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Mobile Revolution 2.0 to open up 30 million new BPO jobs

January 16th, 2015

The fag end of 2014 was specked with amazing events, unprecedented in India’s business history. It marked the next phase of mobile telephony revolution in India and saw the launch of a major mobile-based e-governance initiative.

For those born in 1990s, the first leg of the mobile revolution, which began 20 years ago with grant of mobile licences and that generated revenues of Rs 4,29,087 crore in fiscal 2014 (including Rs 1,95,294 crore telecom equipment market), doesn’t mean much, except that they have personal mobile phone, an email identity and an amazing number of applications to stay connected and to play.

What will be noticed, used and appreciated by this generation are applications like MobileOne launched by the Karnataka government that promises to place governance at the fingertips of citizens. It promised to integrate nearly 600 Government-to-Citizen and over 4,000 Business-to-Customer services and make them accessible on any mobile phone, irrespective of the operator by dialling just 3 digits -161-from anywhere in the country.

When adopted by departments and undertakings of other states e-governance services could enhance transparency and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of taking India into the top 50 nations in terms of ease of doing business by the end of 2016 from 93 just announced by Forbes and 142 assigned by the World Bank (June 2014) study.

Many of us, born before 1960s, would recall taking a long walk to complain about power-cuts and lack of water supply even in the state capitals, because we did not have a phone at home. The irony is that the ministers for telecommunications proudly stood up in parliament, session after session, during question hour to share the number of Indians on the waiting list for landline connections. What usually took 20 years is today possible in a matter of hours.

It all changed with the  Telecom Policy of 1994 — from barely a few lakh phone connections to nearly 900 million Indians connected via mobiles, from just three helpline numbers –100 for Police, 101 for Fire and 102 for Ambulance — to an innumerable 1-800 Helpline, Consumer Care and Government Services numbers. In these 20 years, the world has changed for millions of consumers and those who serve them on these helplines.

By serving the ‘Business-to-Customer’ opportunity, the e-Services, also commonly referred to as ‘Shared Services’ has flourished — from technical help desks to fix computer bugs, selling dematerialized securities over phone, getting a technician to fix a broken microwave or a washing machine, tele-checking for a flight to seeking a dental appointment in a Delhi hospital by calling a centralized call centre in a remote location. An urban citizen could typically be connecting with customer service agents in call centres or shared services centres on two to six occasions on any given day.

Along with a burgeoning telecom industry an entire customer service experience movement has been triggered. Conservative estimates suggest that nearly 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 young Indians employed in Shared Customer Services serve over a billion people in the domestic market alone, bringing in revenues of Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 crore. (This does not include the dedicated call centres set up by institutions like Banks).

Increasing options, cut throat competition and growth of e-commerce has changed market dynamics and there is a shift of power from the marketer to the consumer.

E-commerce firms and fulfilment agencies are already engaging with the professional shared services companies to improve service experience. Banks discourage their customers to walk into a branch by offering dedicated call centres and help line numbers.

Indian consumers now expect a superior customer service experience irrespective of whether the service provider is in the private sector or the government.

By bringing in more services under e-governance, the government is winning the confidence foreign investors and companies. It could help GDP to grow from the sub five per cent levels in the fiscal 2014 to 5.5 per cent in the fiscal 2015 and 6 per cent in 2016.

Shared services industry to be big employer

The multi-mode mobile governance platform promises to let citizens pay utility bills, property tax and traffic challans; apply for a driving licence, passport and pan card; and book rail and bus tickets was aptly called a ‘unique initiative that signals a new era in governance’, by President Pranab Mukherjee.

This pioneering initiative signals a new era of delivery of citizens’ services. Hundreds of start-ups have already contributed applications to this platform and thousands of young technology companies can offer equally innovative and cost-effective offerings.

When ‘Government-to-Citizen’ applications begin to roll out across the country over the next few months the shared services industry will see an expansion not many would have envisaged. The Karnataka government team driving this application has just five members, but as the 600 Government-to-Citizen and 4,000 Business-to-Customer Services go live, it will open up job opportunities for over a million others over the next few years.

