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Moving Video Collaboration to the Cloud

For several years now, video conferencing has remained a challenging technology to deploy, use, and manage for large corporations. Small and mid-sized businesses that want to use video collaboration have often been restrained by lack of financial wherewithal and internal IT resources.

Expensive endpoints and infrastructure, complex management, and lack of interoperatbility have largely made video conferencing a loosely connected technology island with adoption limited to deep-pocketed, large organizations.

The next genertion of cloud-based services is addressing the complexity and cost issues. Cloud video conferencing services are enabling pervasive video by allowing people to connect with each other any time, from any place, over any video-enabled device — conference rooms, desktops or mobile devices.

Cloud-based services make video easily accessible to anyone, anywhere — whether they are using video at a desk top, in a conference room, or over a mobile device. These services make video simple for every employee to use, increasing the use of the technology throughout the organisation. Cloud services transform video and unified communications (UC) solutions from boardroom tools to a means for a distributed enterprise (including small to medium sized businesses) to seamlessly link remote employees and partners.

Traditional video conferencing systems require a significant capital investment in equipment, especially if the system is expected to scale. In addition to the telepresence and video conferencing units that are required at each user location, numerous infrastructure products that allow these systems to communicate are also required. A dedicated, highly secure network with a large amount of bandwidth is needed to run calls smoothly.

Many small to medium sized businesses actually put off investing in video because the costs of running it are just too high. A cloud service removes the costs associated with owning the technology needed to run the calls, and can assist in scheduling, monitoring, and managing each video meeting.

Posted in Productivity & Environment, Unified CommunicationsComments (0)

Smartsourcing: Taking Outsourcing to the Next Level

By Marc Kauffmann, President of The Kauffmann Group,

Until recently, most organisations focused on cost savings, through labour arbitrage, in their outsourcing relationships. However, forward thinking leading-edge corporations are taking things to the next level. They are incorporating innovation into their outsourcing engagement model to significantly enhance business value.

This new approach is being referred to as “Smartsourcing”.

Smartsourcing requires organisations to incorporate the following Critical Success Factors:

* Design, execute, and measure incremental innovation initiatives and Quarterly Innovation Forums. it is important to have your organisation’s senior management team actively involved in the development and implementation of this process.

* When crafting your organisation’s Smartsourcing Strategy, it is important to consider the holistic implications of the full end-to-end process and not just the point solution for a process evaluated in isolation.

* Calculating the total cost of the people performing the process and the Information Technology. You need to understand your current cost structure in addition to having a defined plan to significantly enhance your existing operational processes.

For more:!

Posted in Business, StrategiesComments (1)


By Martin Conboy

I was thinking about the differences in business protocol and cross cultural awareness between western countries like Australia and The Philippines and specifically about tardiness and being on time for business meetings.

Considering this recently, it got me thinking about how the attitude to lateness has changed over time, especially since the advent of text messaging and mobile phones.

In Australia it used to be OK to amble in 10 minutes late because usually there was only one or two meetings a day. Now there seems to be constant meetings that if people aren’t there right on time, the meeting often starts without them.

These days being late for a business meeting in Australia is a serious no – no. Most business meetings are organized in thirty minute or sixty minute time frames and they are expected to finish on time. People are too busy these days to have to suffer latecomers. Executives frown on people who run late for meetings – especially if the meeting has been organised well in advance. If you need to travel to the meeting and you know traffic can be a nightmare, one needs to account for it! A bit of extra traffic is now not considered an acceptable excuse.

Switch to Manila and you will hear ‘NA-TRAFFIC LANG’ as the most common excuse for being late for meetings. (It translates as ‘Only Traffic’)  In fact major business conferences in the Philippines that may involve hundreds of people often start late as a result of people showing up late and always blaming the traffic.

The result is that they can run well over time and part of the audience will leave before the schedule is completed. From a western mindset point of view it reflects poorly on the Filipino business community and is the most talked about failing of Philippine executives by their western counterparts.

