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July 2013 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Why Business Owners Outsource Content Marketing

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Content Marketing Outsourcing

Owners of large businesses are known to have resources to create and execute marketing campaigns. They are able to set up an internal marketing team that will oversee offline marketing strategies, even digital ones.

However, for small and start-up companies, they would have to exhaust all their efforts and resources to make a campaign work. Traditional marketing is a little more manageable than digital, because with digital, owners have different online marketing platforms that they would have to manage round the clock. For instance, social media, a popular tool for marketers these days, needs constant monitoring since comments are posted in real time, as well as persuasive content that will make the readers want to know more about their company.

A post at Business2Community.com enumerates some of the important reasons business owners outsource content marketing creation.

They outsource to get fresh ideas.
Some business owners do not have a clue on which angle or idea they should use in creating a marketing strategy, let alone create and implement a campaign. Instead of wasting precious time on brainstorming and integrating a campaign, some business owners send out request for pitches to content marketing service providers and from there - they gauge using several factors who can translate their ideas properly.

They want to become more cost-efficient.
Most business owners consider costs and revenues as crucial factors in defining the success of an operation.  However, even though outsourcing sounds promising to most entrepreneurs, it still entails disadvantages.

Think of it this way, you can outsource small and seasonal content marketing projects to service providers to save on operational and labor costs, but for projects that are set for a long time or will be a usual thing for the company, it is advised that they employ content marketing specialists full-time.   

Achieve a comprehensive strategy.
There are some instances when no matter how much they try to come up with a good campaign, they would end up with an ineffective strategy that will give them short-lived results.

To analyze results of campaigns.
Content marketing service providers have the right tools that can effectively collect, monitor, and translate data for business owners. These can also point out areas that need improvement and which method should be applied to maximize a campaign’s potential.


Any company that uses technology and computers to deliver service and products to customers needs to make sure that they have the right people to handle network support. It is one of the most vulnerable factors of running a business - connectivity downtime and power outages can do drastic damage to the operation. Also, each business has its own set of technology and network-related issues with varying solutions and methods.

Imagine your network is experiencing connection difficulties, you will most likely send out your best computer network support personnel to address the concerns and disputes of your customers. Business leaders have two options in finding network support specialists. First, they can find qualified candidates who will work for them full-time and in-house, and second, they can contract with a third party service provider which can provide them tech support outsourcing services.

Advantages and disadvantages of network support outsourcing

An article at Business2Community.com differentiates the two and explains the pros and cons:

Outsourcing is a popular solution among businesses worldwide. By outsourcing computer network processes, business owners will be able to continue operations and perform technical support procedures offshore, where labor and operational costs are lower. Even if these specialists are working remotely, they are most likely available during the off-peak hours because of the time zone difference.

However, some operations do not go as planned, putting a business in a questionable position. Some of tech support outsourcing’s disadvantages are mishap in choosing the service provider. Shady providers, the ones that present themselves as the best in the industry at the lowest imaginable rates, are often dealing with a lot of internal issues, so do not be surprised if they will always put themselves first before your business.

Other companies also prefer to only share information internally to minimize security issues. Another disadvantage is if you outsource, they wouldn’t be as familiar with the company and its background compared to those who work day in day out with the people who are involved with the business.  

Insourcing, on the other hand, will require business owners to work with full-time remote helpdesk specialists who will handle support and on-site network maintenance. It is specifically beneficial if you need constant upgrades on your computer or one of your enterprise-clients needs assistance, in which case you can just go to your client along with your tech support team and address the issues. It is advised that for complex operations and IT processes, insourcing should ensure the quality of output.

The disadvantages of insourcing include the expenses, because if you are going to employ full-time staff, you need to provide tools and infrastructure to get the job done, as well as benefits. Generally, insourcing often leads to large overhead costs.


IT Outsourcing a Solution or a Threat?

The results of a survey done by Monster.com, a leading brand under Monster Worldwide, Inc., were recently discussed at DailyFinance.com.

Monster.com is a renowned website that enables job seekers to find suitable opportunities and almost 6,000 of IT professionals, who are likewise registered users of the website, took part in the survey. Survey participants were asked about their views within the information technology industry and their opinions on the general job market.

The survey found that IT workers were generally happy with all aspects of their job. They came in fourth in terms of job satisfaction behind engineering, finance, and healthcare professionals.  

