How Business Process Outsourcing Improves Telecom and BFSI
BPO in Telecom and BFSI [MB]
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Ways Business Process Outsourcing Can Help Telecom and BFSI Advance

One constant in today's hyper-competitive world is the question of how to accomplish more with fewer resources. Finding new ways to grow while maintaining efficiency calls for bold thinking. Here we have BPO, or business process outsourcing. As a result of its increasing popularity in many other industries, including telecom, banking, financial services, healthcare and more, the business process outsourcing industry is expected to exceed $450 billion by 2030.   

This rise is due to a powerful mix of cutting costs, new technologies for automation like AI and RPA, and a laser focus on customer centricity. However, the BPO landscape isn't a one-stop shop — regional trends paint a diverse picture. North America leads in automation adoption, while Europe prioritizes multilingual support. Established BPO hubs like India and the Philippines face competition, but the industry thrives within a broader economic context. Globalization facilitates outsourcing, intense competition pushes companies to focus on core competencies while delegating other operations to their IT services partners.  Moreover, continuous technological advancements are also fueling the BPO engine. 

What Is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)? 

BPO refers to the practice of contracting a third-party service provider to handle specific business functions or processes. Traditionally used in manufacturing for supply chain management, BPO has become an integral part of modern business strategies. Today, companies contract BPO vendors for two main areas

  • Back-office operations like payment processing, IT services, and quality control.
  • Front-office operations like marketing, sales, handling customers, and resolving complaints.

Often, organizations only outsource certain tasks. For instance, in the HR domain, payroll processing can be delegated to optimize and streamline it within the overall digitalization strategy of the company.  

Let’s take a closer look at the share of BPO services on a global scale, as reported by Statista. 

In general, BPO transcends the traditional notion of simply "giving away" tasks. It's about building strategic partnerships with expert providers who possess specialized skills and industry-specific knowledge. For example, take the case of a telecom company that operates across various countries, each with its own set of complex regulatory frameworks governing the industry. A reliable BPO partner wouldn't just manage back-office duties like billing and debt collection but would also bring extensive knowledge of international telecommunication laws and regulations. This proficiency ensures smooth operations, reduces compliance risks, and ultimately enhances the company's competitive advantage. 

Cross-Industry Benefits of BPO Services   

Organizations are increasingly leveraging BPO services to reap a multitude of benefits that can significantly impact their bottom line and overall performance.  

Beside statistics, here's how BPO empowers businesses across diverse sectors: 

  • Scalability and flexibility. BPO allows companies to adapt to changing market conditions. During peak seasons in industries like Telecom or Retail, BPO providers can seamlessly scale up their workforce to handle increasing demand. Conversely, BPO helps BFSI companies adjust resources efficiently during periods of slower growth, eliminating the burden of fixed staffing costs and freeing up capital for core business initiatives.
  •  Access to global talent. Traditional recruitment may not always yield the specialized skill sets required for success. BPO acts as a gateway to a global network of experts, allowing you to source highly specialized experts in areas crucial to your operations. For example, BPO partners can connect BFSI companies with IFRS specialists, regardless of location. Similarly, telecom companies can leverage BPO to access multilingual customer support agents, which improves customer engagement on a global scale.
  • Enhanced customer experience. By outsourcing routine tasks like back-office operations and data entry, companies can dedicate more resources to providing exceptional customer service. A recent Zendesk report highlights that 72% of customers in the BFSI sector expect immediate customer support, while a study by PwC found that 58% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. BPO allows companies to meet these ever evolving customer demands.
  • Cost optimization. BPO provider tackles rising operational costs through a multi-pronged approach. Having a large talent pool and expertise in streamlining processes allows them to offer competitive rates on tasks like data entry and customer support.  This translates to cost savings compared to in-house teams, while their global reach grants access to highly skilled professionals without limitations. By focusing on efficiency and leveraging economies of scale, BPO empowers businesses to build world-class teams and achieve significant cost optimization without sacrificing quality.
  • Enhanced focus on core business. By delegating non-core functions to BPO partners, companies can free up internal resources to focus on their core competencies and strategic initiatives. 

Key BPO Services for the Telecom Industry 

The world of telecom, with its ever-evolving regulations, diverse customer segments, and complex network infrastructure, presents a constant challenge for optimizing operations. In this context, BPO providers offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to streamline processes and unlock new levels of efficiency.

Data. Insights. Growth. Unleash Telecom's Potential

Financial Management  

BPO specialists can take over tasks like invoicing and cash collection while freeing up the telco provider’s internal resources. This ensures timely revenue recognition and a more optimal cash flow. The BPO vendor’s deep understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) guarantees accurate financial reporting and minimizes audit risks.  