There is no doubt that the hazards of moving through the streets of Manila are multiplied by the sheer diversity of vehicles that use the roads. In addition to cars, multitudes of motorcycles, trucks large and small, buses, taxis and bicycles, there are motorized rickshaws, pedal-powered rickshaws, pushcarts, motorcycles with homemade sidecars that sometimes carry half a dozen or more passengers all moving at different speeds and stopping at random points with no apparent rhyme or reason.

Then, of course, there are the jeepneys, the national vehicle and the most popular mode of public transport. The originals were made from leftover WW2 U.S. Army jeeps. Tens of thousands of these vehicles, independently owned and mostly unregulated, ply the streets of Manila. Traffic congestion in the Philippine capital consistently ranks among the worst in the world. It can take hours to go a few miles. So there are reasons for being late, however its not as if the traffic is not a known quantity and cannot be planned for.

For Western executives who have arrived in Manila from another continent a business appointment that is delayed by a local executive being late with an excuse of heavy traffic feels that he or she is not being respected and will frown upon the excuse of the Filipino party.

The annoyance of the western executive is further stoked by the lack of any communication by text, a note, a quick email or phone call as it is considered good manners and a standard courtesy to let the other party know that there is a delay. Five minutes late is OK, assuming the person running late lets you know. It seems most people are tolerant about people being five minutes late for a meeting.

Anything more than 15 minutes is considered down right rude. It assumes one has ample free time to allow the meeting to run over. People are very busy, meeting schedules can often be back to back, so don’t assume they can rearrange the rest of their day just because someone else is disorganised.

What do you think? Is it ever acceptable to be late? What’s the best excuse you’ve heard for someone being late?

Posted in Business, Cross Cultural Training, DestinationsComments (2)

WNS CEO confident of positive future for industry

Mark Atterby interviews Keshav Murugesh, CEO of WNS

WNS is one of the largest BPO/BPM (Business Process Management) organisations in the world, servicing over 200+ Global clients and employing some 26,630 professionals across a global delivery network of 32 centres. Keshav Murugesh, CEO of WNS, was visiting Australia during the last week. Mark Atterby interviewed Keshav while he was about his predictions for the industry globally and what this means for Australia,

In his time Keshav has seen the industry shift from primarily servicing low end areas, where the focus was on reducing costs, to focusing on more strategic areas of the business. This has led to a greater level of domain expertise being required by service providers, supported by specialisation in a range of horizontal services.

If you recall the past 10 -15 years the entire focus of companies and clients looking to outsource or even offshore business operations , was around low end areas and completely focussed around on reducing costs and maybe building a little bit of efficiency”.

This has changed over the last few years. As outsourcing and BPO providers gained experience and a greater understanding of what the end user expects and requires, service providers like WNS developed the capability of being able to advise clients on how to improve their business processes.

“We have helped our clients to better understand end consumers and using technology assets to enable and improve new business models. We have invested heavily into new business models

Key to WNS’s success, according to Keshav, is their focus on adding value added services in specialist areas such as analytics, finance and accounting, and custom Interactions tailored to the needs of particular industry verticals in particular locations.

“We believe the market here in Australia, is very exciting from not just our point of view but from the overall Business Process Management (BPM) point of view. Our key verticals include insurance, travel, banking, retail and CPG. We service a range of companies operating out of Australia as well as global organisation that deliver products and services to Australia.”

“We have invested heavily in end-to-end vertically aligned business models, using loads of technology and automation. We have included significant analytics capability into these client/partner centric models, where we can drive non-linear avenues for growth”.

“Our clients use these models and the services we provide, not just to become more efficient, but more importantly to understand their own customers better and make better quality decisions for their stakeholders.”

Keshav believes the BPO or BPM provider of today needs the capability to offer a more strategic range of services, where the relationship between client and service provider is more like a true partnership. For Australian organisations looking to grow and expand overseas this sort of model allows them to bring the best expertise, infrastructure and resources to bear on a particular market or geographic location, without having to build and invest in everything themselves.

