1. Pioneers and new entrants gain traction in the robotic process automation/autonomics space.
Automated systems, such as forms classification and data capture, have been around for years, but these new platforms (with fancier names) purport to be the second-generation of business process automation. Robotic processes automation is best known as “software robots” that integrate with legacy business process systems to handle mundane, rules-based tasks. The term “autonomic” describes systems, which also are designed to free IT and business process staff from dull, low-skill, repetitive tasks. Because these software robots operate at a fraction of a cost of a human, and can work 24/7/365 without any breaks, industry analysts predict this technology will completely transform BPO.
2. Mature client-outsourcer relationships will lead to a gradual shift to outcome-based pricing models.
Outcome-based pricing—paying for a predetermined business result—can be very complicated, so expect to see this happening among highly experienced clients and outsourcers who have built mature relationships. Partners who have developed a good sense of trust and fairness for both parties will develop contracts that have a sliding-scale of rewards for approaching desired outcomes—they won’t lock providers into an adverse all-or-nothing scenario.
3. Customer contact center services reach higher levels of sophistication.
The world will recognize the evolution of “human-powered” customer service. Once a customer has exhausted self-service options and needs a “real person,” the customer will likely speak to a highly skilled agent trained to handle complex problems in more than one language and through multiple communication channels.
4. BPOs engage the midmarket for opportunities.
BPO providers love the big fish--Fortune 500 companies with scores of outsourceable FTEs and straightforward labor-arbitrage deals with attractive margins. But in a saturated market, these plum deals are harder to come by. So BPO is turning to the midmarket, which presents a different set of problems. Smaller companies often are not mature outsourcers, so it takes time to build trust and good relationships. The labor economics are smaller, which means companies seek pricing based on outcomes—a tough proposition for big BPOs comfortable with transactional pricing.
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