MicroSourcing has come a long way from its humble beginnings back in 2004. See the highlights of MicroSourcing from when it was established, to how it has evolved over the years as a leading offshore outsourcing provider.
A lot of small business owners see social media as a tool that can help boost their company. While many larger and older firms often outsource their social media processes to reduce costs and benefit from the expertise of social media marketing service providers, some still avoid it thinking that it is too risky. On the other hand, start-ups and small business owners can’t afford to shell out more towards hiring a social media marketer and a lot more time in managing their online profiles.
According to an article posted at Guardian.co.uk, business executives who are looking to outsource social media marketing and management usually worry about several things. They think that social media marketing service providers may have the necessary skills and tools to create campaigns but they don’t have enough knowledge about the company to actually create a suitable campaign. The solution for this is to involve at least a one internal management member who will serve as the basic source of information and lead the social media marketing strategy.
The social media marketing service provider might not be able to predict the trends and changes of the client’s specific industry, market, and environment. This can be resolved by assigning an in-house employee who will manage the budget and strategy according to the innovation needed to become more relevant in the market.
For the contract, the client should identify the exact role of the provider, which should include their responsibilities and limitations. Clients, on the other hand, should give adequate information and direction to deliver better results.
Social media strategies do not come as prototypes, so small business owners should clearly define the direction of their social media plans. They should analyze if outsourcing is the best solution for whichever industry they belong to before acquiring the service of a provider.
by: Sarah Joson
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | Comments (0)
Category: Outsourcing News
Ovum recently reported that Asia-Pacific’s video game development industry could be valued nearly US$30 billion in 2016. This could be a result of the continuous growth of video game consumers and proprietors from different parts of the region.
A TeamAsia.com post recounts an interview with Alvin Juban, President of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) and Head of Operations of Secret. At present, the gaming industry in the country has nearly 3,000 professionals working for around 60 companies, said GDAP.
Moreover, the local sector earned approximately US$70 million during the late 2011 up to the first few months of 2012. It was found that 15 percent of the industry’s workforce were dedicated to quality assurance (QA) and support, nearly five percent worked on games for consoles, and the rest were dedicated to social and mobile games.
What are the skills required in the industry?
Mr. Juban said he usually looks for the basic game developer skills. Physics and math are crucial in game development, as well as computer science, information technology, among others. He added that he usually hires developers who take it to the next level and has the initiative to do research on their own. For the academic side, he is hoping that schools offer more courses that are related to game design and development.
Other job opportunities in the sector are Java developers, iOS, Android, and C++ developers, PHP and MySQL developers, and Actionscript developers.
However, game designer jobs are also available in the sector to those who do not have experience in computer science or information technology. Juban said game designers come up with the game design document, which requires knowledge of games, gameplay, and can put a story together. Other positions are producers and sound engineers.
What do gamers actually do?
Gamers basically live and breathe games and gaming is an integral part of their everyday lives. Furthermore, Juban said gamers do what they love to do, which is why few people leave the industry.
He noted that the 10,000-strong workforce for 2015 that he had predicted could actually grow as the industry is evolving and growing rapidly.
Over the years, organizations were seen making swift and hasty decisions regarding outsourcing. Most of the time, those types of outsourcing strategies are baseless, ineffective, and lead to uncontrollable damages.
BPOOutcomes.com posted an article about seven helpful steps that can reinforce business process outsourcing (BPO) strategies of companies worldwide:
1) Provide a clear roadmap of the strategy.
In most cases, decision-makers forget that other divisions of the company will be affected by the strategy. Having a well thought-out plan of what goes where and who’s in charge will eliminate the chances for mistakes. Everything should be aligned with the goal of the strategy, including the staff.
2) Double check integration processes.
This is the proper time to decide if external outsourcing is the best option. It will also determine how the organization will be prepared as the integration process is taking place.
3) Seeking out the best provider.
For those who have decided on outsourcing, they would need to select the type of contract and provider. Will it be multi-sourced where different providers will be assigned different sections of the project? They should also identify which specific areas of the processes the providers can work on and have authority over. Moreover, a proper incentive program should be discussed before the contract takes effect.
4) Determine the structure of the partnership.
Will the contract have provisions for incentives and rewards for the provider? Will they also be rendering services and have no input on the entire strategy?
5) Check the current infrastructure.
Strategies often require new processes and infrastructure to work effectively. See to it that your internal systems match the ones needed for the processes. However, if the new system is included in the package or the deal, it should be aligned with their existing arrangement.
6) Preparing for the transition.
Having a transition strategy will help avoid problems in major regions such as the UK, where provisions such as Acquired Rights Directive (ARD) or Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) often become a challenge.
7) Reinforced strategy during the operation.
Operations should be closely monitored and collection of data should start at the beginning. The performance of the provider should likewise be observed to see if they are doing their job.
