The crowd at the Infosys BPO summit is a fascinating mix of folks. Some procurement -- a surprising number, in fact -- and many finance and shared services types. In the few conversations I've had so far, what I've been able to discern is that procurement is getting increasingly involved in BPO negotiation, sourcing and performance management arrangements -- at least in more advanced organizations. What used to be just a functional and IT decision, is now becoming one where procurement carries more weight and influence. Perhaps this is why, according to Infosys' Amitabh Chaudhry who kicked off the day, the boundaries of what companies are accomplishing through BPO are changing on a constant basis.
As an example, it's not uncommon today for organizations to look to such advanced areas as analytics, payment and even legal/contracting outsourcing for significant savings opportunities. Gone are the days of simply moving the lowest paid transaction processing workers to low-cost locales. In fact, thanks to the falling dollar and the battle for English-speaking talent in India and beyond, these more basic areas are becoming much less interesting, anyway (though there are still cost savings benefits here for companies to consider from a globalization perspective).
So what's next from an offshoring perspective? Tonight, after my presentation on the future of procurement (and procurement outsourcing), I'm hoping to catch up with AMR's Phil Fersht to trade some thoughts on the subject. I'm sure after a pint or two, one of us will come up with a cogent argument in favor of offshoring bloggers and industry analysts. I say this both jokingly and in a serious tone at the same time. While I think that the nuances of argument, writing and speaking might be difficult outsource, the quantitative and research side of what a blogger or analyst does could -- and should -- move offshore. And perhaps, without readers or subscribers to analyst research knowing it in some cases, it's already happening.
- Jason Busch