2009 Services Summit: A first hand look at Guatemala’s talent pool

2bannerFor those US companies who want to know more about the advantages of partnering with Guatemala outsourcing providers, a good place to learn more is to attend the upcoming Services Summit, running from Sept. 10-12 in Guatemala City.

The event will be organized under a corporate matchmaking format, allowing buyers and sellers to spend quality, one-on-one time together. This is a second annual event, sponsored by the Guatemala Exporters Association. Sessions will be organized around these key topic areas:

  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Health & Wellness Tourism
  • Laboratory Services
  • Software Development Solutions
  • Contact Centers & BPO´s

To register, just visit this site.

Nearshore Americas to launch in September!

NA_logo_4C_SMI’m excited to announce the launch of Nearshore Americas in September. The site will the first truly independent news and commentary online resource for the emerging nearshore community. (This is the first public viewing of our new logo by the way – the three sweeping elements are meant to reflect North, Central and South America working as one.)

We are launching the media brand to meet a strong hunger for relevant and deep analysis of how to develop profitable, long-lasting partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will have much more to tell you in September, including launch of a regular newsletter, contributions from outsourcing experts, buyer case studies, live blogging and much more! Response to our current brand – Caribbean CRM Central – has been overwhelmingly positive. We expect to play a part in helping the Nearshore community establish itself more visibly on the world BPO stage.

Meet Nearshore Americas at the SSON Conference in Chicago

eventlogoThe North American Shared Services and Outsourcing Summit is coming to Chicago, from Sept. 28-Oct. 1 and I’ll be there blogging live (for our new brand Nearshore Americas) and talking to customers of Nearshore outsourced services. Event organizers have done a great job landing high quality customer speakers – including executives from Wal-Mart, Cigna, Kraft Foods and Hyatt. I will be tuning in specifically to sessions relevant to companies who continue to try to navigate in the outsourcing universe, including:

- Innovative pricing models and contracting

- Building a world class HR shared services function

- Getting your organization ready for BPO

There will also be a session specifically dedicated to emerging outsourcing regions, particularly Latin America.

If you’re going to be in Chicago for the event, let me know -  let’s connect: kirk@nextcoastmedia.com

Is Disaster About to Strike India Outsourcers?

Forrester Research came out with a research piece this week, titled “Will your Offshore Provider Survive The Recession? that asks BPO clients to take a cold, hard look at the health of India-based providers.

The Forrester researcher, Sudin Apte, paints a pretty grim picture of the India BPO sector citing that major providers are ill-equipped to handle a perfect storm of diminished demand, picky clients wanting better deals and anti-outsourcing rhetoric from President Barack Obama.

The researcher says: “Indian providers’ limited preparedness to fight the recession poses a risk for clients. While in the short term sourcing professionals will find it attractive to obtain lower rates, vendor viability is challenged in the  long run — putting project delivery and overall client work at risk.”

These are pretty strong words and have major implications for Nearshore providers and US customers. What can providers learn?

Lesson 1: Differentiate yourself and your brand. Part of the problem for many India providers is they are doing too much and have lost sight of their core specializations.

Lesson 2: Build credibility through service excellence. The outsourcing business is very much a long-term gain proposition. It remains essential that providers consider their delivery value through continuous engagement and committing to invest in competency areas.

Lesson 3: Be honest. Say No. Part of the advantage of working in the Nearshore region, is the sharing of similar cultures. For that reason, the Western Hemisphere is probably better known for its ability to be “professionally blunt” when necessary to get the point across. This is an advantage for providers who are working with clients who are used to receiving “push back.” Being tactfully frank when necessary is something that customers will respect you for.

Lesson 4: Offer new methods of engagement. This point – courtesy of Forrester – is important since providers need to demonstrate that they are innovating in the right areas and looking at ways to improve the delivery of service, through human capital efficiencies, technology improvements or other creative models.

Is the India outsource industry about to collapse? Absolutely not.

But when major research firms like Forrester talk about anticipating bankruptcies – it’s a wake up call I would pay attention to.

Forrester advice to US clients working in India: “Rather than wait for a provider to go bankrupt or be acquired and face work disruption, identifying early symptoms of risk can save a lot of pain.”

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