In 2022, the global multi-process Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) market sustained a steady growth of around 10%. This growth is expected to continue due to increased demand for digital transformation, more companies outsourcing for the first time, the rising need for advanced technology, top-tier finance, and accounting services. 

Procurement services 

The Key Issues Study by the Hackett Group reaffirms what procurement executives are already aware of: the imperative to accomplish more with fewer resources. Hence, 5.7% of procurement leaders anticipate an increase in technology investment. With network equipment costs on the rise, optimizing procurement is crucial for telecom companies. BPO teams leverage their expertise in supplier management to identify reliable vendors, negotiate favorable contracts, and manage inventory efficiently. 

Reference Data Management 

Precise and dependable data is vital for Telecom operations — more than half of organizations reported that 25% or more of revenue was subjected to data quality issues. BPO providers ensure the integrity and accessibility of reference data within internal systems. This translates to smoother customer service interactions, fewer billing errors, and improved processes performance and quality.  

Regulatory Advisory 

Telecoms face a global regulatory maze. BPO's Regulatory Advisory team can help navigate it. They can ensure cloud service compliance across countries, analyze local telecom laws, and collaborate with National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) for licenses and legal entities. Staying updated on regulations and managing non-compliance risks, BPO keeps your telecom business running smoothly internationally. 

Customer Relationships 

Strong customer relationships remain a priority for telecom companies. BPO specialists offer extensive customer support, addressing technical, financial, and legal inquiries. Furthermore, they oversee sales and business development initiatives, fostering growth in Voice, SMS, and Mobile Data services. In line with this, 75% of CX leaders are actively collaborating with external partners or vendors to enhance customer data privacy in their CX operations. 

Sales Operations 

Equipped with a proficient BPO team, telecom companies can substantially enhance the efficacy of their sales forces. These sales support professionals not only keep an eye on KPIs to make sure everything is running well in sales, but they also solve problems with customer orders, look for trends in sales data, and make predictions about customer behavior. 

Thus, the sales team can allocate more productive time towards finalizing transactions, cultivating more robust client connections, and ultimately propelling sales rates.  Their expertise extends further by managing accounts, handling billing inquiries, and assisting with CRM deployment, ensuring a smooth customer experience, and contributing to the overall success of the sales team. 

Value Added Services (VAS) 

VAS offerings like caller identification and mobile data top-up are important revenue streams for telecom companies. BPO teams take care of various VAS-related tasks, including provisioning, address validation, stock replenishment, and customer care. Additionally, they collaborate with development teams to enhance tools related to tracking customers' orders, APIs, and VAS services, ensuring a seamless customer experience. 

IoT Customer Success Management and Support 

In the age of IoT, telecom companies need robust customer support. BPO fills this gap with dedicated teams handling everything from onboarding new clients to technical troubleshooting. They guide users through platform adoption, manage features and access, and proactively communicate about network changes. This comprehensive support ensures a smooth customer journey and maximizes the value of telecom's IoT offerings. 

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Through BPO, telco operators gain access to global expertise and advanced technologies, enhancing service delivery and operational agility in a highly competitive market. External business services can significantly reduce operational costs without compromising service quality. By partnering with Infopulse, telecom companies can navigate the complexities of BPO more effectively, ensuring seamless integration of outsourced services, adherence to industry standards and regulations, and continuous improvement in subscriber retention and satisfaction.
Radek Rzepkowski,
Telco Solutions Practice Lead and Telco Solution Advisor

Key BPO Services for BFSI 

The world of BFSI operates under a complex web of regulations. General laws, industry-specific codes, and supervisory requirements create a landscape where outsourcing has always been viewed with a cautious eye. In 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued "Guidelines on outsourcing arrangements," establishing clear rules and obligations for European banks that leverage outsourcing in their daily operations. It's important to remember that national regulations may add further details to the EBA's framework. 

While outsourcing in BFSI has limitations, it's not a complete no-go. The EBA emphasizes that outsourcing cannot absolve the management body of its responsibilities. BFSI institutions remain fully accountable for complying with all regulatory obligations. This includes overseeing the outsourcing of critical functions like authorization, conflict of interest management, strategies, and day-to-day operations. 

So, how can BFSI institutions leverage outsourcing strategically while adhering to these regulations? Let's delve deeper into how BPO empowers BFSI through specific examples. 