Posted in Business, Forecasts, GrowthComments (4)

CEM: More important to the Australian economy than automobile industry

By Carlos Piteira

Electronics Manufacturing has been a standard bearer for outsourcing since the early 1980’s. The main drivers fuelling this strategy, across all markets from telecommunications to IT through automotive and consumer products, are the same as those driving any other outsourcing process, namely specialization and economies of scale.

There was however a technological shift at the time that provided the trigger for the explosive growth experienced by the Contract Electronics Manufacturing (CEM) industry. (Electronic manufacturing services (EMS) is a term used for companies that design, test, manufacture, distribute, and provide return/repair services for electronic components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

This was the advent of Surface Mount Technology (SMT), which required a much higher level of capital investment than the technology prevailing until that point. Furthermore it essentially eliminated the opportunity for start ups and small companies to manufacture their own products in house due technological constraints.

The golden years

In the golden decade between 1992 and 2002 the CEM industry posted average annual growth rates of 49%. This slowed to a still very healthy 15% between 2002 and 2007 and between 2007 and 2012 it slowed down further to 7.2%. This is due primarily to the law of large numbers; now that the CEM industry has virtually taken over all electronics manufacturing it is restricted to grow with the markets that it services and ultimately with the wider economy.

At present every big and small brand from Apple to Xerox and anybody in between outsource their manufacturing.

One of the processes whereby CEM’s win over manufacturing from an OEM (Own Equipment Manufacturer) is by acquiring the OEM’s manufacturing assets. OEM’s always carry substantial excess capacity, which will take some time to dilute. This process is still responsible for the excess capacity present in the industry.

Over the past thirty years the industry went through the typical cycles. Initially there were many players and new ones constantly appearing; a number of these companies went on to be very large and successful. The industry has now moved on to a mature state with virtually no new players entering the market and a very high level of consolidation taking place.

For the first twenty years American companies were the dominant force but now that has shifted to Asia. Foxcon is the standout performer and they claim to be the first corporation in history to employ more than one million people, generating annual sales of more than $50 billion.

In Australia, electronics manufacturing had its heyday in the ten years up to the 2000 tech wreck, at which point it was generating revenues in excess of $1 billion. The landscape was populated by a small number of local OEM’s, a substantial number of multinational OEM’s, such as NEC, Fujitsu, Alcatel, Ericsson, VDO and others, but also by a range of CEM’s that covered the spectrum of the market, with a few posting revenues of approximately $100M.

Times are changing

More than 80% of all this business has now migrated north, and the local CEM industry continues to consolidate. The latest example is the merger of Dayang and Tresmine to form Circuitwise, as the new leading Australian CEM. Most reports indicate that the industry has now found a new point of equilibrium and can start rebuilding on a more sustainable base.

The CEM industry provides an extremely valuable, even vital service to all local start-ups, small and medium technology companies, which would face much higher costs and logistic challenges if they have to go overseas during the product development stage and for small to medium production jobs.

While this industry receives virtually no air time, when compared to the car industry for example, its survival is far more important for Australian innovation and indigenous technology companies. Critically, it survives on its own, without taxpayers money wasted on American or Japanese multinationals.

Carlos Pietera has a career spanning thirty years in Engineering, Manufacturing, Product Development, Business Development, numerous roles as Chairman, MD, CEO, Director and consultant.

Posted in Manufacturing, R&D, TechnologyComments (0)

Has the BPO Industry in the Philippines Grown Too Big to Fail?

By Jason Thurwanger

There are an increasing number of people that point to the meteoric rise of the BPO industry in the Philippines and suggest that the footprint here will only continue to grow larger.  In short, they are of the opinion that the industry has already grown too big to fail.  They point to large and continuous investments from abroad, a high English literacy rate, and a bountiful supply of warm bodies to staff the growing industry as evidence that they are set for the future.

