Change is a coming in the BPO sector, or is it?

The recent announcement that Teleperformance, the market leader in contact centres had acquired the Indian BPO company, Intelenet at a cost of $1 billion, and the takeover of Convergys by Synnexe (Concentrix), is showing major acquisition activity amongst the top tier Customer Care BPO sector, in fact, based on the findings by HSF Research, the market has been going through similar activity since 2013, with over 18 major Customer Care BPO acquisitions having taken place to date.

The recent announcement that Teleperformance, the market leader in contact centres had acquired the Indian BPO company, Intelenet at a cost of $1 billion, and the takeover of Convergys by Synnexe (Concentrix), is showing major acquisition activity amongst the top tier Customer Care BPO sector, in fact, based on the findings by HSF Research, the market has been going through similar activity since 2013, with over 18 major Customer Care BPO acquisitions having taken place to date. 


We, at Synergy Organisational Solutions, believe these structural changes may initially have been driven by the need to achieve cost advantages fuelled by economies of scale, geographic expansion and diversification. However, the rapid advances in technology such as developments within the robotic process automation, the internet of things, AI etc. are placing further pressure on traditional BPO strongholds and aspects of the BPO value chain. Without the legacy of having to maintain large out-dated call centres and then convince people to work there, Synergy are a new agile and personal provider with big corporate experience says Ms Olu Orugboh, founder and Managing Director of Synergy.


Disruptive and transformative factors across value chains and outsourcing ecosystems are forcing the business process outsourcing industry to adapt.The sector appears to be embracing digital, analytics and CX consulting focused services, but the reality is that the bulk of the BPO business is still traditional contact centre, in essence it is still a volume-based business. New channels have emerged and have become the new norm, and some of the traditional channels such as voice are eroding away. Hence the drive to consolidate or gain market share through acquisition activity.


In our experience the migration to a digital environment is not about the addition of new channels. Enterprises and their customers are searching for a single seamless solution that blends all aspects of the customer experience delivery chain. “The bums on seats” strategy of old, is becoming antiquated. 


For BPO’s to survive, they can continue to expand through their current merger and acquisition strategy or proactively invest in and offer added value innovative solutions beyond their current eco systems to their clients and regenerate the sector. We recognise that this approach could present a challenge for the sector given the focus on short term revenue gains. 


We believe that without the focus on creating a truly digital BPO of the future, there is the risk that the market will just go through another suite of takeover activity whilst recycling antiquated practices that are no longer “fit for purpose”. The industrial revolution brought widespread change in working practices and skills, the reality is that these changes are taking place with the emerging Internet of things. The BPO sector is starting to embrace some of this innovation, but the question is, are they wide reaching enough?


About Synergy Organisational Solutions

Synergy Organisational Solutions are a specialist Digital Customer Care provider as well as contact centre management consultants. We are focused on helping companies make change and evolution as easy and painless as possible. We specialise in Customer Care solutions, from advice to strategy through to training and delivery of managed services, using smart working practices and partnerships with leading technology providers. Synergy are an owner managed business providing a very personal and flexible service to our clients and their customers.


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