The Year of the Pig will see corporations focusing more on regional issues and needs within the organization, according to a study of business process outsourcing trends for the Asia-Pacific, which excludes Japan (APEJ).
The study found that while much of the region is still at its nascent stages of development for BPO, several trends are starting to emerge that are unique to the APEJ region.
More autonomy is being pushed to regional decision makers across various departments, requiring them to better align their BPO needs with business and global objectives. BPO trials and pre-configured solutions are also gaining momentum as APEJ companies look for solutions that address specific regional outsourcing needs.
According to authors, BPO customers in APEJ will be taking on short-term trials before making long-term commitments this year. BPO pilots will steer new deals in the APEJ region more than ever before. BPO trials will become an important in-road for a BPO go-to-market strategy as clients will be more receptive toward pilots before signing on for a long-term, full-scale BPO contract.
Thinking out-of-the-box will also be driving knowledge process outsourcing in 2007, the reports authors added. APEJ companies are starting to look at innovative solutions in outsourcing various areas related to documentation such as printing, document digitization, archiving, editing, graphics layout, copy writing, proof reading, design and even research.
Knowledge process outsourcing is becoming more evident as companies realize the cost savings of outsourcing this component that is predominantly administrative in nature and time-consuming to get a fresh perspective on knowledge components within the company.
Pre-configured solutions will also be enabling speed and agility. Companies cannot afford to waste valuable resources in treating every BPO activity uniquely in their outsourcing engagement. There are many positive aspects to pre-configuration in a BPO environment, with the main benefits being speed, agility and cost management. Pre-configuration helps to find common processes, automate some parts of it and enables better leverage through sharing of resources to serve the common procedures.
Long viewed as the BPO powerhouse, India is facing increasing competition from other countries, notably China. Although India will remain the major hub of BPO activities over the next few years, China is increasing its momentum by attracting large BPO investments to its cities. Even though much of the existing outsourcing projects in China tends to be processing services, many companies are starting to look to China for higher level BPO activities.
The study also underscored the importance of global delivery, noting that this will be the "deal clincher" for BPO service providers. BPO service providers that desire to be true global players require global delivery centers, beyond presence in India and/or China in order to win key regional deals. As BPO clients demand seamless support across their global operations, many are seeking vendors who are capable of servicing their outsourcing needs using a combination of offshore, onshore and near-shore locations.
Business process outsourcing is distinct from processing services. BPO is more strategic and involves transformational activities that align a company's outsourcing engagements to corporate objectives. On the flip side, engagements that involve high-volume, transactional outsourcing of discrete activities such as payroll and billing are classified under Processing Services. Thus, giving rise to the popular phrase "Mess for less" for Processing Services, which is valued distinctly and separately from BPO.
Source(s): IDC, Taiwan News