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Spring is a season of change for the BPO

April 23rd, 2014


For the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, this spring is bringing a crescendo of change. The orchestra is scouting talent, looking to fill three high-profile positions.

It was just announced that Michael Ludwig, the concertmaster, is going to be leaving after this season. The concertmaster is the lead violinist and, in effect, the orchestra’s second-in-command after the conductor. Ludwig, who is the scheduled soloist next Friday and Saturday, is leaving to pursue a solo career.

“Michael’s given us eight fantastic years. He’s been wonderful,” said Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “But it’s been on his mind, to launch a solo career. It’s now or never, if he’s going to make a go of it. So many orchestras have invited him, with great success. He’s been focused on a solo career, and he also wants to do more teaching. It’s sad for us, but we’re happy for him. He’s going to get a chance to do what he really wants to do.”

Ludwig, who grew up in Philadelphia and currently lives there, never quite put down roots in Buffalo. But since 2006, when he arrived here at age 39, he has been part of the soul of the BPO. The concertmaster has considerable influence over the tone of the orchestra, and Ludwig has been in the forefront of the Philharmonic on countless memorable occasions culminating in last spring’s triumph at Carnegie Hall.

Reached on the phone in Virginia, where he is performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Falletta and the Virginia Symphony, he grew nostalgic.

“I’m very happy for the years that I had in Buffalo, and all the wonderful experiences I had with JoAnn and my colleagues. It’s a great orchestra. It’s a very special environment with everyone who is part of the orchestra, part of the community,” he said.

He expressed gratitude for lasting friendships and for all the solo opportunities Falletta and the BPO have offered him. “From the moment we began working together, JoAnn really championed me as a violin soloist,” he said. “That means a lot to me. These years in Buffalo have really been the most fruitful years for me.”

Besides the concertmaster’s chair, two other prestigious positions also are open. The BPO is seeking a new associate conductor because Matthew Kraemer, the associate conductor, is leaving after this season. The orchestra also is thinking it is time to sign on a new pops conductor. That job has been vacant since it was held by the late Marvin Hamlisch.

“We’ve lucked out with Robert Franz and Matt [Kraemer] because they’ve done the pops so well, and the audience has responded well,” said BPO Executive Director Dan Hart. Franz was Kraemer’s predecessor as associate conductor. “They’ve been guys who can do it all – do the classics, then turn around and do pops. But it’s a busy schedule.”

He pointed out that more conductors are now specializing in pops, which is responsible for a large and growing part of the BPO’s audience.

“There used to be just a couple of pops guys – Doc Severinsen, Marvin Hamlisch. Now there’s a group coming up committing themselves to the pop idiom, kind of specializing in it. We’re looking for someone up-and-coming. We’d like someone specializing in pops, to grow that audience. Maybe an arranger, maybe someone who comes from the entertainment world. It’s pretty exciting.”

Source: buffalonews.com

BPO seeks new concertmaster and two new conductors

April 16th, 2014


There’s a new song coming from Kleinhans Music Hall, and it’s a song of suspense. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is scouting talent for three important, high-profile jobs.

Michael Ludwig, the concertmaster, is going to be leaving after this season, it was just announced. The concertmaster is the lead violinist and, in effect, the orchestra’s second-in-command next to the music director. Ludwig, who is the scheduled soloist on April 11 and April 12, is leaving to pursue a solo career.

“Michael’s given us eight fantastic years. He’s been wonderful,” said Music Director JoAnn Falletta. “But it’s been on his mind, to launch a solo career. It’s now or never, if he’s going to make a go of it. So many orchestras have invited him, with great success. He’s been focused on a solo career, and he also wants to do more teaching. It’s sad for us, but we’re happy for him. He’s going to get a chance to do what he really wants to do.”

Ludwig’s departure adds a fresh note of suspense to an interlude of transition for the BPO.

Recently, it was announced that Matthew Kraemer, the associate conductor, was leaving. Besides filling that position, the orchestra has just put out the word that it will also be seeking a pops conductor. The job of pops conductor has been vacant since it was held by the late Marvin Hamlisch. Kraemer recently had been doing both jobs.