The industry is projected to be on pace for $16 billion of revenue this year, with projected growth rates estimating annual revenues of $25 billion by the year 2016.  Many people share the view that the Philippines is the BPO/contact centre capital of the world and will continue to be so moving forward.

Someone asked me very recently if I thought that the industry had grown too big to fail in the Philippines.  I smiled and stated, “Of course”.  It’s not too often that some entity can be deemed too big to fail.  Consider the following entities that were also too big to fail:

  • The Titanic – This modern marvel of shipbuilding was never formally advertised as being. However, in one interview, an executive from the company that built the Titanic stated that he thought the Titanic was unsinkable.  Ironically, when he made this statement, the Titanic was almost completely sunk already.
  • Persian Empire – In the Battle of Marathon, the Greek people sent 10,000 troops to try and slow down the advance of the Persians into Greece, so that the rest of Greece could have more time to mobilize a more robust defense.  Their task was a suicide mission as there were hundreds of thousands of Persians on the way.  Interestingly, the 10,000 Greeks sent to slow the Persians down actually destroyed the much larger attacking force.  Some years later in the Battle of the Issus (modern day Turkey), Alexander the Great led his force of 40,000 troops into battle against hundreds of thousands of Persians…..and won decisively, precipitating the final demise of Darius III.
  • GM & Chrysler – These two automotive giants were deemed too big to fail.  However, through practicing an approach of listening to board members and unions much more attentively than listening to their customers, both organizations needed billions of dollars in bailout money from the US government to survive.  Furthermore, Chrysler needed to be purchased by an Italian automaker to stay afloat.

We could go through many more examples of how entities that were “too big to fail” ended up failing (i.e. financial services, banking, etc.), but it’s not really necessary.  If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that any entity can be too big to fail…..until it ultimately fails.

One must take a more critical look at the true operational health of the BPO industry in the Philippines when considering the long-term viability of this industry in this country.

Upon closer inspection, one will see that while the headcount of Filipinos in the industry has risen dramatically over the last 10 years, actual performance (most notably NPS/CSAT) has not seen a corresponding rise.  This is due to many factors, including an underdeveloped workforce, weak Operations leadership, and a lack of understanding and appreciation in the realm of what the customer experience really is and how to optimize it consistently.

I am a fan of the Philippines.  However, rather than trying to be “too big to fail”, the industry, and all employed therein, would be better advised to make their operations “too effective to pass up.”  Otherwise, the outlook for the BPO industry in the Philippines is not quite nearly as bright as many assume.

After all, what is the going market rate and future demand for an industry that routinely underperforms, creates customer friction, produces inconsistently quality in the customer experience, and that lacks a vibrant understanding of how to effectively engage customers in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK?

Yes, the industry has grown a great deal in spite of these weaknesses.  However, the leadership in the Philippines need look no further than the history of the BPO/contact centre industry in India to better understand the cost of assuming that a continuance of mediocrity will be acceptable.

Jason Thurwanger is a freelance Operations Consultant with 20 years of experience in the contact centre/BPO workspace, including extensive experience in customer care/CRM, customer intelligence/market research, and sales (both inbound & outbound).  Driving the customer experience and improving operational efficiency make up the centrepiece of Jason’s consulting engagements.

Posted in Business, Destinations, ForecastsComments (5)

A multi-channel BBQ – without the snags

By Scott McMillan & Tom Dickerson, Salmat

Today when we organise an event, such as a barbeque with friends, we may phone to invite them, send the address via a text message, invite others via Facebook and then upload posts, pictures and tweets of the event. We use multiple channels to ensure everyone has a great experience.
Imagine a similar scenario in business. A customer is considering attending an event you are hosting having received an email from your marketing department but they would like more detail first. The customer then decides to place a call to your contact centre to fill the gaps. Having reached a customer service rep they probe for more detail only to be met with a response of “what event?”

