as-you-go model. The pay-as-you need model is a one-time charge for resolving issues in a one-off manner. Monthly or annual subscriptions can be customized to expand or reduce the amount of support the customer receives. This is ideal for companies requiring routine maintenance and support.
Technical Support Responsibilities
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services - Responsibilities
Responsibilities of technical support professionals vary. In general, an organization’s internal tech support staff is mainly responsible for the smooth operation of computer systems, ensuring that employees get maximum benefits from them. Individual tasks may also include: • Installation, configuration and diagnostics of hardware, software and applications • Customer support and issue resolution through telephone, online or face-to-face interaction • Network and systems monitoring • Network and systems maintenance • Troubleshooting systems and network problems • Parts replacement • Safety checks on computer equipment • Procedure documentation and reporting • New account and password setup • Timely call-out response • Testing and evaluation of new applications • Knowledge and supporting of new applications and technology initiatives • Virus and malware support • Data recovery • Customization
Technical Support Tiers or Levels
Technical support can be classified into four levels or tiers. Businesses may use more than one level of support depending on their internal and customer needs. A multi-level support system is designed to address problems in the most efficient way possible. Tier 0 refers to scripted answers to non-technical problems (like status of an order, incident reports) and short-duration client interactions. Tier 1 support includes scripted answers to known issues with well-defined client interaction durations. Tier 2 refers to free-form or unscripted problem analysis, resolution or escalation to tier 3. Tier 3 covers engineering, bug fixes, key releases, and new features or enhancements.
Call Out IT Support Service Agreement
Call out or maintenance technical support is a type of IT service contract where the services rendered and payment are pre-negotiated. The customer “calls out” the technician or service provider to address a technical issue. The customer pays for the services of the technician as well as the materials used based on an agreed-upon rate. Call out differs from a fixed price service arrangement, where the customer pays the technician a fixed amount regardless of number or hours worked and materials used. The terms of the call out contract are usually for a fixed duration, typically 12 months, with a minimum fee to be paid by the customer on a monthly basis. The call out terms can be 24/7 support or for certain hours in a day for 12 months, and the rate applied is based on a previously agreed schedule. For example, company ABC hires a technical support professional to install a network in their office. The technician may charge the company for time (the number of hours it takes to install the network) and materials (the cost of direct materials like cables, hard drive, software, etc. plus any markup).
Benefits
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services - Benefits
Call out is similar to a time and materials service contract in other industries, particularly construction. “Time and materials” refers to payment for the number of hours of work performed by the technician, direct expenses incurred, and necessary materials purchased during the project. Call our or time and material contracts are often used when the full scope of the project is not well defined or understood. Most consulting contracts begin as call out, with the technician being paid by the customer for hours of work and direct expenses. Once the project scope is defined and the duration is determined, the technician may bill the customer using milestone payments or fixed-price billing.
Block Hours Tech Support Service Contact
Block hours technical support is a type of service contract that allows a customer to buy a block of time of support services for a fixed price. Block hours are usually prepaid or paid in advance. Instead of charging by the hour for a technician’s services, block hours are offered at a reduced rate per hour. However, block hours are sometimes offered at a standard rate. This type of technical support arrangement gives customers the flexibility to use the hours when they need it and whenever problems arise, while avoiding the trouble of having to pay multiple bills. Block hours are ideal for businesses or individuals that require regular and routine tech support, but cannot or are unwilling to pay for managed services or ongoing subscriptions. Most providers offer block hours that can be used for any and all of the services provided by the company. For example, IBM offers prepaid block hours for premium software support that allows customers to access the company’s software expertise. Support services are delivered on an hourly basis over a 12-month period and covers general technical consulting, operations support, developer support, emergency support, and other services. Other providers also allow customers to access reports that itemize services performed and the remaining balance of block hours.
Benefits
Block hours tech support is a simple and flexible way to access comprehensive professional IT services, from routine maintenance of servers, network, and workstations to premium consultancy services. Block hours support is relatively more affordable, allowing individuals and businesses to easily get started with a company’s professional tech support services and access value-added services like project management and consultancy. Block hours can be used anytime within the terms of the contract, allowing customers to manage and control IT budgets. There is no need to pay upfront for on-demand support whenever you encounter IT issues. Some companies allow customers to top-up their existing block hours balance.
Managed Services Tech Support
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services - Managed Services
Managed services tech support is a type of service agreement where the customer pays for management of day-to-day IT support for a fixed or variable fee. The suite of services and resolution times are well-defined and may be provided proactively or when necessary as determined by the managed services provider (MSP). MSPs often use remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to deploy and control managed IT support services. Besides providing IT support services, managed services providers may be hired to manage multiple IT support vendors and evaluate their performance according to the client’s requirements. In this type of service agreement, the MSP acts as a neutral party that offers comprehensive and best in class IT support solutions at a reduced cost. The MSP uses a vendor management system (VMS) to manage the contingent IT support workforce. The managed services provider usually charges an upfront fee for setup and then a fixed or variable monthly fee on an ongoing basis. This gives the client predictability when budgeting for IT support costs and allows them to pay only for what services and materials they use. In general, the customer retains overall control and responsibility over the managed services. A comprehensive suite of managed IT support services may include IT management, setup, helpdesk support and maintenance, onsite support, project management, IT advice and consulting, cloud services, application services, reporting, short-term/contingency staffing, and IT roadmap.
Benefits
Managed IT support is a way to reduce cost and complexity by transferring the IT management burden to a third party and to free up resources for core activities and business growth. Managed services are designed to provide a single point of accountability and simplified structure for hardware, software, infrastructure, and IT workforce support. Managed services also help improve reliability and efficiency and reduce downtime through proactive monitoring. Instead of being responsible for troubleshooting and coordination in a multi-vendor environment with different service levels, the company transfers responsibility to the managed services provider.
Crowdsourced Technical Support
Crowdsourced IT support is a type of support provided by or sourced from a group of people, usually online and through discussion boards, website forums, and online communities. Crowdsourced tech support is typically free, but some companies may charge for premium tech support services. Many companies have some form of crowdsourced support for their products and services. It allows them to reduce support costs and shift work away from IT professionals or store help desk representatives to online experts who typically offer their services and expertise for free. For example, Microsoft and Apple have online discussion communities where anyone can register and become a member. Members can then sound off on various topics, ask for help, and provide troubleshooting support for tech issues. Many online discussion boards also have extensive knowledge databases, often compiled by the in-house technicians, that free to access for members. Tech support knowledge databases usually provide responses to routine questions. The paid crowdsourced tech support model is on the rise. Vodafone Germany’s peer-to-peer tech support model charges its users an hourly rate for face-to-face or online tech support provided by its crowdsourced IT support team. The technicians are not all IT professionals (many are in their teens or 20s) or formally trained by Vodafone; instead, they are invited and chosen based on their tech support skills. Companies that choose to crowdsource a part of their tech support services realize that the long-term investment in the platform costs less than hiring full-time IT support technicians. While there are costs associated with content moderation and customer feedback monitoring, the overall expense is significantly less than traditional tech support.
Benefits
Customers today feel that they have a say in how a company does business with them. In an age where end users expect not only high-quality tech support but acknowledgment and personalized service, the most successful businesses are those that use technology to adapt to their clients. For customers with an internet connection, crowdsourced tech support is a fast and easy way to troubleshoot problems with mobile devices, computers, software, hardware, and consumer electronics.
Outsourcing Technical Support
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services -- Outsourcing Technical Support
Technical support outsourcing is the transfer of responsibility for an organization’s internal IT support to an outside expert or service provider. Technical support can be outsourced to a provider within the state or country (local), in a neighboring area (nearshore), or in a far-flung location (offshore). The third party handles an entire business function and provides process expertise, technology, operations and support. Depending on the service agreement or contract, the customer may or may not give up control over management and operations. Most companies outsource their IT support functions to reduce cost, reduce complexity, and keep pace with advances in technology. Companies also see IT support outsourcing as a strategic tool that can improve focus and productivity, streamline processes, grow the bottom line and help them stay competitive in an increasingly global market. Tech support outsourcing began as a solution to organizational complexities introduced by globalization and free trade economies. Outsourcing IT support and maintenance functions to third parties was seen as the best way to reduce overall costs and access domain expertise. Due to the non-tangible nature of IT services (making it unnecessary for the goods to services to be produced at the site of consumption), IT outsourcing will always be an attractive business model.
Tech Support Outsourcing Market and Trends
The global technical support outsourcing market is expected to grow at 5.92 percent CAGR from 2014 to 2018, according to a recent study by TechNavio. Most companies outsource tech support services because outsourcing reduces risk and is more affordable. The report showed that market growth is mainly driven by reduction in total cost of ownership associated with adopting innovative models from service providers. A key market trend is changing consumer preferences, forcing companies to innovate and offer new and improved support services. The rise in available service delivery options also mean new system integration and hardware/software troubleshooting processes. According to the report, one of the biggest challenges for the tech support outsourcing market is data security. Providers and customers struggle with lack of control over security and the risk of privacy loss and misuse of confidential information. In the United States, market research firm Parks and Associates predicted that the technical support market for small and medium sized businesses will grow at a 14.4 percent CAGR from 2012 to 2016 and reach $25 billion by 2016. Primary drivers of market growth are network complexity and trends like cloud services and bring your own device (BYOD). Large enterprises are also under pressure to reduce expenses associated with business disruption due to unexpected downtime.
Tech Support Outsourcing Benefits
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services – Outsourcing Benefits
Providing high-quality in-house technical support is expensive, with massive investment required in labor, overhead, and maintenance. As new devices, consumer electronics, and applications are released, the cost of IT support grows even higher. Companies that outsource IT support save money and realize other value-added benefits. Cost reduction through tech support outsourcing is achieved by transferring the cost burden associated with recruitment, training, infrastructure, and systems maintenance to the third party. Offshore IT support outsourcing allows companies to realize even greater cost savings due to labor arbitrage. Scalability is the ability of an organization’s systems and infrastructure to keep pace with market and customer needs. Outsourcing tech support to a third party allows companies to scale up or down easily and do so without significant upfront investment. The service provider can handle both IT workforce management as well as IT support to simplify operations. Managed services providers (MSP) can control hiring of regular and contingency staff during periods of rapid or slow growth. IT support providers deliver additional value to customers by increasing company focus. Outsourcing tech support frees up limited resources (human capital, infrastructure, funds) for use on core business activities and business growth.
IT Support Levels or Tiers
Technical support can be classified into levels or tiers that characterize the complexity of support given. Businesses may utilize more than one level of support depending on their internal and customer needs. Some companies have as many as five to six levels of support, while others have three or fewer. A multi-level support system is designed to address problems in the most efficient way possible, with basic queries assigned to lower tiers and advanced and complex issues escalated to the highest tier.
Tier 0 or Online Knowledge Base/Self-Service
The lowest level of support, Tier 0, is the gateway to a provider’s IT support services. Tier 0 typically refers to general information, FAQs, and responses to non-technical queries. The script and responses are compiled in an online knowledge base that both customers and technicians can easily access. The duration of client interaction is usually short. Customers can access knowledge base articles, order a service, check the status of an order, check the status of a support ticket, and view notifications. Technicians can access dashboards, analytics reports, build new services, and send notifications. Customers and technicians can also customize the Tier 0 site.
Tier 1/Level 1 or Front Line Service Desk
Tier 1 is the first line of technical support. Tier 1 technicians possess general knowledge about the product or service, but may not have in-depth understanding of the system. Tier 1 technicians usually refer to a knowledge base and basic workflows during customer interaction. Most companies provide Tier 1 support round the clock or 24/7, with many firms outsourcing basic support offshore to reduce cost. Tier 1 technicians are expected to resolve majority of user issues before escalating to higher support levels. When an issue arises, customers have the option to access Tier 1 technical support through various channels: telephone, chat, SMS, email, discussion board, social media or face-to-face contact. The Tier 1 technician would gather customer information, identify the problem, and use a scripted workflow to attempt to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved during the interaction, the Tier 1 technician may categorize the problem, issue a support ticket, and escalate the issue to the appropriate support level.
Tier 2 or Level 2 Technical Support
 Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services -- Level 2 or Tier 2
Tier 2 or Level 2 support refers to a higher level of support characterized by free-form or unscripted problem analysis, resolution and escalation. Tier 2 specialists are more experienced (three or more years of experience) than Tier 1 specialists and have advanced certifications or pursue additional training. Tier 2 specialist responsibilities typically include installation, diagnostic testing, parts replacements, software repair, diagnostic testing, and remote control. Because of the greater support complexity and experience required, Tier 2 support costs more. Some companies may provide free Tier 1 support and charge for premium Tier 2 support (in-house or outsourced) for their products. Tier 2 technicians have a deeper understanding of software, hardware, systems and workflows than Tier 1 specialists. Tier 2 technicians handle a variety of technical issues regularly, making them better equipped to resolve complex issues and provide in-depth troubleshooting. Based on information gathered by the Tier 1 specialist, the Tier 2 technician will analyze the problem, determine if it belongs under L2 domain, and categorize the issue as new or existing. The technician then performs advanced diagnostics and data analysis. For existing issues, the Tier 2 technician looks for a solution or workaround in the database and gives it to the customer. If no solution can be found (as in the case of open bugs), the technician may record the issue in the bug list. Depending on the number of incidents reported, the technician may ask the developers to fix the bug immediately. For new issues, the Tier 2 technician will perform further analysis using diagnostic tools to determine if the problem can be resolved immediately. The solution is then offered to the customer. If there is no workaround for the new issue after exhausting all Tier 2 resources, the technician may escalate the problem to Tier 3 support, where the developer directly responsible for the product or service can resolve it. Escalation to Tier 3 may also be done if the Tier 2 technician is unable to resolve the issue due to limited access.
Tier 3 or Level 3 IT Support
Tier 3 or Level 3 support is the highest support level in a three-tier technical support model. Tier 3 support covers bug fixes, releases, new features and enhancements, and engineering. Tier 3 technicians (also called high-end support or back-end support) are typically senior engineers or product developer with 10 or more years of experience. They hold many advanced certifications and accreditations. Their realm of expertise is specialized and they may serve as subject matter experts (SMEs) for a particular product or IT department. When new, unknown or complicated issues arise, it is usually the Tier 3 specialist who is consulted and asked to troubleshoot. Tier 3 specialists also assist Tier 1 and Tier 2 technicians and perform research and development for solutions to unknown issues. Like Tier 2 support, Tier 3 specialists review workflows and analyze the duration of client interactions to prioritize tasks and better manage time. Sometimes, issues are escalated to Tier 3 support because lower level support failed to discover an existing workaround. In this case, the Tier 3 technician will work to resolve the problem immediately. For new or unknown issues, the Tier 3 technician may resolve the problem immediately or ask for more time, in which case the customer is contacted and informed. In extreme cases where the product or service cannot be repaired or must be replaced, the issue is sent to the original developers for in-depth analysis. If the problem can be solved, the expert-level technicians are responsible for developing and testing several solutions, and implementing the most successful one. Once the solution is verified, it is delivered to the customer and included in the database. For example, Microsoft Windows developers receive support tickets from tech support staff located all over the world. Sometimes, the problem requires deeper analysis of the operating system, and the solution is rolled out as a Windows OS update.