“We’ve lucked out with Robert Franz and Matt [Kraemer] because they’ve done the pops so well, and the audience has responded well,” said BPO Executive Director Dan Hart. Franz was Kraemer’s predecessor as associate conductor. “They’ve been guys who can do it all – do the classics, then turn around and do pops. But it’s a busy schedule.”

He pointed out that more conductors are now specializing in pops, which is a big part of the BPO’s business.

Source: buffallonews.com

BPO giant Concentrix to create 1,000 new jobs in Belfast

April 11th, 2014


Belfast awoke to news this morning that 1,000 new jobs are to be created in the city by business process outsourcing (BPO) giant Concentrix. The company already employs 1,400 people in the city.  The expansion is understood to involve an investment of around €36m. The investment, supported by Invest Northern Ireland, is to be announced this morning by Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered the company almost stg£3.5million of support for the business services jobs, many of which will be multi-lingual and involve technical support services.  The Belfast operation supports 33 languages, from Arabic and Bahasa to Tagalog to Ukrainian and many more, including regional dialects. The expansion is believed to involve the purchase of the former Maysfield leisure centre, involving a €12m acquisition of the buildings and site.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is the biggest ever job creation project supported by Invest NI and is a tremendous endorsement of Northern Ireland’s credentials as an inward investment location. “Investments such as this provide valuable job opportunities for a variety of people, particularly those returning to work, those who have experienced a period of unemployment and young people.

“The company considered a number of other locations before choosing Belfast. The availability of a skilled workforce, the competitive property costs as well as the efficiency of the company’s existing operations and Invest NI’s support secured the investment for Northern Ireland.” Concentrix’s operations in Belfast currently service a number of high profile, blue-chip international companies.

Senior VP of Concentrix Philip Cassidy said: “Our strategy is to grow global revenues significantly over the next three years; this will require us to put in place over 1,000 new posts. Since we set up operations in Belfast, we have achieved excellent service delivery and now want to build on this to expand our European base.” “The support provided by Invest NI, the quality of people and the cost competitive business environment makes Northern Ireland a very attractive location for us.”

Source: siliconrepublic.com

India losing 70% incremental voice & call centre biz to Philippines: Study

April 9th, 2014


India is currently losing about 70% of all incremental voice and call centre business to competitors like Philippines and Eastern Europe and unless the domestic BPO (business process outsourcing) industry diversifies the delivery footprint to take advantage of low-cost centers, our competitors will further consolidate their position, according to an Assocham-KPMG joint study.

The study on Information and communications technology (ICT) jointly conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and KPMG says, ”IT-BPO companies could reduce the total operating costs by 20-30% by moving to a low-cost city within India with cost differential at around 10-15% for non-voice processes and upwards of 20% for voice processes.”

”It is estimated that in the ongoing decade India might lose about USD 30 billion in terms of foreign exchange earnings to Philippines which has become the top destination for Indian investors, thus the need to reduce costs and make operations leaner is increasingly becoming significant across the BPO industry,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham while releasing the findings of the study.

Reportedly, even a number of Indian firms have also set up substantial operations in Philippines which has a large pool of well-educated, English-speaking, talented and employable graduates (about 30% graduates in Philippines are employable unlike 10% in India where the training consumes considerable amount of time). ”Employees in Philippine call centers speak English fluently with a neutral accent which is what customers look for and that is something missing in Indian accents and that is a prime reason why BPO business is thriving in that country,” said Rawat. ”Cultural proximity to the US together with availability of talented manpower are key reasons as to why BPO companies prefer expanding their operations in Philippines.”

Expansion of non-English BPOs in Tier-2 and Tier-3 centers, which can provide services to the telecom and aviation sectors at low costs will increasingly play significant role in growth of domestic outsourcing industry, further noted the Assocham-KPMG study. ”Lower attrition rate in smaller towns is a big positive owing to lower recruiting and training costs, while there is comparatively high attrition rate of 30-35% in tier I cities,” said Rawat while quoting the study. ”Besides, even transportation costs for BPO employees and real estate prices in smaller cities are lower as compared to the metros.”

Cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Jaipur, Kozhikode, Nagpur, Nashik, Palakkad and others can help meet 50-60% of projected talent requirement of BPO industry over next five years, it added. In order to provide the content in local language there is need to address challenges of fonts, poor bandwidth and the sector specific need based services should be offered.

