The Outsourcing Week in Review: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The United Nations (UN) is expecting a record-breaking 5.3% global economic growth this year – its highest rate in almost five decades. However, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) forecasted a slower 3.6% growth in 2022, saying that it expects a cumulative income loss of about US$13 trillion between 2020 and 2022 as a result of the global economy coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent study found that it is the larger companies in Japan that are the main implementers of the remote work arrangement. According to a report from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)69.2% of large enterprises in the country have already implemented remote working, compared to only 33% in small and medium-sized companies. In line with this, it seems that more and more employees prefer to work remotely than go back to the office. In a newly-released survey by remote work online platform FlexJobs, around 29% of employees are actively looking for remote jobs, while 17% have quit their previous employment because of the lack of remote work options. They say just a meager three per cent out of the 4,600 respondents want to return to the office full-time.

Because of the higher employee churn rates since the pandemic, business leaders in the  United States (US) are seeking ways to reduce their dependence on their employees’ institutional knowledge. According to the latest US Pulse Survey conducted by professional services firm PwC, 50% of company executives want to reduce dependence on their employees in response to the current industry-wide ‘Great Resignation.’ However, PwC’s global people and co-leader Bhushan Sethi said that employers have to automate their operations first so that they can upskill their employees and make them feel more productive, which in turn would decrease the chance of them resigning.

To assist in their goal to strengthen local ownership, Japan Outsourcing Solutions (JOS) announced the recent acquisition of global trust and corporate service provider Equiom. In a released statement, JOS founder Robert Crane said that the merger will help the company offer a ​​transparent, instant, and interactive service “like never before.” Meanwhile, Human resources (HR) investment platform FirstMeridian Business Services launched its new and integrated Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions brand called Philippe Read. Headed by industry experts with 20+ years of experience, Philippe Read offers an extensive recruitment service that is both effective and efficient. Another partnership deal that recently took place happened between Frost Bank and Infosys. The American bank holding company and IT firm will work together in developing a client-centric, digital-first mortgage loan process for Frost Bank’s clients. Infosys President Mohit said that this collaboration will help set the stage for the “new era of mortgage services.”

Setting sail towards the Caribbean, UK-based outsourcing firm Ventrica will be the first-ever British outsourcing firm to expand in Jamaica – apparently – with the launch of its new operation in Montego Bay. This development is set to generate over 300 new jobs in the country, utilizing the island nation’s highly educated and English-speaking workforce. South Africa (SA) is not letting itself fall behind its competitors. A newly-signed outsourcing deal between training agency CareerBox, international contact center CCI South Africa, and US-based prepaid wireless service provider Metro. The newly announced deal will reportedly add over 900 call center jobs in the city of Durban and will help tackle the “unemployment problem” in the country. Further, Honduras will be welcoming a new global services provider to its shores. Customer experience (CX) firm ibex will be building a new center in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, with plans to hire 2,000 locals in the next two years. The company is planning to offer a “reasonably high” salary to its incoming employees, setting aside a budget of US$3 million for its first 12-month run. That’s reasonably exciting…

Meanwhile, Fiji has recently carried out significant changes in tax incentives to support the country’s growing BPO industry. According to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the rising outsourcing destination has reduced tariffs, got rid of certain taxes, offered tax holidays, and eliminated the need for “cumbersome and bureaucratic” business license requirements for the BPO investors in the country. Great move!

Remote working definitely has its perks, but it can also make your data vulnerable. In a bid to protect their valuable information, about 69% of South African (SA) based businesses were found to be relying on various antivirus software to protect their networks from cyberattacks. According to a survey by security firm CyberAntix, the majority of its 208 respondents are opting to outsource their vulnerability scanning to third-party tech providers. CyberAntix head of Compliance and Operations Dr. Pierre Jacobs said that this move indicates that the majority of the SA firms do not have a strong vulnerability management strategy in place. To help address this problem, cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW) launched their new cloud-based enterprise-class security solution called Okyo Garde. This security solution is specifically developed for remote work operations and small businesses. It runs under the same technology that secures some of the world’s largest companies, banks, and hospitals across the globe.

In a controversial move, US President Joe Biden has implemented a vaccine mandate requiring all companies with more than 100 employees to either get inoculated against COVID-19 or show a negative COVID test weekly. This new rule is forecasted to affect about two-thirds of the total workforce in the country. A reported US$14,000 fine will be issued per violation of the decree.

Sometimes I wonder if we are ever going to get back to the office?

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

20 September 2021

  • 81% of employers do not have a compensation plan for remote workers – Payscale – read article…
  • 69% of SA firms depend on antivirus to protect their network – CyberAntix – read article…
  • Amazon developing new cloud-based tool to enter the BPO industry – read article… 
  • Frost Bank partners with Infosys to launch mortgage loan process – read article…

17 September 2021

  • New BPO deal to generate over 900 jobs in SA – read article…
  • Remote work rate twice in large firms than SMEs in Japan – read article…
  • Global growth to reach 5.3% in 2021, fastest in almost 50 years – UN read article…
  • Wells Fargo launches new digital infrastructure strategy – read article…

16 September 2021

  • Ibex expands in Honduras, to hire 2K employees – read article…
  • Addt’l incentives given to Fiji’s growing BPO industry – read article…
  • FirstMeridian launches new RPO solutions brand – read article…
  • PANW offers extended security to remote workers, SMEs with Okyo Garde – read article…

15 September 2021

14 September 2021

  • US firms want to reduce employee dependence amid ‘The Great Resignation – read article…
  • First-ever British BPO firm to open in Jamaica – read article…
  • Accenture wins DPD contract with the Australian government – read article…
  • Biden passes vaccine mandate for large US firms – read article…

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