Innovation, they say, is not a result of chance, but is a result of action. With the competition heating up in the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) arena, one of the most logical ways to win is to innovate—not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of the different processes behind technologies.
According to a research conducted by The Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON), the largest community of shared services and BPO professionals in the world, technological services such as big data and analytics, followed by robotics process automation, are the biggest investment priorities of multinational companies today.
Moreover, beyond infrastructure delivery and management, a study from Accenture counts “the use of technology” as a source of innovation and advantage for BPO companies for them to deliver the most value to their clients. The study revealed that “40 percent of high-performance businesses consider technology provided by the service provider to be an important component of the BPO relationship, compared to only 27 percent of typical performers.”
That said, many IT-BPO companies are now enhancing their capabilities to meet the standards of their clients, who are in the hunt for innovative service process providers in the BPO sector.
One of these companies is BPSource, Inc., an emerging IT-BPO company in the Philippines. The firm, which was founded in 2012, has slowly propelled itself as an industry player via the deployment of extensive Business Processing (BP) and IT outsourcing services through the use of innovative processes and solutions for both local and international clients.
In an interview, BPSource Inc. founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Joselyn T. Capistrano, shares her insights about the IT-BPO industry, the several challenges facing country’s BPO sector, and the future of IT-BPO in the Philippines:
How have things changed in the country’s BPO sector since its establishment in 1990s?
It has changed a lot. When Business Process Outsourcing services began in the Philippines, most BPO companies marketed themselves as contact centers. Today, however, almost everything, from back office support to IT services, can be outsourced from BPO companies. We have witnessed an explosive growth, beating other Asian Countries like India in the delivery of high-quality BPO services. The industry itself employs over 1.2 million Filipinos and has a revenue of over $22 billion. These figures alone can tell you much we have grown over the past decades.
Another great point is we are evolving. Our mother company, SQME Professionals, is a global player in project management consulting and software process improvement, which I think is our advantage in the local IT-BPO sector. We are the only small and medium sized IT-BPO company in the Philippines that utilizes the CMMI framework and the best practices in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification.
What do you think is process improvement and IT’s growing role in BPO?
IT adds more value to the service. These days, IT, process improvement, and BPO are becoming more dependent on one another. IT is increasingly becoming part of the BPO package. You can’t really establish a company without information technology. Add to that the current economic conditions many global firms are facing. Hence, there is really no way out but to integrate these bodies to provide high value services to our clients. Through our IT-based services, our clients get more from our services.
While many companies today introduce improvements across IT and BPO, what do think are the biggest challenges BPO companies are facing in terms of innovation?
There are many, to be honest. First, as technology continues to evolve, the more complicated our tasks become to meet what many refer to as an “accepted standard” in IT-BPO. Second, we deal with a lot of processes and we need to assure our clients that we are delivering the best, not only in terms, of say, technical support, but also in terms of security and standardization. These two factors, I believe, can be considered both as a challenge, and at the same time, an opportunity, for us to continually evolve in this industry.
The Philippines, according to sources, has done extremely well in IT-BPO ever since it started. What are the main factors behind this success?
A lot of factors have contributed to our success. First, Filipinos are customer-centric and our culture is very similar to the countries we serve, particularly the United States. This has helped us become a top overseas site for voice-related services. Second, we have strong support from the government, which spends billions on modernization and technology.
What is the future of IT-BPO in the Philippines?
We are seeing a bright future. The Philippines is likely to become a reasonable choice for outsourcing. We have great talents who are not only fluent in English but are also very adept in IT. Put these two elements together, integrate them, and we are ready compete globally. The continued support of our government coupled with the presence of industry giants speaks volumes in terms of what we collectively deliver in the near future.
Joselyn T. Capistrano is the founder and the CEO of BPSource, Inc., a Filipino IT-BPO company located at Ortigas Central Business District, Pasig, Metro Manila. She is also the founder of SQME Professionals, Inc., a premier software engineering and quality management service provider, which handled industry leaders such as Citibank, HP, SMITS, Accenture, Fujitsu Ten, GXS, and 77Global, among many others. Get more insight in the IT-BPO industry by following us on our Facebook page.