Besides, projects like the National e-governance Plan (NeGP), the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)  and other government projects are likely to give a fillip to the domestic BPO sector in smaller cities and towns if the industry is able to tap the talent successfully. The decision to set up BPO centers in Tier 2 and 3 cities requires striking the right balance between all elements and a patient, long-term approach is the key, added the Assocham-KPMG study.

Source: myiris.com/news

BPO Firm eClerx Deploys Fortinet Solutions

April 7th, 2014


Fortinet has announced that eClerx – an Indian firm providing knowledge process outsourcing and business process outsourcing – has deployed the FortiGatenetwork security platform to strengthen its security posture, reduce management complexity, and free up real estate in its data center. The outsourcing firm chose Fortinet’s solutions for its high performance, superior range of network security features ? including single sign-on and virtual domains ? and cost effectiveness. Before deploying Fortinet’s FortiGate appliances in its data center, eClerx was securing its organization through multiple dedicated firewalls, each implemented in its various departments. Facing strong business growth and the need for adding Internet connectivity and private networks in more departments, it became increasingly challenging for the IT department to manage disparate firewall devices. The IT department’s task was further complicated by the fact that during business continuity scenarios, employees needed to access their accounts from different machines and locations. To better serve its long-term business interests, eClerx decided to replace all its standalone firewall appliances with a network security solution that would deliver an integrated suite of security functions including firewall, VPN, IPS, antivirus, Web filtering and endpoint network access control. The objective was to benefit from broader protection, ease management and free up data center rack space. With this upgrade, the firm also wanted to implement user-based authentication through the integration of the new security appliances with the company’s active directory, so that users could have their security policies pushed to them irrespective of the machines they are using. Lastly, eClerx wanted the appliances to have built-in wireless controllers to ease wireless access management for employees needing mobile devices for their work. After evaluating solutions from key security vendors, eClerx chose to implement two FortiGate-1240B appliances. FortiAP thin wireless access points were used in conjunction with these appliances’ wireless controllers, said a Fortinet release. “These powerful yet easy to manage FortiGate appliances boosted our security capabilities while cutting down on complexity and management effort. The out-of-the-box single sign-on feature which lets us integrate our active directory with the appliance is particularly handy, as it gives users seamless access from any device and spares our network administrators the tedious task of deleting users who have left the organization,” said Sanjay Kukreja, Principal Technology Service at eClerx Services Limited. The FortiGate-1240B can accelerate 38 of its 44 ports to switching specifications, allowing organisations to enforce firewall policies between network segmentation points for layered security with switch-like performance. This provides seamless performance to eClerx employees while they access the Internet or their internal private network, resulting in higher productivity. FortiGate’s Virtual Domains (VDOM) feature allows the appliance to be split into multiple virtual instances, with each single instance functioning as an independent FortiGate unit. Each VDOM has its own physical interface, routing configuration and security policies, allowing eClerx to cater to different departments through a single FortiGate device. The VDOM feature has also enabled eClerx to secure their internal cloud hosting service. Rajesh Maurya, Fortinet’s Country Manager for India and SAARC, said: “The virtualization capability offered in our FortiGate appliances uniquely enables organizations to segment their network into multi-tenant environments for delivering best levels of protection and flexibility. This, along with our solution’s ideal mix of performance, feature set and manageability, allows us to gain strong traction in enterprises such as eClerx and be increasingly favoured over traditional point solutions.” eClerx, which employs more than 6,000 staff across six operations in India, provides data analytics, operations management, risk management and other business support services required by various industries. The Company has over 70 enterprise clients including more than 30 of the Fortune/FT 500.

Source: lightreading.in

BPO employee among 2 chain snatchers nabbed in Pune

March 31st, 2014


After witnessing 11 chain-snatching incidents in the past two days, the top brass of Pune police finally swung into action and directed all the police station in-charge and crime branch inspectors to conduct heavy patrolling and nakabandi in the city.

During one such nakabandi on Friday morning, the Bharti Vidyapeeth police arrested two chain snatchers, one of them a BPO employee, near Ramesh Society on Kondhwa-Katraj road.

