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Inbound Outbound Call Center Outsourcing Myths Busted

For all its usefulness and cost-saving potential, IT outsourcing to 24 hour call center is still surrounded by all manner of myths, legends and cautionary tales. Here we debunk seven of the common myths to show how outsourcing can help your business use IT to achieve more with less.

1. Outsourcing costs more in the long-term

Over the course of an outsourcing agreement, it is perfectly possible that businesses will spend many thousands of pounds maintaining their IT services. However, to suggest that the contract costs more than employing in-house staff to perform the same duties is incorrect.

Even employing a single member of staff to control IT staff will cost tens of thousands of pounds each year in salary, employer National Insurance contributions, plus a workplace pension and training. If your IT systems are more complicated, you will need more staff, meaning even greater expenditure. Using outsourced IT support services you get all the benefits of a complete team of IT experts without the associated employment costs.

2. Outsourced means ‘locked in’

The fear of being unable to leave an IT support services agreement makes many businesses wary of signing up. The assumption is that once IT support has been devolved, it is then impossible to claw back IT services in the event of a problem.

However, when negotiating a support contract, your business can always discuss the potential for leaving and ensure that caveats allow for such a move. Support contracts are there to benefit your business as well as the provider’s, so you always have the right to include such exit clauses.

3. Outsourced means out of your control

There is a common confusion between responsibility and control when it comes to call center customer service, with many businesses assuming that they cede control of their IT to the service provider. The truth is that although your IT support provider can suggest strategies and improvements, your business retains overall decision-making control regarding how your business uses and implements computer services. In the meantime, your service provider will support your strategy, rather than define it.

4. Outsourced means out-of-sight, out-of-mind

Because outsourced IT support is often performed remotely, it is easy to think that the service provider is doing nothing in between reports of issues. A good IT support service provider will be spending time proactively maintaining systems to ensure that they are running in peak condition.

If in doubt, ask your service provider for activity reports that show the behind-the-scenes work taking place. You may be surprised that the out-of-sight approach is often a good thing, as engineers work to prevent issues that may otherwise require them to come onsite to fix, entailing disruption and downtime.

5. Outsourcing is ‘all or nothing’

Sometimes businesses only need to outsource a small portion of their IT support, such as smaller remote offices. Rather than obtain support for all of their IT, these companies prefer to pick and choose the service they need. As long as call center telemarketing of certain IT tasks supports your wider IT strategy, there is no reason not to adopt a piecemeal approach to contracted-out services.

The good news is that there is no reason that an IT support provider cannot accommodate such a request. If a provider is unwilling to take on aspects of your IT system and software support, they are probably not the right partner for you.

6. Outsourcing is just for big businesses

Often, outsourcing contracts are discussed in terms of millions of pounds, suggesting that outsourcing is a luxury affordable by only the largest of businesses. The fact remains that any business can benefit from outsourcing regardless of their size.

Small businesses will find guaranteed IT support is far cheaper than trying to resolve computer issues in-house. Larger businesses can make similar savings, often spending less than it would cost to hire one dedicated member of IT staff. At the same time, businesses benefit from an IT system that runs well and is customised to meet their operational demands, providing further added value to any support contract.