Modernize Your Financial Infrastructure

Sales and Marketing 

BPO partners can support BFSI companies by managing sales and promotion services across digital channels, owned sales networks, and even outsourced sales teams. Furthermore, BPO teams can handle data management and verification tasks within the sales process. This includes data digitalization, input, and verification, ensuring enrichment and compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Additionally, BPO partners can provide real-time sales control and reporting across diverse channels. This allows BFSI institutions to monitor performance, track progress toward goals, and mitigate fraud risks associated with incentive structures. 

Customer Service 

BPO partners can transform the customer service operations of BFSI organizations. Outsourcing contact centers allows sharing costs across different business lines, optimizing workforce utilization, and investing in digitalization initiatives like AI chatbots and digital assistants. Furthermore, BPO teams can optimize customer service processes by using data analytics to identify common customer pain points and develop targeted solutions. For example, they might analyze call center data to identify frequently asked questions and develop a self-service FAQ section on the company's website, leveraging common tools across a wide client base. This leads to cost-effective solutions for even low-volume processes within BFSI.  

BPO partners can also support BFSI in registering and managing customer claims quickly and compliantly. As a result, institutions are safeguarded from regulatory or reputational risks associated with delayed or mishandled claims. Finally, BPO partners can assist BFSI in managing campaigns with peak workloads. They can provide additional resources for short periods, ensuring smooth customer service experiences even during peak hour demand. 

Finance and Accounting 

Mass and standardized processes within finance and accounting are prime candidates for BPO delegation. Service providers can efficiently manage and distribute customer workloads, maximizing resource utilization while meeting agreed-upon performance metrics and service level agreements (SLAs). Reporting tasks, such as those related to IFRS, regulatory requirements, or statutory filings, can also be delegated to BPO partners. However, it's crucial to remember that BFSI institutions retain oversight and accountability for optimizing their internal resources through outsourcing.  

Reconciliation and consolidation of data is another area where BPO partners excel. Their experience with heterogeneous environments and dedicated optimization services can significantly improve these processes within BFSI.  

BPO teams can also function as an independent operational security verification layer, providing insights and reports to BFSI risk management, further strengthening internal controls. Finally, BPO partners can offer tools and processes specifically designed for invoicing, billing, and internal settlement. This accelerates cash flow cycles for BFSI institutions by ensuring timely invoicing and efficient reconciliation. 

General Services 

IT platform administration is another area where BPO partners can add value to BFSI institutions. Their extensive knowledge and experience gained from servicing diverse clients and IT landscapes allows them to manage IT platforms efficiently. This frees up BFSI to focus on core competencies, especially for smaller companies that may not have the resources to manage complex IT infrastructure in-house.  

BFSI operations greatly depend on data standardization and high data quality. A BPO partner can help optimize master data management and processes standardization. This can involve activities like automating manual data entry, consolidating redundant processes, and improving workflows across departments. Such an optimization promotes the development of a modern data platform that can meet both the business needs and compliance regulations. Looking beyond immediate needs, BPO partners can uncover process optimization opportunities that may exist outside the immediate scope of a BFSI institution's internal focus.  

How to Select the Right BPO Partner  

Selecting the right BPO partner requires careful consideration. In a Deloitte report, organizations outline a set of qualitative factors that they prioritize in their service providers.

Firstly, seek out a provider with a proven track record and a deep understanding of your industry, whether it's Telecom, BFSI, or other. Evaluate their data security infrastructure and compliance certifications to ensure the protection of your sensitive information. Study examples of successful partnerships and the level of commitment to achieving specific project objectives. Lastly, consider a BPO provider who has enough expertise and capacity to provide the necessary level of scalability and flexibility. This would allow adapting to your company's growth and changing requirements. 

Conclusion 

Successful BPO partnerships hinge on delegation, but not in the traditional sense. It is like a strategic talent injection, where a pool of industry specific BPO specialists seamlessly complements your existing team. 

The decision to delegate is not simply about cost reduction, but about a holistic approach to business optimization.  Companies can free up internal resources, make operations more efficient, and find new growth opportunities by using the specific knowledge of BPO partners. In today's fast-paced business world, BPO partnerships can become a strategic advantage to doing well in a competitive climate. 

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About the Author

Radek Rzepkowski is an established expert with 25 years of experience in the telecom industry. He has both in-depth technical know-how and large managerial expertise in the implementation and support of different telco solutions in BSS, OSS, VAS, and Call Center domains, software development (frontend and backend applications), IT infrastructure, and security solutions. He has broad expertise in managing cross-functional teams responsible for various telecom development and operations activities. Radek focuses on helping telecom providers modernize their business-critical systems without disrupting business continuity and customer experience.
Radek Rzepkowski

Radek Rzepkowski

Telco Solutions Practice Lead and Telco Solution Advisor

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