The suspects have been identified as Riyaz Shaikh and Akshay Pandagal, both residents of Kondhwa. With their arrest, the police claimed to have solved two chain-snatching incidents.

Speaking to dna, deputy commissioner of police (zone II) Shirish Sardeshpande said, “The duo had snatched the gold chain of a woman who was riding a moped on Pune-Satara road on March 13.

The woman had sustained injuries in that incident. On Friday morning, we had set up a nakabandi point in the area. While checking the motorcycles, we found a lot of mud on the duo’s motorcycle. As a result, we interrogated them and found that they were involved in chain-snatchings in the city.”

“Shaikh is working in a BPO firm and is convent educated while Akshay is jobless. We are checking their backgrounds. Our interrogations are still on,” he added. 3 more incidents, booty worth ` 2.83L gone

Three chain-snatching incidents were reported during the past 48 hours in the city wherein suspects decamped with gold chains worth Rs 2.83 lakh.

In the first case, Neelima Rahul Sakunde ( 30), a resident of Sambhaji Society in Sahakarnagar has lodged a complaint saying that two unidentified motorcycle-borne chain snatchers forcibly took away her gold mangasutra worth Rs 25,000 on Thursday. According to the police, Neelima along with her small kid was on her way to a pharmacy shop when the goons snatched the mangalsutra and sped away.

In the second incident, Santoshi Satyanarayan Yerveli ( 33), a resident of Pimpale Nilakh, has lodged a complaint with the Sangvi police saying that two unidentified chain snatchers took away her gold mangalsutra estimated worth Rs 1.97 lakh on Thursday. Santoshi along with her son had stepped out of the house and gone to the market to buy vegetables when the suspects struck and decamped with the booty.

In the third incident, Sangeeta Sureshbabu (38), a resident of Range Hills, Khadki has lodged a complaint with the police saying that two unidentified bikers accosted her at Range Hills, snatched her gold chain worth Rs 60.000 and escaped on Thursday. Sangeeta was on her way to take darshan at a local temple when the incident took place. No arrests have been made so far.

Source: dnaindia.com/pune/report-bpo

Genpact Named a “Leader” in Insurance BPO by NelsonHall

March 25th, 2014


A global leader in transforming and running business processes and operations, today announced it was named a “leader” in industry analyst firm NelsonHall’s two recently-released NEAT rankings for the insurance market:  Life, Annuities and Pensions (LA&P) BPO and Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance BPO. 

NelsonHall’s vendor Evaluation and Assessment Tool, or “NEAT” score, is based on a combination of analyst assessments of a vendor’s “ability to deliver immediate client benefits” and feedback from clients on levels of partnership and “ability to meet future client requirements.” NelsonHall cites that continued regulatory changes has caused an inflection in the LA&P market forcing insurers to reduce core administration costs and make improvements to overall operational processes, which is driving the related BPO market. In addition, P&C insurers face additional challenges for reducing time to market and risk associated with new product introduction, improving combined ratio (CR) and establishing a presence in emerging markets. These factors also spur the need for BPO services.

NelsonHall estimates that Genpact serves approximately 25 insurance BPO clients across 13 countries and out of eight delivery centers. The firm further states that Genpact’s LA&P capabilities address the market’s challenges through significant investments in its Smart Enterprise Processes (SEPSM) proprietary business process management methodology and Smart Decision Services offerings.  In addition, Genpact’s extensive use of workflow across all transactional processes and strong policy administration capabilities has helped deliver quantifiable benefits to its clients. Genpact is strengthening its F&A services to its existing life insurance BPO clients, especially in areas such as GAAP, and will be further enhancing its analytics services in the areas of claims analytics, operations analytics and predictive modeling.

As the need for P&C transformation and comprehensive services drives P&C BPO requirements, NelsonHall reports that Genpact’s end-to-end P&C BPO services are bolstered by SEPSM, Six Sigma expertise, and experience in providing a broad range of services to clients. Genpact plans to make investments in analytics, claims and underwriting support, operational consulting, and loss prevention to further enhance its P&C BPO services.