How to Find the Perfect 24 x 7 Call Center

Whenever I’m asked which are the key elements that underpin successful 24x7 call center outsourcing engagements, I always think that the best comparison to make is with the foundations of a strong, enduring marriage. Think about it. Both require a great deal of patience, collaboration, communication and trust. Similarly, in both cases, the ability to find a partner with a shared set of values can be the secret of sustained success.
It stands to reason that the most effective Inbound and Outbound Call Center outsourcing relationships are built on a foundation of commonality. It’s one reason why the importance of having compatible values should not be underestimated. For this reason, a willingness on both sides to view the relationship as a ‘partnership’ and not simply a ‘contract’ is key. It’s also clear that the engagement stands a much greater chance of achieving a positive outcome if each party is able to work together on a daily basis to create a ‘win-win’ culture that benefits them both.
For this reason, it’s no longer enough for CIOs to identify partners based solely on their ability to meet criteria such as providing specific skills at the right cost. Instead, the road to achieving real value lies in finding a way to partner with organisations that understand the value of working as a true partnership. The right partner is one that will work collaboratively to help clients achieve their goals, even at the cost of short-term profit.
There’s never been a more important time for call center services providers to go the extra mile and to get under the skin of their customers to identify the areas that they can deliver business value.  Indeed, one of the principal reasons that traditional outsourcing engagements fail is that they are not flexible enough to allow the degree of collaboration that’s required over a period of time.
Flexibility is an important, and sometimes underrated element of modern business, and one that is necessitated by the fact that business needs have changed considerably in recent years. It’s also a key consideration for any business looking to embrace new, innovative technologies such as cloud computing, which can impact heavily on contracts which are not designed to take such trends into account. Too frequently, service providers are guilty of sticking rigidly to SLAs, with little or no room for flexibility. In most instances, this can cause strain, and can even test the trust between clients and suppliers, leading them to create a ‘them and us’ situation that undermines the relationship.
Increasingly, businesses are beginning to understand that transparency, trust and empathy can be integral to the successful implementation of any outsourcing project. For this reason, service providers and users alike must be flexible enough when drawing up contracts to allow this to happen. The benefits of doing so are significant. It not only enables service providers to engage with their customers more effectively, but also allows them to proactively offer adoption of some of the future technologies that may prove to be a game changer for their customer’s business.
An outsourcing engagement based on a foundation of compatibility in business values can help in both the short and the long term. The way the economic wind has blown in recent years means that more businesses than ever are finding it necessary to readdress their priorities and focus on different areas in business like digital. The process of realigning outsourcing partners to fit in with this new strategy can be far more difficult if you are tied into rigid and inflexible contracts. Becoming rigidly tied to an exit clause in your contract can also mean that you are tied to a specific business direction, without the flexibility to change until the contract expires.
When contracts are designed to be more flexible, this is less of an issue. Service providers are then able to more closely mirror the evolving needs of their customers and their business. In changing times, this is becoming an increasingly important consideration for any organisation looking to embark on a new IT project, adopt cloud-based utility services or reshape from a ‘bricks and mortar’ model to an online business.
Viewing an IT outsourcing engagement as a marriage is a good starting point for those looking to make it a success. It will prompt end users to find common ground with their suppliers. This approach will empower them to view it as a long-term commitment that needs continual work and attention. The truth of the matter is that IT outsourcing engagements should not, like marriage, be something that is embarked upon lightly. Done successfully, it can help businesses to successfully achieve their business goals as well as efficiencies in both costs and processes. However, if it’s not approached with the right level of dedication, commitment, and understanding, there’s a very real danger that it could result in nothing more than a costly divorce!

Best Call Center Services in India - Buyers Want More Than Cost Savings

24 x 7 Service Call Center outsourcing customers are looking for more than just cost cutting from their deals today. They want providers that can help them deliver business outcomes.
The inclusion of value-added services, such as customer retention, multi-channel management and customer analytics is on the rise, according to outsourcing consultancy Everest Group's contact outsourcing annual report.
"With our global economy being more in a growth mode than it has been in last couple of years, companies are focused more now on creating a differentiating experience for their customers," says Katrina Menzigian, Everest Group's vice president of research relations. "And they're expecting the same thing from their service providers."