If Karnataka with just five per cent of India’s population can bring in so many jobs, launch of Government-to-Citizen services in other digitally empowered states will open up jobs for nearly 20 to 30 million young Indians.

These back of the envelope estimates are corroborated by the fact that a mature consumer market like the United States employs nearly 20 million in its shared services space serving a population of 316 million.

India could well be opening up job opportunities in Shared Services (a la BPO or Call Centre) industry with clear focus on customer or citizen service experience for 20 to 30 million people. It is paramount to enhance the status of Citizens from underserved to the served as it help India move into the top 50 countries in terms of ease of doing business.

It is best that the country enhances the ease offering services for its own citizens. The businesses will automatically embrace it. It is perhaps the best time to bring India’s advantages into a sharper focus. The positive outcomes would naturally lead to businesses availing these services and help spread the message of ease of doing business with India-efficiently and transparently.

 

Source: businesstoday

Infosys BPO removes CFO Abraham Mathews for violating code of conduct

January 10th, 2015

BENGALURU: The CEO and finance chief of Infosys BPO have left the company after the parent discovered what it termed as failure to comply with its “code of conduct”, the first such incident at India’s second-largest software firm.

Infosys, widely respected for its transparency and  corporate governance standards, appointed veteran executive Anup Uppadhayay as new CEO replacing Gautam Thakkar who resigned on “moral grounds”.  CFO Abraham Mathews was asked to leave after he failed to report fraud by an employee at one of Infosys BPO’s subsidiaries. Mathews is being replaced by Deepak Bhalla.

“I am very confident that under the leadership of Anup and Deepak, our BPO practice will become an exemplar on how business processes should run,” the statement quoted Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka as saying. Thakkar, one of the 13 executive vice presidents at Infosys, will leave the company after November 30, until when he will work with the newly-appointed chief executive.

According to people familiar with the development, the employee at one of the subsidiaries of the back office committed “non-material financial” fraud by overbilling one of its clients. This, in the normal course, should have been reported by CFO Mathews. The employee who is alleged to have committed the fraud has been sacked.

Infosys asked Mathews to leave a week ago after a “non-satisfactory” response from the executive.

Mathews declined to comment but a person close to him said that “his integrity remains intact” and this was “something not within his control”. Uppadhayay was earlier senior vice-president and global head of delivery for financial services while Bhalla was associate vicepresident and head of corporate accounting group.

source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Central government to push for BPOs in small towns, cities

January 5th, 2015

The central government has decided to set up Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres in small towns across the country to boost their economic development, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Patna on November 8, 2014.

“I have directed my officials to formulate guidelines regarding establishing BPO centres in small towns and cities across India like Gorakhpur, Ghazipur, Sagar and similar places in Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal,” Prasad said.

Tax exemptions would be provided under the new guidelines for BPOs and the process for opening them would be liberalised, he said, adding this would be done adhering to BJP’s Lok Sabha poll manifesto to focus on the development of Eastern and Northeastern region.

Pitching for eight to 10 BPOs in Patna, he said proper power and connectivity would be needed for such projects.

Prasad was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of an incubation facility at the Software Technology Park(STP). It would cost Rs 10 crore, and would be ready in 18 months.

The minister sought more STPs in different parts of Bihar and said the central government wanted to open them at Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. He requested Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was also at the dais, to provide land for it.

Manjhi, on his part, said the state government was ready to provide land for STPs at Bhagalpur and Darbhanga engineering colleges.

Expressing happiness at this, Prasad said if the state government provides land, his ministry would open branches of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) at Muzaffarpur and Buxar in the state.

Global (BPO) Business Document Work Process Management Market 2014 to 2020

December 16th, 2014

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According to the analyst, Business document work process management (BPO) supports providing a platform for use by IT. Systems are implemented in a market marked by converged paper and electronic information that needs to be converted to electronic data. Business document work process (BPO) sits on widely dispersed resources that are heterogeneous. IT resources are heterogeneous because each business seeks to utilize technology that is best of breed for solving the particular set of competitive situations they address. This creates a variety of solutions in each business.