Tier 4 or Level 4 IT Troubleshooting and Support
Sourcefit Philippines BPO Blog:  Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services -- Tier 4 or Level 4
Tier 4 or Level 4 technical support refers to IT support performed outside the organization. Tier 4 tech support is less common than the three-tier support model. Delivery is usually business to business (enterprise support) instead of business to consumer. Companies that utilize Tier 4 support may work with multiple vendors involved in creating a product or service. The Tier 4 specialist is usually a hardware or software engineer employed by an IT vendor. Like Tier 3 specialists, Tier 4 engineers have several years of experience with technical support and in-depth knowledge of database systems architecture, hardware/software, networks and cloud-based technology. They also hold many advanced industry certifications. Many companies require their Tier 4 engineers to be proficient in development languages like Java, C++, Ruby, and others. Tier 4 engineers fulfill many roles besides technical support, but their main focus is troubleshooting complex or difficult issues across multiple platforms. They are responsible for developing high-level tools that analyze crash reports and logs, streamlining analytics processes, and reducing tech support time. They examine crash dump reports, log files, and network traces for root-cause analysis and resolution. They also develop documentation and provide support to the IT and engineering departments. Tier 4 engineers may work in a lab environment with similar T4 professionals assigned to an IT product or service. In the lab, the engineers reproduce issues, isolate problems, and understand how customers use the product or device, focusing on patterns and providing feedback on areas that can be improved. An example of Tier 4 support is between a mobile app developer (company A) and a mobile OS vendor (company B). Company B employs a team of Tier 4 engineers that analyze logs and troubleshoot problems with mobile operating systems (OS). When company A (mobile app developer) encounters problems with the OS designed by company B, company A escalates a support request to company B. The Tier 4 engineers will handle analysis, development, testing, implementation, and resolution. POPULAR POSTS Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Learn more about technical support outsourcing by visiting IT Support and reading this case study. Or contact Sourcefit to talk to an expert. We’ll help you explore the opportunities and possibilities of building your own team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=83 Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog:  Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Banks and financial institutions have outsourced non-core activities like payroll and customer support for years. Even before the year 2000, 39 percent of U.S. banks outsourced at least some processing or transactional service. Recently, however, banks have included higher-value functions like internal audits, budgets, financial planning, and investment management in their outsourcing campaigns. Worldwide, banks and lending companies are increasingly working with third parties locally and offshore to reduce costs, improve process efficiency, re-engineer core business activities, and achieve strategic goals. The pressure to remain competitive in a global market is higher than ever, and offshoring is seen as a powerful tool to expand and grow while keeping costs at a minimum. Initially, banks were wary of farming out regulated activities because offshoring transfers management and risk. Today, clearer regulations, sophisticated service delivery models, and improved risk management frameworks are encouraging banks to outsource both regulated and unregulated functions in increasingly complex outsourcing arrangements. The impact of banking BPO offshoring extends to multiple areas of business, from traditional back office processing to contract services to information technology. Outsourcing contracts or arrangements differ in various ways. There are contractor relationships that are relatively short-term and ideal for commodity services like customer acquisition and mortgage servicing. There are also fully-integrated, long-term partnerships or joint ventures where both the financial institution and service provider share risk and revenues. These arrangements typically support large and complex information technology initiatives. Banks may assign certain functions to a specialized industry provider locally, and let unrelated service providers perform other tasks.
Market Size
According to a 2013 study by consultancy firm HfS, the banking and finance services BPO industry will grow at a rate of about 5 percent every year until 2016, with global spending on finance and accounting (BPO) services expecting to grow at a rate of 8 percent until 2017. The market size is expected to reach $200 billion in 2016 based on a 5.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). NelsonHall forecasts that North America will remain the biggest market for banking BPO services in the next five years, in spite of having the lowest growth rate among major markets. Capital markets BPO (trade processing) will be the fastest growing vertical, followed by portfolio services and retail banking BPO.
Banking BPO Services
Banking and financial services BPO is the largest and most mature sector of the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) BPO industry. The other two industry segments are investments/capital markets and insurance. Due to its large market size, banking and financial services BPO has always been ahead of other industries in terms of adopting BPO and offshoring. Retail Banking and Commercial Finance Services Retail banking BPO services support individual consumers (B2C) while commercial BPO services support merchants and other businesses (B2B). Banking and finance services cover origination, customer acquisition, account servicing, collections, customer care, consumer lending, mortgages, brokerage, verification and processing, underwriting, research, monitoring, and analytics. Service providers improve process efficiency and cost competitiveness through standardization, automation, and end-to-end service delivery models. Investment Management and Capital Markets Capital markets BPO services support the management of wealth or assets. Service providers offer management of securities, derivatives, equities, fixed income, structured products and pitchbook creation in the capital market segment. Wealth management services include portfolio management, consulting and advisory services, compliance, risk management, reconciliation, and trade operations. Insurance Insurance BPO services cover collections and disbursements, pensions, property and casualty claims, property and casualty policy, and life and annuity policy. As insurance companies deal with a shrinking market, rising costs, legacy IT systems, and customer volatility, service providers are offering these services to help streamline operations, reduce costs, and grow their business.
Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) Market & Services
The finance and accounting (F&A) business process outsourcing (BPO) market provides services such as payroll processing, bookkeeping, auditing, and tax return preparation to small, medium and large enterprises. Finance and accounting BPO belong under the wide umbrella of enterprise BPO services, and are sometimes included among shared services in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) industry. “Shared services” refer to an operating model that consolidates transactional activities within an organization, with the goal to reduce costs. Finance and accounting BPO is part of the shared services operating model. For example, many internal finance and accounting departments that used to serve departments and international branches grew to become businesses in their own right and went on to provide F&A services to other companies. Typical FAO shared services include accounts payables and receivables, general ledger, company reporting, tax returns, and fixed assets. Services have since expanded to include end-to-end processes like financial reporting, order to cash, HR, and compensation and benefits.
FAO Market Highlights and Trends
Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog:  Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services:Market Trends
Finance and accounting were the first functions to be outsourced by organizations, but the FAO market is far from mature. In fact, HfS said that it has a long way to go to reach saturation because majority of companies still prefer to manage all F&A functions in-house. According to the 2013 HfS Blueprint Report for Finance and Accounting BPO, the FAO market has grown 13 percent in deals, with multi-scope engagements stabilizing at $25 million annual contract value (ACV). At a growth rate of 8 percent, the finance and accounting BPO market was expected to surpass $25 billion in 2013, with four out of ten enterprises planning to expand their FAO BPO operations. Currently, the finance and accounting Outsourcing (FAO) market is rapidly evolving due to increasing buyer demand for more value and permanent administrative cost reduction. The HfS Blueprint Report showed that demand for high-quality, low-cost FAO services is highest among four key industries: telecommunications, software/high technology, media/publishing, and retail/hospitality. Demand for FAO from the BFSI industry covers a third of the market, although growth has slowed. Buyers continue to demand lower costs and standardization from F&A BPO providers. Although buyers want the value of innovation and analytics, they demand execution and delivery first. Innovation is the ability of service providers to improve services (like integrating BPO with IT), while execution is the ability of service providers to deliver real world solutions, provide high-quality customer relationships, and improve market share.
FAO and Other Outsourced Services
In a survey of more than 399 enterprise buyers, HfS identified three tiers of FAO services according to strategic importance: transactional (low-level) processes, analytical services, and consultancy products and services (services that have the potential to transform the business for the long-term). Transactional Services Low-level FAO processes include accounts payable, cash and accounts receivable, travel, entertainment and expense, credit, and billing and invoicing. Analytical Services Higher-level FAO activities include internal audits, risk management, treasury, inter-company accounting, regulatory reporting, management reporting, financial planning and analysis, and business intelligence. Consultancy Services FAO Products and services that are considered strategic include financial process consulting, change management, communications support, and innovation roadmaps.
FAO Services Value Chain
The finance and accounting outsourcing value chain is the range of value-creation activities (from design to support) that service providers deliver to buyers. At the lower end of the chain are procure-to-pay services (accounts payable, credit and travel & expense), followed by these groups: order to cash services (accounts receivables, collections, billing, revenue accounting), record to report services (fixed asset accounting, tax filing, payroll), and controllership services (inter-company accounting, regulatory reporting, management reporting, risk management, treasury, internal audits). The top end of the value chain belongs to transformational services (financial process consulting, supporting innovation roadmap, change management support).
IT or ITO Systems and Software Outsourcing
Information technology (IT) outsourcing is the practice of sourcing or subcontracting technology services (software, hardware, systems, infrastructure, maintenance, and support) outside the organization. In the banking and financial services (BFS) industry, organizations work with service providers or third parties that offer IT functions ranging from software development to automation to cloud migration. Most large enterprises outsource only a portion of any given IT function. The banking industry has always carried the torch for information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) because of its very large market size (estimated to reach $200 billion in 2016) and the crucial role technology plays in service delivery. Mobile consumers and digitization have been sweeping the industry, impacting multiple market segments.
Banking ITO Spending and Market Forecast
According to Accenture’s Technology that Matters: Harnessing the Technology Wave in Banking report, up to two thirds (about 67 percent) of the uplift required to be a high-performing financial organization in the future may come from technology-led initiatives. It’s not surprising then that the banking industry’s overall IT spending and IT spending as a percentage of revenue (8.1 percent for BFS compared to 3.5 percent cross-industry average) are way ahead of the average in all other industries. Celent projected that IT spending in the BFS industry alone would surpass $180 billion in 2014. HfS analyzed 75 top service providers of banking and IT services and found that the IT and business services market was approaching $170 billion in 2011 (2013 HfS Market Report). Banking BPO services accounted for about half of the total, while the rest belonged to banking IT services, including application and IT infrastructure management and project-based IT-related professional services. The banking IT and business services outsourcing market is projected to hit $200 billion by 2016, based on a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent. Compared to both emerging (procurement and analytics) and established banking BPO markets (payment processing and core bank administration), the banking IT outsourcing market is way ahead in terms of growth because of increasing commoditization. HfS reported that buyers in the banking and financial services industry will focus on IT outsourcing and line vertical processes in the coming years. The survey participants said that they will retain CRM (customer relationship management), procurement, and marketing in-house to restore customer confidence.
Importance of IT Outsourcing
To optimize consumer relationships and experience, banks will need to provide their products and services through new channels and devices, automate many processes, and upgrade core, legacy systems. Technology is also reducing transaction and distribution costs of financial services, giving banks the opportunity to reach consumers that are currently excluded from the financial system, but whose income is increasing. Accenture’s Technology that Matters report also advised banks to think about re-engineering their legacy model to fit an information-led model of the future. Today, banking ITO is not only about cost reduction and improving the bottom line, but about keeping pace with technology and adapting to change. Banks will leverage the four main technologies (big data, cloud, social media and mobility) to become fully digital and connected.
Banking ITO Service Providers
Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog:  Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) Overview and Related Outsourced Services: Banking ITO
Technology will have the biggest impact on these key areas of the business: customer experience, data and information (social media). Much of IT investment will be centered on creating a more customer-centric experience. As buyers continue to expect cost savings, service delivery models will feature innovation and flexibility and solutions that combat regulatory risk. Service providers can help banks and financial institutions deploy the right technology architecture and policies that allow banks to operate synchronized processes, increase productivity, and improve real-time processing. Service providers also allow banks to obtain new capabilities, gain scalability and flexibility, and focus on strategic priorities.
Human Resources Outsourcing
Human resources outsourcing (HRO) is the transfer of responsibility and risk for HR functions to an agency outside the organization. The agency or HRO service provider performs a part of all HR services for the organization. Some companies prefer to outsource their entire HR department, while others outsource only non-core administrative tasks. Human resources outsourcing in the BFS industry belong under enterprise BPO services and shared services. Common HRO services that are outsourced include payroll, compensation and benefits administration, recruitment administration, workforce administration, employee helpdesk, and learning management.
MPHRO and SPHRO
Market research covers both multi-process human resource outsourcing (MPHRO) and single-process human resource outsourcing (SPHRO). Everest Group defines MPHRO as the practice of outsourcing multiple HR services to one provider in an integrated way, while SPHRO is practice of outsourcing a single, standalone HR activity. Integrated MPHRO include transactional and analytics-level services: payroll, benefits, employee data management, compensation, recruitment, learning, performance and succession, global mobility, regulatory and compliance, and employee relations. SPHRO covers transactional and lower-level analytics services: payroll, recruitment, learning services, and benefits administration.
HRO Value Chain and Core Processes
In its 2014 Blueprint Report for multi-tower HRO, research firm HfS identified core processes in the HRO value chain. The value chain refers to services, programs and departments that support an organization’s workforce. The HRO value chain ranges from low-level transactional processes, mid-level judgment/analytics processes, and high-level strategic services. Data management, benefits, payroll are transactional, while compensation, recruitment, learning services, global mobility, regulatory and compliance, and employee relations are judgment-intensive. Strategic HRO services include HR strategy.
HRO Market Forecast
In its Global HR Outsourcing Market Forecast: 2014-2018 report, NelsonHall analysts predict that the global HRO market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.34 percent from 2013 to 2018. The HRO market remains strong across payroll, benefits administration, recruitment process outsourcing, learning BPO, and multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO). The need to cut operational costs, standardize processes, and support globalization of operations remain key overall market growth drivers, while the biggest main market challenge is the disconnection of organizations from their workforce. The key market trend is the increasing use of social media to recruit potential candidates. Due to a slower global economic growth, organizations are facing the pressure to maximize productivity while reducing hiring and recruitment costs. Organizations are also facing disconnection from their employees due to the lack of direct access to an HR department. This leads to reduced efficiency and delays in addressing problems.
HRO in the Banking and Financial Services Industry
HRO in the banking and finance services (BFS) industry is mainly driven by the pressure to reduce costs, improve process efficiency and focus on more strategic activities. Major HRO service providers understand that large companies outsource human resources not only to be cost competitive, but to improve employee experience and build a strong support system as the organization grows. Deloitte Consulting’s Human Resources Benchmark for Banks report stressed that HRO buyers and providers in the banking sector have realized the need to gain insight from client organizations to achieve better performance. Banks are starting to look for providers that can help them select top performers, improve retention of key performers, and speed up time to competency. According to Deloitte, the primary driver of cost efficiency for banks and lending institutions is the development of an effective service delivery model. To be cost-competitive in an uncertain market, banks need to work with service providers that forecast and fulfill talent gaps and align workforce plans, capabilities, and worker performance with business strategy. As HRO buyers continue to prize industry-specific domain expertise and deep process knowledge, key service providers will offer sophisticated analytics to gain insights and drive better decision-making among human resource managers and executives.
Training or Procurement Outsourcing
Procurement is the process of acquiring and managing raw materials or services needed to create a product or service. Procurement outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third party to handle an organization’s procurement activities and related functions. In the banking and financial services (BFS) industry, procurement outsourcing is the transfer of key procurement activities like sourcing, supplier management, and transaction management to a third party. According to the HfS Procurement Outsourcing Blueprint for 2013, the procurement outsourcing (PO) market will grow at an annual rate of 12 percent over the next 5 years. HfS reported that procurement contracts are piggybacking on the established finance and accounting outsourcing (FAO) market, driving the growth of the PO segment. Across all industries, CFOs and procurement officers outsource procurement activities not only to reduce labor costs, but to take advantage of core values like provider expertise, effective spend management, and the latest technology. From low-level procure-to-pay (P2P) processes like invoicing and accounts payable, companies are now outsourcing high-value procurement services like spend analytics and vendor governance. Leading procurement providers are those that offer specialized vertical expertise and geographic market sourcing presence.
Procurement BPO Services
Banks, lending institutions and other finance organizations do business with thousands of vendors that provide a wide range of goods and services. Common purchases include supplies (office supplies, paper), facilities/building services (housekeeping, construction), equipment (information technology (or IT infrastructure, servers, automobiles) and professional/technical services (consulting, software, marketing). Procurement activities generally fall into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct procurement is the purchase of goods and services that enter directly into the company’s production process, while indirect procurement is the purchase of goods and services that support the company’s activities. Direct categories are typically proprietary or sourced internally by a financial institution. Indirect categories are wider in scope, covering everything from IT (software, hardware) to human resources (recruitment and training) to facilities (construction, cafeteria/foodservice, cleaning). Everest Group further classifies direct procurement activities under core or non-core spending. Core Spending
Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog: FAO Overview and Related Outsourced Services - Procurement BPO
Under direct procurement, core spending refer to raw materials or ingredients that are proprietary or specific to the organization, while non-core spending refer to commodities required to deliver the service. Non-Core Spending Non-core direct spending and indirect procurement activities are generally more commonly outsourced than direct procurement. Depending on the contract, the procurement service provider may ask for fixed fee against realized savings or a performance-related fee (a percentage of savings). Everest Group also classifies procurement processes into procure to pay (P2P) and source to contract (S2C). P2P activities like requisition and invoicing are transactional or low level, and S2C activities like spend data management and strategic sourcing are judgment intensive or mid-level. In-house processes like mission and business strategy are considered strategic or high-level activities.
Procurement BPO Benefits
Indirect spend can account for 15 to 40 percent of a company’s total revenues. According to research by Accenture, most companies achieve only a fraction of potential savings in the real world. Companies with efficient procurement processes realized 30 percent more savings than low performers. These “procurement masters” also leveraged outsourcing more than their competitors. Financial institutions that outsource procurement expect to reduce overall costs, increase focus on core competencies, and achieve bottom line savings. Procurement outsourcing providers allow companies to benefit from specialized support and domain expertise, avoiding the expense of setting up, managing and supporting an internal procurement team. It is difficult to match the enormous functional, industry and category expertise that procurement service providers bring, even with a dedicated in-house team. With savvy market intelligence, advanced sourcing tools, and deep best practices gained from managing the procurement activities of several banks and lending institutions, procurement service providers are well-positioned to help CFOs realize maximum potential savings.
