DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Call Center Company Technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
Since the Company's inception in 1978, DSC has specialized in the development of communications software and systems. Beginning with our CRM and call center applications, DSC has developed computer telephony integration software and PC based phone systems. These products have been developed to run on a wide variety of telecom computer systems and environments.
The following article presents product or service information relating to Call Center Vendors and customer service help desks.
The Future of Offshore Outsourcing
Rob O'Malley, Chief Operating Officer
The Future of Offshore Outsourcing
At the beginning of this 2003, I wrote my predictions on the future of offshore outsourcing for this site. After writing the article, I received a massive influx of emails from people who had different viewpoints. While the views in these emails varied, the general consensus was that I was “ahead of the game”. People in the domestic industries in America and Britain felt the offshore industry was not developing as quickly as I claimed. The representatives of offshore call centers seemed to think that I was premature in my predictions of the end of the honeymoon period for the offshore industry. In fact, it seems that I was almost “behind the game” and that the offshore industry developed for both good and bad faster than even I had anticipated.
2003 was a strange year with a number of geo-political events shaping business. We have had upheaval in the Security Council, War in Iraq and SARS all mixed in with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and the continued weakness in the global economy. If those issues weren’t enough, there have been new laws proposed in the U.S. to curb offshore outsourcing and a string of high-profile union activity in the U.K. to prevent call center jobs moving offshore. With all these things shaping our world, most observers would have thought that business would adopt a “wait and see” approach rather than move jobs offshore.
My predictions talked about 3 key periods; the honeymoon period, “decision time” and the consolidation period. I predicted the honeymoon period would end at the end of 2003 and there is clear evidence that this has already taken place:
The only aspect of the industry still enjoying the honeymoon period is the industry-government relationship. The offshore industry has created much needed employment in both India and The Philippines. With elections taking place in those 2 countries this year, Government has been quick to display the success the offshore call center industry has brought their respective economies. Post elections, it’s likely that we will see even more initiatives and support coming from Governments.
- Call-centers in the main offshore areas have found the huge growth in offshore activity is making recruitment and retention harder. There is still far greater availability of qualified agents in offshore locations than developed countries but the gap is shrinking. New call centers in these offshore locations have been actively poaching agents from the existing centers. There have been a number of companies (including ourselves) who have seen the opportunity and have moved into the recruitment space.
- A number of service providers have gone bankrupt in both India & The Philippines. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to find financial backers for new centers although there is still plenty of capital available for companies who are turning a profit. One of the worst trends seems to be call centers not being paid for work performed. Vendors and middlemen seem to have been taking advantage of geography to get work done and then refuse to pay based on so called quality issues. One of the problems seems to be that businesses in countries like India and The Philippines are so used to writing off debts that they apply the same logic to debts from countries such as The United States and The United Kingdom. I can see the damage this could potentially do the industry over the coming 12 months with companies going bankrupt who shouldn’t. If anyone requires any advice on how to pursue call center debts, I am happy to receive their emails firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clients are being increasingly diligent in the vendor selection process and moving away from locally owned business to international entities. Locally owned businesses are increasingly trying to partner with international entities for their marketing activities.
- The large global players are moving in to the offshore market and trying to squeeze the smaller players out.
It may sound as though I am painting a relatively gloomy picture of the offshore market. I am not! I am simply reflecting the reality of a marketplace, which is maturing far quicker than anyone believed. Executed effectively, offshore outsourcing can still increase quality and reduce costs. The model for offshore outsourcing has been proven time and time again. Companies who have been testing offshore call centers have now realized it can work and are pumping millions of dollars into the industry.
In conclusion, the rest of 2004 will be a challenging year particularly for smaller independent vendors. Towards the end of 2004 and early 2005, we will see a major influx of in-house call centers move to developing locations such as India, The Philippines and South Africa. During this time period, we will also start to see the early stages of consolidation in the industry. The smaller players will merge, get bought out, specialize in specific sectors or go out of business. There are still opportunities in the offshore call center market, but the whole ball-game just got tougher.
Rob O'Malley, Chief Operating Officer
CRM Call Center Software
Database Systems Corp. (DSC) has been providing CRM Customer Relationship Management solutions to businesses and organizations for 2 decades.
TELEMATION is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application employed in a wide variety of organizations including contact centers, help desks, customer service centers, service bureaus, reservation centers and corporate call centers. The package has extensive CTI features and is fully integrated with our PACER phone system. TELEMATION operates on Linux, Unix or Windows servers. Software programmers can develop call center applications quickly using the robost features found in the Telemation toolkit.
Call Center Phone System
The PACER is a call center phone system that handles inbound and outbound calls for a wide range of contact centers. Calls are either initiated by the phone system or accepted from the outside and distributed in an intelligent fashion to your service agents. The PACER includes ACD and IVR components, plus call recording capability. Using industry standard components, the PACER phone system has features and functions that can only be found in large scale PBX’s, but at a fraction of the cost. And the PACER has predictive dialing capability that cannot be found in most of these larger phone systems. The PACER phone system can connect calls to your employees working at home or in a local or remote office. The PACER communicates with applications written on Unix, Linux, or PC servers over a LAN. For a complete product presentation, download our PACER demo.