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Hinduja Global Solutions BPO to set up VC arm to tap into startup pool

September 20th, 2014

Hinduja Global Solutions, the business process outsourcing arm of the Hinduja Group, is setting up a corporate venture capital arm as it looks to tap into the stream of innovative technologies being created by startups across the globe. BPO firms are increasingly looking at startups to drive innovation, following the route charted by the Indian IT industry. Rival FirstSource Solutions has also said it will look to invest in analytics startups and has been evaluating a few.

“We understood that there are companies out there that have innovative technologies that need funding and access to markets and that we couldn’t build all these solutions in house. So the corporate venture arm helps us achieve that,” Partha DeSarkar, chief executive of Hinduja Global, told ET.

The company has set aside about $20-30 million and has created a team of 10 people who will spearhead the investments. It is looking at startups with solutions in analytics, healthcare and multi-channel customer care among others and geography is not a barrier.

“We will look where ever the innovation is — whether in Silicon Valley, Israel and even India.

But we will only do second-stage investing, once the idea is proven,” DeSarkar added.

“It is too early to say the effect this will have.

But we have seen more BPO companies talk about partnering and investing in start-ups but we will have to see if these investments will move the needle,” an analyst with a Mumbaibased brokerage told ET.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

TCS opens Saudi Arabia’s first all-woman BPO centre

September 15th, 2014

India’s largest software exporter TCSBSE -1.77 % today said it has opened Saudi Arabia’s first all-female business process centre, which will provide employment to up to 3,000 women in three years. Saudi Aramco and GE are the centre’s first customers, TCS said in a statement here. Both the clients have already surpassed their target of recruiting 100 women each, while the total number of those employed at the centre stands at 300, it said. The Riyadh-based 3,200-sq .. mt facility will offer customers specialised finance and accounting, human resources, materials supply and office services to improve their operational efficiency, it said. The centre was announced in September last year. Saudi Arabia’s Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, Deputy Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Prince Saud bin Khalid, Saudi Aramco’s President and Chief Executive Khalid Al Falih and GE’s Vice Chairman John Rice, were present on the occasion, the statement said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Success Factors in Evaluating BPO Providers

September 11th, 2014

The fundamental question that needs to be answered in any evaluation is: ?what in fact are you trying to achieve?? It may sound like an obvious question but in many cases this becomes the root cause of many problems in supplier evaluations. There are normally multiple stakeholders with different requirements during the evaluation process. For example, the business stakeholder would normally be focused around the results a provider will deliver but the procurement manager will be focused around getting the lowest price and the technology stakeholder may be focused around the easiest integration with systems. Often these different focus areas can create tension during the evaluation as they may not always lead to the same evaluation outcome of a provider.

It is critical that the evaluation criteria is determined using clearly defined parameters. These parameters need to encompass traditional scientific elements such as mathematical weightings and non-traditional elements such as relational and experiential scoring. Weightings need to be applied to various areas of the evaluation to ensure there is clear agreement as to what outcomes are most desired.

What we have found is that over the years the evaluation criteria of providers has begun to incorporate more non-traditional elements such as the nature of the relationship with the providers as more sophisticated companies become aware of the importance of the relationship element between the provider and their company.

This summary provides an outline of some of the less obvious elements considered in a BPO supplier evaluation that often play a major role in the ultimate value extracted from the engagement with the provider.

Source: business2community.com

No job as nurse? Try BPO, suggests Pasig Rep. Romulo

September 8th, 2014

MANILA - Nurses still looking for opportunities to gainfully practice their profession should consider applying for well-paying clinical service and medical coding jobs in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said in a news release Sunday.

?We have a growing number of BPO companies here, particularly those servicing the US healthcare industry, that are recruiting nurses for local employment,? said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.

?We are hopeful that these job openings will somewhat help ease joblessness among nurses,? Romulo said.

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

?These outsourcing jobs for nurses require strong communication as well as analytical skills, and the readiness to work in shifts,? said Romulo, a key backer of the booming BPO industry.

Romulo said Teaneck, New Jersey-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. is signing up ?nursing associates? to build up its global clinical services.

Cognizant has five offices in the cities of Pasig, Taguig, Makati, and Cebu.

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Romulo said Dublin, Ireland-based Accenture PLC is drafting Filipino nurses for local employment as ?clinical support analysts.?

Accenture favors the hiring of local nurses who have passed the US State Boards of Nursing Inc.?s National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and US-registered Filipino nurses with active or inactive US licenses.

The largest multinational BPO firm operating in the Philippines, Accenture already has more than 35,000 Filipino employees in 16 offices in Metro Manila and Cebu.

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

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

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

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

Source: www.interaksyon.com

Rockefeller grant ups BPO skills

September 4th, 2014

The business process outsourcing (BPO)/contact centre industry association says the grant will support its digital BPO learning platform. The Gaming Environment for Online Recruitment and Career Empowerment in South Africa (GEFORCE SA) initiative uses game mechanics to promote learning content.

