From the corporate perspective, there are many views as to what are the new trends being pushed forward by the client organizations, when going forward and reengineering there BPO requirements and vendors selection. The economic crisis at the end of the last decade, besides creating an enormous financial burden for the companies at first, it also had many organizations rethink their strategies and how they would need to realign their current vendor relationships.
Companies did not want to engage with true vendors any longer. They needed “true partners”, capable of understanding their challenges and as a result being able to anticipate needs and upcoming technologies and solutions that could positively impact the desired business outcome.
As a result, there have been great movements in the BPO sector, and many of the top providers are entrenched creating well integrated global delivery networks, expanding the offerings using the new up and coming cloud based services and SaaS, developing, refining and perfecting data and process analytics services, and growing multidomain relationships in order to close multiprocess deals that cross an entire business spectrum, such as source-to-pay or order-to-cash.
Most can argue all day long that this is the right BPO strategy for any company seeking to be ready for a new wave of required capabilities and delivery options. However, few will argue that there is a very important component missing – The Human Factor, which in reality is the social component.
Undoubtedly, there will always be a cost arbitrage factor considered in the process of adopting a BPO strategy. And now they can be aligned with better business outcomes with the vendors turned into partners, where they are compensated more on performance base.
Now from the social perspective, however, the BPO sector has a very compelling chance to become also part of wider policy of quality of life betterment and of social and economic inclusion. It is the sustainable and social responsible type of BPO. It is actually constructing the corporate BPO strategies using also as a base, besides all business premises and sense, the ISO 26000 directives.
From Village BPO in Bangalore (see testimonial at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBX19AptV_o) to the Pro Youth Project in Rio de Janeiro (see testimonial at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKSvvi8SEqU), thousands of young people are being trained and prepared, not only to become a contact center operator or a BPO facilitator, but above all, a included and respected citizen.
Recently, in New York, it was held for the 3rd year the GS3 Awards by the Global Sourcing Council, (see live coverage of the award ceremony at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgjHgIVFcu0), an initiative speared by active professionals to promote the sustainable and socially responsible sourcing. Contrary to all arguments, that BPO is mainly for cost reduction, and such socially engaged activities, go against the grain of the corporate desired outcome when adopting a BPO strategy.
It is not and should never be considered a fallacy to build socially aware BPO strategies that are ISO 26000 adherent. Actually it should be the only way BPO strategies should be conceived. There are several millions of young people, who belong to the generations that will control in future, that can benefit from the proper training and preparation, and become the “knowledge workers” that will be required to keep the economic globe spinning.
Not only such socially responsible strategy is a great contribution, but it also turns out to be the better win-win-win alternative available, since after all, the client companies benefit with receiving a better bang for the buck services from their providers (partners); the providers benefit with a combination of a lower cost and attrition rate overall, and the BPO worker benefits because he or she now can actually realize their dreams.
So, what is the right BPO? It’s the one that combines corporate sense with sustainability and social responsibility. None else.