Finance and Accounting outsourcing (FAO) Services
Finance and accounting outsourcing (FAO) is the transfer of an organization’s bookkeeping activities to a third party, whether in whole or in part. Third parties provide services like payroll processing, tax preparation, audits, budget, and consulting services. In the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry, finance and accounting outsourcing belongs under enterprise or shared services. According to the HfS Finance and Accounting BPO Blueprint Report for 2013, a third of the demand for FAO services comes from the banking and financial services industry, with demand gradually slowing down. Most banks and lending institutions outsource finance and accounting processes to realize cost savings and access service provider category expertise. Finance organizations increasingly value execution or the ability of service providers to deliver real-world solutions and drive business growth, followed by innovation.
FAO Services Value Chain
The finance and accounting outsourcing value chain is the range of activities or processes that support a bank or financial institutions product or service. At the lower end of the chain are procure-to-pay services (accounts payable, credit, and travel and expense). Mid-level FAO services include order to cash services (accounts receivables, collections, billing, revenue accounting), record to report services (fixed asset accounting, tax filing, payroll), and controllership services (inter-company accounting, regulatory reporting, management reporting, risk management, treasury, internal audits). At the top end of the FAO value chain are transformational services (financial process consulting, supporting innovation roadmap, and change management support).
FAO Services
HfS identified three tiers of FAO services according to strategic importance: transactional (low-level) processes, analytical services, and consultancy products and services (services that have the potential to transform the business for the long-term).
Transactional Services
Low-level FAO processes include accounts payable, cash and accounts receivable, travel, entertainment and expense, credit, billing and invoicing, and payroll processing. Accounts Payable Accounts payable is money owed by the organization to creditors. Service providers handle invoice scanning, coding, matching to P.O., scheduling, account reconciliations, and related activities. Providers also offer software to streamline these processes. Accounts Receivable Accounts receivable is the money owed by clients or customers to the organization in exchange for the sale of products or services on credit. Service providers handle drafting, sending, and monitoring of outstanding bills and offer virtual account reconciliation services. Payroll Processing Service providers handle employee payroll processing (employee benefits and compensation, tracking vacation and leaves, W-2 forms processing) and manage IRS regulations, ensuring that correct taxes are paid on time.
Analytical Services
Mid-level FAO activities include internal audits, risk management, treasury, inter-company accounting, regulatory reporting, management reporting, financial planning and analysis, and business intelligence. Internal Audit Providers handle financial and operational internal auditing, IT internal audits, fraud analytics, risk assessment, finance and supply chain management to improve or augment a financial institutions current internal audit initiatives. Risk Management To meet complex risk and compliance challenges that banks face, service providers offer enterprise risk management solutions, consulting, and assurance services that cover risk management areas like market, credit, and Basel, Dodd-Frank, CRD, and EMIR. Treasury Services Outsourced treasury services are activities that manage a bank’s enterprise's holdings and operational and reputational risk. Service providers help banks establish more efficient systems for reporting cash flow and reserves and allow CFOs to make informed business decisions. Treasury services include disbursements, investment and funding, trading (bonds, currencies, financial derivatives) and financial risk management. Regulatory reporting In a market with unprecedented reporting and compliance standards, third parties help banks review books to identify and resolve potential tax issues in advance. Service providers help banks meet both compliance and cost efficiency goals with services like record-keeping, transaction reporting, and reconciliation.
Consultancy Services
FAO services that are considered high-level and strategic are financial process consulting, change management, communications support, and innovation roadmaps. Financial Process Consulting Outsourced financial process consulting services in the banking industry include income statement analysis, balance sheet or cash flow analysis, group consolidation, planning, and budgeting. Service providers have in-depth knowledge of business intelligence tools and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to drive efficiency and reduce errors. Change Management A bank may hire a third party to head or manage the organization’s change management activities during transition periods, market changes, or in response to new and stricter regulations. Innovation Roadmaps Third parties can provide innovation roadmaps to identify key capabilities that will improve an organization’s innovation performance.
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Some Reasons Managers May Choose to Outsource offers more helpful insights. To learn more about the opportunities and possibilities of building your own team of professionals in the Philippines, contact Sourcefit today and talk to an expert. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=82 Sourcefit Philippines, BPO Blogs: Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services OutsourcingBanking and financial services outsourcing is the use of third party providers to deliver services or perform tasks normally undertaken internally by financial institutions. The third party financial services provider may be located locally or offshore. Banking BPO (business process outsourcing) is a strategic tool that supports business growth and account servicing functions. At the start of the last decade, professional services firm Deloitte estimated that in the United States alone, $356 billion of the financial services industry will be offshored to third party providers within five years after 2004. More recent studies done by consultancy firms KPMG ad HfS show that global spending on finance and accounting business process outsourcing (BPO) services will grow at a rate of 8 percent until 2017. In an increasingly competitive market, many banks and financial institutions are positioning themselves for growth by turning to offshore providers to take advantage of low cost, high-quality services. Deloitte reported that organizations increasingly leverage banking BPO as a cost reduction tool and a sourcing strategy. Many investment banks have offshored or outsourced over 50 percent of their finance services and are planning to offshore highly complex responsibilities, according to KPMG. Trends indicate banks and lending institutions are moving from outsourcing transactional functions to specialized core roles like financial and internal management reporting, budgets, capital management/reporting and regulatory returns.
Banking BPO Services
The impact of banking BPO and finance services offshoring extends to several business areas and can be seen throughout the lending lifecycle. Areas include information technology (IT), finance and accounting (FAO), discrete back office functions, and contract services. Industry research shows that finance organizations outsource both regulated and unregulated functions within outsourcing contracts that vary in scope and complexity. Banks and lending institutions typically offshore transactional functions such as new customer acquisition, account servicing, consumer and commercial lending, and back office process management. Less commonly outsourced are higher-value functions like budgets, forecasts, regulatory returns, and capital management.
Customer Acquisition Services
Customer acquisition services include a set of functions and systems that generate and manage prospective customers, leads, and inquiries in the banking and finance sector. Customer acquisition management is considered a link between advertising and customer relationship management. Customer acquisition management services provide an organized environment for managing large volumes of leads and inquiries at various stages of the customer lending lifecycle and across local or offshore sales departments. Third parties also provide closed-loop reporting that measures the effectiveness of promotional activities and allows clients to realize improvements. Offshore providers utilize various marketing techniques to acquire new customers like customer loyalty programs and customer referrals. Customer acquisition management also covers services like telemarketing, credit evaluation, verification and approval, document and application processing, underwriting, and customer support. Credit Evaluation and Verification Offshore third party providers allow banks and financial institutions to minimize credit risks and frauds through verification services like risk profiling, telephone re-verification, payback capacity evaluation, and implementation of a credit decision-making model. Document and Application Processing Application processing in the banking industry is a time-intensive task that requires a critical and experienced eye. It starts with digitization of physical forms and supporting documents and transmitting the scans to a centralized location. Data is captured, completed, indexed and checked for errors before the validated file is sent back to the original location. Post-processing is then done at the core location. Third parties provide document and application processing services as well as proprietary application processing software that simplify and improve existing processes. Software can be configured to specific workflows, quality needs and any type of application form. Telemarketing and Promotions Customer acquisition management also covers telemarketing and promotions to generate leads and respond to a prospect inquiry. Besides telephone, marketing efforts to heighten the prospect’s interest can be done through brochures, letters, e-mails, SMS, and chat.
Account Servicing Processes
Offshore providers offer account servicing processes and software to manage consumer and commercial accounts like debit cards, credit cards, and consumer/commercial loans. Offshore consumer banking services allow organizations to adapt to changing regulations and technology, launch new products quickly, and exceed customer expectations while keeping costs low. By offshoring account servicing processes, banks and financial institutions also achieve full regulatory and policy compliance, reduction in payment turnaround time, reduction in average cost per transaction, and a four-fold increase in productivity. Account servicing processes that can be offshored include consumer account management, merchant or commercial account management and capital market services. Consumer Accounts Effective management of consumer accounts help foster customer loyalty. Third parties can handle transactional functions like customer service (online, telephone, mail), retail banking, originations, end-to-end consumer lending and mortgage services, account renewals, loans disbursement, and cards services, as well as core operations like wealth management. Third parties also offer fraud and anti-money laundering (AML) and risk analytics. Commercial Accounts Offshore commercial account servicing can reduce total cost of ownership, reduce operational risk, and provide a unified solution for several banking products. Third parties provide a wide range of services that include payment processing (fund transfers, liquidity management, fraud analysis, pension and dividend payments, billing, reporting), commercial loan processing (including credit evaluation, underwriting, and collateral evaluation), and trade finance services (analytics, fraud management, origination, customer service, reconciliation). Capital Markets Offshore account servicing for the capital markets industry improves business performance and standardizes processes at the lowest cost. Capital markets account servicing processes cover front, middle and back-office. Services include research and analytics across industries, valuations, model development, data analysis support, valuations, trade processing, clearing and settlement, data management and reconciliations.
Consumer and Commercial Lending Services
Third parties provide lending solutions for all phases of consumer and commercial lending, from loan origination to asset management. For consumer loans, outsourced services include sales, processing, underwriting and closure, research and analysis, foreclosure and pre-foreclosure, loss mitigation, debt protection services, bankruptcy, loan modification, data management, and risk management. Offshore commercial lending services include automated processes, analytics and reporting, flexible capacity models, and end-to-end process management. Third parties also provide mortgage services that help banks preserve capital, increase business forecasting, and generate revenue from growth markets. Research by Everest Group pegged the global lending BPO market at about US$ 21 to 23 billion in 2011, split evenly between third party providers and shared services. The share of BPO-centric service providers are growing nearly three times faster than the utility-based providers, which dominate the market. Part of the reason is that new and stricter lending regulations are segmenting the demand for loan products. Financial institutions are under pressure to reduce costs and grow revenues in a highly volatile environment, and many are turning to offshore providers to achieve their business goals. Offshore banking BPO services help companies align their operations with dynamic market requirements using automation and flexible capacity models. Businesses can gain more than 50 percent savings through standardized processes, automation, and lowest industry rates for compliance management. Organizations can do more with data acquired from digital and physical products by combining information with offshore analytics, research, and reporting. Offshoring is also a way to boost IT initiatives (such as online self-service loan origination and collections) that support revenue generation. With standardized processes across multiple locations, quality improvements and operational flexibility from third parties, companies can speed up loan origination, increase time-to-market for products, and provide topnotch customer service.
Back Office Transaction Process Management
Third parties provide management of back office financial transactions for consumers and merchants and for banking products that range from credit cards to mortgages. Common services that can be offshored include fraud detection, anti-money laundering (ALM) services, regulatory compliance monitoring, custody services, portfolio analytics and reporting, asset/investment management, and IT management. Custody Services Custody services refer to safekeeping services that a financial institution provides individuals and merchants. On behalf of the customer and for a fee, the custodian collects dividends, interest and proceeds from the sales of securities and transfers the funds to the client’s account. This process reduces the risk of the client’s assets being stolen. Unlike banks, custodians cannot use securities for their own ends. Third party providers can handle these functions for the organization providing custody services, allowing the company to reduce costs significantly, improve process efficiency, and streamline workflows through automation, standardization, and other best practices. Fraud Risk Management and Anti Money Laundering (ALM) Banks handle local and foreign accounts that are highly profitable but also high-risk. Fraud risk and AML officers perform customer due diligence (CDD) and ensure that accounts comply with regulations and pass government scrutiny. Back office processes like fraud risk review, AML monitoring, account verification, chargeback, recoveries, regulatory reporting, and risk analysis can be offshored to an experienced third party. Third parties can help improve a financial institution’s risk management efforts through standardization, automation, and process improvements while cutting costs. With their domain expertise, offshore providers can also better track fraud losses and fraud trends across regions and help organizations optimize fund recovery efforts. Portfolio Analytics Portfolio analytics is the evaluation of the performance of a consumer or merchant’s investments and how it affects returns. Third parties offer consulting services and portfolio analytics software to manage portfolios. Typical analytics software may include charting and attribution tools, detailed reporting, weights and variables, and data that drive returns.
Current Trends in Banking BPO Services/Financial Services Offshoring
The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is composed of three verticals: banking and financial services, capital markets and investment banking, and insurance, of which banking and financial services BPO is the largest and most mature. In general, BFSI has always been the sector that is most open to business process outsourcing/offshoring (BPO). BFSI is unlike no other industry in that the regulatory landscape is the most stringent, and the volume of transactions handled is the highest. The expectation of completing transactions in real time is also very high, and the consumers are the most demanding. In turn, finance organizations also place the greatest demands on local and offshore BPO providers. Banks and lending institutions have led other industries in technology spending and adoption of new trends, especially outsourcing, mainly because of these drivers: extremely stringent regulations, economic challenges and uncertainties across geographies, changing customer engagement channels, and the importance of technology and digital transformation in improving the bottom line. According to Everest Group’s BFSI BPO Market Report in 2013, the pressure to cut costs and to be more agile, to acquire new customers and exceed customer expectations, and to grow beyond traditional markets drive financial institutions to work with experienced partners. Banking BPO is increasingly seen as a strategic tool to achieve business goals and stay competitive in the marketplace.
Banking BPO Market Forecasts
In 2013, research firm HfS studied the banking and finance services (BFS) outsourcing market and evaluated the top 75 providers of banking and IT services. Its 2013 Market Report in the banking and finance services BPO industry showed that the BFS BPO industry will continue to trend at a 5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2016. Based on a 5.2 percent CAGR, the BFS BPO market is projected to be worth about $200 billion by 2016. With that market size, BFS remains the most attractive vertical for BPO service providers. While banks and finance organizations focus on cost reduction and business growth, service providers try to create new offerings, improve service delivery models, and increase market share. NelsonHall’s Global BPO Market Forecast for 2014-2018 reports that overall, North America will be the biggest market for banking BPO in the next five years in spite of having the lowest growth rate among major markets. NelsonHall predicts that retail banking BPO will grow more slowly than capital markets BPO, with growth driven by core banking, loan administration, and merchant acceptance processing. The fastest growing vertical will be capital markets BPO in trade processing services (with reference data BPO services as the fastest growing in capital markets), followed by portfolio services and retail banking BPO. Meanwhile, check processing BPO will continue to shrink.
Banking BPO Trends
The same NelsonHall study confirmed that economic uncertainty and increasingly tighter industry regulations have greatly impacted the banking BPO market. In the past year, activity has increased in the banking BPO industry as new policies were rolled out and clarified. The growth is expected to continue over the next five years, even faster than the growth of the entire BPO industry. 1. The offshoring advantage. Banks and financial institutions, like any other company that aims to maximize resources and reduce costs, are working with third parties in offshore locations to benefit from labor arbitrage. Emerging markets like India and the Philippines still offer the lowest industry prices for banking BPO services that compares in quality with services from local or near-shore providers. 2. Onshore resourcing. Everest Group practice director Anupam Jain reported in late 2014 that regulatory concerns are driving banks and lending institutions toward onshore resourcing. Although companies retain control over offshore captive centers, risks related to compliance pressure make the finance sector wary of full-blown outsourcing. Instead, companies prefer to offshore “transactional” or non-core back-office functions while holding on to highly-regulated services. 3. New offshoring projects. As service providers increase their local, near-shore and offshore capabilities to stay relevant, costs will remain competitive and give banks more comprehensive options to choose from. This will lead to expansion of current projects and new initiatives like mobile solutions to improve customer engagement and improve the bottom line. 4. Growth of banking analytics. According to Everest Group’s BFSI BPO Market Report 2013, service providers are creating new analytics solutions to help organizations process Big Data and leverage information to gain customer insights. Companies can also expect better risk management solutions. For example, capital markets companies are partnering with offshore third parties to meet regulatory requirements and manage risk more effectively.
