Oct 292012
 

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Let us talk now about Legal Process Outsourcing or LPO

Not exactly new but one of the latest form of process outsourcing is Legal Process Outsourcing or LPO. As the name itself indicates it is about all things legal, and not necessarily only the court cases as typically one may thing about LPO. So basically anything that will have a legal implication for a company and one needs to make sure that unambiguous information is provided to customers, consumers and government agencies will constitute LPO.

The Legal Process Outsourcing started being off shored initially as transcription of services but has over the period evolved into a whole bouquet of offerings by both GIC or Global In-house centers  ( formerly called captive centers) and also third-party LPO services.

So what will be examples of LPO services? Let us have a look below:

  • Legal Transcription
  • Drafting of contracts
  • Writing privacy policy for websites and companies collecting data
  • Legal disclaimer of services being offered
  • Warranty and guarantee descriptions
  • Software and services contracts
  • Submitting information to government offices over legal and compliance matters
  • Application processing for various services to government offices e.g. applying for environmental clearance for a new power plant.
  • Pre-litigation data collection and presentations
  • Giving legal opinion of various matters
  • Patent and Trademark applications
  • Domain registrations and protection in various geographies and name combinations
And many other legal areas where the Legal process outsourcing companies add value to their clients work at a cost that is much lower than in a developed economy. We already have a few  companies established in India and they employ around 3000+ employees in India in various cities. The different business models for LPO companies in India are:
  1. Captive LPO centers providing services to  their parent office in US and Europe who have different clients.
  2. Small back office of law firms in India doing low-end work like transcription, application processing etc.
  3. Independent third-party LPO center dedicated to legal process outsourcing
  4. Big Outsourcing companies in BPO who also have a small LPO division, this is true for both Indian BPOs  and MNC servicing companies.
All said and done LPO or Legal Process Outsourcing is one of the growth areas in the over all BPO sector and we expect more companies to join this business. Keep watching this space, in one of the coming series we will see what all is need to join a LPO compnay. Feel free to contact us for questions and comments.
Team Cafe BPO

 

 October 29, 2012  Posted by at 8:44 PM Business of BpO Comments Off on Legal Process Outsourcing or LPO-The New Kid On The Block
Oct 282012
 

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Knowledge Process Outsourcing or KPO based on research performed

Let us continue with our posts on Knowledge process outsourcing or KPO, in the last post we discussed an example of KPO from mortgage underwriting perspective. We classified the mortgage underwriting process as a KPO based on decision-making authority and capabilities. As promised in this post we will examine a business that can be classified as KPO or knowledge process outsourcing based on the type of work performed by the employees.

Let us assume you are a big wall street firm and you have been engaged by a client who is planning to come out with an IPO or Initial Public Offering. Now the clients wants to make sure that they bring the IPO in market at the best possible price  which will give them maximum value of the stocks being offered in market at the same time you don’t want to charge so high that no body will buy your stocks or dump it on the first available opportunity once the stock is listed ( Facebook remember that IPO?).

So  you the big wall street firm want your researchers to do the research find the following things:

  • Who is the competition in market for the client-the established players, new companies that came up in last few years/
  • How many of them are listed and what is their stock prices.
  • The valuation the market offers to the competition
  • Size of the market
  • Growth rate of the market
  • Risk factors that the investors and clients should be aware of
  • Compliance issues
  • Technological advantages the client and its product have over competition
  • .Any deals that have happened in this space in last few years

Now a lot of this information may be available in public domain through diverse sources like internet, libraries, government records, etc. But all of it will be in different formats and comparisons will not be available easily. The other challenge would be a big competition may be deriving only a small fraction of the revenue from your clients line of business. So in such cases the KPO company comes into picture and they will work with the wall street firm to come up with a detailed report that will be based on the information available and the research done by the KPO company to come up with a report that will be

  • Structured
  • In a template that is easy to comprehend
  • Assumptions based on the data available regarding the growth rate of market, market size etc.
  • Comparisons of apple to apple e.g. removing any revenue that came from a one time gig like an asset sale.
  • Recommendations in the report with the reasoning for the recommendations.