Users will get involved in the workings of the BPO industry via various game components and animation. The initiative will focus on career awareness, talent and skill identification, and job placements. “Skills development is major focus area for the BPO industry,” says Gareth Pritchard, CEO of BPeSA. “If the industry keeps growing at its current rate, there could potentially be a shortage of staff which would have a serious impact on new investment coming into the country.

  “Gamification consists of a platform that can help us reach thousands of learners in a relatively short space of time, which is what we aim to capitalise on. The Rockefeller Foundation has seen the potential of this industry, and we are excited to have them on board as we pursue more opportunities.”

According to BPeSA, the country’s BPO/contact centre industry employs over 210 000 people and is one of the major sources of employment for the youth market. It is anticipated the project will reach about 15% of the total talent pool, playing a key role in the development of the industry, it notes. “We are delighted to be partnering with BPeSA to expand opportunities for SA’s disadvantaged youth by building the critical digital skills required to prepare them for the jobs of today and the future,” says Mamadou Biteye, MD of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa regional office.

“Through our Digital Jobs Africa initiative, we are working with a number of organisations in SA to grow this industry and have aligned all these projects to ensure they have the maximum impact on the skills landscape in SA. “Though gamification is still a relatively new concept in SA, it is one that will benefit an increasingly tech-savvy talent pool, and serves as an ideal platform to train and develop talent on mass,” notes Biteye.

Formula D interactive, which develops learning concepts and products aimed at making education fun and accessible, will be involved in the development of the platform. GEFORCE SA will be launched in 2015 and rolled out across SA, with a long-term strategy to expand into Africa.

Source: www.itweb.co.za

Learning from the Masters

September 1st, 2014

Heavy competition and the economic downturn notwithstanding, TCS has managed a 6.3 per cent reduction in the average employee cost every year over 2007-2013, as per HfS Research. The data shows that the percentage of freshers hired increased from 51 per cent to 81 per cent during this period - which the research firm points out, is the likely reason for maintaining such a low headcount cost. To cite the report, “hiring more freshers gives TCS the flexibility to deploy them in lower value and transactional activities thus freeing other high calibre experienced resources for higher value work.”

What has helped TCS reduce costs during a slowdown has, in fact, been a winning trope for an unrelated industry - manufacturing - since its early days. And why single out IT consultancies? A look at the hiring policy across the services sector - whether we speak of IT, ITES, management consulting, hospitality, telecom, BPO or even retail - reveals it has been borrowing freely from rules either pioneered by, or are identified with, the manufacturing segment. The Strategist takes a closer look at some of the key HR lessons the services sector has borrowed from manufacturing or even built upon.

A fresher-heavy manpower plan is almost as old as the manufacturing industry itself. Unskilled labour engaged in activities such as packing, material movement, maintenance etc is usually contracted out to graduates and undergraduates. However, for roles that require specific skills - such as welding, carpentry, plumbing, machine operations, fork-lift truck driving etc - training is important. Early on, to comply with labour laws and sometimes due to cyclical/seasonal product needs, manufacturing realised it was better to keep inducting young people and offer them opportunities for career growth within the organisation as opposed to lateral hiring. “Manufacturing has been doing this to save costs and to better manage people’s careers,” says Rajeshwar Tripathi, chief people officer, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Source: business-standard.com

India claws back BPO business from arch rival Philippines

August 26th, 2014

India has watched a large exodus of BPO business to the Philippines thanks to the country’s more employable youth who are equipped with fluent English and perfect American accents. Now, however, companies are beginning to migrate back due to a greater need for integrated tech services.

Today, technology is the great enabler for pretty much every kind of business proposition being schemed. However everyone is more or less also aware of how brutal the rapidly evolving world of technology can be on the fate of existing businesses—something I wrote about here when looking at the future of Xerox through the lens of the diverging fortunes of Kodak and Fuji. In India, the trajectory of former phone tzar and India’s most beloved handset maker Nokia illustrates this example more poignantly than any other company. But for an entire industry to go up in smoke almost overnight is surreal – and that’s exactly what seems to have happened to India’s Business Process Outsourcing Industry, especially its voice based businesses.

According to India’s top industry apex body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the country witnessed a massive 50 percent flight of BPO business—currently pegged at around US$25 billion—last year. This figure includes both low-end voice businesses as well as back-office accounting and financial type work, but the main flight is in voice-based businesses. The primary culprit? India’s nemesis, the Philippines. Apparently, the Americans did a better job of colonizing them than the Brits did us, since the country’s large, English speaking populace there can speak the language fluently and with a natural American accent. Moreover, 30 percent of the graduates in Philippines are are employable compared to 10 percent in India, where a lot of time is spent on the painful task of training new recruits in an industry where churn rates have reached an astonishing 55 percent.

BPO here to stay

August 22nd, 2014

Jomari Mercado of IT & Business Process Association Philippines (IBPAP) strongly contradicted this:  “The Philippine IT-BPM industry continues to grow and as of the end of 2013 contributed $16.1B to the economy while providing employment for over 917,000 Filipinos. The voice segment continues to be robust, accounting for 62 percent of the total revenue in 2013.  This sector grew 15 percent year-on-year while the entire industry posted an impressive 22-percent growth. This is in contrast to the global IT-BPM market which grew 10 percent in 2013.” The industry forecast exceeds one million employees by next year.

