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Rural outsourcing - an emerging IT service

Rural outsourcing refers to a method in which jobs are transferred away from higher cost urban areas to lower cost rural areas.  With increased level of salaries to the employees, real estate prices, and high attrition rates has escalated costs incurred by the BPO industry.

Benefits of Rural outsourcing:
  1. Lower cost of operations
  2. Producing loyal and efficient employee base
  3. Lower operating costs
  4. Absence of communicational or cultural barriers
  5. Lower attrition rates
  6. Proximity to the clients
  7. Shifting the main business of the rural areas from agriculture to service oriented
  8. No time zone problems, thus ensuring rapid services
  9. Politically more acceptable

Disadvantages of Rural outsourcing:
  1. Lack of availability of financial resources and IT skills
  2. Lesser experience than the giant outsourcing firms

It is without doubt that the trend of outsourcing abroad isn’t going to disappear anytime soon but looking for virtual team members in small towns, in the form of rural outsourcing would be a triple advantage for your firm-good workers, good for small towns and lower costs.

The problem of Transfer Pricing in the Indian BPO sector

We all have heard much about the BPO boom in India and its remarkable benefits that it has served India with. But in recent times, the future of the industry is predicted to become bleak due to the government’s imposition of Transfer Pricing Agreement and additionally levying an increased tax rate at 12%. This is one of the many issues that is seen challenging the BPO industry’s growth.

What is Transfer Pricing?
It is the price that is being charged by one part of the company for products and services it provides to another part of the same company, in order to calculate each division’s finances separately.

Its purpose:

To ensure that a fair price is charged, tax authorities make sure that goods and services are sold at a price the company would seek from an unrelated third party. The purpose is to make companies reflect the fair amount of profit and not avoid tax.

What is the fuss about the Agreement?
The BPO companies in India feel that the new Transfer Pricing Agreement is arbitrary and that the taxes are being too much demanding and unreasonable.  The BPO companies make an argument that until last year the BPO companies which were operating under the Software Technology Parks of India, were entitled to full income tax rebate. But now the companies are worried about this year’s profits fearing that it will be taxed, proving burdensome for the already burdened industry.

On the contrary, the income tax officials are keen on this tax as they prove enough evidences of companies showing deliberate lower profits in India and then transfer their surpluses in some other company thereby evading tax payments.

All in all, the government’s legislation in this order to reduce tax evasions is indeed an ideal step but in order to have an exact and balanced effect, it would be good enough to consider all the parties and then come up with a suitable legislation, which is fair to all the parties.

Tips on choosing the right call center service provider

If you are an existing growing company and are keen on managing your telephonic traffic through the help of a call center service then you should consider the following suggestions:

  1. Keeping in mind your budget, consider the volume of your present call and based on your estimates, the future call volumes. This will help you save time and money.
  2. Keep up your expectations top on the list and accordingly choose the perfect service provider, which shall help you best in fulfilling your laid objectives.
  3. Evaluate your geographical coverage and response time capabilities.
  4. See if the call center service provider provides adequate facilities such as online chat possibilities, product query possibilities, inbound call center and outbound call center services, telemarketing services, etc.
  5. Shortlist some call centers and compare their services and the price at which they are willing to work for you.
  6. If possible, get a survey done of the call center’s services; this will help you gauge their level of performance.
  7. Ask the call center service provider to provide you with a free trail project before signing a contract as this shall help them gauge their efficiency and performance levels.
  8. Check if the call center service providers have good communication skills
  9. Search for a call center service provider which will ensure quality work.

So, if you are a growing company out there and are wishing to flourish your base, outsourcing seems to be an only helpful solution and a great help provider. But before you do that, you need to ensure the enlisted tips are taken care off, for a call center service provider will either make or break your business, if not picked properly.

India, a preferred destination for outsourcing call center services

Stable democracy, youngest and most educated population, India is all what can be called, a one stop shop for the offshore call center services.  The developed nations have been looking for a labor which is huge and educated and English speaking. India, with providing all the three solutions, has in recent time become the most preferred location for outsourcing call center services of the international companies.

There are thus many of call centers in India which have international clients like American Express, Delta Airlines, etc. These call centers hire the newly college graduates and train them in terms of making them deliver solutions in western accent, just so that the person who is seeking a solution, feels that the solution giver is just the girl/guy next door.

Now staff in the Indian call center obviously has an Indian name and they change their names, usually keeping a Christian name. so that the query holders feel connected to the call center staff.

Why choose India?
  1. The 12 hour time difference between the western countries as and India has made it possible for India to deliver 24x7x365 days solutions.
  2. India provides a perfect set of both inbound and outbound call center services, telemarketing services, lead generation services, direct mail follow-up services, email support services, chat support services, etc.
  3. Large growing young and educated population
  4. Since the population is young, educated and in huge number, the cost on training the man power, cost of capital investment and overheads can be nullified while setting up a call center in India.

