Sandip Sen , Global CEO , Aegis Limited

The increased competitive nature of IT in the current as-a-service economy, combined with the advent of new and emerging technologies is already proving to be a threat to the traditional BPO models.

An improvisational approach to BPO can help CEOs to add greater value to their front-office, marketing, and customer-experience improvement initiatives. This would have a positive direct correlation of customers, brands, and relationships to revenue.

According to Gartner, the worldwide customer management business process outsourcing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5.2 percent by 2021; the market will increase in size to approximately USD 46 billion.

The BPM industry is changing and moving to a more digital, multi-channel, automation (RPA and IA) service adoption at a rapid pace. Hence, the course of the global outsourcing industry is changing with increasing pressure to outperform the growing competition.

The BPM sector in India today stands at the cusp of an evolutionary phase. The integration of technology has played a fundamental role in initiating metamorphosis within the sector. Several disruptive technologies that have and will change the dynamics of the outsourcing industry are – SMAC, automation, robotics, transformation projects, smart machines, etc.

These new-age offerings and industrialized capabilities are being leveraged to help clients improve their shareholder value by helping them earn more profits – from cost advantage to shareholder value accreditation. These new technologies are also empowering BPM organizations to create compelling new business process services, which will further help enable the following trends:

  • Finding new ways to generate revenue for clients by supporting them with new business models
  • Improving the customer, employee, or supplier experience. In many cases, the access to new smart machine technologies could improve the experience for business-to-business clients or consumers
  • Lowering the cost of the processing activity by replacing people for the whole process stage or pieces thereof. Typical labor-based tasks would include rekeying data between systems or from paper images to systems
  • Building vertical industry and process-specific return on investment tools

BPO providers are including design-thinking ability to show compatibility and cognitive intelligence in their service baseline as the modern digitally native consumer is now accustomed to innovative customer service techniques and applications.

Many providers have invested heavily in techniques to improve their industry-specific business capabilities and process transformation tools. Buyers are now hyper-adoptive and cognizant of understanding the benefit from these services and, therefore, build a quarterly review cycle to evaluate potential improvements. These investments will further explain how the process will evolve over the life of the process models, maturity of operations models, and benchmarking.

Another major innovation that is being driven by outsourcing is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which will be the next wave of efficiency improvement. An RPA system can do the mundane office tasks like generating reports, collecting information from existing documents, extracting and sorting information, etc., automatically. Such software solution can be deployed on-site or hosted on cloud depending on security and compliance requirements. By gathering this market intelligence, the outsourcer can extract actionable business insights and identify opportunities to improve and add higher value to the client's business. Data metrics and tools to assimilate and deliver related strategies will continue to emerge in the coming years, creating further ripples in the world of BPO industry.

Technology is increasingly driving BPO service quality globally; there is a constant compulsion to look for the greatest degree of technological sophistication. The compulsion of innovation will be the biggest facilitator to next-gen BPO service providers in building industry-specific capabilities and solutions, doubling the value and benefits.

The true competitive advantage for the BPO winds of change would now mean that vendors need to demonstrate value through better and faster features rather than the cheaper element, which is not the prime driver of value.

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