Call Center Services Making a Comeback

After hitting a low in 2009, buying activity has picked up with the U.S. market for call center services revenue growing 7 to 8 percent in 2012 from $65 billion to $70 billion, according to Everest Group. (The global service call center market was worth $300 billion to $350 billion.)
"Customers also understand more than in the past that the customer interaction opportunity is huge in terms of driving growth," Menzigian says. "They want to be smart about how they spend, but they understand that there are other things they need to offer their customers."
One of those things is a seamless experience no matter what channel the consumer uses -- online chat, 800 number, social media, mobile app. "Buyers want to create a positive and productive multi-channel experience for their customers," says Menzigian.
"What we are finding is that it's becoming more prevalent to outsource not by channel but by consumer need," says Menzigian. "So you might see call center outsourcing happening by line of business or product or geography. Service providers are working very hard to position themselves as being able to support that integrated channel experience."
While voice remains the dominant customer service channel, non-voice channels grew 35 to 50 percent in the last year, according to Everest Group. In particular, call center clients are looking for social media management from their providers.
"It's not so much the technology itself as how it is used to effectively shape the customer experience," says Menzigian. "That requires dedicated effort." One service provider, for example, had invested in a social media response center -- a kind of innovation lab that would enable it to move beyond social media monitoring to social media response. Another conducts internal exercises simulating the customer experience across channels.

UK banks may boost outsourcing to India

Britain’s largest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group Plc , along with other top banks in the UK, could significantly increase call center outsourcing information technology (IT) projects to Indian firms after the UK government’s recent decision to hand back private control to the banks, and slowing growth in the sector forces banks to cut costs.
Last month, the UK government indicated that it was ready to return part-nationalized Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to private ownership. UK’s chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said that the government was actively considering selling its stake in Lloyds.
Experts tracking the UK banking sector say that a move to private ownership would trigger more outsourcing from top banks, which have posted slow revenue growth recently and are still recovering from the 2008 financial slowdown, with banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) yet to shed toxic loans accumulated over the years.
“Five years ago banks still had strong topline growth—they were investing more in products and service activity. I think since the downturn of ’08, the topline growth (for UK banks) has been difficult, it’s been flat to declining for many banks, so the focus has firmly shifted to cost reduction,” said Darryl West, group chief information officer at Lloyds Banking Group.
The UK government, which rescued the country’s largest banks during the global financial meltdown of 2008-09 by injecting £66 billion into the banking system, is trying to re-privatize the banks before the 2015 elections. The government holds an 81% stake in RBS and 39% share in Lloyds.
Lloyds, which has IT services agreements with call centers in India such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. and Wipro Ltd, is also considering moving some of its projects in infrastructure management and big data to tier-2 cities in India due to a shortage of talent in technology centres in bigger cities such as Bangalore.
Big data refers to a collection of data sets or chunks of information too big and complex to be processed using conventional software.
Edinburgh-based RBS did not respond to an emailed questionnaire.
“Regulatory-related structural and other changes to the banks in the UK should drive a sharp increase in temporary demand for external IT services work, just as the prior M&A-related integration did,” said Peter Schumacher, founder of Germany-based Value Leadership Group that advises companies on their Europe strategy.
“The 24 7 call centers should benefit disproportionately since they are deeply embedded in these organizations. They have great expertise in IT systems and domain, and have the capabilities in place to manage efficiently and reliably such large scale transformation programmes,” Schumacher said.
Experts also said areas such as mobile banking and infrastructure upgrades, as well as newer technologies such as big data and cloud computing would offer further opportunities to Indian IT firms.
“They (the big banks) have already done quite a lot of outsourcing—there will be some places where they could do that. Multi-tenanted utilities is one option—but big banks don’t like the loss of control that implies. Hence the interest from big banks in private cloud computing—these will be predominantly internal projects,” said Peter Redshaw, managing vice-president at technology researcher Gartner Inc.
According to West, who oversaw the integration of Lloyds’ acquisition of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 2009, all top banks will continue to focus on saving costs over the next few years.
“Strategic cost management is really the battleground for the next 10 years in banking. The revenues are going to be tough to earn, margins are going to be challenged from the competition. So if you’re very good at managing your cost base, better than your competitors, then you’ll be able to re-invest those savings into better products,” West said. “Every year our investment portfolio has increased and we’ve continued to invest to take out costs.”

