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August 2013 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

How Social Media is Changing the Business Landscape

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, August 30, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

There are several uses for social media. For the common internet user, it is utilized as the name suggests which is to socialize. However, for businesses, it is a great way to increase presence online, broaden their market, and deliver customer support at a more personal level.

It is mainly used as a marketing tool, to get ahead of the competitors, and create a better means of engaging and communicating with consumers.

Small to mid-sized organizations often struggle in implementing strategies because they lack the resources to do so. Keep in mind that social media is accessible to anybody who is connected to the internet at any time of the day. So if comments and questions on a company’s social media account are unanswered or ignored, it could create a negative impact on the image of a brand. For instance, a follower posted a question about the product or your services, if he/she feels ignored, the follower may lose interest and move on to another brand. Keep in mind that followers are the ones fuelling your campaign, the more your content is shared and the more you are talked about amongst the users, the more your campaign will be successful.

Social media outsourcing as a business solution


An article posted at Business2Community.com talks about a solution that is easy to implement and has been deemed effective, especially for organizations that are trying to cut costs or maximize their budget, and that solution is outsourcing.

Social media outsourcing
can enable businesses to access experts in the field. Moreover, if the process is done to a destination with a different time zone, it can be used to resolve schedule issues.

A business shouldn’t be out of the loop.
Because the use of mobile technology is continuously growing, different social media platforms have come about to cater to various types of users. Naturally, brands wanted to get the most out of what these tools have to offer, which is why it is harder to create a unique identity that can influence users.

Use data from the users to create marketing campaigns.

Businesses can collect data from the users by looking at their interests or which products and brands they usually follow as long as they are not breaching the privacy of consumers. For example, they can set apart their followers according to the restaurants that their users are following or are a fan of, and then they can incorporate their findings to their next campaign like a tie-up with a certain restaurant, etc.


Most Commonly Outsourced Processes

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Outsourced Processes

Most small, start-up, and mid-sized businesses are seen outsourcing to freelancers and third party service providers. A post at Entrepreneur.com explains the recent data released by Freelancer.com, a popular online portal for entities that tackles crowdsourcing, freelancing, and outsourcing.

In the website’s survey where over 300,000 jobs were posted, it was found that during the months of April, May, and June, the fastest growing outsourced jobs were mostly related to back office processes such as accounting which increased by 23 percent, report writing up by 20 percent, and creation of PowerPoint presentations which grew by 35 percent.
 
Peripheral services or processes that had minimal impact to the business were said to have decreased in the second quarter. Some of the processes that lost traction in the second quarter of this year were PDF conversion (38 percent), copywriting (14 percent), ghostwriting (12 percent).
 
For major processes, large organizations are also outsourcing complex processes to freelancers and service providers, and the market for some processes is shifting as demand is changing. The highly considered processes are:

3D printing
More and more business are using 3D printing to keep up with the trends in the market. In fact, businesses are looking for 3D renderers, making the job market jump by 17 percent during Q2 of this year. Other jobs that experienced an increase in demand are 3D modeling which grew by 13 percent and 3D animation which also grew by 13 percent.
 
Graphic and Web Design
Materials that need designs or should be interpreted in a different visual manner are often sent to expensive agencies. But businesses that want to cut costs were seen sending work to freelance designers and design service providers. Relatively, freelance illustration and Photoshop design jobs jumped by 20 percent in the second quarter, as well as logo design which increased by 9 percent during the same period. Crowdsourcing is also becoming popular within the design segment, where clients shop around for freelancers within communities or online groups.

Android App Creation
The demand for android app development trumps the demand for iPhone app creation - the former increased by 15 percent in the second quarter. The demand for iPhone developers grew by 10 percent, but iPad developers dropped by 3 percent during the same period.


How Offshore Outsourcing Helps Drive Inclusive Growth

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Offshore Outsourcing

An article posted at info.ISG-One.com recently discussed how offshoring correlates to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Offshoring is basically a process that is gaining traction and is consequently opening opportunities for both investors from developed countries and providers based in less fortunate regions.

Why is offshoring important?
For most economies, it is an avenue for businesses to benefit from labor arbitrage, more advanced communication infrastructures, among others. From the moral standpoint, everyone basically has the right to work, earn and receive decent wages, and the right to join a union (based on the Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Offshoring is an ethical way for everyone to benefit equally. It is up to the practitioners to create a balance between using offshoring economically and ethically.

How does offshoring affect the availability of jobs?
Some countries need certain skills but lack the manpower, in other cases, some skills are more available in other countries but the demand is so low that people are forced to look for jobs elsewhere. Offshoring or global service delivery does not take jobs away from people and their respective countries. Jobs and work aren’t always certain but global organizations that are planning to outsource offshore should create comparative advantage locally and internationally.

How should wages be controlled in offshoring?
There are several factors that affect the wages given to those who carry out services for businesses that outsource offshore. These are skills and experience, cost of living, personal and trade union-negotiating power, and supply and demand. Things that are not considered are race and gender. However, for location, it is not necessary to equate salaries in country A to country B, what they have to look at is the industry rate in whichever country the provider is based in.
 