Based on the detailed report the client and the client of the client i.e. the company coming out with IPO will decide at what price they want to come up with IPO or even if they need to come up with IPO or should go for private placement to raise more funds if they feel they will not get a lucrative enough price from the IPO market.

So here we saw that the KPO company swings in action once they have been given a mandate to come up with a report based on certain parameters given by the client. After that the KPO or the knowledge process outsourcing company was on its own to do the research, comparisons etc.So this will be an example of a KPO or knowledge process outsourcing company which is research based and does research on to the financial and marketing aspect of a client requirement.

Thus so far we have seen 2 examples of KPO or knowledge process outsourcing

  1. Mortgage underwriting based on the financial decisions taken.
  2. Financial and Marketing research by the KPO by scrutinizing various source of information and then collating and presenting that information to the client in a form that it can be used to take critical decisions.

Please send your questions and comments and any examples you may have for KPO organizations and the work they perform. We will be very happy to incorporate the same in the coming posts.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 28, 2012  Posted by at 7:11 PM Business of BpO Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on What the Hell is Knowledge Process Outsourcing – KPO-III
Oct 252012
 
 

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Let us understand what is  Knowledge Process Outsourcing or KPO

In this post we will talk about some specific examples of what can be considered Knowledge process outsourcing or KPO. We will take example of a very common line of business that many companies work in India for US clients.

This is the business of US mortgage, ( yes the same business that started the financial meltdown a few years ago).

So if you are a mortgage company in US you will give following processes to a company or companies in India.

  1.  Call center work to resolve customer queries
  2. Cal center work to collect money from delinquent accounts
  3. Data entry for new loans that the company is trying to sell in market
  4. Checking on all the documents before closing is done.
  5. Follow up with clients either though phone or email in case some documents are missing our outdated.

But none of these works can be called KPO, because the employee in India or even in US is not taking any major decision she is just following  a set of guidelines and takes a decision based on certain parameters that have been given to her as part of process documentation and knowledge base. The moment something is out of this knowledge base or an exception happens she is clearly instructed to speak to the supervisor, and then the supervisor either will take the decision or get back to the client to take a final call.

That friends is the major distinction between a BPO or the so called KPO where the employees are empowered to take more complex decisions and also financial authority is provided to the employee to take a call. A good example of a KPO business in a Mortgage outsourcing company will be the underwriting part. As an underwriter the employee performs following activities for every application received by her

  • Analyse the cash flow of the borrower both income an expenses and come with a free cash flow that will be used for repayments
  • Real value of the property as compared to what the borrower and the seller are claiming, she will use an appraisal report and other information to reach the same (e.g. last sale price in same locality)
  • Any negative credit history of the borrower as shown in the credit report received from the credit bureaus.

Based on these broad parameters she will decide if she will approve the loan or deny the same. Now here the employee is taking decision that will have financial impact on the client as well there are some compliance issues that will need to be taken care of.  Now please note that the employee will not have an unlimited authority, and beyond a certain $$$ value will need to approach a second set of eyes either in India or in US to take a final call.

I hope we have been able to explain with this example the broad difference between KPO and BPO based on one of the parameters that is decision-making authority. We will discuss some other parameters in future posts.

But what we should remember is from a client point of view they are giving you a part of there business and do not care what you call yourself, BPO, KPO or any other acronym.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 25, 2012  Posted by at 11:51 PM Business of BpO Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on So What the Hell is Knowledge process outsourcing or KPO-II
Oct 232012
 

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I am sure you have come across KPO as a term being frequently used and wondered what is KPO? Well just to expand the acronym it stands for ” Knowledge Process Outsourcing”. So in place of Business you replace it with Knowledge and your business gets to sit on a  higher pedestal as  you are now managing the knowledge of the client. Let me clarify it a bit more. From a client perspective in US or UK when they are outsourcing a process that requires complex decision-making and risk they like to make sure that the company and the people who will work on the same have the requisite credentials to do the same.

