Click here to close now.


@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, SmartBear Blog, Jennifer Gill, Steve Watts

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

What Does Next-Generation BPO Look Like?

Sense of place, or perhaps ‘sense of BPO place’ is important

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

Somewhere along the line in between the 1990s and the so-called post-2000 ‘naughties' a change occurred. This change was subtle but important if you took an interest in enterprise-level management theories, methodologies and delivery mechanisms.

Outsourcing, as we once knew it, became Business Process Outsourcing. With an extended name and an accompanying acronym to boot, BPO arrived.

Actually that's not strictly what happened; in between outsourcing and BPO we saw outsourcing become offshore outsourcing. Functions from finance and billing to admin and support started to migrate offshore, along with other non-core operations that could be ‘manageably compartmentalized,' so-to-speak.

BPO: The Choice of a New Generation
If this is a brief and somewhat incomplete history of outsourcing, what comes next for next-generation Business Process Outsourcing?

Sense of place, or perhaps ‘sense of BPO place' is important. Business users today work to a set of commercially driven imperatives and requirements that can change quarter-by-quarter... possibly even month-by-month. What more justification then do you need for locating BPO control in the cloud for maximum flexibility.

Cloud should be a natural home for BPO for two reasons. Reason 1 is that the applications should be delivered in a subscription-based Software-as-a-Service format down the Internet pipe. Reason 2 is that a connected cloud environment provides a perfect location for higher-level dashboard views of the total system status and the health of all outsourced services.

Digging a little deeper you can see what a sensitive flower BPO really is. That is to say, the BPO of tomorrow is being influenced and driven very clearly and directly by those wider trends that we see in computing and IT as a whole.

Data analytics is on the tip of everyone's tongues as it forms such a close relationship with Big Data stores - but equally, data analytics should also form an integral part of the next generation BPO practices that we approach. We will not push any function (or part of a business function) to an outsourced state until it has been through the appropriate level of analytics, so that we know more about its value in the total workflow.

BPO Trends Are Trending
There's also a ‘modern trend' lilt to the way next-gen BPO is bending. What business process or control isn't being affected by mobile device proliferation and social collaborative connections? The answer is none and the same ruling applies to BPO.

All of this means that the next iteration of BPO controls will need to be embedded into our software application development infrastructure at the initial design phase. In the near future (and today too if you can stomach it) BPO will have become a composite part of a process-centric software architecture.

Senior director of product marketing at OpenText Brian Wick says that these developments mean that the applications and services you need to be able to deliver rapidly don't have to be developed from scratch, "But rather, they are composites of a [BPO and/or BPM] solution that you can piece together to meet your immediate needs. Now you can have a richer and faster way to create a variety of complex solutions without having to wait months to build the basic foundation of process that you may already have."

For a similar concurring view, HP's BPO blog team has written specifically on this subject saying that BPO providers must be collaborative and embrace hybrid models for these processes - while other tasks remain at internal centers.

Ruthless Streamlining
The HP blog team writes on BPO futures as follows, "The explosion of data and new technologies will require organizations to ruthlessly look to streamline their processes to survive and prosper in an increasingly complex world. Through slashing non-value-added activities, companies can not only survive, but differentiate through accelerating throughput, reducing errors, enhancing data integrity, increasing transparency and reducing costs. The technology and process expertise needed by enterprises to survive with increasing proliferation of technology and data will be a severe challenge for most firms. We believe that standardization, eliminating duplicate or ineffective systems, reducing points of input and required outputs, digitization, and enabling new technologies will be the key elements to achieving process simplification and competitive differentiation."

We know that our dynamic newly social more-mobile business channels are reshaping virtually every key constituent in an organization's value chain and BPO change is part of that total process. BPO will never be the same again and it already isn't.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).