Platform BPO or Business Process as Service (BPaaS) is gaining traction in the Indian BPO industry. Since last one decade, Indian BPOs were only looked upon in the supporting role by the companies. However, today Indian outsourcers are moving away from the traditional mould and are trying to combine technology, process and domain expertise to transform from being just outsourcing solution providers to business partners. As a result more and more service providers in India have started focusing their attention towards Platform BPO initiative that uses technology to deliver service on the basis of pay-per-usage model.
There are few good reasons for this paradigm shift.
- First and foremost reason is the economic slowdown. The slowdown of the world economies have forced the companies worldwide to re-think on their investments and spending. This has put the Indian BPO providers to think about their future in outsourcing industry.
- The second reason is the growth of vertical BPO services. Vertical BPO services means providing industrial specific services which require domain expertise; for example services for Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, healthcare and science sector, utilities sector etc. Usually these services are provided on the basis of derived information which explains the reason for the BPO companies to shift to platform based BPO.
- Thirdly, the BPO companies are facing shortage of manpower. In a traditional BPO model, the service providers are paid to employ agents in their centers to carry out the process. The service providers are now facing a tough task to locate talented agents to deliver services as per the client needs. This is prompting them to re-invent their business model where technology can be used to deliver services.
Road ahead for service providers and companies
Platform BPO is all about using technology in its optimum way to deliver the desired services. For the service providers, Platform BPO enables them to reduce fixed costs which would bring down their capital expenditure. The Platform BPO also increases the efficiency of service providers because they tend to improve their process and service delivery as they will earn from their clients on outcome basis. The other benefits include:
- The services providers can leverage their platform across all the clients.
- Platform BPO is helping them to set shared services for all their clients using the same assets.
- The service providers are able to carry out the process and deliver services quickly.
- They are also able to offer customized service for their clients which was not possible in a traditional BPO model.
On the other hand, companies are not required to lock their funds to set up centers and employ staff like in traditional BPO model. Instead they are provided with the flexibility to pay for every transaction or benefits they derive from the services. Platform BPO is helping the companies to:
- Reduce overall cost of ownership
- Increase their efficiency.
- Provide consistent service experience for their customers
Future of Platform BPO
According to industry experts, the Platform BPO accounts for one-tenth of the BPO market in India; and considering the uncertainty prevailing in the economy it seems like adoption of it by BPO companies in India will only increase. Popular BPO vendors like Tata consultancy, Infosys and Genpact already have stories with them to boast of their success by adapting the new business model.