This blog is authored by Anantha Radhakrishnan, CEO & MD, Infosys BPO Ltd. Listen to him at
Business process management (BPM) or business process outsourcing as it was once known, has come a long way. A sunrise industry fifteen years ago, has been characterized by several distinct phases. Today, BPM is on the threshold of a new phase of revolution which promises to be the most unique and interesting in its growth lifecycle.
In the first wave of outsourcing, companies outsourced repetitive manual transactional work and handling of customer service calls that required data gathering and consolidation from multiple systems.
Second wave, service providers evolved to standardize and harmonize processes and continuously improve them across different regions and locations of the client, with delivery through a hub (low cost location) -spoke (regional/nearshore location for language and compliance)-edge (at client site to manage the change)
In the third wave, providers started using technology through workflow enabled processes, improving turn-around-times, meeting service level agreements and delivering stiff quality metrics impacting the business outcomes.
BPM is currently in the fourth wave, with innovative service providers handling end-to-end processes, leveraging global hub-spoke-edge model, improving productivity through Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and using AI to reimagine the client process and significantly enhance stakeholder experience.
This is the most significant phase, ‘Nirvana’ phase of BPM industry lifecycle. The ‘new BPM’ industry has to graft in innovation through two paradigm shifts viz reshape client experience and ignite associate minds.
Reshaping the client experience would involve great opportunity to invert and evaporate the work pyramid (cannibalize the transaction service) while nurturing and building the new value pyramid (growing Ai and digital based BPM service).
Reshaping client experience would involve significant mindset and culture change amongst associates on
the floors of the BPM, which will be enabled through the second paradigm shift through igniting the minds of associates. A transformational change occurs when associates at the grassroots level are encouraged to be inquisitive and to try out new ideas instead of just being order takers. By grafting a combination of associates on the floor along with sprinkling of subject matter experts, the ideas will come alive to eliminate mundane work, enhance associate productivity and free up time. Combining this with a culture of emphasis on learning and education, associates build deeper domain expertise, data analysis and visualization skills. With this new capability associates would be geared to look at data patterns, create meaningful insights and move to a forward looking view of the operational and business metrics. Using these insights with combination of behavioral assertiveness and consultative skills, the BPM associate of the future will co-create value for their clients and enhance stakeholder experience while aggressively growing their career. This will be a true win-win-win.
In summary grafting enables the organism to adapt, survive and thrive during ecosystem changes. Parachuting innovation from outside on to a floor simply doesn’t work. On our BPM floors we enable our associates to focus on innovation at the grassroots level – which is where the ecosystem changes are first visible. We provide a platform and environment for true innovation at the grassroots to evolve and positively impact the entire ecosystem of the client.