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
This case study provides helpful insights on accounting and payroll services outsourcing in the Philippines. Or talk to an expert today. Contact Sourcefit and a member of our upper management team will help you determine the opportunities in building your dedicated team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Telesales and Customer Service Outsourcing Trends in 2015 ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=81 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blogs: Telesales and Customer Service Outsourcing Trends in 2015The beginning of the year is a great time to tune in to trends and understand where customer service and telesales are headed. What should your company focus on to make the customer experience even better? Whether you run a startup or a corporation, here are some telesales, customer service and outsourcing trends to watch:
Customer Service, Telesales Outsourcing and the Mobile Consumer
2014 already saw consumers flocking to mobile phones and tablets to interact with stores and companies. Insiders expect this trend to continue to 2015 and beyond. As mobile devices increasingly simulate the power of desktop computing, consumers are using applications for richer and more seamless experiences. The retail industry stands to gain the most as mobile payment options and mobile e-commerce apps and websites proliferate. In 2014, the number of people who visited websites from mobile devices exceeded those who visited from desktops. For business owners, this means providing a satisfying digital experience for clients is of top importance. While customers will continue to use traditional lines of contact like phone and email, managers should build a stellar service delivery model focusing on mobile customers. The best setup is not merely an add-on to your existing website or a mobile-optimized interface; mobile software is geared to become a brand on its own and a standalone product. How do you make mobile consumers happy? The same principles of great customer service apply: quick solutions and the right answers to their questions. The right software should let your customers find what they are looking for easily and quickly; otherwise, they will look for more readily accessible alternatives. Besides mobile assistance, make sure your customers can also reach you through live chat, phone, social media, e-mail and SMS. As you interact with customers across multiple channels, let your customer service team use the same knowledge base for consistency. Other customer service trends for 2015: 1. 24/7 Help 24/7 assistance is not exactly new, and customers will continue to demand round the clock service in 2015. Whether you run a small business or an international conglomerate, you should aim to be there for your clients during after-hours. 2. Merging of e-commerce and traditional retail. A growing number of customers are shopping online, and businesses must ensure a seamless, integrated experience whatever the channel of interaction. Your customers should be able to find and buy what they need easily and quickly. 3. Changing customer loyalty. It’s easier than ever before for customers to pick and choose among the multitude of shops available. If they can’t find what they want quickly or if they feel that you don’t listen or treat them with respect, they will gladly look for another company that makes them feel appreciated. 4. Customers value quick response time. The longer it takes for a company to respond to a customer’s question, the greater the feeling of overall dissatisfaction. To retain loyal customers, it is crucial for customer service agents to respond in a timely manner. 5. Flexible guidelines are better. Rules that are set in stone tend to leave customers dissatisfied. Instead, design guidelines that adapt to changing customer needs and train your employees to make decisions based within those guidelines. 6. Live Chat and Text Messaging are here to stay. More businesses will use Live Chat and Text Messaging to interact proactively with their customers in 2015. The key is a thoughtful campaign that will make your customers feel valued without putting them off with a barrage of meaningless text. Make it as easy to opt out as it is to sign up for e-mail, text, SMS, and other communication channels. 7. Customers rely on great reviews. Many customers look at review sites like Trip Advisor and Google ratings before choosing a product, restaurant, dentist, etc. Focus on increasing five star reviews of your company in these sites by providing a great product and excellent customer service.
Telesales Strategy for Profitability in 2015
Your company can significantly increase the bottom line by making small adjustments to each part of the business process. It begins with lead generation from three customer categories: new, current, and past customers. Don’t focus too much on attracting new customers that you forget your existing customers. With a solid marketing plan, a potential customer will initiate contact with your company. The job of your telesales team is to convert these leads into buyers. At the very least, you should have a script that allows your team to deal with customer questions in a way that is consistent with your brand and values. Monitor the average number of sales (total sales/total transactions) and figure out a system to increase this number. It can be in the form of discounts, packaging redesign, a new product mix, upselling a complementary product or a combination of these tactics.
Outsourcing Customer Service and Telesales to the Philippines
One of the best ways to improve productivity, reduce risk, and increase profits is outsourcing some of your non-core activities. It can be difficult to build, oversee, and monitor a dedicated customer service and telesales team in-house, particularly if you run a startup or small business. Even if you own a large company, establishing a separate customer service hub overseas can greatly streamline your processes and cut costs. The Philippines is one of the world’s top telesales and customer service provider. Small businesses and large corporations alike have long established operations in the country due to its growing talent pool that is college-educated and highly proficient in English. Best of all you can find a BPO provider in the Philippines such as Sourcefit, which offers custom solutions that any type of business can leverage. The flexible service delivery models can be tailored for small, medium-sized, and large businesses. The ultimate advantage is gaining access to top quality sales and customer support services at the lowest prices in the industry.
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Click on this case study for a great resource on customer support and telesales outsourcing in the Philippines. Or contact Sourcefit. We’ll help you build your own team of experienced professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ IT Outsourcing Growth & Offshore IT Services Trends in 2015 ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=80 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blogs: IT Outsourcing Growth & Offshore IT Services Trends in 2015IT outsourcing and offshoring IT services rose to an all-time high of almost 20 percent in the first three quarters of 2014 in the U.S., according to a report by the Information Services Group (ISG). ISG expects a similar trend in 2015 based on the number of business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts for IT support, IT services, system/network admin services and market growth. This is in contrast with earlier predictions in 2014 that about 30 percent of IT services would be brought back in-house as companies grew more confident about managing their own processes. Besides a surge in market confidence, experts say that IT outsourcing and IT services in 2015 are headed toward: Customization. Many companies lack the expertise, in-house talent and budget to build, support and oversee IT services that streamline business processes and improve the bottom line. The need for custom delivery models and processes will also drive partnerships with a third party that can guide your company toward success. Outsourcing as needed. Companies who have their own IT team are expected to augment their in-house staff with outside experts on as needed basis. Many multinational corporations are already using this approach of combining internal capabilities with outside help when necessary. Super data centers. Small data centers are now capable to handle much more as performance increases per kilowatt and upgrades add power. This change requires asset use analysis, refresh cycle reduction, and core boosting to manage utilization levels effectively and retain a company’s footprint. Integrated data centers. Commonly separate networks, servers and storage will continue to be aggregated to optimize workloads and allow quick parts replacement. Resource management. Organizations will be more aware of energy use and KPI consumption, increasing the need for better-managed energy information systems. Mobile consumers. More people visited websites from mobile devices than from desktops in 2014. The mobile consumer demands a change in mindset for many companies as e-commerce merges with the brick and mortar shopping experience. The sheer number of devices that users demand platforms on makes building them a challenge, but cloud-based services and powerful data centers are bridging the gap and addressing security issues. Mobile app development trends include multiplatform development, wearable tech, and new methods of customer engagement. Mobile CRM. Startups are leading the way in customer relationship management (CRM) services designed for mobile. While established vendors have trouble with their one-size-fits-all CRM approach, startups are innovating and bringing better mobile CRM applications to the table. Mobile analytics. More sophisticated analytics and monitoring tools will allow companies to find out what content their workforce is accessing and what to do when issues arise. Better analytics tools are also available for CRM, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and other platforms. More cloud service options. The convergence of IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) will drive app building, testing, and deployment. Companies will also adopt hybrid cloud techniques, but are advised to develop after private services and public delivery have been integrated. As systems increase in functionality, complexity also increases. It’s important to get the most out of IT spending with the right enterprise software. Virtual networks. Virtual networks mean increased automation, improved agility, simplified design, network management integrated with IT workflow systems, and other changes in interaction and processes. Experts suggest making storage virtual, evaluating inputs, trimming what is unnecessary, and organizing and prioritizing what remains. Integration of business and social media. Social media, business services, and the internet are expected to consolidate through mergers and alliances, becoming genuineB2B and B2C business tools.
IT Outsourcing and Offshore IT Services Continue to Grow
As economic conditions improve in the U.S. and confidence in the market grows, corporate clients are increasing their ITO spending as well as expanding the scope of ITO contracts and range of services. However, outsourcing research and analysis firm NelsonHall warned that there’s still room for improvement as offshoring providers compete and drive prices down. In 2015, the best companies to take advantage of the ITO upswing are those who are able to provide the best customer experience. Providers must have the right platforms and the right talent to provide top notch service and attract buyers. Businesses will focus on outsourcing non-core operations to improve profitability and reduce costs, everything from IT support to systems administration to infrastructure. Businesses will continue to adopt cloud-based services. Cloud computing offerings are going to be more diverse and will cater to processes traditionally handled by in-house IT teams. Besides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), mobile and big data application development will also move to the cloud. Many multinational companies are going to leverage the power of offshore cloud services as data security improves, compatibility issues are sorted out, and management tools mature. CIOs will manage data depending on sensitivity and complexity, and those who adopt in-house and cloud-based models will be the most successful.
IT Outsourcing to the Philippines
As the volume and variety of data hitting the public and private sectors continue to snowball, the need to manage data effectively will also grow. If your company is already making deep cuts but is still not streamlining process workflows or making a difference on the bottom line, it may be time to outsource IT services to the Philippines. The Philippines’ IT-BPO sector is one of the major contributors to the country’s economic growth, and forecasts are optimistic for the coming year. The Philippines has the infrastructure and rich talent pool of experienced, English-speaking IT professionals and support staff to take your business to the next level.
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Click here for a great resource on IT offshoring in the Philippines. This popular post, IT Outsourcing (ITO) & IT Outsourcing to the Philippines, can also help you in the decision-making process. Or contact Sourcefit, an outsourcing company in the Philippines, for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. We’ll help you explore the opportunities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Web Design, Web Development & Graphics Design Outsourcing: 2015 Trends ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=79 Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog: Web Design, Web Development, Graphics Design Outsourcing 2015 TrendsWeb design, web development and graphic design and offshore outsourcing these tasks are in for some changes in 2015. Building on trends from 2014, these changes will greatly impact businesses (those that outsource their web design and those that have in-house teams) and the design community. What should your outsourced or in-house design and development teams be on the lookout for? What trends will affect productivity and the bottom line? Industry watchers present the top trends making waves now and in the coming year. Not all will be adopted at the same rate, but companies should make strategic decisions about them next year and beyond. Here’s what’s in store for web development and design:
Responsive Design
Responsive web design is a web design approach that provides the best viewing experience across all devices, from desktop to mobile. The page is easy to read and navigate without much scrolling or resizing, whether you are on a tablet, PC or iPhone. Sizing is fluid rather than absolute, allowing the page to adapt visually to whatever device you are using. Responsive design has become the new standard and is here to stay.
Scroll over Click
In 2015, more website visitors will come from mobile devices than desktops, ushering the era of scrolling over clicking. The result can be an endless barrage of information for desktop users, but you’re going to keep your mobile users happy by providing a more dynamic interactive experience.
Affordable Typography
Beautiful typography is big now and will continue to dominate websites in 2015. Beautiful typefaces tend to be expensive, leaving companies with tight budgets out of the fun. Not anymore. Type kits are going to be more affordable and accessible to designers wanting to make a splash with eye-catching fonts.
Big Backgrounds
Beautiful pictures and videos that fill the entire page will continue to mesmerize viewers, or at least make them pause and consider what you are selling. Not just any image will do, however. Make sure it is thoughtful, relevant, and arresting, not gimmicky or slapdash.
Semi-Dimensional Design
Google is the leader of flat design and now of semi-flat design. Instead of flat geometric shapes, the shapes get subtle shadows to make them look like more like real-world objects without being full-on three-dimensional.
Transparent Buttons
Transparent or ghost buttons are those empty geometric shapes typically bordered by a very thin line and paired with an unobtrusive sans serif font. Ghost buttons are everywhere and many websites aiming for the minimal, stylish look are adopting them.
Unique Branding
Design elements like typefaces, content, interactive page elements and even color that embody your company values and philosophy are going to be what visitors are going to respond to and connect with. Make sure that your web presence is as solid, memorable and unique as the product or service you are selling.
Mobile Computing and Design
As more people use mobile devices, web development will focus on the needs of consumers rather than device design alone. Better security, simple user interfaces, and smarter interactions should improve the customer experience.
Smart Machines and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is a scenario where man-made or natural objects are connected to the internet and are able to transfer data over a network. Today, it mostly refers to machine to machine communication in the energy and manufacturing industries. According to a Business Insider intelligence report, the Internet of Things will be more than double the size of the mobile device, PC, connected car, and wearable tech market by 2019. Smart devices will drive the development of elegant systems that respond appropriately to their surroundings. Smart machines like robots, intelligent operating systems, and advanced virtual assistants are already here and rapidly evolving. They won’t become mainstream in 2015, but when they do, it will be the most disruptive moment in IT history.
Outsource Web Design, Development & Graphics Design to Stay Productive and Profitable
Web development and design outsourcing had a banner year in 2014, and analysts predict the trend will continue to 2015 as the corporations and businesses grow more confident about the market. As companies aim to provide a better experience across all devices for their customers, cutting edge technology and infrastructure along with specialized design and development skills will be in demand. If you run a fledgling company or a startup, the best way to stay relevant and compete with the big players in the industry is to outsource web development and design to an experienced third party. Large firms can also benefit from the rich network, domain expertise, and advanced technology that web development and design firms offer. As cloud and mobile computing continue to promote the growth of integrated apps that can be accessed by all devices, companies will need more agile programming to deliver flexibility in the digital business environment. It can be difficult to recruit and train the right professionals for the job. Instead, you can save time and money by partnering with an offshore provider with a proven track record.
Web Development and Design Outsourcing to the Philippines
The Philippines is one of the world’s top outsourcing destinations, and it is expected to remain a major global outsourcing player for years to come. Traditionally a call center hub, the Philippines is expanding offerings to accommodate the growing demand. The country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) providers offer topnotch web and application development and design at the lowest industry prices, along with cloud-based services and other high value IT services. Any size and type of business can access a rich pool of skilled and experienced web developers and designers who communicate excellently in English and are able to work in all time zones. Philippine providers make it so easy to get started by offering risk-free consultations. There is no obligation until you find the perfect custom solution for your business.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
To learn more about offshoring web design, development and graphics design, please visit Web Design Experts Web Development Team and Graphic Design. Or click here for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert at Sourcefit, an outsourcing company in the Philippines. We’ll help you explore the opportunities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Software Development Offshore Outsourcing: 2015 Trends ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=78 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blogs: Software Development Offshore Outsourcing: 2015 TrendsSoftware is getting more complex and there is no turning back. While the internet of things (IoT) where everything is connected to the web still belongs to a distant future, it’s hard not to ignore where software is going. Today, it is not only communication and entertainment devices that are Wi-Fi-enabled, but also common household items like lights, which can automatically change lighting depending on the weather. Software powers core business activities in virtually all industries. Through applications, doctors access patient information while on the go, people book flights and concerts, and buy merchandise. The financial services sector heavily relies on special software and employs developers by the thousands to create apps that serve the customer, improve productivity and profitability, and reduce risk. The approach required to build this type of software is completely different from traditional development methods. 2015 key development trends like design thinking, open source development, big data, and refined testing will drive the creation of software that support critical business processes. Experts say these trends will have a major impact on IT and business strategies for the coming year.
Design Thinking
Design thinking is a design strategy that is people or customer-centered. Developers focus on the needs of consumers instead of a specific technology. The process includes observation, gathering ideas, making a prototype, and testing. Experts and multidisciplinary professionals come together to throw ideas around and ultimately create something of value for the end user. In 2014, the increasing complexity of software forced big development changes. Design thinking will drive software development in 2015, with the goal of creating applications that serve the consumer. The age of the consumer will foster reinvention of many organizations, and design thinking will be critical in the product development process. For those with little experience in design thinking, you can start with brainstorming sessions with your team members and identifying steps in the development process where a more customer-centered approach can be integrated.
Big Data
Big data is extremely large collection of data that can be analyzed for patterns and trends. The data set is so large and complex that traditional data processing methods may have difficulty handling it. With big data come challenges like security, privacy, capture, search, storage, transfer, and others. In 2015, businesses are going to invest their IT budget in big data management. This is a great opportunity for software developers to improve existing products and create applications that track product use based on collected data. The transition to cloud computing and cloud services will also drive new updates and releases that will keep developers busy. Big data is going to be commercialized as enterprises gather more information about business processes, competitors, and customers. Companies will start to sell this data and create products based on big data. If you have disparate collections of data for every department, it is time to develop a comprehensive view of information related to your product or service and for all business processes. Those who want to commercialize existing data must obtain consent from consumers. You can choose to develop the platform in-house or work with a third party to create the application.
Refined QA and Testing
About a fourth of the IT budget is spent on quality assurance and testing, and many companies plan to increase the percentage. With so many options in the market today, customers can easily switch to another application if yours is slow, buggy, or difficult to use. Sophisticated QA and testing is necessary to ensure that your applications not only perform as advertised, but also exceed expectations. How do you to test in a fast-paced environment where development and releases never stop? Agile testing is the answer. This method requires big changes to traditional processes. You may need to increase automated testing and change organizational structures. Firms who lack experience in sophisticated testing can partner with a third party that has a background in product development.
Open Source Development
In 2014, established companies started embracing open source development, adopting big data open source platform Hadoop for example. Open source has also been making waves in software development, and this will continue in 2015. During a time when speed to market is more critical than ever, developers who can recycle open source code and components have the edge. Open source development often means lower costs, but companies are now using it for strategic benefits like improved quality, speed, and agility as well. Many developers are also attracted to working in an open source community, allowing you to hire the best people for your project. Start examining the pros and cons of integrating open source code in your software development initiatives. To ensure quality, make sure to work with popular open source code monitored by an active community.