Worldwide markets are poised to achieve significant growth as the cloud computing utility infrastructure and the smart phone communications systems for apps are put in place, continuing to drive the use of electronic document replacement of all paper documents. BPO Market size at $6.5 billion in 2013 is anticipated to reach $13.6 billion by 2020. Significant growth is driven by the transition to electronic documents and the continuing need to merge the information contained in paper documents with server information, smart phone information, and social media information. Cloud computing market penetration is providing a thrust for creating electronic formatting of information contained on paper.

Xerox dominates business document work process management (BPO). Work document processing represents digitization of paper documents.  The techniques for document management, content management of unstructured data can be applied to the paper documents once they are digitized.  Analytics can then be applied to the information contained in the documents.  From time to time the documents can be input into a database and handled as structured data in tables.

Outsourcing services provide solutions for business document work process management (BPO).  As more electronic forms are created, documents are becoming increasingly electronic.  They still need to be used in a variety of ways.  Medical records provide some significant challenges to protect patient identity. Scanners have been used to convert paper documents to electronic formats.  Production level scanners are rated at 8,000 pages per day.  Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the term applied to re-purposing functions.  Hardware that is necessary to make document work process automation possible has become commoditized.  Software and services are used to implement a solutions based competitive environment.

Document work process market driving forces relate to the shift to IT integrated systems management of electronic information.  Paper and electronic document processing is set to move to web site and electronic document management. As paper documents become less used and converted to electronic forms from the outset, document work process markets are set to grow.  Hardware scanners of paper documents have become commodity units as at the same time paper is being replaced by electronic forms.  Software is dominating the document work process industry.  As tablets and smart phones proliferate, electronic forms available as apps are not far behind.   With the advent of apps and sophisticated software, document work process shifts to an all-electronic business.

Source:  www.syscon.com

Global IT Services and BPO Market in the Government Sector 2014-2018

December 12th, 2014

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IT services help customers to accomplish their requirements and improve the business goals and activities while BPO consists of subcontracting the business processes of an organization to a third-party vendor that has expertise in the required domains. IT and BPO services are required in the Government sector to manage IT systems and improve business-related processes and methodologies. IT and BPO Service outsourcing supports the Government sector to perform various functions, including taxation, pensions, asset registration, welfare programs including financial assistance for the unemployed, and other e-governance initiatives in a cost-effective manner.

TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global IT Services and BPO market in the Government sector to grow at a CAGR of 4.60 percent over the period 2013-2018.

Covered in this Report
The Global IT Services and BPO market in the Government sector is can be segmented into two division: IT services and BPO. This report covers information about the market share of the Global IT Services and BPO market in the Government sector by category. The report also covers information about the geographical segmentation of the Global IT Services and BPO market in the Government sector based on the three key regions.
TechNavio’s report, the Global IT Services and BPO Market in the Government Sector 2014-2018, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, and the EMEA and APAC regions; it also includes the Global IT Services and BPO market landscape in the Government sector and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

Source: itnewsonline.com

BPO firms cited for creating more jobs

December 9th, 2014

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Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, chair of the House committee on higher and technical education, has cited the country’s 45 largest business process outsourcing (BPO) providers and the back offices of global firms for driving the creation of new high-paying jobs. “These leading players in the BPO and information technology … sector are now among the nation’s biggest employers,” said Romulo. “They have helped ease joblessness among fresh college graduates and young professionals in a big way.” Romulo also said he is counting on the 45 firms to spearhead the generation of more than 248,000 new jobs in the sector over the next two years. The BPO companies’ combined revenues reached P250 billion ($5.9 billion) in 2013. Romulo is author of the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which has encouraged transnational firms to either establish new back offices in Manila, or to transfer their noncore, business support activities to independent BPO firms operating here. The BPO and IT-enabled services industry now directly employs 1.052 million Filipinos. The industry is projected to yield up to $27 billion in annual revenues and engage over 1.3 million Filipinos workers by 2016, according to the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines, which has 229 member firms.