India Evolving As a Huge BPO Market

India's call center outsourcing market is growing fast, attracting both local outsourcers and multinational services companies, according to a study by Gartner.
The BPO market in India was worth US$1.14 billion in 2010, up by 28.6 percent from the previous year, the research firm said. The fastest adopters of BPO in India are in deregulated industries, Gartner research director T.J. Singh said on Tuesday. Telecommunications operators, for example, invested in areas like customer care in a competitive market, he said.
India has already overtaken China as a BPO market and is likely to stay ahead in 2014 when its domestic BPO market is forecast to grow to $2.47 billion. The Chinese BPO market in contrast is forecast to grow to $1.6 billion by 2014. Australia and Japan are still ahead of India in the Asia Pacific region, Singh said.
India is known for its large facilities set up by Indian and foreign companies to deliver BPO services to customers in the U.S. and Europe. To target the Indian market, call service centers will have to adopt cost and revenue models that are different from the ones that they use elsewhere, said Siddharth Pai, a partner at TPI, a sourcing data and advisory firm.
Indian outsourcers such as Wipro, Infosys Technologies (INFY), and Tata Consultancy Services, who have built their businesses around delivering IT and BPO services to customers in the U.S. and Europe, are increasingly focusing on India as a market. Their Indian revenue is however still a lot smaller than their revenue from the U.S. or Europe.
Inbound call centers providers who were focusing solely on the international market realized that there was opportunity in the Indian BPO market, which grew rapidly even during the global economic crisis, Singh said.
Multinational companies, aided sometimes by local acquisitions, are also focusing on India as a market for both IT and BPO services.
Companies such as IBM (IBM) are dominant in the Indian IT services market because they focused on the Indian market ahead of their Indian competitors, Pai said. The BPO market in India however has local players like Aegis and Hinduja TMT that have addressed the Indian market for a long time, he added.
One of the reasons large Indian outsourcers avoided the Indian market in the past is that they could earn more revenue from contracts in the U.S. and Europe.
The domestic market pays less but outsourcers can protect their margins by higher utilization of staff and infrastructure, higher volumes, and by use of automation technologies such as IVR (interactive voice response), Singh said.

Businesses investing more in IT outsourcing

In 2012, the percentage of the IT budget designated for call center services in the US was up 23 per cent, according to an annual outsourcing study, ‘IT Outsourcing Statistics 2013/2013’.
Chris Demicoli, business development manager at Smart Technologies Ltd (STL), explained that this was likely due to the use of IT in business in general, the cost of having in-house professionals with the knowledge and skills to cater for the different aspects of the business and an increase in the take up of cloud technology.
“Current data shows how IT organisations have started to embrace cloud-based applications as well as expand outsourcing of IT operations. Other factors are also supporting decisions to outsource IT call center projects, including the ever-present desire to reduce costs. This is what spurred Smart Technologies to move in this direction and make IT outsourcing one of our core operations,” added Mr Demicoli.
Smart Technologies’ outsourcing services include end user services to help businesses manage their systems and devices run at maximum efficiency, computing services, including the management of servers, laptops, and PCs, network outsourcing services for the setting up affordable and reliable networks and the outsourcing of security services, helping businesses improve their IT security structures.
Lately, STL’s 24 hour call center outsourcing services have also started to include a mobility solutions service, providing clients with a mobile infrastructure that is secure, stable and cost-efficient and that can be adapted to your changing business needs.
“Adaptability is what defines us. We acknowledge that different businesses have different requirements and targets. We offer the flexibility of adapting their outsourcing requirements to deliver a tailored package so that no matter the size of the business, we can deliver,” said Mr Demicoli.

