Thursday, December 2, 2010

Virtualisation of voice technology and outsourcing opportunity | Micro BPO in India

The Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry is mulling over introducing a new technology by virtue of which employees working in this sector could work from home, instead of personally going to their offices. This technological intervention would not only cut expenses of the companies in more than one way but reduce traffic congestion in major BPO hubs like Gurgaon, Bangalore and Chennai in a big way.

According to promoters of BPOs, with this technology employees in faraway places can work from their places of choice without the need to commute to offices at all.

This will enhance the efficiency of the workforce besides reducing their overhead expenses. “Also, they can work from secure environs,” said an industry source.

The security of women employees in call centres has been a major cause of concern for authorities, in the wake of shocking incidents of rape in Delhi and elsewhere.

“With just one laptop or desktop computer with internet and a phone connections, people could operate from their rooms, attend to inbound calls that otherwise land at the call centre. With this, housewives, who would never otherwise dream of joining a BPO, would be able to take jobs and do it from their homes,” said Mike Manson, director of Wesley Clover Communication Solutions. The company has introduced Mitel’s virtual unified communications solution in India.

Manson said this type of flexibility was not possible with the old PBX-based business processing model which made the employees to join BPO office as the calls land at the offices only.

“Virtualisation of voice technology would help setting up of one-seater or 3-5 seater micro BPOs in tier 3 and 4 cities from where the BPO companies are drawing talent pool,” said Sriram Srinivas, vice-president, Wesley Clover Communication Solutions. “This would not only benefit the employee to save on overheads such as rentals and high cost of living in metros but also helps the company redue cost on things such as employee transportation expenses.”

According to information technology experts, there are some technologies that allow setting up remote micro BPOs already available in India, but the idea has not picked up vastly because of some limitations.