Software Development Outsourcing in the Philippines
It can be difficult to design software and applications that wow your customers if you have little experience with big data management, design thinking, open source environment, and refined QA and testing. You can recruit people and build your own in-house team, but this can be very expensive and time consuming. Consider outsourcing part or all of your development needs to experienced Philippine providers. The Philippines is one of the world’s premier outsourcing destinations, and its IT professionals are skilled, highly-motivated, and communicate excellently in English. IT services and infrastructure are customized to each business; you can hire one partner or build an entire team of developers for a short-term or ongoing project—and at the lowest industry prices. IT outsourcing companies in the Philippines make it so easy to get started with a no-risk consultation. There is never any obligation until you find the perfect match for your needs. For more information, here’s a great resource on Software Development outsourcing.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
The list of questions on Should you Outsource may help you in the decision-making process. Or contact Sourcefit, an outsourcing company in the Philippines. Click here for a free, no-risk consultation with a member of our upper management team who can help you assess the opportunities and possibilities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Back Office Outsourcing: Industry Trends in 2015 ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=77 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blogs: Back Office Outsourcing: Industry Trends in 2015Back office services are a key component of any successful business. Back office refers to administrative and support functions that include accounting, record maintenance, clearances, contracts, and human resources. Back office services are just as important to the bottom line and customer satisfaction as the prominent front office sales and production component. 2014 has been an incredible year for technology, and trend watchers expect advances in IT to continue to define the modern workplace and impact strategic business decisions.Product development, sales and marketing, back office functions and virtually all business processes will be increasingly centered on the consumer and will be underpinned by: • Domination of smartphones, tablets and supercomputers • Cloud-based services • Cloud-based storage • Integration of e-commerce and brick and mortar stores Third party providers and back office outsourcing will continue to be relevant for companies looking to cut costs, increase profitability, and reduce risk. Back office providers, especially in emerging markets, are under intense pressure to expand their offerings and innovate. This means more options for businesses who want high-quality, reasonably priced staff and services. It takes time for new technology to be adopted by the wider public, so the impact of these advances will be gradual. Any change will mean trade-offs. For business decision-makers, the key is to change not for the sake of being an early adopter, but to add value, make your customers happy, and improve profitability.
Cloud Accounting
Forbes.com predicts that 2015 will be the year the “cloud bursts.” The case for enterprise cloud was made in 2014, and businesses will increasingly adopt cloud-based services in 2015 due to faster innovation, better flexibility, mobile access, cross-product integration, and wider connectivity. Should you decide to transition a part or all services to the cloud and replace legacy systems, your staff will need new software and skills. For businesses that do not have the budget or inclination to build their own in-house team, a back office service worth considering is cloud accounting. Cloud accounting became a $1.7 billion industry in 2014, and it is expected to grow to $2.16 billion by 2016. Cloud accounting is an excellent and cost-effective way to update legacy systems and integrate current software with more accessible and innovative systems. Other benefits of cloud accounting include a real-time view of finances, automation of manual tasks like invoicing, lower infrastructure expenses, increased security, and easier collaboration.
Document and Data Processing
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a suite of applications intended to collect, store, manage and interpret data. In 2015, start-ups, medium-sized businesses, and large corporations will increasingly adopt mature enterprise resource planning software with improved SaaS security and privacy, in addition to on-premise and hybrid platforms. More documents and multimedia will reside in the cloud, with security features that allow staff and consumers to view, print and annotate documents without making unnecessary copies. The goal is to end endless email collaboration and the use of attachments that may pose a security risk. Cloud-based services can also provide editing capabilities, integrated messaging, and detailed analytics on usage of valuable documents. Many third party providers are now offering scalable data management solutions for companies who are unable or unwilling to invest in private software. 2015 is a great opportunity for providers to refine existing software even more and create better custom solutions. Productivity suites in the cloud are here to stay and technology that can crunch big data is going to be sought after in 2015. Big data solutions that allow companies to access insights into business processes affordably and quickly will be big as well. Companies that need the most up-to-date tools are going to transition faster from on-premise to cloud.
HR Support and Personal Assistants
HR support trend watchers predict that companies will step-up their recruitment and retention initiatives as the economy continues to improve and vacancy rates increase. Workforce intelligence is seen to be the key to better workforce management. Workforce intelligence is a concept that uses research, evidence, and analysis for strategic workforce planning. In 2015, organizations will leverage workforce intelligence to identify top performers, determine how compensation and other factors improve retention, and identify networks that produce the most top performers. From simply hiring to meet demand, HR will focus on more proactive workforce planning. Companies who want to stay on top of recruitment and make the most out of their existing staff can partner with workforce planning consultants or staffing providers offshore. An experienced third party that can manage short-term and long-term staffing needs is even more crucial in the face of new legislation like the Affordable Care Act. Siri, Alexa, and “intelligent” virtual assistants are going to be more sophisticated, but the day they replace human assistants still belongs in the future. Virtual assistants will continue to attract stressed out managers and business owners in 2015. VAs who can communicate excellently in English and multiple languages, easily adapt to mobile technology and cloud services, and charge reasonable prices for their services are going to be in demand.
Back Office Outsourcing in the Philippines
Business process outsourcing is as constant as innovation in 2015. Businesses will continue to leverage outsourcing to increase productivity, reduce risk and improve profitability while cutting costs. Companies will continue to tap emerging markets like the Philippines for low-cost, high-quality staffing and back office services. The Philippines remains one of the world’s top outsourcing destinations, and the percentage of its employable workforce is growing to meet global demand. Expect to see more varied, high-value offerings from many providers, even those whose traditional strength lies in call center support. Learn more about back office outsourcing in the Philippines by reading this popular post -- Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO Destination.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
Should you Outsource has a list of questions that may help in the decision-making process. Or contact Philippine outsourcing company Sourcefit for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. We’ll help you determine the opportunities and possibilities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ How to Increase Productivity with Offshore Outsourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=76 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blogs: How to Increase Productivity with Offshore OutsourcingProductivity is the ratio of output to input. Given the same amount of resources, company A is considered to be more productive than company B if company A creates more products or services than company B. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, outsourcing services or production to local providers can change the distribution of production. Offshoring can also affect business sector productivity if offshore workers are more productive than local workers, or vice versa. Most companies outsource because they save big money on labor, overhead and related costs. Other benefits of outsourcing are improved quality and productivity. You get better quality when you partner with a company with extensive experience in a particular area. You also gain access to the latest technology and efficient processes offered by outside experts. But how does outsourcing increase company productivity? When you outsource to a competent and skilled professional or third party, it’s like cloning your in-house team. You double your resources (particularly if you outsource to an overseas provider) for way less than if you hire full-time workers, and you free up time to focus on what you do best.
Why You Shouldn’t Do Everything
Some entrepreneurs and small business owners feel a loss of control when they are not managing every aspect of their business. But if you are spending precious time trying to perform every single task, you risk being underproductive. Remember that productivity is doing more with less, not simply “doing more.” For example, if your hourly rate as an app developer is $90 per hour, and you spend five hours a week on paperwork and payroll, you are an overpaid clerical worker. If you outsource these necessary but grueling tasks to someone who charges $60 for the whole thing, you save $120 a month! Besides the savings, you can increase profit by making new apps instead of working on non-revenue generating activities. And because of the lower rates, you can hire large number of people, multiplying productivity even further. Outsourcing is much more than a cost-cutting tool; it is increasingly seen as a strategic tool. By outsourcing certain activities, you minimize risk. When problems arise, the third party provider share accountability with you. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment, infrastructure, technology, office space and maintenance; the provider takes care of these. If you’re stressed out from trying to juggle multiple things at once, and it’s taking a toll on your productivity, consider outsourcing. To find out if outsourcing is right for your company, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and tasks that you don’t enjoy doing. The key is to determine whether a non-core task could be performed by a third party at a lower rate, more quickly and efficiently.
Offshoring and Improving Productivity in Key Areas
Can’t decide which tasks to outsource? Ask yourself why you went into business in the first place or your mission as a company. Then list activities that you need to do but don’t generate revenue. This can be answering emails, website design, updating social media, making presentations and reports, HR, payroll and IT support and maintenance. Tasks that you hate doing can be outsourced as well. When you and your staff enjoy the work and you are fully immersed in it, you are more productive. Here are some key tasks that can be outsourced to improve productivity: Payroll Payroll is one of the most obvious tasks to outsource. It is far too labor-intensive and grueling, and requires specialized skills. Even if you enjoy tracking attendance and doing taxes, your time could be better spent on growing your company. Outsourcing payroll could also improve employment regulation compliance and minimize HR issues. Human Resources Like payroll, HR is not something most companies can claim as a core competency. Instead of hiring full time staff and building an HR team (very expensive), partner with an experienced HR and recruitment company that serve businesses in your industry. Outsourcing HR processes increases productivity by speeding up the recruitment process. The sooner you fill an open position, the more productive your company will be. Information Technology Information technology services range from infrastructure to management to support. Instead of overseeing IT process, partner with an experienced IT provider to keep your in-house staff focused on the essentials. Outsourcing IT also boosts productivity and efficiency by giving you access to the latest software, hardware and processes without worrying about upgrades and maintenance. Healthcare The healthcare sector is in for a big change with the upcoming ICD-10 implementation. Many businesses are investing in healthcare IT outsourcing for a smoother transition from the old system to the new. Consider outsourcing IT and healthcare services to better prepare for ICD-10 and help you focus on your core business. Design and Creative Services You could probably learn to design your company logo, letterhead, promo materials and website, but it would take much longer and the final look may not be as polished as a professional’s work. Outsourcing to website and graphic designers will save you both time and money. Social Media We all enjoy connecting with our customers or fans via social media channels like company blogs, Facebook and Twitter. But updating and targeting content and converting followers into customers can be time-consuming. Outsource social media management, content creation and related tasks so you can do what you do best.
Boost Productivity by Outsourcing to the Philippines
Few locations in the world have the right mix of cultural compatibility with the West, a growing labor force that communicates in English excellently, and the lowest prices in the industry than the Philippines. It is second only to India as a global outsourcing hub, and both small businesses and large corporations have established operations in the country to improve productivity and cut costs. Philippine IT-BPO companies make it easy for clients to get started with minimal risk. You have maximum flexibility when it comes to pricing, the number of people you want to hire and the kind of services that you want to outsource. Partner with a company that offers custom solutions to make sure you are meeting your objectives.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
Getting Started is Easy and Risk-Free is a step by step guide that can help you learn more and get started on the outsourcing process. Or you can have a free, no-risk consultation with an expert . At Sourcefit, we’ll help you explore the possibilities and opportunities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ IT Outsourcing (ITO) & IT Outsourcing to the Philippines ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=75 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blogs: IT Outsourcing (ITO) & IT Outsourcing to the PhilippinesBPO (business process outsourcing) has evolved to include information technology services previously deemed too technical to be farmed out. Today, emerging markets like India, China and the Philippines are offering everything from IT management to software programming to match the needs of global companies that range from startups to conglomerates.
What is IT Outsourcing?
Information technology outsourcing (ITO) refers to the practice of companies subcontracting information technology services, usually to third party providers in developing economies where labor costs are low. BPO and ITO go hand in hand; ITO enables BPO. As BPO firms improve their tech capability, they enable clients to move quickly and scale up and down. Companies use ITO for a multitude of functions, including software development, programming, infrastructure, IT maintenance and IT support. Many organizations use ITO to cut costs significantly. Studies show that ITO can slash your business costs by more than half annually. How does it work? For example, company ABC in the U.S. chooses to outsource software programming because it is significantly cheaper to hire a programmer in the Philippines than to hire, train, and support a local programmer. Company DEF, on the other hand, farms out IT management services to a third party because it takes too much trouble to buy, run and maintain its own data storage devices. Some companies prefer to establish dedicated IT headquarters outside the organization, but most outsource only a portion of their IT functions. A growing trend in ITO is called “hybrid offshoring,” a business model that features insourced and outsourced services. For companies looking to outsource their IT services to the Philippines, it’s great to have a game plan. Identify your strength and weaknesses, and evaluate which IT functions are better performed by an ITO provider than by your in-house department.
The Benefits of IT Outsourcing
The biggest reward of IT outsourcing is monetary for most business owners, but the benefits go beyond the bottom line. Back in 2000, Outsourcing Institute's Outsourcing Index listed several reasons you should offshore, and these reasons are equally relevant to ITO. 1. Cut and manage costs. When you outsource IT services or any function, you save money on hiring and recruitment, training, oversight, health insurance, retirement plans, taxes, infrastructure, overhead and other associated expenses. 2. Reduce risk. Companies have to keep up with technology to remain competitive. This can be expensive and labor intensive. Outsourcing to an experienced IT provider who knows what works and what doesn’t reduces your risk of making a costly mistake. 3. Access to specialized skills. No IT professional is an island. When you outsource an IT function, you are outsourcing to a team of skilled professionals, and you gain access to a collective pool of capabilities and experience. ITO to the Philippines also means that you gain IT professionals that possess the required training and certification. 4. Better workforce management. You hire local professionals to fill a need. IT outsourcing allows you keep your in-house employees doing what they do best instead of doing tasks they were not trained for. Other companies need IT professionals but don’t have the budget to hire a full-time employee. ITO lets you fill the need for the short and long term. 5. Handling difficult functions. An obvious benefit of ITO is letting experts handle an IT function or component of your business that is out of whack. You will still be involved once control is restored, but you can draw on resources from the right people. 6. Control management shakeup. Are you in the middle of a restructure to improve service and cut costs? You may notice that you don’t have the energy or time to devote to your non-core services. ITO is the perfect way to keep up with your non-core functions while reorganizing your company. 7. Increase focus. Excellent performance depends on people doing what they do best. It’s impractical and stressful to expect yourself to master every competency. ITO lets you focus on your core competencies while providers focus on theirs. 8. Reinvest funds. The money you save by outsourcing your IT functions can be reinvested into improving your service or product.
Why Outsource IT Functions to the Philippines?
While India remains the biggest player in ITO, the Philippines is fast becoming the alternative destination. According to data released by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippines has the third largest IT talent pool in Asia Pacific, and the country’s ITO costs are among the lowest in the world. Industry powerhouse. Tholons’ listed Metro Manila as the no. 2 outsourcing destination in the world for good reason. PH is an “industry powerhouse,” with one of the most sophisticated and established offshoring and BPO industry in the world. The country was part of the first outsourcing wave before 2000, and the BPO and IT sectors show no signs of slowing down. Lowest ITO costs. Companies that outsource IT functions to the Philippines enjoy up to 70 percent lower costs than companies that forgo outsourcing, according to advisory and research firm Everest Group. More locations. ITO is expanding beyond the central business districts. Today, international companies are setting up HQ in Philippine cities like Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Sta. Rosa Laguna, which all made it to the Tholons top 100 list. Rich talent pool. The Philippines’ qualified talent pool is one of the deepest, with the BPO sector employing about 1 million people as of 2014. It has never been easier for international companies to connect with and leverage the expertise of the country’s talented programmers, software developers, designers, and IT administrators. Excellent cultural compatibility. One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing your IT functions to the Philippines is the country’s high cultural compatibility with the West. Majority of the country’s labor force is highly proficient in American English, and Filipinos enjoy strong historical ties with the U.S. To learn more about IT Outsourcing please read IT Support: System / Network Admin Outsourcing.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
We can help you get a better idea of the opportunities and possibilities. Contact Sourcefit to get a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Why NOW is the Best Time to Offshore to the Philippines ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=74 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blogs: Why NOW is the Best Time to Offshore to the Philippines Outsourcing is an ever-evolving sector, and the new wave is automation. Companies have progressed beyond establishing HQs in developing economies and hiring providers for non-core services. The current landscape is one dominated by machines—and clients. Does automation and near-shoring render outsourcing to countries like the Philippines irrelevant? Far from it. Robots are the future, but the newness and a lack of industry regulation mean that companies will take their time to adopt the technology. Besides, robots can never replace tasks that require complex human judgment. The challenge for the Philippines is to continue evolving to remain globally competitive. And the country is doing exactly that. From a solid call center background, it is moving toward higher value propositions like KPO, insurance, finance, accounting and other niche services. If you are an investor, NOW is the best time to offshore to the Philippines. Why? Three reasons: 1. No. 2 Outsourcing Destination in the World Manila is second only to Bangalore, India as the world’s top outsourcing destination, according to the latest Top 100 list by Tholons, the global investment advisory organization. Besides Metro Manila, the so-called “Next Wave” Philippine cities also joined the top 100: Cebu(8th), Davao (69th), Sta. Rosa, Laguna (82th), Bacolod (93th), Iloilo (95th) and Baguio (99th). Thanks to the joint efforts by local and national governments and the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), there are no signs that the country’s BPO sector is slowing down. Manila remains strong as a Contact Support provider, but it is expanding into higher value-added offerings like Finance and Accounting (FAO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), and other Knowledge Processes Outsourcing (KPO) services. 2. 1-Million Strong Workforce The Philippines is noted for its rich and deep labor force, composed of highly-motivated, college-educated, and English-speaking professionals. Now the BPO workforce has become even richer, employing about 1 million people in 2014. This is almost a tenfold improvement from the 100k-odd figure back in 2004. The BPO industry is one of the major growth drivers of the Philippine economy, providing well-paying jobs for both direct employees and support positions. Businesses tap into an extensive pool of talent at a fraction of the cost of hiring, training, and supporting local professionals. The move into KPO services also means that investors can now hire highly qualified people with specialized skill sets while keeping costs at a minimum. 3. Lowest Rent in Asia India and China remain premiere outsourcing destinations, but their steady economic growth is accompanied by high rental rates in the central business districts. As a result, more and more multinational companies are moving from leasing to buying office space in regions like the Philippines. Rental rates in the Philippines remain the lowest in Asia at $29 per square feet per year. Global real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield reported that while India or China is the present, the Philippines may be the future. While the country’s economic route is still emerging compared to India, the Philippines is a gold mine of opportunities for international giants. The most benefit comes from investing “sooner rather than later.” To learn more about the Philippines as an outsourcing destination in 2014, please read our blog Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
Is Outsourcing for You? is a list of questions to help you decide if offshoring in the Philippines is a good fit for your business. Or contact Sourcefit for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO Destination ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=73 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blog: Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO DestinationThe Philippines is one of the world’s top destinations for business process outsourcing (BPO), IT (information technology), voice and back office services, according to the latest Global Service Location Index survey by consultants A.T. Kearny. A.T. Kearney pegged the country at the seventh spot, climbing two spots from number 9 in the 2011 survey. Out of 51 countries, the Philippines shared the top 10 with India, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Egypt. A.T. Kearney used 25 metrics to evaluate the attractiveness of a destination to potentially deliver IT, BPO and voice services. The metrics were based on responses to industry questionnaires, surveys, client experience reports, and data obtained from client engagements over the past five years. The metrics were grouped into three major categories: Financial Attractiveness (40%), People Skills and Availability (30%), and Business Environment (30%). The Philippines’ overall ranking rose from 5.65 in 2011 to 5.75 in 2014. The new ranking is the result of improvement in two key measures: business environment and people skills and availability. While the country dropped a few points in the financial availability measure, the other two metrics were enough to improve the overall score.
