Small to medium size businesses often look to handle their IT infrastructure in the most self sufficient way. Rarely will these companies have the budget or even the need to hire a full time employee dedicated to managing their network. In the past SMEs would turn to the outsourcing industry to extend their in-house capabilities and get a properly managed IT system setup with 24 hour support.
The trend has now shifted for businesses around world to get their IT infrastructure requirements fulfilled using cloud computing services. Rather than having to shift their IT processes to an outsource the SME’s can now automate the processes with cloud services.
Cloud computing is a subscription-based service offering on-demand network access to IT resources over the internet that are hosted and maintained by the supplier. This gives businesses virtual access to scalable amounts of applications, storage space and data that is completely independent of location and device. In contrast to the traditional way of outsourcing IT services cloud computing outsourcing is charged as a pay per use basis where companies are only charged for the amount of resources they consume.
Cloud Service Models
There are four primary categories that cloud service modules fall into and businesses can choose which ones are needed for their specific business functions:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – This is the most basic and pioneer service of cloud computing. With IaaS, businesses are provided virtualized network resources (servers, storage, virtual machines, etc..). This is usually billed as a pay as you go service.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – delivering software applications over the internet that are hosted by the supplier. Suppliers manage the software applications, infrastructure, maintenance and required updates. This is usually billed as a paid subscription.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – This service provides an on-demand environment for developing, testing and managing software applications. This method makes creating apps for mobile or web use quicker and easier since the underlying infrastructure is being managed by a third party. This is usually billed as a pay as you go service.
- Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – With this service companies are provided virtual desktops that are accessible anywhere in the world using the internet. This is usually billed as a paid subscription.
Cloud computing outsourcing is appealing for SMEs because of the flexibility and reliability of the services offered. Business functions and roles have been completely revamped since the introduction of cloud computing services. This pay as you go or as you need method to fulfill companies IT requirements is becoming the standard for startups due to the convenience, scalability, low cost and access anytime anywhere that they get with cloud computing outsourcing.
There is not a single business that does not have some type of clerical work that needs to be accomplished. Filing paperwork, managing records, reception duties, data entry and other administrative tasks all fall under the responsibility of a clerical worker or clerical assistant. The scope of duties will vary from day to day so they are often considered to be a jack of all trades in and around the office.
Workload for clerical positions tends to be very inconsistent. Some days there is not enough hours in the day while most days are spent waiting around for the next project. Because of this inconsistent workload the trend for small to medium sized businesses is to get these administrative tasks completed by using a clerical outsourcing service.
Handling Administrative Tasks
Most SMEs are working with a limited budget and are only employing the absolutely necessary staff to operate. In the beginning it is unlikely they employ someone dedicated to administrative tasks so the clerical business functions are placed on the back burner until one of the key players has time to work on it even though it is usually out of their area of expertise. This inevitably leads to prolonged processes and poor quality of work.
BPO companies are filled with experienced staff that are experts in handling clerical work. This limits the requirement and costs that come with recruiting and training new employees. SMEs are also free from the costs and time it takes to manage the newly hired employee. With clerical outsourcing companies pay a flat rate per month for the service needed without having to worry about payroll, taxes and insurances.
Hire a Service
When companies engage in outsourcing they are hiring a service instead of hiring an individual employee. Companies are only charged for the administrative work that is actually completed with no consideration to the actual employee performing the job. No additional resources are needed from the client for completing the outsourced tasks. Time and money is not wasted on checking personal emails, social networking and internet browsing with clerical outsourcing.
Clerical Outsourcing Duties
Using today’s advanced technology enables companies to have almost any administrative task completed remotely. Clerical duties are extremely varied depending on each company’s needs but here are the 12 most common tasks:
- Answer telephones, take messages and transfer calls
- Communicate with customers and employees
- Maintain and update inventory and database systems
- Basic bookkeeping and banking transactions
- Process and prepare documents
- Prepare meeting agendas and record minutes
- Compile, copy and file records and transactions
- Complete and mail bills, contracts and policies
- Compute, record and proofread data and reports
- Type, format, proofread and edit correspondence from notes
- Complete work schedules, manage calendars and appointments
- Make travel arrangements for personnel
Voice type call center services pioneered the outsourcing industry in the Philippines. Even today 70% of the revenue generated by BPO companies in the Philippines come from over the phone customer service and telemarketing services. This has resulted in Manila becoming the #1 ranked city for businesses in English speaking countries to outsource their voice-based processes.
Ranked #1 for English Speaking Call Centers
This top spot is credited to the high number of fluent English speakers and the countries 97% literacy rate. Filipinos speak English with a neutral accent and are very knowledgeable about the American culture due to the countries historical ties to the United States. These characteristics have proven to be a huge advantage over India and has encouraged more companies to outsource their call center services to Philippines.
Handles Wide-Range of Call Center Services
The Philippines is not only an outsourcing destination for US-based accounts but has recently had an influx of UK and Australia based accounts for both voice and nonvoice processes. Call center services in the Philippines has evolved to much more than just providing customer service for businesses overseas. Now these BPO call centers are able to handle a wide range of both inbound and outbound businesses processes.
Inbound Call Center Services
- Customer Service – 24 hour basis, after office hours or as an overflow.
