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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

BPO employee arrested for trying to slander woman

August 11th, 2014

An employee working with a BPO major at Uppal area here was today arrested for allegedly sending objectionable photos of a woman through a messaging app and sending her threatening messages after she refused to marry him.

Kiran Kuturu, who is already married, met the woman through a common friend in December last year and both became close friends, said Deputy Commissioner of Police G Pala Raju.

“In ’spite of his first marriage he wanted to marry the woman, so he decided to leave his first wife and son. But, the woman did not yield to his pressure, so he decided to tarnish her image,” the DCP said.

He also sent the complainant’s objectionable pictures to her sister through a mobile messaging app.

He has been charged with cheating on the pretext of marriage, and under relevant provisions of  Information Technology Act for posting objectionable pictures.

Source: business-standard.com

A ‘Major Player’ in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business Analytics BPO

August 8th, 2014

A leading provider of global Business Process Management (BPM) services has been recognized as a ‘Major Player’ in the latest IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business Analytics (BA) BPO Services 2014 Report.

“In today’s world of business, empowering organizations with analytics has become a key differentiator. With our comprehensive service delivery framework and domain-specific expertise in business analytics, we create an environment for our clients that harnesses the value of their enterprise-wide data. We are excited to see that clients and leading industry analysts such as IDC recognize our capabilities,” said Keshav R. Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS.

The IDC MarketScape report highlights WNS’s well-established business analytics practice, which includes over 2,500 associates and a suite of standardized and specialized BA offerings to clients across multiple verticals. The WNS approach supports a standalone analytics offering as well as embedded analytics, which are integrated with BPM services such as finance and accounting, human resource, technology, and industry-specific processes. These solutions are delivered from a network of delivery centers spread across 13 countries worldwide.

WNS’s research and analytics services include domain based analytics, business & financial research, market research and business intelligence & reporting. WNS has created an award-winning analytics solution called WNS Analytics Decision Engine (WADESM), which enables organizations to leverage data sources, set up a mature data and analytics infrastructure, and make informed business decisions based on insights.

About IDC MarketScape 
This IDC study represents a vendor assessment of business analytics (BA) business process outsourcing (BPO) services firms as of 2014 through the IDC MarketScape model at a worldwide level. This assessment discusses both quantitative and qualitative characteristics that define success in the BA BPO services market. This IDC MarketScape covers a variety of vendors participating in the BA BPO arena. The evaluation is based on a comprehensive and rigorous framework that assesses each vendor relative to the criteria and to one another. The framework highlights the factors expected to be the most influential for success in the market in both the short term and the long term.

About WNS 
WNS (Holdings) Limited, is a leading global business process management company. WNS offers business value to 200+ global clients by combining operational excellence with deep domain expertise in key industry verticals including Travel, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods, Shipping and Logistics, Healthcare and Utilities. WNS delivers an entire spectrum of business process management services such as finance and accounting, customer care, technology solutions, research and analytics and industry specific back office and front office processes. As of June 30, 2014, WNS had 27,760 professionals across 34 delivery centers worldwide including China, Costa Rica, India, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and the United States.

Safe Harbor Provision 
This document includes information which may constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the accuracy of which are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions as to future events. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied are discussed in our most recent Form 20-F and other filings with the WNS undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Source: marketwatch.com

Alta Resources to Fill Approximately 2,500 Positions

August 6th, 2014

A global provider of customer management business process outsourcing (BPO) for Fortune 500 brands, announced today that it plans to fill more than 2,500 jobs across its locations in?Wisconsin,?California,?Florida?andthe Philippines.

A majority of the hiring is to support several health-insurance clients, which have seasonal ramp-ups that require additional staffing in preparation for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP),?November 2014?through?February 2015. As more consumers become eligible for health-plan coverage under the?(ACA), Alta Resources’ health-insurance clients anticipate an increase in contact volumes during AEP. Alta Resources plays a strategically important role in assisting these clients with their year-round and seasonal needs, including servicing the increase in health-plan questions, leads and enrollment.

The seasonal positions range from full to part time, and the company noted that various regular full- and part-time roles are also available. Positions are immediate, and qualified applicants will start as soon as possible.