Frustrated by this, the customer posts comments on the company’s Facebook page. Others visit the web site which has details of last month’s event so they assume they’ve missed it and don’t turn up.

salmatThe difference? We communicate with our friends and family using multiple channels (SMS, phone, Facebook…) in an integrated way.  Integration is achieved because our friends and family remember previous conversations and pick up the thread no matter what channel is used. So why are most organisations communicating in a fragmented way – one channel at a time?

The problem usually stems from size. The only way many large organisations can be cost efficient (and price competitive) is to have contacts handled by different employees, (say a contact centre rather than an account manager).  In the early 90s this problem was overcome using CRM systems capturing case notes about previous calls, but this solution is no longer effective due to the rise of multiple channels. Put simply, if you tweet first and then follow up with two phone calls (heaven forbid), the agent can see your previous call, but chances are they can’t see your tweet.

These interactions, each paid for by the company, reduce the likelihood of this customer being a loyal, high-value advocate for your business.

This siloed set up can often result in the customer bouncing from one channel to another out of frustration because they cannot get hold of an answer. The result is customer frustration and rising operational costs because of responding to multiple incoming enquiries about the same topic.

Here are some statistics that you should be aware of:

  • 88% of callers rate not having to repeat their query as important
  • Only 15% of businesses claim to have an effective single customer view in place
  • 42% of Australian consumers say they will pay more for excellent customer service
  • In 2015, $30 billion in global purchases are expected to occur on social networking sites
  • 34% of Australian consumers are likely to use a smartphone app for a customer service query in the next 12 months

So if that is the problem, what is the solution?

Understanding how your customers want to communicate is a great start. Do they prefer SMS reminders to emails? Would they like to update their own account status online? As an organisation it is your responsibility to know your customers, understand who they are, understand what they need and then provide the right channels for them.

You need to know when a channel is working, as well as when to tweak your communications approach, your message or your product. Knowing what’s broken and why is as important as knowing what’s working.

Using multiple channels, an organisation should mirror the habits of its consumer’s interpersonal communication in a manner best suited to the channel. This may be short, sharp and frequent posts on Facebook or highly individual and timely SMS messages to their mobile. Making sure your customer service experience is simple, easy and convenient for your customers will actually give them a pleasant surprise. At the forefront of this is an integrated single customer view, the ability for agents to see previous customer interactions, no matter what the channel.

Listen to your customers. Avoid expecting your customers to fit into the departments and silos of your organisation. If old ways of doing things are getting in the way of achieving your objectives, change them!

Scott McMillan is Salmat’s General Manager of Business Consulting

Tom Dickerson is a Salmat Business Consultant

Posted in Communications, CRM, Social MediaComments (41)

Best practices for managing your remote team

By Darren Sprod.

John, Mary, Olaf, Nasir, Tasmina, Rolf and Jorge are all working on an ERP software implementation team. Jorge and John work for the vendor; Mary and Rolf are company employees located on two different continents; Tasmina is an independent contractor who works from her home office; and Nasir works for a BPO provider.

They meet virtually using web-conferencing software, and exchange information fluidly using email, instant messaging, a corporate document repository and the occasional phone call.
They won’t all work on the project for its entire duration, but instead join for as long as their expertise is needed.

They never meet face-to-face, but manage to form effective working relationships and even a few lasting friendships.

The project is completed with the usual challenges and glitches, but overall is considered a significant success.

Is this the workforce of the future? Actually, it’s today’s reality for many organisations and workers.

Dealing with the management challenges presented by the new workforce

While this kind of dispersed and diverse team can allow you to access the skills and experience you need, as and when you need them, it can present some management challenges. How do you keep this mix of workers aligned, engaged and high performing?

While you need to respect labour laws and the different nature of your working relationships, you can still use talent management best practices to ensure smooth operations.

Align everyone to high level goals

When managing any kind of team, it’s important to clearly communicate expectations and align everyone’s efforts. One of the easiest and best ways to do this is to clearly communicate high level goals – be they organisational, divisional/departmental, or project – then ask everyone to create individual goals that in some way support the higher level goal. To do this effectively, everyone’s goals, at every level, need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).

