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[ 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. Outsourcing certain services to a local or overseas provider can be a powerful tool for any business. 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.
Increasing 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.
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<![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.
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<![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. 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.
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<![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.

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<![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. ]]>
<![CDATA[ PROMOTING EQUALITY, PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO ]]> http://www.sourcefit.com/?pg=blogs&nid=19 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.” ]]> <![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.
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    <![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.
    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. Tweet: 5 Keys to Improving Quality in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing http://ctt.ec/u7YPQ+ 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[ 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.
    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. Tweet: Strategies to ensure that your offshore #CustomerService & #IT staff work as a seamless extension of your local team http://ctt.ec/19op6+ 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[ 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