• November 25, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

BPO News Roundup

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Forrester Research recently released a report cautioning companies on BPO pitfalls. In the report "BPO's Fragmented Future," the research firm surveyed 82 senior business and IT executives and found that companies experimenting with BPO complain of inflexible contracts, difficulty managing vendors, and a lack of performance metrics. Addressing the issue of inflexible contracts, John McCarthy, group director at Forrester Research, says, "Companies don't want a ten-year fixed price. They want to renegotiate costs to see more value over time. They also want to grow the contract incrementally, as they get more confident in their vendor's skills." ICICI OneSource announced its intention to acquire FirstRing, a Bangalore, India, customer care outsourcing company. FirstRing, one of the earliest companies in the Indian call center outsourcing market (founded in May 1999), has one 650-seat call center located at Information Technology Park Limited in Bangalore, with 800 total employees. The combined company, which will be branded under the ICICI OneSource name, will have more than 3,500 employees and 2,000 seats in four call centers in Mumbai and Bangalore, as well as international business development offices in New York and London.
Automated speech recognition solutions are growing in popularity as their accuracy improves. And this past September Gartner recognized Nuance as the worldwide speech-software market-share leader in its report "Speech Recognition Telephony Software: Worldwide, 2002-2007." Nuance took market share leader status in various categories, including number of ports of software shipped, ports market share, number of systems shipped, and systems market share.
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