Then, you, or key managers from each source, need visibility into the full set of supporting goals so you can identify and address any gaps that might hinder goal attainment. You also need to regularly monitor progress on goals, ensure everyone is still aligned, and identify any challenges or roadblocks so they can be addressed early on. If you can share the information with the entire work team, your various labour sources can assess and identify any impact to their work and the overall project, and readjust.

This form of goal alignment/management is one of the best ways to communicate expectations and ensure your entire workforce is working in concert with the same focus.

Maintain the dialogue

If it’s important to maintain an ongoing dialogue about expectations and performance with collocated employees, it’s even more vital with a workforce that’s made up of different classes of workers in disparate locations.

While it may not be appropriate to maintain this dialogue with individual workers from BPO providers, you should at least maintain it with the managers who are your key contacts.

Everyone needs feedback on their performance and the opportunity to discuss goals, priorities, expectations and how work gets done. So engage in a two-way dialogue with all parties, in a mutually acceptable manner.

Encourage development

When you’re managing employees, it’s clear that you have a responsibility to support their development through work assignments, feedback and coaching, and formal development activities.

With outsourced or contract staff, that responsibility may not be as clear. Here again, you may need to work through external management rather than directly with the worker in question. But you certainly can identify knowledge/skill/performance gaps, suggest learning or development activities, and track improvements in performance.

When your organisation is adopting a new tool or approach to work, it can be beneficial to try to sync up training and development activities with your vendors, contractors and BPO providers. While you may not be in a position to “mandate” training for these workers, encouraging their development can still be beneficial to your working relationship and results.

Evaluate performance

Irrespective of the nature of your formal relationship (employer, customer, partner, etc.) with your workers, it’s always valuable to periodically stop and formally evaluate each individual’s performance.

While you can conduct formal performance evaluations for your employees, you can’t do that with other classes of workers.

But you can still engage in a formal review, outlining your expectations, evaluating work done to date, identifying areas for improvement, and establishing goals for the coming period. You may need to alter who you do the evaluation with – for example, with a BPO worker you may need to conduct the evaluation with their manager – but the evaluation is still important to conduct, both to support the performance of the worker and your relationship with your BPO providers.

Work with your various labour providers to determine the best and most appropriate way to conduct these reviews, as well as their timing.

And don’t forget to solicit feedback from them on your performance so you can improve it.

Recognise and reward performance

Here again, while the way you recognise and reward performance will differ for your employees and your other classes of workers, it’s vitally important that you do. You’ll likely need to negotiate appropriate means with your BPO providers. But nothing ever prevents you from sending a sincere thank you email (copying all appropriate management) or verbally acknowledging contributions to your organisation’s success.

Remembering the fundamentals of talent management

Talent management is fundamentally about creating a high performing workforce. While you need to employ different tactics and techniques with different classes of workers, clearly communicating expectations, providing ongoing feedback, supporting development, evaluating performance, and recognising and rewarding contributions are the key ways you achieve this.

Darren Sprod is a Regional Manager at Halogen Software.

Posted in Human Resources, Labour, Productivity & Environment, TeleworkingComments (1)

The Philippines BPO Industry’s resilience in the face of disaster

By Martin Conboy

If you can help financially please visit there is no doubt that the lovely people of the Philippines need all of our support.

The extent of the recent disaster in the Philippines and its impact on so many people is too difficult to put into words. It was heart breaking to see what these poor unfortunate people have had to go through especially as this was the same area that recently was affected by a major earthquake. Typhoon Haiyan, with wind speeds of over 195 miles per hour (310 + kms), left a path of devastation across the Philippines archipelago, it was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. According to German-based CEDIM Forensic Disaster Analysis, the destruction is estimated to be between $US 8 – 19 billion, though the full extent of the damage is unlikely to be known for weeks or even months. Even now some survivors are only just seeing the first signs of aid that is pouring in from all over the world.

