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The year ahead in BPO – 2013

Everyone has opinions on where business is headed this year. A lot of uncertainty was removed once the US election was behind us, and even though the BPO industry was undeservedly dragged through the mud during the presidential campaign, many industry observers believe that it was more campaign rhetoric than a signal towards a real policy shift by either the US or other major buy-side BPO markets.

I gathered opinions from a range of global thought leaders across the spectrum of the BPO marketscape regarding what we can expect to see in the coming year. Here is some insight that they offered:

Engineering

The big trend is now towards near sourcing where outsourcing companies are establishing businesses to be close to the client. The rate of growth in BPO outsourcing is now slowing down and we shall see the growth of outsourcing to be redefined as reacting to shifting customer needs which near sourcing enables them to do in both manufacturing and service environments.” – Gour Saraff, founder of SGS Solar Global Services, a European / Indian joint venture developing solar services in Asia, and managing director of the European India Chamber of Commerce in Spain.

Government

“With the challenges to all levels of government spending in almost every country, we will see many opportunities for growth in providing services for local, regional and national agencies including possible off-shoring of business which may not have been possible before.” – Kevin Gaugush, Chief People Officer, KGB.com, one of the largest global outsourcing providers of telephone information services.

Pharma / Healthcare

“In 2013 the global pharmaceutical outsourcing market will see the following: 

  1. Patent expiry of blockbuster drugs & biologics – Plants present poor utilization rates for innovator companies and low profit margins, driving outsourcing to CMOs. 
  2. Interest of Big Pharma leading to increased industry consolidation – geographic expansions and expansion into the biotech sector to forge strategic alliances.
  3. Increase in outsourcing to CMOs in emerging markets – Skilled manpower and significant cost benefits will make emerging countries, particularly India & China, favorable destinations for outsourcing, especially for bulk drugs and formulations. Additionally this serves as a solid means for Big Pharma to gain access into emerging markets.
  4. Increasing adherence towards an integrated business model – One-stop shop for customers with all value added services to foster a risk-sharing business model, especially for virtual pharmaceutical companies.
  5. New product launches and novel drug delivery mechanisms – Small and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies will begin to leverage the expertise of CMOs for new products based on innovative technologies. 

-Aiswariya Chidambaram, Senior Research Analyst – Life Sciences & Healthcare – Europe, at global research and analytics firm, Frost & Sullivan

Legal

“In the coming year, I see very promising growth for legal BPO services driven by two factors: one is the adaptation of BPO services for law firms outside of North America and Europe – though those markets will continue to grow impressively, and also as the service offerings mature, we will see down-market adoption: smaller and medium sized firms will begin to take advantage of the efficiencies of scale previously available only to the mega-firms, due to the cost of implementation and the size of projects it made sense to take on.  The legal field will become more and more dependent on BPO services for litigation support and back-office work.”  – Lourdes Espinál, former director of Russian/Dominican software firm Zila Networks and manager of Miami based legal outsourcing firm PSPI

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