Outsourcing Industry Powerhouse
The Philippines has long been a premiere offshoring destination, but this ranking improvement highlights the attractiveness of the country not only for BPO and voice services, but also for back office functions like data processing and management, virtual assistance, HR support and accounting. Back office support is a mix of low-scale and high value offerings that can be bundled together to give clients maximum flexibility. A.T. Kearney dubbed the Philippines an “industry powerhouse”, with an export sector second only to the number one destination, India. Other factors that contributed to the new improved ranking include: • One of the world’s most sophisticated BPO industry • Highly-qualified and rich labor force • Expansion to higher value-added IT and BPO services • Numerous operating centers not only in Manila but across the country • Steady economic growth
Philippines vs. India
India remains the top offshoring destination in the world. The country is a leader in both skills and scale, providing virtually all offshoring functions: IT, BPO and voice. According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), that industry alone is responsible for 25% of India’s total exports, with IT services raking in $40 billion in exports. India continues its expansion into new services, including research and development (R&D), product development, and niche functions like healthcare and telecoms that require specialized skills. However, as India’s high-value offerings become more expensive and as rents skyrocket in the central business districts, more and more companies seek lower cost destinations. While not close to matching the sheer scale that India offers, the Philippines remains a top player in offshoring. The country is extremely attractive to small and mid-sized businesses looking for low risk and maximum savings. The environment is politically stable, the workforce communicates in English with excellent proficiency, and the skilled professionals possess industry-specific knowledge. The Philippines also continues to expand its service offerings and target niche markets.
Global Services Development Markers: Late 1990s - mid-2010s
A.T. Kearney’s 2014 survey tracked the evolution of back office services, from when companies first cut their teeth outsourcing to emerging markets to the current automation trend. This dramatic development spans two decades and shows how businesses adapt to technology and refine ways to make their presence felt in a global economy. From the beginning, it has always made sense to offshore non-core functions. It allowed companies to access rich talent pools around the world, usually at a significantly reduced cost, and gain greater exposure. For several businesses, offshoring was the stepping stone to taking their company global. The A.T. Kearney survey identified three “waves” of sequential development that occur simultaneously today. Before 2000. India was the pioneer market for offshoring, taking off in the late 1990s. The internet was young, telecommunications were much improved, and many companies required large-scale IT services. The first companies to set up centers in developing countries often built the HQs from scratch. Despite the lure of monumental savings, the operation back then was very complicated, involved, and expensive. Mid-2000s. The second wave found companies passing on non-core services to third party providers. The operation was more efficient, and the companies more selective. Some brought back key roles in-house. Mid-2010s. Automation is the name of the game, where robots perform routine tasks. ERP (enterprise resource planning) software automates repetitive, high-volume tasks for entire categories of services.
The Future of Offshoring
Businesses and entire countries are continually being transformed by the offshoring revolution. Small and mid-size businesses now join global conglomerates that take advantage of the reduced-cost BPO and back office services in countries like India and China. But as these countries deliver more high value propositions, countries like the Philippines are becoming much more enticing to companies looking to free up resources, concentrate on core functions and set up operations overseas. Despite the automation trend, there is still plenty of room for growth. Robots can never replace tasks that require human flexibility and complex judgment. The challenge for the Philippines and other outsourcing destinations is to adapt fast enough to technology and keep evolving to avoid irrelevance.
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
Getting Started is Easy and Risk-Free is a guide that can help you find out if outsourcing is a good fit for your business. Or you can have a free, no-risk consultation with an expert A member of our upper management will help you explore the possibilities and opportunities. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=24 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blog: Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year Metro Manila beat Mumbai, India in this year’s list of Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations! That impressive ranking from Tholons, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) research and investment advisory firm, shows the astounding growth of the Philippine BPO industry. The Philippine metropolitan region is now second only to Bangalore, India, which remains at the top of the list.
Tholons Ranking: Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations
Metro Manila begins the year at notch higher than its 2013 Tholons ranking and that’s further proof of consistent growth. In 2012, Metro Manila was in fourth place, behind Indian cities Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. The following year, the Philippine outsourcing destination was able to overtake Delhi to win third place. This year, Metro Manila bests Mumbai thanks to the Philippine region’s growth rate which has “remained consistent with previous years,” according to Tholons. The research firm further noted that even as contact support services continue to “characterize” the identity of the Philippines as an outsourcing location, there is a “notable increase” in non-voice services. Expansion into non-voice services, industry analysts say, points to the growth and maturation of an outsourcing destination. The list, a Tholons flagship project and recognized ranking for BPO destinations in the world, also includes six other outsourcing locations in the Philippines – Cebu, Davao, Sta. Rosa (Laguna), Bacolod, Iloilo, and Baguio.
Q1 2014 and Beyond for Philippine BPO
For 2014, the Oxford Business Group (OBG) reported a projected growth of 15% in revenues for the Philippines’ BPO sector. OBG cited the Philippine cities that made it to the 2014 Tholons list as significant contributors to the Philippine economy, “one of the country’s main sources of hard cash.” OBG also pointed to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data that show Philippine IT-BPO (Information Technology- Business Process Outsourcing) firms generating significantly larger revenues. In 2013, outsourcing firms in the country posted $13.3 billion export earnings, a 15% increase from the previous year’s total. This figure tops the $4.8 billion receipts from the tourism industry. Remittances from foreign workers, a total of $22.5 billion for 2013, remain the biggest source of foreign exchange in the Philippines In a separate report published in Interaksyon.com, the country’s central bank estimated $15.3 billion in total revenues for Philippine IT-BPO this year. Last year’s total revenues also saw a 15 % growth, jumping from $11.6 billion in 2012 to $13.34 billion. It’s exactly this growth and strength of the Philippine IT-BPO industry that was cited by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) among the factors that helped the country maintain its “stable outlook forecast and its BB foreign currency long-term bond rating.” In the same report from OBG, S&P credit analyst Agost Benard explained that IT-BPO revenues and earnings from foreign remittances are driving “current account surpluses” and offsetting the effects of weak fiscal profile and prevailing debts.
Philippine Outsourcing: Moving Up the Value Chain
These figures underscore the strength of outsourcing as a business strategy and of the Philippines as an outsourcing location. The main impetus is, still, to reduce overhead costs. As companies expand, ramp up or explore other areas of growth, they need to: 1. Get the talent they need to remain competitive. 2. Find ways to keep overall costs low. At the same time, the goal, particularly in this more competitive business environment, is to gain more value. BPO voice service companies that expand to the Philippines, for example, want to gain not only talented staff – in most cases, expanding to hire thousands of employees – for their workforce; but also more cost-effective operations and add language capabilities to be delivered to specific countries or regions. Growth in voice services often also expands to non-voice, with companies looking to add more value and other sources of revenues by also providing email or chat support and other non-voice services. Non-voice is expected to expand further as the outsourcing industry in the Philippines matures into providing a wider range of services. Tholons noted a considerable increase in Finance and Accounting Outsourced (FAO) services and other high value processes in Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Knowledge Processes Outsourcing (KPO), along with the country’s continued success in the voice services subsector. This expansion to services such as back office transactions of financial and non-financial sectors, animation and transcription is seen to continue helping increase revenues and propelling the growth of the industry. Worldwide, the demand for non-voice talent continues to increase. In his paper “Transforming the Philippine Talent Value Proposition into an Enduring Competitive Advantage” Alejandro Melchor III, Deputy Executive Director at the ICT Office at Department of Science and Technology pointed to an Information Scientists New McKinsey Global Institute Report that shows that the “United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical and managerial expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the study of big data.” And highly-skilled and qualified IT-BPO employees in the Philippines can fill these, as well as other employment opportunities.
Human Capital & Government Support for PH IT-BPO
Aside from expanding further into non-voice services, the other keys to sustained growth in the Philippine IT-BPO industry are human capital and government support. Hiring outsourced employees in the Philippines allows for flexible staffing options and and the ability to hire quality employees at a fraction of the cost of hiring locally. Human capital has always been one of the biggest resources of Philippine IT-BPO. The talent base is composed of English-speaking and English-educated people, mostly city-based and technically-proficient. The literacy rate in the country is one of the highest among the IT-BPO hubs in the world. Filipino BPO employees are also known for their domain expertise, cultural adaptability, exceptional work ethic and service orientation. Government support and a business-friendly environment, which have helped push the Philippine IT-BPO industry to the top of the global outsourcing rankings, are also likely to drive sustained growth. World-class and cost-effective infrastructure includes telecom, connectivity, network, office space and transportation. The Philippine government has also supported state technical training for IT-BPO jobs and provided a business-friendly environment. The article “The Philippines: Better Business Process Outsourcing” on the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) website reports that the current administration announced further strengthening of the favorable environment by reducing bureaucratic procedures and granting tax holidays to BPO-related investments. In the IBPAP article “Manila overtakes Mumbai as world’s No. 2 outsourcing destination,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Louis Casambre attributed the improved Tholons rankings to the Next Wave CitiesTM program of the DOST-ICTO and IBPAP, a project established in 2007 to develop globally preferred IT-BPO destinations and the “development of required ecosystem to prop up Information Technology and Business Process Management.” As more and more companies across the globe recognize the continued strategic value of outsourcing to cut costs, develop process equity, increase productivity and business efficiency, and make product and service innovation possible; global outsourcing will remain a formidable industry. In the Philippine BPO industry, the target for 2016 according to IBPAP is $26 billion in revenues and 1.3 million jobs. And, of course, higher rankings and more Philippine cities in the Tholons top 100 list.

IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
We can help you get a better idea of the opportunities and possibilities. Get a free, no-risk consultation with an expert by filling out the contact request form. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ Politics, Economics, and Hot Buttons: G8 Countries and Outsourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=21 Sourcefit Philippines, Offshoring Blog: Politics, Economics, and Hot Buttons: G8 Countries and Outsourcing“The topic of offshore outsourcing is as much a political topic as an economic one, and perhaps even more so.” - N. Gregory Mankiw and Phillip Swagel You know it’s presidential election time in the United States when outsourcing becomes a hot topic for political debate. This time, it’s U.S. President Barack Obama versus the Republican candidate Mitt Romney. CBS News puts the exchange of words this way: “A simmering campaign feud over outsourcing has boiled over, with the president's campaign and Mitt Romney's accusing each other of lying about Romney's record at the helm of Bain capital.” The feud revolves around Obama’s assertion that Romney had leadership experience in "companies that were pioneers of outsourcing.” The Romney camp, on the other hand, insists that the claim is a “distortion” and that there is no evidence that Romney, when he was at the helm of Bain Capital, was responsible for sending jobs outside the U.S. In short, favoring outsourcing – or even just seeming to favor outsourcing – during election time is bad for your political health.
Outsourcing Goes into Mainstream Consciousness
When politicians bring up the topic of outsourcing to the public and thrust it into mainstream consciousness, it becomes more than economic topic – as N. Gregory Mankiw and Phillip Swagel, who co-wrote the Harvard University DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) paper titled “The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing,” said – but also, a political topic; and a compelling one at that. Harvard Economics professor Mankiw knows this first hand from his experience as the chairman of the national Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under the George W. Bush administration. He once wrote in the CEA Economic Report of the President in 2004 that outsourcing of jobs by companies in the U.S. is “probably a plus for the economy in the long run.” These sentiments about outsourcing quickly became the focal point of a political uproar in 2004 -- also a presidential election year -- which saw politicians claiming a link between offshore outsourcing and the sluggish recovery of the American labor market in the first few months of 2004. When you think about it, any aspect of a country’s economy can easily become a political hot button – considering that these are issues that typically boil down to whether or not you can put food on the table. But why and how would a topic such as outsourcing create a political uproar in an advanced economy like the U.S.? What is the real public sentiment on outsourcing in advanced economies like the US and other G8 countries such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom? What are the misconceptions, fears, and other conditions that shape public opinion on outsourcing in advanced or mature economies? Is public sentiment far from the reality? Could outsourcing – despite the negative impression harbored by a country’s general population – be beneficial to these advanced economies? How are the governments in these countries managing this difference between public opinion and reality when it comes to outsourcing? How should they manage it?
Financial Challenges and Public Perception of Offshoring
Examining “mature,” advanced economies like the G8 can certainly give us a perspective on how globalization – which makes outsourcing possible – is changing the world. The Group of Eight (G8) most industrialized countries in the world, established in 1975, is committed to a yearly forum on key global issues. The world, of course, has changed much since the mid-1970s. At this year’s G8 Summit, financial challenges, jobs, and growth dominated the discussions. Also among the broader questions tackled during the summit, according to The Washington Post’s Howard Schneider, included “how the developed world can bolster growth when governments are constrained by high debt and have little room for stimulus spending.” France’s Francois Hollande wanted to emphasize economic growth while Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is hoping to gain approval from the Italian parliament on far reaching labor and regulatory policy changes that are said to be aimed at boosting growth in Italy. Canada, like the rest of the mature G8 economies, faces new challenges from an evolving international community. The country, as the web site Canada’s World puts it, should find out how to “best position itself in a decentralizing, globalizing world that is hungry for resources on one hand and fiercely competitive in knowledge-based industries on the other.” Unemployment is “at record levels in the developed world,” according to Schneider, so there is an imperative “to balance growth and austerity.” Obama, in an article published in The Telegraph, also said of the recent G8 summit that there was an “emerging consensus” on investing in infrastructure that creates jobs; adding that “growth and jobs must be our top priority. A stable, growing European economy is in everybody's best interests, including America's." Amid this atmosphere of financial challenges and the need to create more jobs in G8 economies, outsourcing can become an easy target. The most common public perception is that outsourcing takes away much-needed jobs in home countries and gives them to employees overseas. Here’s an example of how this issue of sending jobs overseas so easily came into play in the 2004 US presidential election as described in the insider account by Mankiw and Swagel entitled “The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing.” After the release of Economic Report of the President (ERP), “the Presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry seized on the issue of outsourcing, lambasting President Bush and his advisers for supposedly favoring it, and put forward a corporate tax proposal allegedly aimed at removing tax incentives for U.S. firms that move jobs overseas.” “Against the backdrop of a faltering labor market, outsourcing became synonymous in the public debate with job loss, and the transfer of jobs overseas came to be seen by non-economists as a major factor in accounting for the weak job market of 2002 and 2003. The release of the Economic Report of the President in early 2004 thus came at a time when the recovery was still not viewed as robust.” Mankiw and Swagel also noted that during the entire political uproar over outsourcing in 2004, the press coverage of the issue became more about the political response or the political reaction and the subsequent fallout and not about the actual substance of what was written in the ERP about outsourcing.
