Archive for June, 2012

Is new technology an opportunity or a threat for BPOs?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

An interesting post from Karl Flinders today: How is technology changing BPO?

Karl outlines a range of technologies that are revolutionising the BPO sector and enabling BPOs to deliver new services to their clients more economically. So, the CIO of a BPO is in a powerful position, and the client is happy to benefit from reduced costs?

I am tempted to take the argument a stage further.

The “perfect storm” that Karl describes “as customers want to cut additional back office costs due to continued budget pressure, and at the same time suppliers are trying to create additional services and the revenues that go with them” could drive a new type of behaviour. New technologies “such as cloud computing, business analytics software, social media platforms and process automation software” are so easy to adopt, perhaps the corporate customer’s CIO will work out how to insource the work at the expense of the BPO contract.

Add to the mix political pressure (especially in the US) to repatriate offshored jobs, and the perfect storm could be very windy indeed.

Shop Direct “self-serve” process automation

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

More Blue Prism customer press coverage in British IT journal, Computer Weekly today. This time Shop Direct.

Two things leapt out at me from this article:

1. Shop Direct initially evaluated Blue Prism as an alternative to human beings and, specifically, to avoid offshoring.

2. An internal capability has been set up where business operations teams automate processes with minimal IT support bringing a new agility to managing the back office operation.

In short, Blue Prism will not appear on your integration or middleware architecture chart because it is a business application that is used by operational teams to automate their own processes: The “long tail” of process automation that is never going to make it onto the core IT program because of resourcing, economic or temporal reasons.

If I told you that Blue Prism was a software company with an “integrate anything” platform linked to a scalable and secure orchestration and execution engine, I’m sure you would glaze over. By listening to customers we are understanding how to express more simply what we do. Our website has changed quite a lot recently to help reflect this.

Robotic automation: driving next generation BPO?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Just reading through a “Outsourcing Business” pullout in The Times today. Lots of interesting stuff about Business Process Outsourcing and offshoring trends.

A common theme is how BPOs have used offshoring for labour arbitrage, or as one article puts it “Race for the bottom as companies cut costs”.

One new angle being explored, supported by a Blue Prism sponsored piece, is whether robotic software is going to start taking the place of offshore staff as a way of bringing new economics to delivering business processes, whilst increasing quality and speed.

The full pullout is available online. It’s worth more than a quick scan.