There is an interesting part of the character of the Filipino people and that is their eternal optimism and they will pull through this and be stronger as a result. The country has been preparing to protect the industries it relies on for its economy for a long time and disaster recovery planning is a well-established management practice, as Typhoons are an inevitable fact of life in the Philippines. On average the Philippines is hit by over 20 heavy to severe storms per year. The most recent disaster has certainly affected some parts of the BPO industry, but the level of impact it has had on the industry has been kept to a minimum due to a range of effective forward thinking disaster recovery procedures.

Global buyers and service providers have built a strong presence in the Philippines, and typhoon threat is a geographical risk trade-off that companies have made in return for a high-grade good-quality English-speaking talent pool. The industry is well organised in terms of disaster recovery, although this storm was on a scale not seen before. The main BPO markets of Manila was not really affected as it was well to the north of the storm and emerging centres like Davao City were well to the south of the epicentre. Cebu and Iloilo in the central Philippines were not as fortunate.

In a statement given about Typhoon Haiyan’s effect on its Philippines operations in Manila and Cebu, US-based, Sykes Enterprises commented that “the impact from the typhoon has been immaterial, given the company’s disaster recovery planning and built-in redundant support infrastructure.” The company has been “operating in the Philippines since 1997 and the number of typhoons and storms the archipelago experiences on average is roughly 20 on an annual basis.”

Work was suspended in the cities of Cebu, Iloilo and Dumaguete, in preparation for the typhoon. Temporary power outages and disruption to telecommunications led to higher absenteeism. Many BPO organisations shifted their operations and call flows to other centres in the country in preparation of the storm.

emily-brocoyEmily Brocoy, Senior Business Development Manager, Taking You Forward Inc. (TYF) a major BPO enterprise in Cebu, “ Every time there is a forecast of a strong typhoon to hit the country we always prioritize the safety and welfare of our employees first. On this occasion given the severity of the warnings we suspended our operations for one day, as we did not want our staff moving about getting to and from work.”

She went on to say, ”Of course we cannot just stop working, as that would disadvantage our customers, so in terms of business continuity planning and allowing for outages beyond our control, we have a partner in another geographical location that we can seamlessly divert telephony traffic to. Because of our prudence we were lucky that most of our employees were safe and got back to work the day after the storm had blown through and now our call centre operation is back to normal.”

The Philippine BPO industry will be playing a major role in helping to rebuild the infrastructure, prosperity, and lives for the people of the Philippines. With a growth of 6.6 percent last year, the Philippines is only second to China in the region. The impact of the storm to the national GDP is estimated to have shaved around one percent according to the IMF and economist in the country, with little impact to inflation, which the central bank has targeted between 3 and 5 percent for 2014.

Posted in Business, featuredComments (0) shares soar by more than 400 per cent

There is no question that there has been a sharp increase in the ‘Micro sourcing’ end of the Outsourcing spectrum and as a result shares in the outsourcing website have surged by as much as 400 per cent during the company’s first hours of trade on the Australian share market.

After listing at 50 cents last week, its shares soared to as high as $2.60 in their first day of trading. At 2:50pm (AEDT), they were trading 252 per cent higher at $1.76, giving the company a market value of about $771 million. Freelancer founder Marr Barrie says he opted to raise capital through an initial public offering in order to maintain control over the how the business is operated.

“This space is in its infancy,” he said. “We have 9 million users globally. There’s a long way to go. We thought this is probably the best path, and we maintained being masters of our own destiny.”

Freelancer raised has $15 million through the offering of 30 million shares. Fund manager Roger Montgomery says there has been strong interest in the float, reportedly including from US tech investor Joel Sng. “There are some very high profile early investors in companies like Twitter and Facebook have taken a stake in Freelancer, and so everybody is riding on their coat tails,” he said.

To read more

Posted in Business, GrowthComments (0)

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