Business Process Outsourcing Helps Family-Owned Businesses Maintain Balance and Control

Businesses, especially the small and medium-sized ones, shape the groundwork of a high performing financial system. As many of the entrepreneurs are well aware, the expenses of office functions take a huge portion of overall expenditure. As a result, many family-owned offices are outsourcing specific office functions to inbound outbound call center in order to aid in restructuring their core business processes, according to Forbes. The source also indicated that family-offices typically take up extremely niche industries, and are housing experts in their particular fields. This means that the ways a company distributes its financial resources are fundamental for fiscal capability. 
Maximizing competence and efficiency Conversely, office functions in which a company does not have enough resources and expertise should be outsourced to 24 x 7 Call Center. In 2010, the family-owned venture that concentrates on viral marketing and research, Buzz Marketing Group, expanded rapidly and was having difficulties in hiring new workers at a rate proportionate with the number of new contracts, according to Entrepreneur. The company’s founder, Tina Wells, explained that she had to use up an extreme amount of time on human resources, averaging 8 hours per week on documenting employee handbook policies, vacation hours, and job descriptions. A more reasonable approach Furthermore, Wells experienced blow back after hiring several of her siblings, as other workers claimed that preferential treatment affected the way staff was treated. As a result, the marketing firm collaborated with a third-party human resources company to create an easier process to track performance and a more comprehensive employee handbook as well. The HR system is totally available online, and the charge of the service is trifling – only 1% of Buzz’s budget goes to paying the service call centers for managing human resources, Wells told Entrepreneur. More importantly, the amount of time Wells spends dealing with HR processing has been reduced by 8%, which means that she now has more time to concentrate on her priorities. How important is it to maintain control? The president of Mack International, Linda Mack, told Forbes that family-owned businesses want to take full advantage of the quality of services while maintaining low operating costs. This means that these small companies have to think about how much control they want to keep up over business processes and what they can feasibly allow an outsourcing company to handle without getting behind of their priorities. An article from Business2Community also discussed that keeping revenue generating activities in-house is a much better strategy for companies. Many small companies don’t have sufficient resources to handle all aspects of internal operations without compromising the quality of their products or services. By collaborating with a BPO company, the family-office can create a more qualitative approach to any office function, such as hiring and payroll, while maintaining a cost-effective operating budget.

India forerunner in global IT-BPO sector

Availability of qualified and affordable manpower, positive business environment among others has helped India to maintain its status as forerunner in the global IT-BPO industry, but faces a growing challenge from Philippines, a report by Cushman & Wakefield said.
"Globally India continues to be the forerunner in the IT- BPO industry. However, a number of other South and South-east Asian countries are increasingly gaining share in the global IT-BPO Industry," the report said.
India customer service call center outperforms its counterparts, Philippines, China, Malaysia and other South Asian countries in IT-BPO industry due to availability of English speaking and qualified talent, higher cost arbitrage, rapidly growing domestic market, stable political system, positive business environment that fosters FDI in the sector among others, it added.
India's advantage also lies in its strong domestic demand, the geographical diversity and the growth potential in Tier II and Tier III cities, the report said.
However, it said Philippines is emerging as a strong competitor.
"While India and Indian call center is at the forefront in the IT industry, Philippines is emerging as India's competitor in voice-based operations. The major growth of voice-based operations in the country is primarily because of the educated and English-speaking talent pool," it added.
Although it seems to be an attractive destination due to cheaper availability of talent and government support, there are concerns with the market especially with regards to the higher level managerial positions and capability in software development, it said.
China's capabilities in the low cost manufacturing and research are helping the growth of its IT industry apart from its increasing foothold in the BPO and data centre segments, the report said, adding that language constraints pose a challenge to the country's plans to make it big in global 24 x 7 Service Call Center BPO services.
Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam have been successful in attracting IT/ITeS activities to their nations, it added.