Source: business.inquirer.net

Kinetic BPO Wins Gold Award for Quality at International Quality Crown Convention in London

December 2nd, 2014

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The International Quality Crown Award (IQC) is presented to each company or organization as an entity for corporate achievement, to recognize leadership, quality, innovation, excellence, technology, customer service and prestige. For this purpose, a voting process was carried out during the BID World Congress with meetings in Paris, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and New York over the past ten months, based on one or several of the following concepts: The QC100 principles, Customer Satisfaction, Leadership, Technology, Best Practice, Business Results, ISO 9000 and TQM. Kinetic BPO was the only company in the United Arab Emirates to be awarded the prestigious International Quality Award this year.

CEO and founder of Kinetic BPO, Joe Tawfik, said: “I am humbled and proud of this award. Receiving public recognition for our work and efforts in the area of Customer Experience Management and Business Process Outsourcing is not something we seek, but always welcomed. Our greatest reward is helping our clients in the GCC raise their Customer Experience standards to international levels.”

Kinetic BPO decided to relocate its head office to Dubai from Sydney, Australia in 2013. The decision to locate its head office in the UAE was based around the Company’s belief that the UAE and surrounding countries like Saudi Arabia, will escalate their global rankings for Customer Service in the coming years. “Many countries in the GCC have genuine commitments to improve the overall Customer Experience for citizens and private sector customers. We are seeing a number of transformation projects in the marketplace to elevate the Customer Experience. Kinetic BPO specialises in this field, including channel transformation in areas such as the Contact Centre and retail branches. Our depth of experience and proven track record in the GCC has no doubt contributed towards Kinetic BPO receiving the Gold category Award at the International Quality Crown Convention,” added Mr. Tawfik.

About Kinetic BPO:

Headquartered in Dubai, Kinetic BPO is a specialist Customer Experience (CX) company focused on providing strategic solutions for companies and government organisations wanting to elevate their customer experience to a level of market differentiation. Our team is comprised of leading international professionals who have a proven track record for implementing customer experience programs that generate sustainable economic value to the organisation. We partner with our clients to help transform their business so they can achieve their CX goals faster. Kinetic provides the expertise and the execution know-how to design and implement CX solutions that are practical, aligned with local market expectations, and able to generate sustainable economic value.

Source: www.prnewswire.com

November 26th, 2014

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As central business districts in Metro Manila continue to suffer from congestion due to limited space, small and medium-sized developers or “boutique developers” are looking elsewhere to attract business process outsourcing (BPO) firms. These boutique developers are constructing medium-scale office projects in strategic neighborhoods outside the central business districts such as Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. One developer, Fabella Realty Corporation, built the nine-storey Shaw Center and tapped a major retailer to operate a supermarket and department store on the retail floors.

The fourth to ninth floors of the building are BPO-ready office floors with a typical floor plate of 2,200 square meters. According to JLL local director Phillip Anonuevo, office buildings like the Shaw Center are attractive to BPOs because these buildings are just a ride or two away from the residential districts of Mandaluyong, San Juan, Makati as well as Quezon City. The Shaw Center is the fourth BPO building along Shaw Boulevard. Other smaller-scale BPO-ready officers are found in Kamuning, Quezon City and similar neighborhoods.

“A location near the homes of potential employees is considered a plus by BPOs now keenly competing amongst themselves for employees. As the metropolis continues to suffer from congestion brought about by record economic growth and limited new infrastructure, work places closer to home simply make better sense,” said Anonuevo. The presence of a supermarket, department store and dining outlets within the building is also attractive to BPO firms because these establishments cater to the lifestyle and spending power of BPO employees.

The office floors, in turn, are a steady source of foot traffic for the retailers. “It becomes a win-win situation for both the retailer seeking new markets and the BPO employer in need of new hires,” Anonuevo added. Facilities within office buildings like Shaw Center also match those within the established business districts. Shaw Center is fully equipped for 24/7 BPO operations with redundant generator sets, VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) air-conditioning, and six high speed elevators.