Economic Reality and the Benefits of Outsourcing
That was the public perception during the heat of the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign. The economic reality was quite different. Yes, there were jobs lost, but that’s not the complete picture. Mankiw and Swagel cited a study by Martin Baily and Robert Lawrence titled “What Happened to the Great U.S. Job Machine? The Role of Trade and Electronic Offshoring” which showed the following effects of outsourcing of services on U.S. employment: * “The impact of service sector offshoring to India from 2000 to 2003 was small compared to the overall change in service sector employment.” * “Lower level programming jobs were lost to India but overall computer employment was surprisingly strong.” * Baily and Lawrence “provide evidence that services offshoring to countries such as India will raise U.S. GDP and create jobs, including in manufacturing.” * Baily and Lawrence also found that “U.S. GDP, real compensation of employees, and real profits will all be higher in 2015 as a result of lower prices for services imports associated with outsourcing.” Economists Mary Amiti and Shang-Jin Wei found in their study “Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is it Justified?” – as cited by Mankiw and Swagel – that: * “Services outsourcing is small and plays little role in recent employment fluctuations, but possibly plays a meaningful role in accounting for productivity growth.” * Data for the United Kingdom that Amiti and Wei used also showed “that sectors with more services outsourcing do not have a slower rate of job growth than sectors without outsourcing.” * Regarding manufacturing industries in the U.S. Amiti and Wei, wrote in the 2006 report “Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States” – as cited by Mankiw and Swagel – that services that were offshored accounted “for around 11 percent of firms’ productivity gains from 1992 to 2000, but with little impact on employment.” Srinivas Durvasula and Steven Lysonski in their study titled “How Offshore Outsourcing is Perceived: Why Do Some Consumers Feel More Threatened?” pointed out: * “Proponents of offshoring, on the other hand, assert that it benefits developed and developing countries alike (Sturgeon, W. Offshoring: It’s better for everybody.). For example, while lower-skill jobs may be lost to developing economies such as India, new jobs take their place in the developed countries. These new jobs are superior in economic value due to their higher pay and skill levels.” * “As suggested by Nigel Holloway, director of executive services at the Economist Intelligence Unit, while some individuals may have been negatively affected, overall, offshoring has brought about positive change to the workforces and economies in developed countries (Sturgeon, W. Offshoring: It’s better for everybody.)” * With “the overall U.S. employment of 130 million and the projected creation of 22 million new jobs by 2010, the job loss due to offshoring would affect only 0.2 percent of the U.S. workforce (Drezner, D. The outsourcing bogeyman.). As for job security, Mankiw and Swagel cited research by Bradford Jensen and Lori G. Kletzer (“Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Offshoring”) which showed that while job security is lower in “tradables” or jobs that are likely to be outsourced, “Jensen and Kletzer find little evidence of weaker employment growth in tradable activities or occupations than in nontradable ones. Indeed, their results are consistent with the data on U.S. services trade flows that suggest U.S. comparative advantage in the provision of services.”
Public Perception of BPO in Advanced Economies
Why, then, with so many assurances and even more research that show the benefits of outsourcing does the general public in advanced economies tend to view outsourcing negatively? Durvasula and Lysonski’s 2009 study “How Offshore Outsourcing is Perceived: Why Do Some Consumers Feel More Threatened?” offers some insights. The authors pointed to a rapidly changing and more competitive world, as discussed in The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, with myriad technological advances particularly digitization and “the web of optical fiber lacing the planet together” further accelerating globalization. “Countries that were historically not competitive suddenly have become juggernauts in the competitive race fostered by globalization.” So what are some of these perceptions and what are the conditions that shape them? Durvasula and Lysonski cited the following research: 1. J. Klein, R. Ettenson, and M. Morris’ “The animosity model of foreign product purchase: An empirical test in the People’s Republic of China” found that “in an economic sense, people exhibit a high degree of animosity if they perceive that foreign countries take unfair advantage in their trade practices.” 2. Durvasula and Lysonski further said that “with respect to outsourcing, there is a perception in North America (e.g., United States) and Europe (e.g., Britain) that countries such as China in manufacturing and India in information technology services, because of labor arbitrage, are taking away high-paying jobs from economically developed countries.” 3. S. Cocheo’s “Global think? Or job shrink?” which was published in American Bankers Association Journal spoke of “The Lou Dobbs Effect,” which highlights “the disfavor of offshoring. Implicit in this negativity is the belief that offshoring is unpatriotic and firms that offshore are “Benedict Arnold” companies; “Hire American” has become the watchword.” 4. A McKinsey and Company study titled Panel debates offshoring found that of the respondents in a large survey, 66 % believed that “American firms have a moral responsibility to hire Americans.” 5. Consumers who feel an economic threat – feeling ”threatened by economic forces that are beyond their control” – are likely to perceive “that foreign competitors can hurt them personally and/or their domestic economy are more likely to oppose offshoring versus those who do not feel this threat.” 6. The public may clamor for protectionist moves such as the provision in the 2004 US Congress legislation, mentioned in Baily and Farrell’s Exploding myths about offshoring, “prohibits federal agencies from offshoring some types of work to private companies that employ overseas workers” What are the forces that heighten the negative impression or the opposition to outsourcing? Durvasula and Lysonski mentioned the following: * ethnocentrism * economic animosity * patriotism, * perceived economic threat The authors added that “[a]s these forces intensify, consumers were more likely to have greater opposition to offshoring. If economic threat underlies the bias against offshoring, ethnocentrism may become an even more volatile and powerful force.”
Advantages of Offshoring in a Borderless World
In the previous subheading, the words “perception,” “perceptions,” “perceive,” “perceived,” “belief” and “believed” are highlighted to emphasize the fact that these perceptions about outsourcing and are not necessarily true. In fact, as countless studies have shown – including those mentioned by Mankiw and Swagel in the earlier subheading on economic realities – that outsourcing benefits industrialized economies; in much the same way that free trade and globalization, which has hugely benefited these mature economies, continue to offer a myriad number of benefits. It’s no surprise that advanced economies are all for free trade and globalization. In fact, the statement from the G8 leaders on the global economy following the recent summit not only emphasized, among other things, “the importance of open markets and a fair, strong, rules-based trading system” but also their “commitment to refrain from protectionist measures” and “to reduce barriers to trade and investment and maintain open markets.” The statement continued, “We call on the broader international community to do likewise. Recognizing that unnecessary differences and overly burdensome regulatory standards serve as significant barriers to trade, we support efforts towards regulatory coherence and better alignment of standards to further promote trade and growth.” The UK Prime Minister, in an interview with The Telegraph following the recent G8 summit also spoke of the “expansion of trade freedoms - breaking down the barriers to world trade and getting global trade moving again.” It makes sense, really, that advanced economies are all for free trade and globalization. In the race to reach, as Durvasula and Lysonski put it, more “market opportunities for multinational corporations to reach out to consumers in a more or less borderless world”, the G8 countries have a comparative advantage. And in this borderless world, where the competition for lower operation costs, efficiency, and productivity is growing even more intense, outsourcing just makes sense.
Balancing Act: Reap the Benefits of Offshoring and Lessen the Negative Perception
So it then becomes a balancing act: finding a way to reap the benefits of outsourcing while lessening the negative reaction of the public and lessening the impact on those directly affected. “While outsourcing involves real pain to the workers and families who face displacement, the empirical evidence suggests that the hysteria over offshore outsourcing is far out of proportion to its actual impact,” Mankiw and Swagel wrote. “While trade provides benefits for the nation as a whole, some people face dislocation. For example, workers with low skills within certain occupations such as data entry and low-end computer programming appear to have been affected by increased trade in services. The appropriate policy response is to help affected workers adjust to change rather than give up the gains from trade in the first place.” Mankiw and Swagel recommend a “two-fold” solution: 1. Improving the current policies that are aimed at adjustment assistance 2. Creating an economic environment that fosters strong growth and robust job creation “Within this cover, trade can expand into the new channels created by improvements in technology and telecommunications.” The authors pointed out that “some U.S. jobs are certainly lost to other countries” but “on the whole, firms involved with offshore outsourcing are not shifting net jobs overseas but instead are creating jobs both in the United States and in other countries.” Looking back at the political uproar in 2004 during the US presidential election campaign, Mankiw acknowledged that it gained steam because, from a communication perspective, he made the tactical error of emphasizing the gains from trade before referring to the “dislocation of affected workers.” He also mentioned that some of the statements lacked clarity and could be – and were – easily misinterpreted to mean that he praised the loss of jobs or did not care for the loss of jobs in the U.S. Throughout the presidential campaign, President George W. Bush’s team countered Sen. Kerry’s attacks on outsourcing by pointing out that not engaging in free trade and outsourcing is “a retreat into economic isolationism” which could lead to economic decline. While declaring support to free trade and extolling the benefits of open markets, Pres. Bush’s team also referred to the opposing side’s “economic pessimism” and a “defeatist” mindset that seemed to view “an America that could not compete.” Mankiw and Swagel expressed no doubt that the “discontent arising from outsourcing will be an issue for politicians and economists alike for the foreseeable future.” And it’s up to the governments and policy makers to manage this balancing act. The bigger issue, one that encompasses the issues on outsourcing, takes us back to questions posed by Canada’s World; and these questions could just as easily refer to any of the G8 countries: How do mature or advanced economies face the new challenges of a “decentralizing, globalizing world”? And how do political leaders communicate these challenges to their constituents to build consensus toward effective policy making?
Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
Learn more about the Benefits of Outsourcing. We can also help you get a better idea of the opportunities and possibilities. Get a free, no-risk consultation with an expert by completing our contact request form. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ PROMOTING EQUALITY, PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=19 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing Blog: PROMOTING EQUALITY, PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPOA recent report issued by Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) indicates that women in the Philippines hold 39% of all senior management positions, which ranks near the top of all countries worldwide. The figure represents a 4% year-on-year rise, bucking an international trend that has seen the number of women in top company leadership roles diminish over the same period in many parts of the world. The release of this data and the fact that this March marks the 101st anniversary of the establishment of International Women's Day inspire us to examine the progress women have made in the workplace.
Miles to Go
From all indications, the empowerment of women has come a long way but there are still miles to go. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, in her Harvard Business Review (HBR) article “Why Focusing on the Gender Pay Gap Misses the Point” mentioned PEW research that showed that 26 percent of wives in the United States earn more than their husbands. A Goldman Sachs study, on the other hand, as cited by Wittenberg-Cox, found that more women are starting American businesses or companies, that the buying power of women worldwide is increasing and that more women in the U.S. are achieving higher education, earning 6 out of every 10 bachelor's and master's degrees. Despite these statistics, however, a recent study conducted by Catalyst, and cited by Boris Groysberg in the HBR piece called “How Star Women and Star Men Fare Differently in the Workplace” show that there are still too few women climbing the corporate ladder in the US. In 2011, women accounted for only 16.1% of board seats; only 14.1 percent of executive officer positions and 7.5 percent of executive officer top-earner positions. Across the Atlantic, it’s not much better either. "What the U.S. Can Learn From Europe About Gender Equality in the Workplace,” the Harvard Business Review article by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, mentioned new data from the Center for Work-Life Policy that shows that women in Britain make up only 19 percent of Parliament and only 12 percent of corporate boards.
More Women Managers in the Philippines
According to Grant Thornton’s IBR, the proportion of women in senior management positions has been steadily declining worldwide since 2009. The Philippines ratio of 39% women in top posts is second only to Russia worldwide. The report added that 64 percent of the top Filipina executives hold senior finance positions or are chief finance officers. These figures bode well because, as McKinsey Southeast Asia Head of Public Affairs Penny Burtt said, a McKinsey study shows that gender diversity impacts businesses positively. "Companies with more women at the top tend to have more leadership capabilities, better decision making and better corporate governance," Burtt told CNBC.com’s Shivali Nayak. The local Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector seems to show proportions similar to the IBR findings. According to the International Labor Organization – as cited by Tonyo Cruz in his report for asiancorrespondent.com – “young Filipino women dominate BPO jobs by up to 59.3 percent.” The paper “Night Work Prohibition of Women Workers in the Philippine Call Center Industry” by Dr. Robert Keitel and Melissa Dorothy Ledesma mentioned that “a large percentage of middle to senior management positions are also held by women.”
Empowering Women
The IT-BPO sector in the Philippines, as we know, has risen to become one of the leading destinations for IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Centers) in the world. According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the sector grew from US$100 million in total revenues in 2001 to an astonishing USD3.3 billion in 2006; and has since doubled its revenues every year. This high rate of growth has, of course, helped provide opportunities and benefits to women employees such as: * Financial independence – The paper “Night Work Prohibition of Women Workers in the Philippine Call Center Industry” said that “workers are drawn in to work in a BPO or Call Center because of the financial security it gives and its impartiality when it comes to age, status, etc. of the individual as long as they have the necessary skills needed for the job; specifically that of computer and communication skills.” Financial independence, with salaries that are typically above minimum wage and are available to a broader spectrum of women (and men, too), has given many women employees in the BPO sector the opportunity to provide for their needs and that of their families. Their compensation has also increased their spending power and has also led to positive effects for the local retail industry. And the fact that BPO companies in the Philippines are not just in urban centers in Metro Manila, but are also in other parts of the country, means that more women in more areas in the country are getting the chance to gain financial independence. * Opportunities for advancement – For a large number of women in the BPO sector, these employment opportunities open a door to more chances for advancement, not just financially and socially, but also in terms of career and skills. The sector is built to constantly offer training to update knowledge and usually offers career advancement and promotions. The paper by Keitel and Ledesma – citing figures from the Business Processing Association Philippines. (2007). ITES & ICT Sectors, viewed 18 March 2007. Makati City -- pointed out that BPO’s place “high emphasis on people and talent development resulting in a high level of activity and investment in training and coaching at all levels; companies spend an average of Php 21,000 - Php28, 000/year per employee for training and development.” Training is a chance to update skills as it also helps employees choose and forge a career path. It has also proven helpful for women who return to work after maternity leave and the like. * Opportunity to learn new skills and technical skills – The industry, like the technologies that power it, is fast paced and continuously changing and updating. Employees get to continuously train and learn or update skills. * Chance for fresh graduates – Fresh graduates, who have been turned down for jobs that require experience, are given the chance provided that they pass the training and continue to maintain standards of quality. The emphasis on recruitment, Keitel and Ledesma said – again citing BPA/P, 2007 -- is on “competency based assessment and behavioral assessment” or the “workplace readiness and job fit” as new hires are typically given “15-20 days training prior to start of work.” * Building skills and confidence – The skills acquired from training and day-to-day operations such as communication skills, technical knowledge and product knowledge go a long way to help add confidence and assertiveness. * Accomplishing more and achieving balance – The flexibility of the work atmosphere, according to authors Keitel and Ledesma encourages most employees to accomplish more with his or her time. This helps employees achieve balance in their work and personal lives. * Indirect benefits that help make life better for more people – These include better infrastructure, government support and areas evolving into better centers with better infrastructure facilities which benefit the employees and the rest of the residents near the area. The IT-BPO sector also contributes to the growth of, as well as the creation and support of jobs in real estate, security, transportation and other industries that support BPOs. * Gaining self-reliance and a better standard of living – The paper “Night Work Prohibition of Women Workers in the Philippine Call Center Industry” mentioned the following non-monetary benefits: leaves with pay, HMO and health programs, flexible schedules, off-setting, opportunity to negotiate part time work, bedroom or sleeping quarters, health programs, career leaves and breaks, study/training scholarship and subsidy, early retirement, club membership and cultural/religious leave. These non-monetary benefits also add up to a compensation package that has the potential to improve the standard of living. For countless Filipino women, the benefits of an above average compensation such as autonomy, self-reliance, freedom and the opportunity to have a better life are priceless.
