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BPO sector can now tap into global online marketplace

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A new global online marketplace is available to service the global business services (GBS) sector, also known as business process outsourcing (BPO).

This, as the sector has cemented its prowess as a jobs enabler for some developing economies.

Named GBS World,the online marketplace is described as the “go-to” sourcing platform that connects global business buyers and service providers across 12 categories in 70 countries on six continents.

It aims to provide information and support to any company, country or trade investment office looking to buy or sell back-office, customer experience, debt recovery, finance and accounting, HR, IT, knowledge process, learning services, legal services, procurement and recruitment and technology services.

Furthermore, business-to-business sourcing and advisory services are available through GBS World, says co-founder Mark Angus.

“We already have almost 1 000 service providers profiled on the marketplace,” says Angus. “We built extensive benefits into our offering based on the best available research on what buyers of business services really want. We knew we had to address every need if we were to succeed at creating a comprehensive global marketplace.”

Angus, who is CEO, researcher and strategist of Genesis Global Business Services, co-founded the business and the marketplace via a joint venture between Genesis Analytics and specialist research company Knowledge Executive.

According to Angus, before going live, GBS World was used for a certain period by a select group of industry leaders to test its value and usability. As a result, testers’ feedback has been built into the system to ensure “exceptional” user-experience for all.

He further explains that surveys conducted by Knowledge Executive and Ryan Strategic Advisory detailed the pain-points buyers experience when they need to outsource to service providers.

Their wish list included authentic service provider reviews and qualification metrics, enough market intelligence to decide on the best onshore, offshore or nearshore delivery points, and a central location to publish tenders and requests for proposals (RFPs). Above all, they wanted to know they were making the best outsourcing decisions for their budgets.

“We also learned that business service buyers often want to discuss their options with qualified sourcing consultants and industry analysts, so we provide that service as well via strategic partners,” adds Angus.

Key functionalities

GBS World offers service providers a free basic profile and then three validation upgrades: verified, accredited and certified. At each level, additional benefits are accrued.

The verified level includes access to requests for information (RFI) and marketplace listings. Accredited is an in-depth operational assessment and an analysis of key capabilities and expertise, and the certified level includes benchmarking audits and financial due diligence validation.

The accredited and certified programmes run in partnership with international sourcing firm, The Knowledge Group (TKG).

Spencer Brooks, CEO of TKG, explains his company uses technology to solve complex customer experience needs. “We harness machine learning and technology to match buyer requirements to the accredited and certified service provider network. In addition, our buy, build and operate sourcing enablement journey automates matching processes to governance, management and operational performance of service providers.

“We are very excited to be partnering with GBS World, to build a smarter sourcing platform for GBS buyers and better partnerships for suppliers globally.”

Buyers can review service provider profiles and send RFI queries, as well as access free services, including publishing notices for RFPs, thought leadership content and industry webinars, and e-book editions of GBS buyers’ reports.

Buyers can access value-added services when they need them and only pay for what they need. This includes in-depth service provider and location profiling with matchmaking assessments, pricing analyses, research including various benchmarking and pricing surveys, and in-depth buyers’ reports.

Country and city trade and investment associations and industry bodies also have their place in GBS World to promote their region as an outsource destination.

Angus explains: “Industry bodies and trade associations work hard to promote their countries as global business delivery destinations, and now they have a central location to showcase their value proposition and house their country reports and market analyses for serious buyers to consider.

“We think of GBS World as smart sourcing and right-fitting. We've streamlined the platform to make it easy for buyers to be smart about sourcing providers that are right for them in terms of expertise, location and budget.”

Business services phenomenon

While many industries have shed jobs during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the global business services/BPO sector managed to create job opportunities during this challenging period, and has been identified as key for future employment prospects.

Within the South African context, the BPO sector has witnessed heightened growth.

The sector is targeting 100 000 new jobs by 2023 and 500 000 by 2030. The country has also claimed top spot as the most favoured offshore location for call centres worldwide, based on the 2021 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.

Business Process Enabling South Africa’s Andy Searle previously told ITWeb the local BPO sector has 271 850 people in its employ, with over 70 000 of those employees working for the international or offshore segment of the market.

In Cape Town, the sector has been identified as a high-growth sector due to the job opportunities and investment potential it creates.

In May, the city said over the last three years, its BPO sector attracted R3.4 billion worth of investments, fuelling economic growth and employment in the city.

The Western Cape capital city also launched the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project to fuel further growth in this sector. The project will direct R55 million in funds towards training, paying stipends and doing job placements in the BPO and clothing and textile sectors.

Paris-headquartered BPO firm Webhelp recently announced it will open its third office in SA, which is located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Webhelp said SA plays a significant role in its future growth plans, noting that establishing a new location in Durban is a hugely important step forward in building the capacity to bring more clients and further career opportunities to the country.

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