The Outsourcing Week in Review: Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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Today, we cover BPO happenings in Middle East, India, Canada, Jamaica, and more.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market across the Middle Eastcould surpass $2 billion by 2025, particularly from the countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In a newly-released study, consulting firm Strategy& said that the region’s outsourcing industry currently grows by 10% annually, bringing significant opportunities for the region in the next few years. Strategy& added that BPO providers in the GCC region need to “mature and scale up” their operations to sustain their growth. A more skilled workforce will also be needed to compensate for the new generation of BPO workers in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Jamaica is giving new tax incentives for BPO companies operating within their Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Under the Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2022, outsourcing providers could claim employment tax credits (ETC) against income tax payables for the contributions to their employees’ statutory deductions. The new legislation will work alongside the newly passed Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Act, 2022, to ensure conformity with international standards of tax transparency as well as improve efficiency in the administration of SEZs in the country.

Having around 50,000 IT graduates annually, more control over foreign firms, and a liberalized fintech space could boost Sri Lanka’s tech industry, according to the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS). In a statement, the industry body said universities and colleges must produce more tech graduates per year to cope with the increasing demand. Foreign IT players should also be prevented from “taking [Sri Lanka’s] foreign currency out of the country” by strictly regulating the tax breaks given to them. FITIS also stated that the government needs to create better policies for the sector so that the country could “cash in on the technology’s full advantages.”

Hiring activity in India’s Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry dropped 41% in September amid fears of downturns in major international markets like the United States (US) and Europe. According to a study by staffing firm CIEL HR Services, IT companies are currently “rightsizing” as the demand for new tech talent subsided over the past few months. CIEL HR Services Managing Director and CEO Aditya Narayan Mishra added that companies are focusing on cost optimization and rethinking business strategies to protect their revenues from a dwindling global economy. At the same time, 43% of employees in the Indian IT sector are in favor of moonlighting to “safeguard themselves against job loss and supplement their incomes.” Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales of online job platform Indeed India, said that the pandemic led people to “step back and reevaluate their priorities. A visible dissonance between employers and employees can also be seen as the report revealed that 31% of Indian companies believe that employees moonlight because they are not adequately engaged in their work, while 23% believe that employees have ample time on hand for a second job. Kumar added that employers need to relook “at their workplace culture and address the underlying issues” to stop moonlighting in their workforce.

While people are moonlighting, more companies are outsourcing! Canada’s biggest life insurance firm Manulife Financial Corp revealed its plan to outsource its property operations to commercial real estate broker JLL Inc. In a statement, Manulife said that this move is part of a longer-term strategy that will allow them to focus on their entrepreneurial investment management unit. While this change is expected to curb 50 jobs within the company’s real estate portfolio arm Manulife Investment Management, the insurer assured its employees that they would only be moved under JLL’s management.

A partnership has been signed by Business Process Management (BPM) firm Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) and cloud customer experience (CX) provider Genesys to strengthen customer and employee interactions in their operations. Combining both companies’ software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions and contact center expertise, Genesys and HGS aim to encourage clients to embrace the market’s move toward empathic, virtual CX. Genesys SVP of Emerging Partners and Markets Ken Archer said that this collaboration would help them reach “new depths of the market to help more organizations provide unmatched customer and employee experiences.” Similarly, cloud communication artificial intelligence (AI) provider Seasalt.ai and customer engagement platform Twilio expanded their partnership in Asia Pacific (APAC) and Japan to build multi-country cloud contact centers in the region. With the release of its go-to-market (GTM) bundle for Twilio Flex, called SeaX, both firms are looking to help businesses streamline omnichannel communications and provision a ready-to-use contact center within days. Twilio Director of APJ Flex Partners Frankco Shum said that the launch of this bundle “will empower organizations to build a programmable contact center platform that allows them to build customer engagement applications that fit their business.”

Cloud contact center provider Five9 also signed a multi-million euro deal with telecommunications company BT Ireland. Under the deal, Five9 will leverage BT’s quality voice services to enhance its service offering and strengthen its leadership position in the Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) market. BT Ireland Managing Director Shay Walsh said that their “experience, global coverage, and reliability of service” will allow Five9 to scale their business and concentrate on transforming their clients’ contact centers. Five9 VP Partners EMEA & International Thomas John stated that this collaboration would “migrate contact centers from legacy to the future, which is true cloud.”

Mexico welcomed the launch of the eighth satellite office of nearshore and offshore services provider Lean Solutions Group on their shores. In a press release, the firm said that this new facility would be used to provide their US-based clients with round-the-clock back office, technology, marketing, sales, and Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPO) services. Lean Solutions Group CEO and Co-founder Robert Cadena added that this latest development “moves us forward in enhancing our professional solutions offerings.” Lean Solutions Group has grown rapidly in the last three years. Following this latest expansion — along with recent ones in Guatemala and the Philippines —- the firm is projected to grow its workforce from 8,000 to over 10,000 employees by year-end.