Lisa Schulze, vice president of human resources at Alta Resources, said, “We have core values that we call ‘Guiding Principles.’ We have seven of them. It’s difficult to attribute our growth to just one, but, if I had to, I’d say our Guiding Principle of Results is most fitting. We’re looking for people who, in embodying our Guiding Principles, are eager to learn, excel and deliver defined results for our leading client brands.”

Available opportunities include customer care; inbound sales, including licensed health-insurance sales; technology and back-office support; fulfillment; and team leadership. Alta Resources offers a variety of advantages to job seekers: flexible schedules completely tailored to individuals’ lifestyle, paid training, competitive pay, a team-based culture, skills development and advancement potential for high performers. The company also pays for?health-insurance sales?licensing for qualified candidates; licensing will be for the specific state(s) a sales representative will service and is his/hers to retain for as long as the license is valid, meaning it can be reused in the future.

To fill the 2,500-plus roles, the company is asking interested candidates to visit?to search current openings, create a profile and apply. They can also get details pertaining to Alta Resources’ upcoming job events.

 

Source: insurancenewsnet.com

Nagendra Bandaru is Wipro BPO head

August 1st, 2014

Wipro has a new BPO head. India’s third-largest IT services company has appointed Nagendra Bandaru as the VP and global head of its BPO business. He replaces Wipro veteran Manoj Punja who quit the company on Thursday. 
Bandaru will report to the company CEO TK Kurien and will continue to be based in the US, the company spokesperson said. Till recently, he was heading the insurance vertical in Wipro’s Finance Solutions business unit. Prior to that, Bandaru was the global sales head at Wipro BPO. 

Punja was the CEO of the BPO business since June 2012. Prior to that, he was the chief sales and operations officer for Latin America, Africa, France, Germany and Canada. “After spending 23 years with the company, Punja has decided to move on to pursue interests outside of Wipro,” the company’s spokesperson said. He was also the chief sales and operations officer for the Americas from 2008-10. 

Bandaru was also the vice-president and head of %worldwide business development for Wipro BPO. In this role, he was responsible for Wipro’s BPO revenues, strategic partnerships, customer relationships, mergers and acquisitions and customer satisfaction. He played a key role in expanding the Europe, Latin America and China footprint and also in setting up various operational centres in Eastern Europe, Philippines

Aegis Positioned as a Major Player in the IDC Marketscape

July 28th, 2014

 

Worldwide Business Analytics BPO Services

Aegis Limited, a leading outsourcing and technology services company, today announced that it has been recognized as a?Major Player?in the IDC Marketscape: Worldwide Business Analytics BPO Services 2014 Assessment (doc #249299,?June 2014). IDC Marketscape measures key strategy of a service provider success across two primary categories - capabilities and strategies.

Among the key strength that acknowledge Aegis in this honor is its strategic and operational capability of embedding business analytics to transform an enterprise’s customer insight into action and influence top line growth.

According to the IDC report - Aegis’ analytics solution includes analysis of customer experience, sales, customer engagement, marketing, innovation, and collections across various touch points and a consumer experience scorecard to drive Customer Lifetime Value.

Sandip Sen, Global CEO, Aegis Limited, “We are pleased that IDC has recognized our areas of strengths in Business Analytics and identified Aegis as a?Major Player. This recognition further acknowledges our capabilities in correlating and identifying customer patterns through business analytics that enables access to real time business information in a single window”.

IDC Business Analytics BPO Marketscape research is designed to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative characteristics that define success in Business Analytics BPO services market. The evaluation criterion is based on the factors expected to be the most influential for success in the market in both the short term and the long term. Key success factors for business analytics BPO services vendor include: Talent management, Life cycle of Business Analytics services, Services Portfolio Strength and Vendor strategies.

The business analytics services at Aegis are bundled along with BPO solutions that include Customer Lifecycle Management, Financing and Accounting (F&A), Human Resources (HR), and Spend Management. The company has made investments across building Global Command Centers, Social and Digital Media Engagement Analytics, Enterprise Business Solutions, which further provides a strong proof of concept for its business analytical capabilities.

Source: itbusinessnet.com