How to Choose the Best Customer Service Call Center

Choosing call center services is a lot like choosing a cloud service. Providers all look the same on the surface, but it's not until you start asking specific questions that you figure out which vendor is the right one for your business.
To help you choose the 24x7 call center, here are some tips on which questions to ask call center service providers, whether you decide to outsource your calls or run a call center yourself.
George Despinic, global contact center marketing manager of Siemens Enterprise Communications, said there are several factors to consider when choosing a call center, such as the number of call agents your company will need. In addition, Despinic identified three key questions businesses also need to ask themselves:
1. What level of sophistication and customization do you require?
For instance, do you need a inbound and outbound call center with basic features, such as voice support only? Or do you need a more advanced system that can also handle callbacks, email, chat, social media, fax and voicemail? Is an out-of-the-box service suitable for your business? Or do you need a highly customizable solution tailor-made for your company?
2. How relevant is the call center to your overall business?
If a call center is at the core of your operations, any downtime will hurt your business. Look for a call center that has a dependable uptime and a reliable redundancy and disaster recovery plan so your business doesn't suffer during an outage.
3. Is your business a good fit for an on-premise or cloud-based call centers?
Call center vendors offer both on-premise and cloud-based call centers. If you have a consistent agent count, want or have the expertise to run your own call center, or are otherwise worried about cloud security and privacy, an on-premise call center is for you.
If you have large agent count swings – for instance, temporary or seasonal agents – need multisite agents, have no desire to run your own call center, or are content with cloud security and privacy issues, a cloud-based call center will be a better fit for you. Another benefit of a cloud-based call center is its ease of implementation, so your call center can be up and running quicker than an on-premise system.

Call Center Services Making a Comeback

After hitting a low in 2009, buying activity has picked up with the U.S. market for call center services revenue growing 7 to 8 percent in 2012 from $65 billion to $70 billion, according to Everest Group. (The global call center market was worth $300 billion to $350 billion.)
"Customers also understand more than in the past that the customer interaction opportunity is huge in terms of driving growth," Menzigian says. "They want to be smart about how they spend, but they understand that there are other things they need to offer their customers."
One of those things is a seamless experience no matter what channel the consumer uses -- online chat, 800 number, social media, mobile app and other call center projects. "Buyers want to create a positive and productive multi-channel experience for their customers," says Menzigian.
"What we are finding is that it's becoming more prevalent to outsource by channel not by consumer need," says Menzigian. "So you might see outsourcing happening by line of business or product or geography. Service providers are working very hard to position themselves as being able to support that integrated channel experience."
While voice remains the dominant customer service channel, non-voice channels grew 35 to 50 percent in the last year, according to Everest Group. In particular, call center clients are looking for social media management from their providers.
"It's not so much the technology itself as how it is used to effectively shape the customer experience," says Menzigian. "That requires dedicated effort." One service provider, for example, had invested in a social media response center -- a kind of innovation lab that would enable it to move beyond social media monitoring to social media response. Another conducts internal exercises simulating the customer experience across channels.

Call Center Outsourcing Contracts are Broadening in Scope

The Everest Group report, which examines more than 400 call center outsourcing contracts, found a broadening of contact center contract scope over the last two to three years. "In order to create needed differentiation in the market, more service providers are focused on offering clients end-to-end service," says Menzigian. "They're moving beyond the customer interaction touch point to helping fulfill the value chain of that industry."

Essentials of IT outsourcing lifecycle

Call Center Outsourcing services cannot be akin to speed dating. Many organizations in the past have made this mistake and landed in a financial, legal and contractual minefield where they found themselves difficult to escape.

My endeavor here is to provide some tips around IT outsourcing to help buyers make a better deal with their providers. There are usually four steps to an outsourcing deal. They are mentioned below:-

1. ExploreIn this phase one conducts a lot of self-analysis of current situation. Activities under this phase are like understanding basic reasons for outsourcing, readiness for outsourcing, identifying candidate services, conducting market research, identifying risks and issues, outsourcing model and could be possible locations of service delivery.

Sometimes the in-house capability or bandwidth may not exist to conduct such due diligence. Taking help of experts can help organizations save losses from very expensive mistakes which might happen latter.

