Here are some predictions I made earlier in the year.
2012 might be associated with the Mayan end of the world prophecy, but it also signals the start of a new era for the outsourcing industry – the cloud age.
The current landscape of the outsourcing industry will shift in 2012. Most notably, we’ll see a strong transition to cloud computing.
Cloud-based technologies have made a notable impact on the business community in the past five years. However, it has been in the last two years that we have seen cloud providers increase ten-fold.
2011 was the beginning of an amazing era, which will prompt change, especially to cloud-based technologies and the call center industry.
Here’s what we can expect to see in the year ahead:
1. “100,000 new jobs will be created in the call center and BPO field. Two new proposed laws will prompt this job growth – the U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection act, which seeks to restore outsourced call center jobs, and the Veterans Job Bill, which will provide employers with tax credits for hiring veterans.”
2. “The US call center and telemarketing industry will see $23 billion in revenue in 2012 – roughly $5 billion more than 2011 due to significant job growth. In 2011, there were 336,000 telemarketing employees. New initiatives like those set forth by Jobs4America are already creating new jobs.”
3. “75 percent of companies will choose cloud subscriptions lasting more than one year. The adoption rate for cloud-based services is increasing dramatically. Consumer-based familiarization with the iPhone 4s’ iCloud will further support the cause for cloud-based solutions. Organizations are also witnessing ROI in the cloud, as evident in a CSC study showing that 82 percent of businesses adopting cloud services save money.”
4. “The ‘at home’ remote agent call center workforce will see 30 percent growth.This will be due to the paradigm shift in employer perception in the productivity of this employment segment. In an economically critical time, companies will do whatever they can to increase productivity, grow revenues and control expenses.”
5. “50 percent of all traditional BPO workers will be doing some form of multi-channel work. This implies that agents are doing more than just one form of client interaction like email, telemarketing or chat. This will be substantiated by the continued growth in companies adopting multi-channel CRM solutions and it will translate into companies buying new state-of-the-art hosted multi-channel solutions.”
6. “There will be 2.5 billion global internet users by the end of 2012. As the availability of broadband and smartphone connectivity increases globally, this number will continue to grow at a rate of more than 20 percent annually. We crossed the 2 billion internet user platform in January 2011, as reported by ITU.”
The Future of BPO/Contact Center Outsourcing in the U.S.: How to Prepare
Despite seeing a steady stream of interest from offshore BPOs for cloud-based telephony solutions, there has been an impressive increase in demand from U.S. based firms. This is a sign of an improving business environment in the U.S., one that will rely heavily on optimization, cost reductions and increased efficiency – all deliverables of cloud-based solutions.
According to research from Datamonitor, contact center outsourcers saw significant cost saving benefits from home based agents compared to contact center facilities. Based upon estimates from brick-and-mortar providers, cost savings estimates can vary between 20% to 30%.
With cloud-based solutions gaining momentum, U.S. companies have a responsibility to “know the facts” and make informed decisions, while offshore outsourcers need to firm up their value proposition if they want to remain competitive on more than just price.
Fred Côté is president of Kunnect, an industry leader in cloud-based call center telephony solutions.