Source: ews.gnom.es/pr/genpact

BPO sector on track to meet $25-billion revenue goal by 2016

March 21st, 2014


The country’s business-processing industry is on track to achieve its 2016 revenue goal of $25 billion, and that the industry would be able employ 1 million workers by the end of the year.

“We’re still on track to reach that 2016 goal. Estimates for end-2013 is at $15.5 billion and 900,000 employees. We will most likely reach 1 million by the end of this year,” said Gillian Joyce Virata, senior executive director of Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines.

Virata disclosed that an annual minimum 17-percent growth set last year has to be sustained to reach the 2016 goal.

Industry revenue was pegged at $13.2 billion end of 2012, according to an earlier news report.

Virata said challenges still remain for the industry whose stellar performance has driven the country’s economic growth along with overseas Filipino workers remittances.

“The same challenges remain; we’re trying to make the recruitment process more efficient to find people with more complex skills now that we are attracting work that’s more complex,” Virata added.

Source: Businessmirror/news.com

TeleTech Positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Customer Management Contact Center BPO for Fourth Consecutive Year

March 18th, 2014


A leading global provider of analytics-driven, technology-enabled customer engagement solutions, today announced that Gartner has positioned the company in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant. This is the fourth consecutive year that TeleTech has attained placement in the Leaders quadrant for Customer Management Contact Center Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), by TJ Singh, published 24 December 2013.

“We are all proud to be included in the Gartner Leaders quadrant for the fourth straight year,” said Ken Tuchman, TeleTech chairman and chief executive officer. ”TeleTech is committed to a simple vision:  empower companies to transform into customer experience leaders in their industries. In an increasingly commoditized and social global landscape, we have proven time and again that a quality customer relationship is the critical differentiator that not only generates more business, but also increases the economic value of the individual customer. We are honored to be recognized by Gartner once again, and will continue to invest in and optimize the comprehensive consulting, technology, care and growth services that we offer across many industries, and throughout the customer lifecycle.” 

Gartner’s criteria for leadership positioning in the Magic Quadrant for CM Contact Center BPO is reserved for companies that demonstrate “market-defining vision and the ability to execute against that vision through CM contact center BPO service offerings, business/pricing models and service delivery models. They have a superior understanding of client needs and of current market conditions, and they are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position.”

Source: news.gnom.es/bpo

Serco’s BPO Business Opens a New Delivery Center & Customer Experience Innovation Center in the U.S.

March 12th, 2014


Serco, the international service company, today announced that we have been selected by SIRVA, one of the world’s leading logistics and relocation services companies, as one of its global strategic partners and suppliers. Serco has been awarded a multi-million dollar long-term transformative managed services contract by SIRVA to provide lead generation, customer service and query resolution and safety and driver support services. Service will be delivered from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

This marks an expansion for Serco’s global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) division into the logistics arena in the United States. With this award, Serco will be establishing its customer contact center in the existing SIRVA facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana in order to support SIRVA’s moving services business and other Americas clients. We will also be establishing a new Customer Experience & Innovation Center in Fort Wayne, where we can demonstrate Serco’s global capabilities to new prospects and existing clients for leading edge technologies.  

“Global companies can locate anywhere, and it speaks as a testament to Indiana that so many of them choose to operate here,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “We are excited to welcome Serco to Indiana, where our low-tax business environment and diligent Hoosier workforce will serve them well as they look to grow and help other companies thrive.”

SIRVA is confident that Serco can provide enhancements to their operations. Effective March 9, Serco will work with SIRVA to transition all selected SIRVA employees located in Fort Wayne to Serco employees. With joining a global business, these new Serco employees will have the opportunity to expand their roles, grow their careers and diversify into different fields.

Serco Global Services Chief Executive in the Americas, Steve Sieke said: “We are delighted to welcome the employees of SIRVA to Serco. In the U.S., Serco is a leading supplier to the U.S. federal services market and many commercial clients with more than 10,000 employees in the Americas alone. With the addition of SIRVA and their logistics specialty, we now have a stronger platform from which we will be able to offer our customers more integrated end-to-end solutions. SIRVA customers will also benefit from improved customer satisfaction with the implementation of our best practices as we manage more than 600 million calls and 60 million transactions annually from our global customer contact centers.”

Source: http://news.gnom.es/pr/sercos-bpo-business