Few questions which one needs to ask and analyze here could be:-
•    Why are you outsourcing to 24 7 call centers?
•    Is the candidate services which you propose to outsource is core to your business?
•    What level of maturity you are today?
•    What are the cost of build Vs buy?
•    What complexity outsourcing will bring to your environment and is it acceptable?
•    What are the risks associated?

2. Evaluate
In this phase one selects a supplier who can provide the services. Usually buyers are tempted or lured to go for cost & capability based selection process. My suggestion would be to go beyond cost and capability to identify providers.
The good approach would be to float an RFI (Request for Information) with candidate services to be outsourced and ask for relevant information related to financial strength, technical capabilities, cultural fitness, vision for future, past experiences, quality norms followed by the supplier, security considerations, geographical spread and references of similar work done. Those outsourcing to a different geography, Hofstede dimensions are good approach to understand cultural compatibility. A pertinent question to ask at the end of RFI is about the best approach for delivering the services and how it can help the buyer.

RFI should be followed by RFP/Tendering process to shortlisted parties. The adjudication scoring can help in selection of a supplier. The best approach here is to see who is the most balanced in all the dimensions rather than using a single score for selection of a provider. This is followed by presentations to further filtering few chosen ones. At the end visiting the sites and taking few references might help in closing the deal with one or more of them.

3. Engage
In this phase, one needs to engage with the outsource call center to complete negotiations. There are many negotiations techniques which are used but out of scope of this article. This may be one of the rewarding experiences. The few things which one needs to ensure in the contract are:-
• It will help if consumer of service prepares a contract on how it would like to receive the service.
• Few of the areas should be focused differently are: Termination, Benchmarking, Realignment and Innovation which is generally ignored but could be very important.
• Flexibility is important as rigidness will be detrimental to relationship
• Focus on Governance of the outsourcing and ensuring a separate competency for partner management is very essential for success of the outsourcing relationship and relationship is managed at the highest level.
• Metrics, reports, SLAs should be prepared in advance to bake them as a part of the deal.
• Continuous improvement and how the value can be passed back to the customer in the entire process should be made visible.

4. Enable
The best day in outsourcing lifecycle is the day contract signing was followed by a big party. The fun begins when we take the next step of day #0 operations. During this period both parties will transition services and setup governance. Transition scope can expand to workplace, HR, asset, contracts, security, vendors, premises, licenses etc. Transition should be treated as a programme and reviewed separately. One should be extra careful about novation of contracts where multiple parties are involved. Inventory of assets with date of purchase is also very important to address any pitfall at latter stage. During this phase a lot of communication is necessary with stakeholders as people perceive it differently.

If one has gone for a multi-vendor arrangement, collaboration will be the key during the period. Establishing common platforms for communication, going beyond emails to video conferencing, chat and corporate social media / knowledge management platforms will be good idea to reduce your governance risk of managing complexity. Service provider personnel should be treated with care and establishing rewards for good work, providing them at par facilities for workplace and display of empathy goes a long way for success at a later date.

In conclusion, building right competency for managing the outsourcing as key to success as more outsourcing deals fail because of failure to govern. Organizations needs to focus on service partnership, programme management, relationship management, demand management, innovation management, contract management, service management, financial management, enterprise architecture & strategy to ensure success of outsourcing decision.

India's KPO market will cross 30 billion dollars in next 2 years

Despite slowdown, India's Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30% annually and may touch $30 billion by 2015, India's from the current level of $20 billion, according to ASSOCHAM.

The rising demand for profession-based services is expected to drive the growth in the call centers in India in areas of research for capital and financial markets, legal works, editing jobs for international publishing processes among many others, reveals the ASSOCHAM recent paper on "Current scenario of Indian KPO Industry". 

ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr. D S Rawat, said presently, domestic KPO industry is facing stiff competition from countries like Philippines, Russia, Poland and Hungary as these are emerging strong contenders for KPO business in view of qualified KPO professionals, low-cost advantages, domain expertise, location advantage, sales and marketing capabilities and data compliance.