Makes Perfect Sense
Continuing to make these employment opportunities within reach for more women in the country is not only just, it also makes perfect business sense. For BPO companies to continue growing at such astonishing rates and contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy, they need to meet the demands of a growing number of clients with, first and foremost, the best talent for the job. In June of last year, a law was passed to ensure that women would be allowed to work at night for more than 11 consecutive hours. This repeals the provisions of the Labor Code that prohibited night work for women and which forced BPO firms to constantly seek exemptions from the Department of Labor and Employment to allow them to employ women for work at night. Industry players and the Labor Department welcomed the signing of the new law as a move to give women equal access to opportunities for employment. The government also continues to find measures, including looking into laws and government incentives that can offer support to expanding BPO operations, providing more access to free training and assistance in getting employment in the IT-BPO sector. The Department of Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Commission on Higher Education and the private sector are working together towards training and education to avoid the talent gap and meet the strong demand. In 2011, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) executive director for external affairs Martin Crisostomo said in an interview with the Philippine Star, the BPO sector hit $10.9 billion in revenues. For 2012 – as businesses abroad aim to concentrate on their core operations and become more competitive and with increased demand in the non-voice and voice subsectors of the Philippines’ BPO industry – the projected revenue of the local IT-BPO sector is $13 billion. The economic empowerment of women is, by all means, part of the big picture. As the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report titled “Paradox and Promise in the Philippines: A Joint Country Gender Assessment 2008” pointed out, “Enhancing women’s economic empowerment is, therefore, not only a question of promoting equality, but also of supporting the socioeconomic development of the country.” POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World
IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Here are some factors to help you decide if outsourcing is the right decision for your business. To learn more, contact Sourcefit. A member of our upper management team will help you explore the possibilities of building your team of professionals in the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
<![CDATA[ 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=18 SEO companies and Internet marketing firms, depend on social media sites, the game would change considerably. The social media sites, carrying the burden of being liable for users’ actions, would be forced to over-censor, be overly strict, or have an agonizingly slow process, or quite possibly, tend to just block or delete entries or links at the slightest indication of possible legal trouble. 15. “Linking to other sites would be tedious, time consuming and could potentially force the company offline,” according to Wikipedia. And after all that, there would still be no guarantee of exposure on US sites for your company or your product. 16. Also according to Wikipedia, some foreign (or non-US) sites would be prevented from showing up in search engines. Let me say that again – your own site or other efforts for SEO or Internet Marketing may not appear in search engines as the pending bills could bar search engines from linking to certain sites. Sean Flynn at InfoJustice.org added that this kind of “search blocking” that was included in SOPA and PIPA is “widely regarded as Internet censorship.” Timm also said in his blog entry posted on eff.org that the pending bills would empower the Attorney General to “de-list websites from search engines, which, as Google Chairman Eric Schmidt noted, would still ‘criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.’” 17. Wikipedia pointed out that big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for foreign competitors. Foreign competitors, of course, could be your company. 18. There would be a climate of uncertainty and restrictions where, for example, all your SEO efforts for the day could just disappear at the drop of a hat; just like that. The law is too powerful, far-reaching and too vague and full of loopholes that could easily cause the shutdown of companies or entire websites. 19. SOPA/PIPA could shut down/block blogs. So if your business depends on blogs, you would need a major rethink. The pending bills would make it the responsibility of the blog owners in the U.S. to police content, including those posted on the comments, for possible copyright infringement. This makes the blogs vulnerable to lawsuits and the possibility of being blocked or shut down. 20. The bills would change the search engine game. With sites that can be de-listed on search engines, preventing the search engines from linking with them, SEO strategies will definitely have to be re-imagined. Also, Union Square Ventures’ Brad Burnham, in his blog entry “The PROTECT IP Act Will Slow Start-up Innovation” on usv.com, mentioned that SOPA and PIPA would give a “leg up to foreign (non-US) search engines, DNS providers, social networks and others.” 21. Online forums would be affected. And if your Internet-based company relies heavily on online forums, you would be hit hard by SOPA/PIPA, too. Forums would carry the burden of policing the entire site, including posts and comments by forum members, for every possible copyright infringement. A mistake could lead to being shut down or blocked. And even malicious claims could do great damage. 22. Video sites like YouTube would be affected. Again, if your Internet-based work depends on video sites, better be ready for a big change if SOPA and PIPA go through. 23. Sharing and networking sites like blogspot.com, daily motion, and the like would be affected, again because of the burden that SOPA and PIPA would place on these sites. Such sites outside the US that face allegations of copyright infringement could be blocked in the U.S. and they would also not be able to use commerce and ad lines. 24. Suspension of sub domains. Julie Ahrens, on her blog on the Stanford Law School website, said that “ordering Internet service providers to remove any offending domain name would require the suppression of all sub-domains associated with the domain-- censoring thousands of individual websites with vast amounts of protected speech containing no infringing content.” WHAT HAPPENS NOW As of now, SOPA and PIPA have stopped – temporarily – their march in both the Senate and the Congress. After the protests, the White House released a statement that said, “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet." Both bills, however, are far from dead. Their proponents plan to bring them up for mark-up next month. Those who opposed SOPA and PIPA plan to – and should – remain vigilant so that the bills, as they are currently written, would not be passed. Jim Hedger of Digital Always Media – as cited by Miranda Miller in her blog entry on searchenginewatch.com – said that the solution is to draft the bill with all parties represented. “I’d like to see people who understand how the information works; I’d like to see a cross-section of people at the table. Content creators, law professors, copyright holders, philosophers, the MPAA, and the RIAA, there’s a place at the table for them,” he said. “Whoever makes the media products should be at the table, along with people who actually understand the environment. It can’t just be up to the copyright holders. If it is, they’re just protecting their own interests at the detriment of the consumers and Internet users.” The resulting bill/bills should ideally be a balance between the rights of creators of content (the copyright owners) and the rights of web users to a free and open Internet. ]]> <![CDATA[ Outsourcing and Reinventing the Workforce: Understanding How Revolutionary Technology Drives Advances in Business ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=16 <![CDATA[ Tips for Successfully Outsourcing SEO Processes ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=15 Find a point of contact you can trust. Make sure the person you are speaking to is someone who understands your business and your goals. Do your due diligence. Is the company reputable; what is their own site like? Are the people managing your account invested in your success?
  • Look for transparency. Make sure you understand the whole process and how the company intends to achieve its results. Nothing comes easy in SEO and it takes time, especially in competitive industries. Simple guarantees mean nothing. If you spend six months of your time and the results aren’t there in the end then it doesn’t matter how cheap it was. Make sure the reporting is thorough and verifiable. Get the company to explain it to you if you don’t understand it. Find out where the work will be done. If any or all of the work will be done offshore make sure that you are comfortable with the quality controls that are in place.
  • Language is key. Search is all about language. Subtle differences in the phrasing of keywords can be very important. Outsourcing offshore can be extremely cost-effective but make sure you are comfortable with the language skills of the people who will be doing the work and make sure there are quality controls in place.
  • Find a balance of quality and quantity. Avoid simple numerical KPI’s such as a certain number of links or articles per month or even a certain search ranking. Again, make sure you understand the underlying fundamentals and make sure your SEO is being constructed with a foundation of quality and with long-term success in mind. This process is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • ]]>
    <![CDATA[ Outsourcing and the Power of One ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=14 <![CDATA[ The Challenge of Offshore Outsourcing – Keeping it Real ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=13 <![CDATA[ The 3 Competitive Advantages of Start-Ups and Emerging Companies in Offshore Oustourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=12 <![CDATA[ 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=11 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blog: 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process OutsourcingOne of the immediate concerns that arises when processes are outsourced overseas is whether or not quality standards can be maintained. As a provider of process outsourcing in the Philippines, we strive, of course, to deliver the highest standards of quality for the processes with which we are tasked; but there are challenges that must be overcome both by us and the client in order to achieve optimum results. Here are the 5 keys for assuring quality while also keeping costs as low as possible in an offshore outsourcing structure. 1. Create a Quality Assurance Plan. No matter how large or small the enterprise or what type of process is involved, from software development to teleservices; management must create a plan specifically devoted to quality assurance. The plan should cover the following points: a. At what points in the development/production process should quality be assessed? b. Who will carry out level one QA? c. Who will they report to? Who will manage them? d. What is their mandate? e. How/when/where shall QA findings be implemented in the development/production process? 2. If possible, implement a two-tiered approach where quality is systematically checked immediately at the offshore facility and then locally as well. Depending on the process, a certain percentage of output can be checked offshore and then a percentage of the QA’d output can then be double checked. 3. Utilize existing management and admin resources in the QA process. Especially if the budget is tight, utilize existing management to check output. Even if only a small percentage can be checked, the effect is exponential. Make sure that even this QA is scheduled and systematized with a clear reporting structure. 4. Make sure SLA’s are in place for each element of the process, including staffing, to be able to quickly remedy recurring quality issues effectively. 5. Use QA results to constantly improve processes. POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year
    Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
    Ultimately each business owner or manager must assess their individual situation and decide if the benefits of outsourcing outweigh the risks. Please contact us for a free, no-risk consultation. A member of our upper management team can help you explore the possibilities and opportunities in outsourcing to the Philippines. Share This: ]]>
    <![CDATA[ 10 Keys to Outsourcing in the Philippines ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=10 Sourcefit Outsourcing Blog: 10 Keys to Outsourcing in the PhilippinesI have tried to put together a quick reference guide here of strategies that I have seen implemented by companies that have been successful with their outsourcing projects in the Philippines. 1. Define your goals. Identify the metrics that need to be achieved for success and discuss these metrics clearly with your outsourcing provider. Your provider should be able to provide you with valuable input on reasonable production expectations. 2. Find the provider that feels right. Don’t focus too much on small price differences. Those differences don’t amount to much if your account is not receiving the attention it deserves or if you are unable to communicate well with your outsourcing provider. Make sure upper management at your provider is really invested in the success of your project. Don’t let yourself get stuck with middle management – and if it happens during the sales process you can be sure that it will happen once you have signed your contract. 3. Due diligence. Ask for references and follow them up. 4. Get your home team on board. If collaboration is required between offshore and in-house staff, make sure your in-house team buys into the concept. And if there are problems with in-house operations and processes; those same problems are likely to crop up again in outsourcing if they are not clearly addressed and resolved. 5. Communicate your vision. Your offshore staff wants to feel a part of something and they want to feel confident in product or service they are involved with. Your outsourced Philippine staff is highly adaptable and very willing to assimilate the corporate culture of their client. Make sure they have a clear set of expectations and try to remain consistent with those. 6. Create an efficient workflow and secure infrastructure. Implement secure tools for collaboration and electronic communication. Make sure that secure protocols are always followed. 7. Implement quality control. Quality control should be a discreet step in both offshore and onshore processes. Accountability must be constantly reinforced. 8. Assign a manager or designate a person in charge. There should be a clear pathway of communication and locus of responsibility within the organization. 9. Stay involved.You will always be able to provide special motivation to your team. Stay as involved as you can. Work with your provider to make your involvement efficient. 10. Start small and grow with success. If possible, test and refine your offshore processes on a smaller scale and then replicate successful strategies for managed growth.
    Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
    Getting Started is Easy and Risk-Free can help you find out more about beginning and implementing your own outsourcing strategy. Or you can have a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. We'll help you determine the opportunities and possibilities. Tweet: A quick guide on the strategies implemented by companies that have seen #success with #outsourcing in the Philippines http://ctt.ec/l948b+ Visit our other Channels: Sourcefit: Outsourcing in the Philippines on FacebookSourcefit: Outsourcing in the Philippines on TwitterSourcefit: Outsourcing in the Philippines on Google Plus ]]>
    <![CDATA[ 5 Tips for Recruiting Outstanding Offshore Customer Service Agents and IT Staff ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=9 Sourcefit Philippines, Outsourcing News:5 Tips for Recruiting Outstanding Offshore Customer Service Agents and IT StaffWith the rise of high quality VOIP services and powerful CRM applications that make remote collaboration easier than ever, more and more small and medium businesses are considering cutting costs by outsourcing their customer service and IT support staff to an offshore specialist. One of risks in following that path, of course, is that management will lose control of the process and that quality will suffer. And by quality I mean not only that quantifiable performance indicators will not be met, but also that the company’s unique vision and culture will not be communicated properly to the agents and subsequently to customers. The first step in averting that risk is to choose an outsourcing partner that offers close personal support and a custom solution for your business (such as Sourcefit!). In addition to that, however, there are some simple recruiting strategies that can help ensure that your offshore staff function as a seamless extension of your local team. 1.Look for past success. This might be promotions at past jobs, entrance to a top university, dean’s list, or some other accolade. The will to excel should show up somewhere. This is a must. 2.Make sure that your employee’s life will be reasonable. They must not live more than 1.5 hours away (and ideally 1 hour or less) and they must have stable care in place for their kids. 3.They should have experience on international accounts. Expectations for local Philippine accounts are quite different and even if the candidate’s English skills are adequate, the lack of international experience will lengthen training time and may have instilled habits that would need to be corrected. 4.Test, test, test. In addition to an English test, it is helpful to devise simple aptitude tests for any necessary skills. This provides an objective framework to compare candidates. 5.Introduce your performance metrics and expectations within the interview process. It’s never too early to begin communicating your expectations. If you follow these guidelines then you should be able to find staff who have the tools to get the job done and they will already be on their way to internalizing your expectations. Stay tuned for more tips on onboarding and integrating your new offshore staff. POPULAR POSTS Definitive Guide to Technical Support Outsourcing & Offshore IT Services Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO): Overview and Related Outsourced Services Guide to Banking BPO, Financial Services Outsourcing 24 Ways that SOPA and PIPA would affect SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet-based Jobs and Companies in the Philippines and Around the World Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year
    Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
    Please visit our Customer Service Outsourcing and IT Support: System / Network Admin Outsourcing pages to learn more. Or you can have a free, no-risk consultation with a member of our upper management team. We’ll help you explore the possibilities and opportunities. Share This: ]]>
    <![CDATA[ The Document Scanning Industry – The Role of Outsourcing in the Movement Toward Scanning-to-Process ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=8 <![CDATA[ Choosing an Outsourcing Destination: Philippines Versus India ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=6 Sourcefit Philippines Outsourcing Blog: Choosing an Outsourcing Destination: Philippines Versus IndiaIndia was one of the first countries to develop a thriving offshore outsourcing industry and still attracts over 30% of the offshore outsourcing market. India was so successful, in fact, that it came to symbolize all that was right and wrong with the industry as a whole. Recently, the Philippines has made significant inroads in the market, with 6.1 billion in sales in 2008, trailing only Canada and India. There are a growing number of choices now for companies looking to cut costs by outsourcing business processes to offshore locations; and the choice of a location is one of the most important aspects of the decision-making process. Having outsourced in both countries, I’d like to share my first-hand experiences with other entrepreneurs to help them make more informed decisions. When I first considered outsourcing, I was running a Netherland-based start-up focused on mobile phone applications. One of the most serious challenges we faced was finding developers with the proper experience in our local market. So we tried everything, including job sites, networking, and expensive recruiters but we just could not fill our openings. Then, one of our business partners mentioned that they had been working with a small firm in India and were having great success with their outsourcing, so I thought that perhaps this was the answer to our problems. And in many respects it was, but our outsourcing journey had actually just begun. We did have some success with our Indian outsourcing effort. The company we chose came highly recommended by someone we trusted and we were not disappointed. They were honest and diligent and they were able to recruit some talented developers. The problems we eventually encountered had more to do with the nature of our development and larger issues facing the Indian outsourcing market in general than with our outsourcing partner. Our applications were related to social media and, as a small company, we needed significant input from our development team on issues such as user interface and features. In the end, while the coding was solid, the cultural differences made it difficult for us to get what we needed from our team. They simply didn’t use social networking the same way that our target audience did and, while we took responsibility for product design, we felt like we were missing vital collaborative energy. The other problem we faced was high turnover. The labor market in India was so overheated that employees could not be counted on to remain long, which really undermined the continuity of our project. Finally, these issues caused us to assess other options, including Eastern Europe and the Philippines. We decided that communication issues would make things difficult for us in Romania or Hungary so we began looking more closely at the Philippines. Again we worked through acquaintances and we were able to find reputable local partners to begin our project. We again found a rich pool of specialized developers, though not as many as in India. But while there were fewer numbers of developers, there was also less competition for their services. Once we got a team up and running we found more stability in the Philippines than we had in India. We found our Philippine outsourced team to be much more westernized than our team in India. They were also malleable in terms of assimilating our corporate culture, but we had to be quite clear about our expectations and we had to provide close supervision over the team in order for them to internalize our goals and processes. Our Indian team was less flexible and our staff there tended to have less variation in their approach to their work. In the end we decided to make a long-term commitment to the Philippines and we closed our Indian operations, but this was a decision based on the unique needs of our business. For other applications and for other types of businesses India might make the better choice. The key is to find a partner you trust and be thorough in vetting your new staff. Make sure that not only can they carry out the processes you require, but also that they can fit properly within your organization and reinforce your unique approach and vision. To learn more, please read the top post Metro Manila Beats Mumbai - Philippine BPO’s growth for Q1 and the rest of the year.
    Is Outsourcing Right for your Business?
    The Benefits of Outsourcing provides a list of advantages that can be great for your business. Get a free consultation from an expert at Sourcefit today. Simply fill out the contact form here. Share This: ]]>