Cutting operational and labor costs was the primary reason why businesses began to outsource offshore. The common types of work which were subcontracted during the first few years were the repetitive and easy ones. So why is video editing now being outsourced by companies, specifically marketing firms? A post at Business2Community.com lists six reasons:
1) Lack of budget for additional employees.
Digital marketing is proven to be more effective when interactive and captivating materials such as images, infographics, Flash animation, and videos are used. Videos provide a different multimedia experience but it entails a lot of time and money to train and hire more video editors, which is why if companies need to produce more marketing videos, they usually consider outsourcing.
2) Cost reduction isn’t always everything.
In some cases, employees who know little to nothing about video editing assume the task because there’s just too much to do. Even if the cost of doing it internally may be far smaller than outsourcing, the quality of the output is well worth it.
3) More ideas from client-vendor collaborations.
Once the idea is shared with the provider, clients can now focus on the next project as they no longer have to worry about editing and producing the material. Each service provider has their own style and perspective, and more often than not, when they incorporate it to the material, the result is a fresher, more relevant video.
4) Service providers know when it’s already too much, or still not enough.
Video editing companies know that even with time constraints, everything has to be perfect and not overly done. Apart from alleviating the stress of going back and forth, they make sure that their clients are getting not only what they want, but also what they need.
5) They can act as the POC.
Some videos require footage from different people, angles, and perspectives, but gathering and editing all materials can be an arduous task. For video editing companies, it’s just another day at the office.
6) One stop shop.
Video editing service providers have all the equipment needed for all sorts of editing work. Clients no longer need to purchase or rent the materials required to finish one video.
With over 10 years of providing voice-based services, 420,000-strong workforce, and five percent ($11 billion) share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), call center operations are still flourishing in the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines remains the call center capital of the world.
A post at Aljazeera.com noted that improved political environment, large English-speaking workforce, as well as affinity with Western culture are the factors that make the country the top outsourcing hub for call center operations. Moreover, clients can save up to 70 percent in labor and operational costs.
With the majority of call centers operating in Manila, many providers and clients are looking at other areas which can be new outsourcing hubs. Dubbed as Next Wave Cities, these are cities and provinces that have the characteristics needed in outsourcing, including large talent pools that can meet client requirements. The government fully supports the call center sector, and the outsourcing industry in general, with initiatives in the academe, infrastructure, and telecommunications.
Philippines-based outsourcing providers are also offering non-voice, high-valued processes as they are looking to diversify their outsourcing services. These services include game development, copywriting, graphic and engineering design, as well as animation.
Businesses back then were mainly seen outsourcing repetitive and basic tasks to save costs and focus more on the core functions of the entire operation. But now, they are also outsourcing to grow and stay competitive.
An article written by Eric Lundquist, VP & Editorial Analyst at InformationWeek Business Technology Network, posted at InformationWeek.com, cited the changes in the outsourcing industry during 2012 along with several forecasts that are likely to happen this year.
Tasks are assumed by other departments.
CIOs used to be the ones who manage the IT budget of the company, but they are now seen prioritizing and focusing more on their basic functions which include securing the data systems, compliance, and troubleshooting. Other IT-related tasks are now executed depending on which department can address the issue best. For example, purchases and invoice materials related to social media accounts are worked on by the marketing department, instead of relaying these to the IT deportment for verification. This, in turn, alleviates strain from the IT department and excessive control as some outsource their tech processes to external service providers.
Rise of BYOD.
In this day and age, it is up to the employees on which hardware they prefer and will use. It has become a "bring your own device" (BYOD) world. The internal IT department no longer has to supervise hardware used by employees, but still manages the software and ISP.
Cloud technology for IaaS.
A business cannot use the infrastructure-as-a-service without heavily using cloud technology. Basically, servers and other IT infrastructure are housed elsewhere, and are outsourced to an external service provider.
Crowdsourced business services.
It is now easier to outsource multiple types of processes. Crowdsourcing sites are everywhere and they even cater to different niches.
Top tech vendors are evolving as well.
It is hard to stay afloat, specifically for tech giants, when a new process comes along. Outsourcing has changed the playing field for renowned hardware firms such as Dell, HP and Microsoft. So what does one do to remain successful? Adapt of course.
More employees are working offshore.
Businesses that want to reach a wider audience and influence more customers outsource majority of their workers to far flung areas. This way, they take advantage of the different time zones and different markets.
On the other hand, here are the predicted trends for the business technology in 2013:
- Metrics and data will play an important role in shaping an IT business.
- Cloud technology will affect almost every aspect of the business. It was observed that businesses took it one step at a time, costing them more time and money. This year, however, businesses will be seen going directly for the public cloud, prepping each stage rapidly before releasing it to the users and consumers.
- Social network, even if it plays a huge role, will still not be maximized by enterprises. Instead of planning, executives will only look at the results.
- In some cases, interns are the ones who are updated on the newest trends in apps. Businesses should strongly monitor the trends in mobile devices, particularly apps that consumers use. This way, they are not left behind in the deployment and other management processes.