Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Dec 19, 2005
Info-Tech - Outsourcing
`Automated software to revolutionise BPO sector'
Bangalore , Dec 18
IMAGINE clarifying your mobile rate plan or bill without being put on hold. Or filling up a form online while chatting.
Automated software and SIP-based applications will change the way information is exchanged between users and providers.
"Automated speech recognition applications, that recognise a `yes' or `no', will help in faster customer surveys and telemarketing," said Mr Pramod Ratwani, Vice-President, Asia Pacific and West Asia, Aspect Software.
US-based Aspect is a $650-million company that makes contact centre solutions and employs 200 in India and around 1.2 million worldwide.
Internet will soon be included as a medium to interact with BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing).
If you want to apply for a service, and prefer online as a medium, page-push technology integrated with chat software (instant messengers) will allow the executive to send it to you instantly.
"The new generation is more Internet-savvy and prefer this medium," said Mr Ratwani. The form will pop-up on your monitor and you can fill it in. The executive at the BPO will be able to see the form simultaneously and help you fill it out as you type," he elucidated.
Surveys and feedback can also be sent over Web sites. This will herald a huge change from voice-centric customer care to text-based replies. Mr Ratwani associates this to the calmer, more mature generation of today.
It will take 3-5 years for Indian call centres to shift to an IP backbone. Though Indian call centres spend $90 million on technology, 90 per cent of them are TDM-based (analogue, depending on telephone networks). They will need to adopt IP to keep up with the times, Mr Ratwani said.
SIP-based technology will change the way call centres operate. Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, enables real-time transfer of video, audio and text over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
Soon, more multimedia and video-conferencing applications will take over traditional TDM-based services.
Speaking about new trends in the BPO industry, he said that the hiring of arbitrary people will slow down. `Home agents' will become common.
Presence management is another new concept that will change the scope of this industry. Another new trend that will hit BPOs next year is the `pay-per-use' model. It will be known as `Call centre on demand'.
He also predicted that India will be the global leader in business process outsourcing with 2,00,000 seats by 2008.
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