How do unions fare in offshore operations?
Although unionism is not practiced in many countries, it should be considered even in offshore operations. It has helped companies in the West to establish worker protection, strengthen negotiating power, and reinforce the right of employees to work on just and safe terms.

How can global businesses take part in towards a fair and inclusive growth?
Large organizations that have ample resources should give back to the community and should provide equal opportunities for all, even with the offshore service provider that they are contracting with. These companies should see to it that they are dealing with a provider that highly regards the safety and welfare of its employees, practices ethical sourcing, and are sincere with their CSR efforts.
 


Outsourcing Checklist

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

In an article published at OfficingToday.com, author Jo Disney talked about the means by which outsourcing can help curb expenses but still maintaining a brand’s reputation in the market. It is important, though, that a business choose its outsourcing service provider wisely to have a successful operation.

A number of outsourcing tasks can indeed pave the way for more time especially in developing the business brand, prove to be more cost-effective, and develop niche talent.  However, it can also put upon setbacks such as poor output quality, little to no understanding of the business, and skillset/qualifications not completely aligned with the requirements.

Outsourcing checklist for businesses

One thing to note about the outsourcing market is it is rather vast, and encompasses a wide range of markets which is why a company should make sure to think things through carefully and meticulously before taking this path. Hiring the right outsourcing company can reap healthy rewards to boost the company, or otherwise.  Either way, it will always leave a long and lasting impact on a brand, which is why it is vital that a thorough review and fastidious attention be given when laid on the table.

Find a provider which is a step ahead of you.
Providers that take time to know more about their clients tend to overachieve and fulfil their promises of delivering on time and accurately. These providers are also likely up-to-date in terms of the trends in the market and technology.

Walk the talk.
Providers should be able to live up to their advertisements. For instance, if you are looking to outsource graphic design work, then the website or design materials of your chosen provider should be well crafted or should meet your standards.

Proper symmetry of outsourced and insourced teams.
Your outsourced team should be able to adjust and work well with your in-house team. This way, conflicts will be avoided and issues will be kept at bay. Work should be integrated properly and not outdo each side.

Be wary of dodgy providers.
If you prioritize the price and budget of each of your campaign, you will likely end up with a provider that prioritizes making money off of you than growing with your business. Outsourcing is a great way to save but it only helps a company save if the solution is effective and complements other divisions of your company.

Perform due diligence.
All in all, it is still up to the client on which provider he/she will choose. It is better to do the hard work before the operation starts rather than solving problems caused by an unsuccessful outsourcing partnership.


Latest Trends in Search Engine Optimization

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, August 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

SEO Trends

In an article published at HuffingtonPost.com, author Don Dodds discussed the merits (and then some) of the tactics usually employed in search engine optimization or SEO.  Since it is constantly evolving, the methods usually used in SEO can pose as a problem to internet marketers.  A lot of ways can be employed to direct traffic to a website, but it is important to note which ones are worthwhile, and those which are not.  Some methods can take too much time and effort with little to no return of investment.  Internet marketers should also be able to determine which strategies are hoaxes, as these can cripple their campaign in the long run. Newbies in the world of SEO can get confused over the methods which still work, those which can be considered obsolete, and those which can bring about a negative result.

Below are some of the points Dodds mentioned which should be reviewed in carrying out search engine optimization methods.

Targeted keywords
One of the vital factors of on-page optimization is keyword usage. This is also the most abused.  Up until recently, the basic SEO strategy was to zero in on specific keywords based on the number of search queries received monthly. However, things have changed, and the better way to go about it is to diversify keywords, and target a broader range of them.  Use long-tail keywords since these target the exact sort of traffic, and there is less competition.

How to properly use the keywords
People used to talk about the correct way of positioning and distributing keywords throughout your content. It was called keyword density and some marketing people swore by it but as time passed and search engines became more sophisticated, repetition and distribution of the keywords are not that important.

Design for humans, not for the bots.
Website developers and designers used to be fixated on making the website more accessible to search engine crawlers. However, this sacrificed the overall usability and experience for humans and began putting users off. What matters now is the way users are able to use the website, whether to get or share information.

Content pulls in most of the weight.

Content is the thing that fuels the search engine results, but it has to be original and of high quality. Content is indeed king, and you need a regular supply of informative content that will encourage visitors to share it with other people.

Content is now more diverse.
Gone are the days when content was only made up of text. Videos, music, and pictures are now being used by content publishers, as well as users themselves. People are more visually driven with the continuous rise of photo and video sharing sites.

SEO outsourcing
SEO involves numerous processes which include on-page and off-page optimization. Outsourcing is one of the solutions that can help businesses handle multiple campaigns while minimizing expenses.

Relying on anchor texts
Anchor texts are words or phrases that have corresponding hyperlinks. These are used to identify what the website that anchor texts are pointing to is about.  Dodgy SEO practitioners are often seen using anchor texts to drop links on every type of content possible, but as search engines became stricter in indexing websites, those that have thin content are prone to being reprimanded and are flagged as irrelevant sites.

