Innovating the Virtual Office & Optimizing the Client Experience in BPO

Feb 11, 2015

On February 4, 2015, a group of BPO industry analysts joined Teleperformance Group for the opening of their new virtual office in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yannis Tourcomanis, Chief Executive Officer for Continental Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) for Teleperformance, opened the briefing with important background details.  Tourcomanis has been keeping analysts updated on the Group’s progress in his region of the world for the past year.  In fact, last fall at the Teleperformance Analyst Event in Paris, Tourcomanis offered a deep-dive of the company’s work in the CEMEA region specifically, where the Group has over 35,000 employees and 80 contact centers.  Despite a challenging few years for most providers in Europe, the Group is focused on improvement, with revenues going from 696M€ in 2011, to 679M€ in 2012, to 699M€ in 2013.

In Dubai, Tourcomanis reminded analysts that the Group’s strategy is centered around its “multi-lingual Euro hubs” in Maastricht, Lisbon, Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo.  Focusing in on Cairo, Tourcomanis noted that currently, the location has some 2,500 seats and offers 21 languages (including Arabic, English, French, Afrikaans, and Urdu) and caters not only to European markets, but almost all African markets.  Tourcomanis also explained that one of the Group’s strategic goals in CEMEA is to grow organically by boosting efforts in marketing and business development, not only interacting with brands in their preferred channel(s), but in their preferred locations as well.

Hence, the virtual office in Dubai.

Giorgio Modesti, CEO at Teleperformance Egypt, then explained that the company wants clients and potential clients located in Dubai to be able to actually feel the Customer Experience being offered by Teleperformance in Cairo.  The solution was to unify Cairo and Dubai through “Teleperformance Observer”, a technology solution modeled on a similar solution Teleperformance developed some time ago to connect operations in Mexico with the United States.  In essence, the company is innovating that virtual model for Mexico & the U.S. to get even closer to clients and prospects that have regional headquarters in Dubai.

Frost & Sullivan has long noted TP’s focus on physical and network security, and the new Dubai office features a dedicated line to Cairo – clients need to physically be in the TP Dubai office in order to plug-in (approvals for the leased lines between Cairo and Dubai recently worked their way through both the governments of the UAE and Egypt).  There are back-up links, as well as a back-up provider.  All data is proprietary to the client; no one outside the client and TP has access.  Various customer statistics can be provided to the client upon request.

Notably, real-time visual monitoring and desktop views of agents means that those agents receive consistent feedback, and help clients sitting in Dubai get a much better feel for the Customer Experience those agents are providing in Cairo.  Indeed, from Teleperformance’s perspective, the real-time monitoring is a way to “humanize” the business by allowing clients to actually see agents and get to know them better.  Sanjay Mehta, Managing Director for Teleperformance India, also in attendance, pointed out that the same sort of virtual office could be offered in India.

Mohamed Yahia, Director of Sales and Marketing for Teleperformance Dubai, was an early champion of the Dubai location, reinforcing the point that there are a significant number of international brands based in Dubai.  For Yahia, the virtual office is therefore a powerful means by which Teleperformance can get closer to its partners.  Panagiotis Megalogiannis, Chief Commercial Officer for Southeast Europe and the Middle East, and Eric Dupuy, President of Business Development, EMEA, also offered perspectives.

In effect, Teleperformance Observer aims at offering optimum access to Cairo for clients located in Dubai, making things as easy for them to do business with Teleperformance as possible.  The solution also is about helping achieve economies of scale.

It’s worth noting too that Mark Pfeiffer, Executive Vice President of the Teleperformance Executive Management Team and President of the CSR Committee, organized the briefing against a backdrop of an impending government summit in Dubai on how governments can best face a rapidly changing world.  Featuring over 100 global speakers, the Dubai summit emphasized the theme of innovation that Teleperformance is putting in place with its new virtual office.  The same day of the Teleperformance briefing, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai penned an opinion piece in The National newspaper entitled, “Governments Must be Engines of Innovation.”  In the piece, Sheikh Mohammed insisted that, “the secret to the renewal of life for corporations, to the evolution of civilizations and to the development of humanity is simple: innovation.”  It’s a message that resonated at the Teleperformance event:  the ease with which Teleperformance was able to set up its office in Dubai’s Media City (“a one-stop shop, one signature on one page”) demonstrates both the seriousness with which Dubai is taking its project to innovate government, and the future ambitions of Teleperformance in the CEMEA region.


Stephen Loynd

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