From a vendor perspective in India it is a branding tool that helps them position themselves a notch above from what they call the lowly call centers.( their position not of Cafe BPO). The reason these companies want to call themselves KPO is because they want to charge a higher price for the services performed and to attract right talent with qualifications who will not be willing to join if they call themselves BPO or call center.

So is that it? A branding exercise to charge a premium to the customers and attract employees. Well to be completely candid there is more to it. As we mentioned earlier a KPO claims to perform processes where complex decision-making is required and some kind of either financial or legal or compliance risk can occur to the client or  the end consumer if something goes wrong. On the other hand it could also be doing some kind of research for the customer using highly qualified professionals which would cost many time in the developed markets.

Can you think of some examples? Send them to us, we will be writing about them in the posts to come.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 23, 2012  Posted by at 3:45 PM Business of BpO Tagged with:  Comments Off on What The Hell Is KPO?
Oct 192012
 

As we mentioned earlier a lot of people still get confused between a call center and a BPO and one of our friend wanted to know why we have not kept the name of the website on call centers in place of BPO, as they felt call center is a better understood world as well as word. We explained our logic to our friend and he was convinced, hopefully you  will also be.

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Typically BPO is considered in India as a back office data entry kind of job while call center is considered to be all things related to voice process and is normally considered to be the more glamorous of the business in India. The reason for the same are not very difficult to understand.

Voice process the employees are from private school English speaking background from middle class families working in night shift. On the other hand the general perception is that the BPO employees are not fluent in spoken English and work in day shift. Well that is the perception even if it is not true.

From a business point of view any company or center of a company that is engaged in any kind of business process ( data entry, scanning, application process, analysis  taking calls or making calls to customers, partners etc) is a BPO or business process outsourcing office or it can even be termed as off shoring office, in case the center is in India or any other country outside of the parent company or customers home country.

Now if you noticed carefully even call center activities are included as a business process outsourcing activity as that is what it is. The voice process being sent to India or any other part of the wold is a subset of a bigger business. This is a big concept that some of the best brains in the business struggle to comprehend, as for them what there center is doing is the center of  universe. In reality the voice or any  piece be in data entry or image scanning or underwriting mortgage is one small cog in a much bigger picture.  Friends that is the reason we chose to write about BPO and not just call centers as all call centers are BPO but not all BPOs are call centers.

Q? Comments let them come would love to interact with you.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 19, 2012  Posted by at 10:49 PM Business of BpO Comments Off on Call Center Vs BPO
Oct 182012
 

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A lot of people believe that the call centers are an urban thing, this is far from true. From almost last many years there are companies that have taken the BPO and call center business to the hinterland. This despite many challenges one faces in the rural areas some of them are listed below:

  •  Lack of trained manpower, so they have to invest  heavily in the training.
  • Lack of infrastructure in the rural areas like no reliable power source and bandwidth connectivity
  • No managerial talent

While some of these issues are present in the big cities also they are compounded in the semi urban and rural areas. Fortunately the people who are running these centers are very dedicated and are looking to make a social change and not a quick buck.

Some of the companies in this space are

www.desicrew.in

www.sourcepilani.com

www.ruralshores.com

www.harva.co.in/Rural_BPO.html

These companies have been instrumental in bringing jobs to rural and semi urban areas that serves the purpose of providing jobs in their native place and second they are available during the harvest or sowing season if need to the family. Some of these BPOs have a specific focus on providing jobs to women, Source Pilani being one of them.

 

Some key points to note are since the level of spoken English is not very good in rural and semi urban areas most of the rural BPOs are focusing on non voice or back office business. They are getting their business both from abroad as well as from big cities in India as the cost of labor is lower in the rural areas. One example of getting work from the big cities is doing data entry work for the loan application for the banks. For the work from US they are focusing on business like Medical Transcription, data entry, loan application processing, Geo coding of maps etc. The important thing to note is that some of this work is very time sensitive and our rural BPOs have been delivering it successfully.

If you know of any rural BPO please send us there details.

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Team Cafe BPO

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 October 18, 2012  Posted by at 7:49 PM Business of BpO Comments Off on Rural BPOs-Bringing jobs to rural India