Building links
The idea was the more links there are pointing to your site, the more relevant your site is to the users. But links are analyzed differently nowadays. Search engines look at how your website behaves online through social influence and interaction with users.

Content farming and submission

As link building becomes harder to do, bad SEO practitioners looked for ways to seed more links and they thought of content submission. Basically, it involves copying another website’s content, publishing it as your own, and including a link somewhere within the content. A good way to do this is to create unique content that will go viral without using hard-sell processes.     

Social signals
Making genuine connections in social media websites is a great way to improve branding of a website. If you automatically generate comments and links, it will again be marked as spam not only by search engine bots but by administrators as well.


What you Need to have Excellent Contact Center Outsourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

At Business2Community, a news article named outstanding customer service as a hugely salient factor in the success of any business, regardless of size.  It can be noted, however, that as small and medium-sized businesses grow, control over the increasing customer requests and inquiries can be a bit of a challenge. Despite such struggle, it all boils down to the business’ capability to aptly resolve customer concerns and queries, as this greatly affects a brand’s future.

Businesses which are on the rise rely on contact center outsourcing services as a means to handle customer calls and concerns more effectively, although some firms are apprehensive on this move.

Contact center outsourcing services for handling customer calls and concerns


Fears aside, contact center outsourcing has the capacity to provide remarkable cost savings, and the avenue to create a well-oiled machine that is the contact center. Equal parts strategic planning and active communication can result in a marked difference in a company’s or brand’s standing and reputation where customer service is concerned.

However, it should be noted that moving to outsourcing entails time, energy, and effort in planning, but does not go without reward.  Strategies and approaches need to be well thought of and carefully weighed prior to the employment of an outsourcing company. Results and benefits are apparent when careful planning is executed accordingly.  

Round-the-clock customer service

As technology advances, customers demand greater access to service representatives over a myriad of channels.  This is where the use of automated systems comes into play, and proves to be beneficial.  Due to this trend, more companies are subjected to deliver services that go beyond that of their usual in-house systems. Working alongside a BPO company can convert an overworked small business into a systematic organization that can cater to customer’s needs 24/7. According to Bank Systems and Technology, a banking industry news site, companies often seek the assistance of third party outsourcing companies as a means to address customers’ concerns which come in after normal working hours.

Marked increase in cost savings

Hiring an external contact center team actually leads to considerable cost savings, instead of a business making use of its in-house customer service department. This way, it removes the need to compensate more staff, the rent for additional office space, and upgrade of telecommunications equipment.  

Outsourcing can also put a hold on expenses in the identification of effective contact center practices.  For example, instead of having an internal department whose job is to monitor and track complaint resolution or AHT (average handling time), the external team from the outsourcing company can showcase its business with metrics and values which pertain to the rate of efficiency of outsourced customer service representatives.  


Research Findings on Global Healthcare IT Outsourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Global Healthcare Outsourcing Forecast for 2018

At HeraldOnline.com, Research and Markets’ latest report called "Healthcare IT Outsourcing Market by Application & Industry - Global Forecast To 2018" covers several applications of the healthcare IT outsourcing industry. First off, with integration, of course there are the providers (HER, RCM, LIMS) and clients looking for solutions for Fraud Detection, Claims Management, Billing, and CRM. For the Life Science segment, there are ERP, CTIMS, and CDMS. Operational healthcare processes include SCM and BPM, whereas infrastructure consists of IMS and cloud computing.

The industries included are healthcare (including hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and clinics), biotechnology, pharmaceutical, clinical research organizations, and health insurance.

The largest market seen for the HCIT outsourcing industry is North America (72%). It is projected to increase from $25 billion in 2013 to $36 billion by 2018.

However, Asia-Pacific and RoW are anticipated to post the highest CAGRs from 2013 to 2018. Asia-Pacific will lead with 8.1 percent, RoW with 7.8 percent, North America will be in third with 7.6 percent, and Europe is expected to register 7.2 percent.

The healthcare information technology market is slowly adopting outsourcing as a business tool to make processes more efficient and economical. It usually starts out with a screening process where clients get to choose the most feasible service provider by means of analyzing track record, among other factors. Some are seen outsourcing select processes while others subcontract larger operations. It has also drawn the attention of even mid-sized healthcare organizations as it is expected to supply the growing demand for a more affordable healthcare option.

Key growth factors for the market include the increasing desire to overturn the rising costs of healthcare and to supply more funds to key divisions of a healthcare organization such as back-office administration and IT management systems of healthcare service providers, payers, and the life science segment.

Other drivers found by the report are lack of healthcare IT experts locally, consolidation of processes, the standards set by the US Federal Government, growing population of the elderly community, and the increasing interest of the Asian market in medical tourism.

The report also cited some hurdles that stunt the market’s growth. These include the uneven divisions of the healthcare system and HCIT outsourcing market, costly investments for the first few stages, data security, as well as language and cultural barriers.

Overall, the global healthcare IT outsourcing market is anticipated to post a CAGR of 7.6 percent and reach $50.4 billion by 2018.


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