The survey also revealed that nearly one fourth think that by outsourcing offshore, companies are able to find candidates for more valuable work (8%), less menial tasks (11%), and innovative projects (13%). On the other hand, only 14 percent consider outsourcing as a suitable solution for business growth. Fifty-two percent see outsourcing as a threat, which could lead to less valued skills and salary deductions across the board. Moreover, 53 percent see outsourcing as a factor in decreasing employee morale. Lastly, 87 percent believe that IT jobs are being outsourced at a higher rate.

Jeffrey Quinn, Vice-president of Monster’s Global Insights, said IT employees in the US see offshore outsourcing as a threat to the security and availability of IT jobs. Monster data recommends that if companies want to keep the best IT talent, they should review all the necessary issues that are highly regarded by employees. These include proper job and skill match, salary, and career growth. Business executives should also consider enhancing teamwork and recognition in the workplace to improve morale.

With the growing demand for IT professionals in key markets, challenges in supply of qualified workers, even with the use of outsourcing, are still seen in the industry.

The top three markets in the US are New York, Washington DC, and Chicago, while the most sought after IT jobs are web developers, software developers, and computer system analysts. In addition to that, San Francisco ranked sixth which could mean that demand is growing across the country.

The top 10 occupations in IT are:

1. Software Developers, Applications
2. Web Developers
3. Computer Systems Analysts
4. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
5. Computer User Support Specialists
6. Information Technology Project Managers
7. Computer Programmers
8. Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
9. Computer Systems Engineers/Architects
10. Database Administrators


6 IT Processes that can be Outsourced

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Outsourcing IT Processes

We all have seen businesses outsource basic and repetitive tasks, but only few of them are -confident enough to outsource IT- related processes due to certain risks.

Business owners who are still hesitant about outsourcing IT tasks should look at the advantages instead of focusing on the risks. For instance, proprietors are having a hard time sourcing qualified employees for an urgent position or the demand for their service or product is rapidly increasing and they don’t have enough resources to address it, they are left with no choice but to outsource. Outsourcing has also been proven to help businesses cut labor and operational costs.

Business2Community.com shares six IT processes that, if outsourced, will help increase productivity:

Business applications and software - Instead of working with a developer directly, small companies can purchase prototypes from numerous software development companies that offer various applications - even customizable ones. They can then buy supplementary functions when necessary. For management purposes, they can assign a service provider to handle maintenance and support work for the operation.

Social media marketing - Almost anybody today can create social media profiles and share a thing or two, but only professionals know how social media can be utilized to the benefit of a growing company. Apart from having extra time to focus on core processes, business owners can be guaranteed that they are utilizing the platform properly if they outsource social media marketing.

Online store
- Having an E-commerce website lets businesses become more accessible to customers, but since you will be dealing with highly sensitive data, it is better to hand this work over to professionals who have the capability and know-how in creating an E-commerce website for you.

Customer service - To address all inquiries and get positive feedback, proper customer relationship management should be executed by business owners and executives. They can help organize the data gathered from customers while addressing their concerns.

IT infrastructure - The cloud is the latest tech product that has immensely helped small businesses around the world. A lot of service providers offer various cloud tools such as data storage and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which can be integrated easily and managed for you. It can also be downsized or increased depending on your needs.

Development and design of corporate website - Your website will be at the forefront when customers search for your company online. Of course, you’d want to be represented in a professional way, which is why you should work with service providers that are able to translate your story properly through your website’s design and overall user experience.  

Business owners should keep in mind that not all processes are fit for outsourcing. They should know which processes can be outsourced and which ones should be kept in-house.


How Crowdsourcing can Help a Business

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Crowdsourcing is a process of using information from various groups or individuals who have similar interests or skills - for instance, an e-commerce site that talks about everything related to a popular computer brand. Over the years, the volume of the site’s followers has grown because more and more people are finding answers and products to their questions and needs.

Another example would be a group of photography enthusiasts and experts, talking about the different brands of cameras and other applications.

Crowdsourcing was once organic, but nowadays, more and more companies are seen investing on creating online environments that can cater to a specific crowd’s needs.  
   
However, business owners should keep in mind that crowdsourcing is not always the best option in improving an operation and gain leads.

Advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing


An article at BusinessSpectator.com.au shares the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing.    

Advantages:

Tap wider resources. There was a time when crowdsourcing only catered to common skills and factors. But over the years, it has become more advanced and diverse by offering a specific expertise – even the ones that are complicated. People can review and recommend profiles of almost anything and everything online.