BPO provider transcosmos, meanwhile, opened its 70th operations base in Japan to accommodate their continuous business growth. This new facility will reportedly focus on offering IT helpdesk services to clients locally and abroad. In partnership with the BPO Center Sapporo Tanukikoji that opened in 2019, transcosmos’ new center will also offer the right IT support services to help clients’ business activities in the market where the move towards DX continues to accelerate. transcosmos’ Sapporo Tanukikoji East center is equipped with around 160 virtual workspaces to enable agents to work both at the center and from home.

Netherlands-based technology firm Wolters Kluwer leased about 120,000 square feet of flexible office space from tech-enabled flex-space startup IndiQube, resulting in one of the largest flexible office leasing deals in India this year. Located in the district of Pune, the property is expected to seat about 1,100 employees who prefer having flexible working arrangements.  Wolters Kluwer CEO Karen Abramson is confident that their modern office will inspire their engineers and developers to continue innovating and developing products for the future of the tax and accounting professions.

Speaking of flexible work models, 46% of companies, again in India, want to go back to full on-site operations. According to a study conducted by recruitment firm Randstad India exclusively for the Times of India (TOI), companies are pushing to return to pre-pandemic normalcy as COVID-19 cases continue to subside. However, only three percent of IT/BPO employees would like to return to their offices. Randstad India MD & CEO Viswanath PS said that firms that do not offer flexible working options to their employees “are likely to fall behind” as the model is gradually becoming a “key aspect” in building and sustaining a successful business in the country. On the other hand, a big majority (94%) of hybrid workers in Singapore revealed they are suffering from “virtual overload or fatigue.” A study by insurance firm Cigna showed that nine in 10 hybrid employees are stressed out due to working outside normal hours at least once a week. Larisa Beckhouse, head of Insights International Markets at Cigna, said that their findings highlight the “pros and cons” of hybrid work. Cigna’s report also highlighted that work-related stress prompted 35% of survey respondents to switch employers over the past year, with another 34% preparing to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

In other news, nearshore software development outsourcing company BairesDev won the “Best Agile Project” prize at the 2022 North American Software Testing Awards. Competing with various tech giants — including IBM and QA Consultants — the award recognized the successful collaboration between BairesDev and financial empowerment firm Questis which helped enterprises provide life-changing personal finance solutions to their employees. The software firm’s latest award followed a series of recognitions for the company. So far this year, BairesDev has received 17 awards from prestigious organizations in the US.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and consultancy firm Webhelp also won four top accolades — two gold and two bronze — at the 2022 European Contact Centre & Customer Service (ECCSA) Awards. In his acceptance speech, Webhelp Group Chief Growth Officer Craig Gibson said he is “incredibly proud of what our game-changers are doing to support our clients and their customers… to deliver award-winning customer and colleague experiences.” Webhelp UK CEO David Turner added that the awards received by their customer experience and learning and development teams “speaks volumes for the culture and passion at Webhelp.

We always say it: outsourcing is a win-win for both businesses and employees!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

28 November 2022

  • Talkdesk appoints new Senior VP of International – read article…
  • Five9 partners with BT Ireland  – read article…
  • 94% of hybrid workers in Singapore suffer from stress, says Cigna  – read article…
  • BairesDev earns “Best Agile Project” at the North American Software Testing Awards – read article…

25 November 2022

24 November 2022

  • Sri Lanka’s FITIS says tech sector needs revamp – read article…
  • Moonlighting remains favorable to India’s tech workforce, says Indeed – read article…
  • Twilio, Seasalt.ai expand partnership in APAC and Japan – read article…
  • India’s IT-BPM hiring activity down 41% in September — Ciel HR survey – read article…

23 November 2022

  • HGS partners with Genesys for better experience – read article…
  • Lean Solutions Group opens its 8th satellite office in Mexico – read article…
  • Wolters Kluwer, IndiQube sign one of the largest flexible office leasing deals in India this year – read article…
  • Nearly half of companies in India are pushing for full on-site work, says Randstad study – read article…

22 November 2022

  • Infobip, Google Cloud’s Dialogflow collaboration to improve customer satisfaction – read article…
  • transcosmos opens 70th operations base in Japan – read article…
  • GCC’s BPO market to exceed $2Bn by 2025 – read article…
  • Jamaica’s BPO sector to benefit from ecozone incentives – read article…

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.