A vast pool of highly educated professionals in engineering, medicines, management and professionals in the field of accountancy, company secretary and legal fraternity would be required to serve the industry. Number as per rough estimates should be well within the range of over 6-8 lakh against the current numbers of 3.5 Lakh.

While releasing the paper Mr. Rawat added that it is difficult for KPO companies to always find a qualified, experienced and talented workforce in India. Considering the situation that there is no dearth of engineers, doctors, MBAs, lawyers etc. in India, the KPO industry is banking on availability of this talented pool to fill up its seats, but now they are facing the supply crunch.

It is the kind of shortfall predicted between target and realistic growth that is worrying. If the industry is unable to sustain the momentum, it is quite possible that the other alternative destinations will become increasingly attractive for the clients. The nature of the KPO work makes is easier for clients to switch, adds Mr. Rawat.

Indian KPO companies can see these findings on the manpower availability coming out of the research either as a limiting factor or a challenge for their growth. The resource requirement should be seen as a challenge and addressed, added Mr. Rawat.

The potential solution is expanding into tier-2 and tier-3 cities. There is sufficient untapped potential in these smaller cities but the questions on how to leverage on these opportunities without adversely affecting organizational and logistical effectiveness- is a challenge. This approach of distributed working looks more promising for the KPO companies than traditional IT or call center outsourcing companies. Lot of work that is part of KPO can be done by individuals or small teams - remote work is also possible. The KPO work is knowledge intensive and it should be possible hence for these companies to come up with working models that can tap into the isolated resources pools available in smaller towns across India, adds the ASSOCHAM.

The second way is to partner with educational institutes to ensure that students passing out of universities have the right skill set. Both the approaches are being followed by Indian IT companies to certain extent so there is opportunity for KPO companies to learn from already existing partnerships and grow the scale to address their own requirement, reveals the paper.

The KPO sector deals with confidential data, including financial data, treasury and cash management functions and investment portfolios decisions and needs to address the issue of data security raised by international clients, said Mr. Rawat.

The Paper also predicts that KPOs has also other advantages like better work tools and processes, more sophisticated client centricity, higher billing rates and more domain focused organisations.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are likely to be the major growth drivers for the KPO sector. According to estimates, out of the 20 million SMEs in US and Europe, about 15% can benefit from KPO Services due to reduced complexity, ability to compete effectively with small and large competitors, shorter time to market, higher flexibility, overall lower costs and potentially higher quality for the same costs.

In fact, in the near future, KPO is likely to be driven by factors like breadth and depth of coverage, domain expertise, location advantage (e.g., near-shoring and language capabilities), sales and marketing capabilities, data compliance with respect to regulatory standards (especially those defined by the United States, Canada and the European Union) and the management of business risks.

The KPO industry is maturing and the range of services being provided has expanded as the market has developed. From its initial beginnings in research and analytics, the definition of KPO currently includes a variety of services, such as legal process call center services and clinical trial management.

Almost any kind of research and information gathering can be outsourced to India. 

Popular KPO services include:
� Equity research
� Business and market research
� Intellectual property research
� Medical and legal research
� Financial research
� Research reports
� Research in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

India is an ideal KPO destination because:
� India has a large availability of post-graduates, PhDs and MBAs with experience in KPO
� India's professionals are proficient in popular KPO software like SPSS, SAS and MS Excel. Indians are also highly proficient in English
� As of 2013, the total market size of the KPO industry in India has reached over $20 billions
� India currently caters to over 70% of the world's KPO industry
� As of 2013, the Indian KPO sector has employed over 3,50,000 knowledge process outsourcing professionals
� India has trained KPO experts who have advanced analytical, technical and interpretation skills
� India's favorable government policies and time zone make it an ideal 24 x 7 Call Center Outsourcing location