I learned from Marife Zamora of Convergys Philippines that they now have 55,000 employees in 34 operating sites. These numbers are indicative of the robust growth of the local industry. That is 40 percent of the global headcount of Convergys: 125,000 operating in 31 countries.

To insure competiveness, the IBPAP developed Service Management Program (SMP), a 21-unit minor designed to increase competitiveness  in the global market. SMP is being rolled out across 17 state universities and colleges with support from CHED. Further there is now a tie up with the UP Open University to convert the SMP courseware to digital (www.upou.edu.ph). The Next Wave Cities Program, encouraging more IT-BPM work to be distributed outside Metro Manila, has borne fruit in the cities of Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo.

The same ET article stated “Also helping the shift back to India is the fact……that the newer multichannel offerings — which combine email and chat – have a technology aspect that is better suited to delivery out of India. The Philippines had an edge in pure voice customer service. But if you have technology-enabled services for customer support, or for services like technology support, for that we see the center of gravity moving back here,” said KS Viswanathan, vice-president at industry body Nasscom. Convergys, a US BPO company with centers in India, is one of the companies adding agents to its multi-channel customer service offerings in India, its India head Hanumant Talwar told ET.

Krista M. Boyle, VP of Brand and Communications in the Convergys US head office, also responded to the same ET article. “Mr. Talwar was not contacted by Ms. Mendonca to comment on that particular article. The quote ascribed to him was from March 2014 and was taken out of context for the purposes of the ETarticle.”  Ms. Boyle clarified that Convergys continues to grow in the Philippines and India. Both countries are a critical part of their strategy to ensure that they have the appropriate global footprint from which to serve clients and their customers.

Source:  hilstar.com

Singaporean BPO exec dies after jumping from his condo unit in Global City

August 18th, 2014

A Singaporean man jumped to his death from his condominium unit in Taguig City Wednesday morning, Inquirer Radio reported.

Inquirer Radio?s Erwin Aguilon reported that Qiao Sheng Zhang , 28, a manager in a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, leaped from his 22nd-floor unit in Crescent Park Residences in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

According to the police, Zhang had called a friend in Singapore, saying he would commit suicide. The friend called a female common friend residing in Makati City asking her to check on Zhang. But before she could reach Crescent Park, Zhang had already made good his threat.

Police were still trying to find out the suicide?s motive.
Source: globalnation.inquirer.net

HfS Blueprint 2014: Supply Chain Management BPO

August 13th, 2014

Global Solutions, LLC (HGS) today announced that it was ranked in the “Winners Circle” by HfS Research, a leading analyst authority addressing global business and IT services, in its first-ever Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO Blueprint Report for the excellence in innovation and execution of supply chain processes. “HAVI Global Solutions is part of the Winner’s Circle of service providers in our inaugural Blueprint on Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO because they have proven capabilities in this market which were continually cited by clients and potential buyers as being very differentiated,” said Charles Sutherland, EVP of Research for HfS Research and co-author of the recent SCM BPO Blueprint. “We saw how HAVI Global Solutions is continually working to improve its delivery and offerings and is focused on delivering value beyond cost reduction alone for clients. We think they are one of the top SCM firms in the marketplace and are excited to see where they go next in pursuit of innovation and execution of supply chain processes.”

“We are honored to be named as part of the Winners Circle by an organization as highly regarded as HfS Research”, said Dan Musachia, president at HAVI Global Solutions. “Every day our employees work with clients across the globe to help improve the performance of their supply chain. This type of recognition helps remind us that we really are on the cutting edge of our industry, delivering tangible value to our clients.” HfS Blueprint Report ratings are based on feedback from a broad range of stakeholders with specific weightings based on 1,355 crowd-sourced responses, including BPO enterprise buyers, service providers, industry influencers and analysts. The Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO HfS Blueprint Report is the first application of HfS Blueprint methodology to the supply chain services marketplace.

The report was based on interviews with buyers who have evaluated service providers and experienced their services, sell-side executive briefings, the HfS State of Outsourcing Survey, and publicly available information. More than 3,200 data points were collected from more than 200 live supply chain management BPO contracts, covering 13 major service providers with additional smaller profiles on 11 additional service providers in SCM BPO. Data was collected in Q2 2014, covering buyers, providers, and advisors/influencers of supply chain management BPO.

About HAVI Global Solutions

HAVI Global Solutions, LLC (HGS), is a professional services company dedicated to helping our customers grow smarter by delivering strategic and operational competitive advantage from idea to end-of-life. Leveraging our industry-leading experience, global reach, expert competencies and capabilities in packaging, promotions, analytics, supply chain, sustainability, recycling and waste solutions, we help our customers better manage risk, achieve operational excellence and realize their growth strategies while addressing the most demanding, complex challenges across their business value chain. For more information about HAVI Global Solutions.

Source: digitaljournal.com