The building is also designed to accommodate only one or two BPO locators, which discourages poaching of employees, according to Anonuevo. “We foresee more buildings like this altering the landscape of the city and the character of residential communities,” he said. BPO firms that choose to locate in lower-rent residential-commercial areas like Mandaluyong are also generating significant savings on office rent, which is another advantage for the BPO industry, which is expected to keep expanding beyond 2020.

Source: bs-cbnnews.com/business

Samsung SDS in push for global logistics biz

November 17th, 2014

Samsung SDS Co., which debuted on the main stock exchange on Friday, is going overseas as a provider of logistics outsourcing, backed by its controlling stakeholder Samsung Electronics Co. as a solid revenue source, analysts said. Its shares took a dizzying ride after the main bourse opened, with the price nearly doubling to 367,000 won (US$333.30) from the initial offering of 190,000 won before they nosedived 11 percent by noon from profit-taking. They closed down 13.82 percent at 327,500 won. The listing of Samsung SDS spurred a clamor among investors who flocked to a two-day preorder last week, betting that the firm will play a pivotal role in the succession of Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Lee Jay-yong from his father Lee Kun-hee, South Korea’s richest man.

Established in 1985 as an IT services arm of Samsung Electronics, now the world’s top smartphone and memory chip maker, Samsung SDS has expanded its logistics outsourcing business, also known as Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO). The BPO refers to a type of supply management outsourced to a third party, in which Samsung SDS as the contracted firm takes care of its client company’s entire supply chain spanning inventory to transportation. Its flagship BPO system, named Cello, manages the entire overseas supply chain of Samsung Electronics, which accounts for about 60 percent of Samsung SDS’ revenue. Analysts expect a double-digit growth in SDS’ BPO business in the next couple of years from increasing global demand. “We forecast a 30 percent growth on an annual basis until at least 2016 when it plans to finish the installment of its BPO platform in Samsung Electronics’ overseas footholds,” said Yoon Hyuk-jin, an analyst at Eugene Investment.

Source: globalpost.com

2 BPO Employees Share Investment Tips

November 3rd, 2014

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Working in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has proven to provide financial stability to most Filipinos, but two BPO professionals said a fruitful career should involve sound financial plans. Two senior managers in Convergys, Raymond Schon and Jen del Rosario, have built full-time careers while having wise practices in saving and investing in small businesses. Schon, 31, started in Convergys when he was 21. Starting as an outbound telesales agent, Schon earned additional income on top of his salary through performance-based incentives given to excellent employees. “The question is: do we use our income on something immediate or on things that will benefit us in the long run?” he said.

Schon began living on his own and learned to track his expenses and savings by listing down his “wants” and “needs” as well as how he can afford these through his “sources of income.”

He followed the simple formula of “income minus savings equals expenses.” Now a senior team manager, Schon recently invested in an apartment which he rents out to students studying in the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. “As a type of investment, apartments are relatively simple to operate with minimal risk. It is low maintenance, which allowed me to focus on my work and enable time for myself,” Schon said. “Having a financial plan helps me visualize the things that I want to achieve in life, make them real, and secure my future while also growing in my profession,” he added. The 39-year-old del Rosario, meanwhile, took a different route in investing. Del Rosario, a senior operations manager and a mother of two, invested on a P2,000 training fee to help her start a laundry shop business, which she opened in 2011.

Aside from tracking her cash flow regularly, del Rosario said she regularly reads and attends seminars on personal finances and investments. She also spends 3 to 4 hours a day at her home office after her shift at the BPO firm. “Your age and earning capacity are powerful leverage. If you only start saving 10 years later, it will likely take twice as much money and twice as long to get the same financial value out of savings. So start young, and make savings your first ‘bill to pay’ each payday. You’ll succeed,” she said. 

Source: www.abs-cbnnews.com