The Game-Changer: BPO Innovation Up and Across the Value Chain

Feb 17, 2015

The Game-Changer: BPO Innovation Up and Across the Value Chain

Frost & Sullivan continues to research and report on trends in the customer care Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) space. Outsourcing providers offer a multitude of benefits to their client base, including minimizing capital outlays, business flexibility, access to qualified labor, reduced costs, advanced management techniques, and the opportunity to gain access to state of the art technology. Service provider solutions help clients acquire, retain and increase the lifetime value of their customer relationships.

Our studies have concluded that customer care providers in North America are determined to move up and across the business value chain. How? They are doing it by offering value-add services to their clients in order to stand out in a crowded, mature market.

In today’s environment, customer care providers continue to focus on areas where they can add business value while achieving significant cost savings. After all, cutting cost means freeing up cash for clients; cementing the business relationship while giving them the freedom to invest in other parts of the enterprise.

In the last couple of years, global customer care providers have been forced to differentiate themselves. Long gone is the goal of winning greater wallet share through labor arbitrage and sheer operational excellence alone. It is no longer acceptable to be viewed as a top choice for cheap seats.  Simply put, outsourcers have realized that they must put solutions in-place that affect their clients’ core business; from strategy, operations and processes to the financial bottom line. Turning the clock forward, Frost & Sullivan is witnessing tremendous investment in internal BPO research and development (R&D). The result is the birth of new internally developed platforms – unique, robust, sophisticated and client-focused.

Sutherland’s Proprietary Framework for Technical Support

A good example of this movement is found with Sutherland Global Services. Sutherland is a global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and technology management services company. The firm offers an integrated set of back-office and customer facing front-office services that support the entire customer lifecycle. The company combines advanced analytics and highly trained professionals with state-of-the-art technology and proven business methodologies. Sutherland was recognized with the Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Enhancement Award based on its innovative SmartLeap™ client solution. This platform offers multi-channel customer care solutions via telephone, email, chat or web self-service that focus on improved customer satisfaction and revenue retention.  

 SmartLeap™ components deflect call volumes and uses automated non-voice channels to reduce operating expenses. The solution uses the extensive repository of 120,000 online articles. In this way, voice calls are deflected to a self-help website. Proprietary desktop applications are used to fix issues at the source and prevent customers from calling live agents.

Teleperformance’s Innovation and Security Practice

Another example is Teleperformance. The globalization of the contact center industry makes for more complex security challenges as clients operate in cross-border environments. Frost and Sullivan’s believes that Teleperformance has built a security-conscious culture within the entire organization; reinforcing customer trust, reducing agent churn and uncovering gaps that may put client intellectual property at risk. This is no small feat when considering the fact that Teleperformance operates 270 contact centers in 62 countries with 175,000 employees.

The Teleperformance Group has been recognized with a Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Technology Innovation Award based on the design, construction, and operation of its ground-breaking Virtual Briefing Center (VBC). Teleperformance has built a unique and secure environment where clients and prospects can safely:

  • Conduct an extensive, real-time virtual tour of multiple sites prior to a physical visit
  • Perform Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR) from a protected virtual location

The primary driver for the VBC project was to meet the travel and cost challenges posed by the threat of violence and crime in select near-shore cities. The VBC provides clients with access to any Teleperformance center where they have outsourced customer care business. The VBC  saves significant travel cost and preempts client travel to potentially dangerous regions of the world.

SYKES’ Distinct Approach to Analytics

Frost & Sullivan recognized SYKES with a Frost & Sullivan Award based on its excellence in executing a world-class service capability - SYKES Insight Analytics. This solution  applies  root  cause analysis with a  range  of  techniques  to differentiate  customers  by  developing  insight into  customer needs  directly from customer interactions. Standard monitoring and analytics tools often focus only on the ‘what’ of the exchange with the end-customer.  The aim of Insight Analytics, however, is to help clients understand the ‘why’ of support processes that affect customer outcomes.

 SYKES Insight Analytics  draws  from  structured  and unstructured  data sources (call recordings, email, IVR data,  ACD,  CRM  systems, customer surveys,  PBX reports, web server logs etc…) with  specialized  analysis techniques, predictive modeling tools and third‐party  analytics software. With over 30 years of experience, Frost & Sullivan believes that the new and expanded SYKES will continue to deliver meaningful solutions that enhance the customer service experience, promote strong brand loyalty, and bring about high levels of performance and profitability for its clients

Deeper Business Partnerships

Cultural Alignment

The nature of the relationship between customer and provider is vital to the long-term success of any outsourcing arrangement. It becomes even more important today because consumer expectations for excellent service delivery are extremely high, regardless of the vertical segment. Premium brands, in particular, want to be able to sculpt and shape the customer experience. This requires a shared vision and a good cultural fit between vendor and client. It engenders a high level of trust, a synergistic relationship and a great deal of transparency. Poorly defined requirements, scope creep and lack of understanding between business cultures can produce service delivery gaps that are irreparable. Some vendors have lost by not taking ownership of the client programs and failing to treat them as their own.

Michael DeSalles


DeSalles has 25 years of contact center operational experience. He combines this with 10 years of research and analytical expertise in: Emerging trends, convergence, collapse and disruptive technologies in the contact center industry; Insight into site management, supervision and agent development; Customer care outsourcing; Skills based routing; BPO Near shore deployment; Home based agents

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