- Receiving / Inputting Orders and Selling – everything from upselling to credit card processing
- Tracking / Reporting on Orders Progress – confirming deliveries, validating information, order status updates, etc…
- Handling Customer Complaints / Issues – resolution is quick and rarely requires escalation.
- Direct Response Marketing Services – offers new products / services to new and existing customers.
- Conference & Event Registration – 24/7 support including providing details, marketing data, capturing statistics and registering guests in CRM.
- Help Desk Support – 24/7 live help and advice for website navigation, general product information and other custom support queries.
- Technical Support – dedicated tech support for Windows, Macs, Tablets, Mobile Devices, Servers, Networks, etc…
- Dealer Locate & Referral – provides customers with requested information such as driving directions, hours of operation, stock levels, product categories, etc….
- Back Office Support – data entry, data research and management services.
- Shipping & Fulfillment Services – shipping orders, warehousing services and distribution services.
Outbound Call Center Services
Business Process Outsourcing is the process of outsourcing the operations and responsibilities of specific business processes to a third party service provider. Services that are most likely to be outsourced are those not labeled as core business functions.
Outsourcing is a management process in the globalized business context that has been well understood, tried and tested by successful organizations across the globe. The advancements in Information Technology has led to this industry growing faster than ever with the reduction in costs combined with the ability to have services provided from remote locations overseas.
What Services are Being Outsourced?
BPO outsourcing services primarily include back office operations. In the past outsourcing was limited to inbound and/or outbound voice type services. Inbound services dealt with customer service and technical support while outbound services usually included sales and billing services. Businesses are now confident in expanding their scope of services they are willing to outsource. Here are the top 10 BPO outsourcing services for 2018:
- Web Design – 71% of companies outsource web development projects including Apple inc. and it has resulted in higher profits.
- Software Development – 56% of startups have outsourced software development to an external partner as a way to handle their capacity issues.
- Telemarketing – Pay per lead is gaining huge popularity with the opportunity to gain qualified leads with little risks.
- Customer Service – It is expected that every company provides 24/7 customer service in 2018 which can be extremely costly having to cover midnight hours and overtime of in-house employees.
- Virtual Assistance – There are an estimated 3.9 million virtual secretaries and administrative assistance around the world.
- Bookkeeping / Accounting – Offshoring finance and accounting services comprases about 10% of the $980 billion BPO market and is expected increase 70% by the year 2020. Taxation and financial statement preparation are the most common processes to be outsourced.
- Data Entry – According to market trends, businesses like e-commerce, legal, online retail portals and manufacturing mostly outsource their data entry tasks because of excessive and bulk range of data that needs to be processed, managed and represented as per organization protocols as well as understanding.
- Medical Billing – 49 percent of hospital chief financial officers acknowledge that outsourcing (including overseas outsourcing) in organizational claim processing will become an increasingly viable alternative as 2018 progresses.
- Digital Marketing – In 2017, 68% of agencies outsourced SEO to a white label SEO provider, 62% outsourced content marketing services and 48% outsourced pay per click marketing.
- Human Resources – According to Global Industry Analysts, the BPO market for outsourcing HR services is expected to reach $54 billion by 2020.
Businesses continue to see that finding talent is not only difficult but also costly. By hiring a BPO outsourcing services the company is not hiring an employee but hiring a third party to complete a process. Doing so greatly increases productivity, reduces costs and just overall improves their business processes.
BPO outsourcing companies in the Philippines enable businesses around the world to improve their customer satisfaction rating and gain that competitive edge over their competition. Cost effective, trustworthy, fully competent and transparent are just some of the qualities that are used to describe the Philippine’s outsourcing industry.
Once you combine those characteristics along with the fact that the country continues to stay current with trends in technology, according to Tholons Service Globalization the Philippines is in the top 10 for offering digital services; it is no surprise the worldwide popularity being gained by BPO outsourcing companies in the Philippines.
There are plenty of studies ranking the Philippines as being first in client satisfaction when combining cost with performance. Here are some key attributes that give Filipinos the edge when it comes to the BPO industry:
- Quality Service. Filipinos are very welcoming when it comes to helping others. They love to communicate with other people and give their undivided attention when speaking to a customer. Thanks to this great culture and positive attitude it makes customer service come as second nature to them.
- Communication Skills. Language and culture are probably some of the biggest factors why companies choose to outsource to the Philippines. English is the language used by teachers in school and the country currently has a 92.6 percent literacy rate which makes it one of the largest English speaking countries in the world.
- Labor Costs. Filipino salaries are significantly less than those of other countries due to the low cost of living in the country. Even with the low salary the quality of service is still on par compared to companies in-house employees. When using BPO outsourcing companies in the Philippines businesses get to have their cake and eat it too.
Businesses around the world have more choices than ever when it comes to getting a specific service accomplished through outsourcing. The Philippines continues to be in the top 3 for most categories important to choosing an outsourcing destination.
The BPO industry in the Philippines was responsible for $25 billion in revenue or 10% of their economic ouput in the year 2017 and is expected to increase to covering 15% of the total global outsourcing market by the end of 2018.
Highly skilled, service-oriented, educated and English speaking workforce is creating confidence and giving the opportunity for more businesses around the world to connect with BPO outsourcing companies in the Philippines.