Business Process Outsourcing 2 - Call Centers, Back office Activities, R & D Services, Outsourcing and Off shoring

Call Centers - Another major activity in the BPO sector is the Call Centers. Enormous amount of data is being generated through 24 x 7 hours per week. For example, flight arrivals and departures at all the airports in the world, hotel bookings, airlines/railway reservations, bank transactions etc. Information about all these as well as e-commerce transactions, e-currency, telemarketing etc. has to be made available to those all over the world who need to know. The service must be cost effective, prompt and efficient. BPO provides a solution here also. This type of enquiry service can be outsourced to a call centre in a country like India. The person at the call centre has access to the airlines database. The agent receives the call, refers to the corresponding information on the web and responds to the query.

There are numerous call centers in India alone each employing about 8000 or more people. The major issue related to call centers is again the need of efficient man power resources. The employees must have good communication skills with an acceptable pronunciation, accent free communication, pleasant and polite presentations and knowledge of multiple languages.

Back office Activities - BPO helps in the back office activities, which exists in all the organizations in the world. For example, the transaction processing in insurance companies, reservation data maintenance and updating in five star hotels, etc are back office operations. They are called such because the customers are not exposed to these activities. Other similar activities which forms part of the BPO are process consulting, legal services, document scanning and conversion to different electronic media, document storage and retrieval, HR Administration, pay roll maintenance etc.

R & D Services - BPO is used today for the Product Development services, R & D services, marketing research as well as analytical services. Now the educational processes are also outsourced, which is termed as knowledge process outsourcing. Indian teachers are now tutoring American school children at far less cost than their US counterparts.

Types of BPO Organizations: There are two types of BPO organizations - Outsourcing and Off shoring. Outsourcing is contracting with another company or person to do a particular function that might otherwise be performed by in-house employees. Off shoring describes the relocation of business processes from one country to another, regardless of whether the work is outsourced or stays within the same corporation/company. This includes any business process such as production, manufacturing, or services.

Benefits of Business Process Outsourcing: BPO fetches productivity improvements, access to expertise, operational cost control, overall cost savings, improved accountability, improved HR management and gives the parent company an opportunity to focus on core business.

Demerits of BPO: Hazards of BPO include data security and privacy. These may be compromised if there is malpractice in the BPO company. Fear of job loss by the locals is another defect of BPO. Even if the BPO gives large cost benefits and quality of information to the corporates, it creates unemployment among local people. Several US states are comtemplating legislations to ban outsourcing.

BPO Benefits for India: India is one of the countries which is largely benefited by the IT software and BPO. India occupies the numerous position in the outsourcing market, other players being China, Ireland, Russia, Philippines, Korea, and Vietnam. BPO provides job opportunities on a large scale in India. BPO is a boon to countries like India in terms of employment generation and foreign exchange earnings. Most of the jobs offered are in categories of data entry assistants, file clerks, payroll managers, electronic media stenographers and telephone answering personnel.