It enables companies to downsize or increase operations instantly. Some operations require flexibility - and crowdsourcing usually becomes the solution used by businesses and entrepreneurs. It can help fill in positions that are seasonal at lower costs.
 
Real data from real customers. Details of transactions are always public and each business owner can see reviews from users as it happens. Some even have rating systems for their general experience with the product or person, which can help other clients to decide which they should choose and trust.

Disadvantages:

Management costs. For business owners who do not have the time to micromanage their resources, they would need to hire a full-time team leader or contract a third party service provider to ensure a smooth operation.

Impartiality is harder to control. Rules and processes often become blurred when transactions are between users. They have to renegotiate and re-define contract provisions so that both parties will benefit equally.

Quality of service or products.
You will have a hard time determining the quality of the outcome unless you try it yourself. But many executives don’t want to risk their brand’s reputation. They mostly rely on trust and the reviews of other users.


Increasing Revenues through Outsourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, July 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Outsourcing Non-core Processes

With the rapid developments in various industries and markets today, some business owners are seen spreading themselves too thin to maintain relevance or outdo the competitors. This often results to poor operational organization and stunted growth of revenues.

In most cases, tasks that bare minimal significance to the company eat up most of the business owners’ valuable time.

Business2Community.com shares five ways business leaders can use outsourcing to minimize the time they waste on non-core processes.

Create a copy of your daily schedule. By doing this, you will be able to identify the tasks that do not directly contribute to your company’s revenues.

Mark each task before delegating or executing it. Some tasks may be minute in detail but should be executed by you. Things like writing off a cheque or approval of purchase. The ones you should delegate our outsource to a service provider are the repetitive tasks such as answering emails, scheduling business trips among others.

Create a proper brief.
Once you have chosen the tasks that you think should be delegated and outsourced, create a brief that explains how you want things to be executed and when you want it to be delivered.

Decide if you want to delegate or outsource. If your business has the budget to cover the benefits and infrastructure needed for new full-time employees, then you can delegate your tasks to them. Otherwise, you can try hiring offshore staff. Doing so will cut costs in labor and operations.

Avoid micromanaging. Perform periodical reviews of your staff so you know if tasks are accomplished according to your requirements.


2013 Outsourcing Spending Report

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

The Vertical Industries Report, a supplementary study of the Market Trends & Insights Report created by market research firm Momentum Group, was recently discussed at info.ISG-One.com by Momentum’s Chief Research Officer Paul Reynolds. The data collected came from hundreds of client engagements and numerous factors through 27 different industries. 

It was found that there’s minimal difference in net value based on year-over-year spending across several industries. However, the study found notable movements such as the 36-percent drop in annual spending for an industry, while posting a remarkable growth rate of 17 percent.  

Here are the other findings from the report:

Financial institutions are looking for outsourcing services and providers

The financial services industry is the top market in outsourcing.
In the past year, major increase in outsourcing spending and adoption was posted by key verticals in the financial industry. They are said to be looking for better and easier solutions for their current customers and potential clients. Moreover, financial institutions that are new to outsourcing are also believed to be shopping around for outsourcing services and providers.

Traction in the retail and utilities vertical improves.
A 19-percent rise in average annual outsource spending was seen for buyers in the utilities segment over the past three years. For the retail segment, it was 12 percent during the same period. However, it is predicted that clients in the utilities industry will further increase spending because of infrastructure upgrades and new technology that were postponed due to the fiscal crisis. In line with that, the utility sector is projected to go through several mergers and acquisitions brought about by heavy margin and cost pressure.  Meanwhile, clients in the retail sector are aiming at improving their online activity and mobile marketing.

Clients prefer niche providers.
Clients nowadays are favouring niche providers to avoid issues and challenges. They believe that the strategies suggested by these providers will be more appropriate for their business. Furthermore, they do not mind contracting with smaller players, as long as these providers are the best for a specific industry.
 
New factors are being considered in the decision-making process.

Agility and scalability are some of the factors that the clients are looking for. Although cost reduction is still a major motivator, they want to be more flexible and scalable when the market is rooting for it.

The influence of going digital for businesses.
Businesses want access to opportunities from "emerging" technologies like mobile, social media, Big Data, and the cloud. They see it as new tools to improve operations and marketing strategies without having to spend more on capital. But some are still cautious as these are seen to put the business data and security at risk.


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