The success of the Indian call centers has proved a fact that geography is redundant and that distance doesn’t matter anymore.  Kudos!

e-Governance - renovating the governmental service delivery system

e - governance, a one stop online portals for information access for online citizen services, center and state specific e-Governance initiatives, providing awareness about governmental tasks.  In simpler terms it basically refers to the technology driven governance.

Models of e-Governance:

When we talk about e Governance, its main target groups remain the citizens, government and businesses. Hence what we have is Government to Customer or Citizen model, Government to Employees, Government to Government and Government to business.

Advantages of e- Governance:
  • Helps improve public services and  strengthen democratic process
  • Strengthen support for public policies
  • Fight corruption and bureaucracy in Government departments
  • Ensures transparency and accountability in governmental functions
  • Integrated  government service at your fingertips
  • The access can be made anytime, anywhere
  • Improves overall productivity of the government
  • Empowers the citizens, as information is a true knowledge
Advantages aside, what is more important is governance and not the ‘e’.  Electronic or technology is only a medium to facilitate better governance. While recognizing its probable benefits, a fact should be kept in mind that getting to better governance itself is a problem of heavy magnitude, one that must be tackled with more than electronics and computing.

Convergence of Social Media and BPO

Today, the social media is the trendiest communicational buzz. As a medium of channel, it has fairly done its job beyond imaginable expectations by standing in as a means of non-commercial interaction among individuals.  Social media indeed, has become a mainstream phenomenon within the last few years and is only working hard to also become now a successful means of commercial interaction.

Over the past few years, the BPO services have made investments in customer-oriented business intelligence and deep analytic tools for their company clients. With the growth of the social or interactive media, it has become possible to critique anything and everything possible. When it comes to business, from launching to marketing to receiving feedbacks from customers, the social media has have been an immense platform. 

Now how BPO services converge with this medium and are useful to both the clients and the consumers?

For instance, if suppose there is a BPO company and its client as say for instance is Idea cellular company, then any item, comment posted on the social media be it in terms of blog, in terms of a comment on facebook, or as a community, and if at all there are any critical or negative comments, or posts or tweets then this BPO company will monitor the content o social media and report it to the company.

What are the advantages?

With the heavy online traffic, even the companies are gaining an online presence and since they cannot look after the social media, because of the already huge workload, transferring this responsibility to a BPO company helps save their time and moreover when a BPO company administers the complaints and feedback of the consumers online, it then with its analytic capabilities, understand the consumer sentiments and behavior and tell exactly what the problem is to the main service provider company. Hence like this, it lessens the burden of the service provider company and through the BPO services, the main service provider company can exactly get to know what their consumers are thinking and what they want, thus only helping the companies DELIVER BETTER!

All in all, this social media monitoring task by BPO service providers are on an early stage of driving value to the consumer-centric analytics.

India - a global center of BPO services

Today outsourcing has become the order of the day. More and more organizations are choosing India as a hub of outsourcing companies for a number of reasons such as, high presence of young population, cost effectiveness, increased efficiency, increased productivity, shared risks, reduced operating costs, increased quality, better services and more time to focus on core competencies.

Discover how India has become the world’s most preferred location for the software development and software enabled services:
  1. Cost-effective services:  India having a large, young, educated population, more so, high amount of educated technical, makes India a hub for ITES services. Since the supply is more than demand, enabled with quality talent, investing outsourcing services in India is therefore profitable.
  2. Time zone advantages:  Further the time zone advantages in India and between other countries are fairly beneficial for India which allows companies to have a 24 x 7 x 365 days presence with the help of Indian BPO firms.
  3. Presence of standard quality operations:  The Indian outsourcing companies operate in high international standards and comply with ISO and SEI-CMM standards.
  4. Excellent software solutions: The Indian outsourcing companies include provides services such as e-commerce, e-governance, Business Process Re-engineering, System Migration, Maintaining Legacy system, System integration, etc.
  5. Stable government and promising economic growth:  India has have witnessed a stable government with positive IT and economic policies which has made it possible for such high GDP rates accounting to 8%.

Stable governments with a liberal democracy, open economy, and benefits mentioned above have truly made India, a global center for BPO services.

Negative impact of Rupee depreciation on Indian BPO sector

The IT/ITES industry body, NASSCOM, is seen noting its concern about the negative effect of the continual volatility of the Indian currency.  The apex body said that the currency volatility is all set to hinder the planning process of the BPO industry.

Apart from the Eurozone financial crisis and the rupee depreciation, factors like US Subprime crisis and rising input costs are also seen hindering the growth of the sector.  Though the rupee depreciation has brought in good news for the exporters and software exporting Indian companies like TCS and Infosys. Since these are big companies that engage themselves in hedging, it would be for the smaller IT companies to bear the brunt of the market situation.

The industry apex body, NASSCOM, warns the companies of the worst situation that lies ahead of them in terms of huge loss, if the currency further depreciates by 10%. And the loss is definite enough for all the companies, however big or small they may be in its operations.

The volatility in currency poses a major challenge to the BPO firms since for the offshore work they earn their revenues in dollars and the expenses have to be met in Indian rupees.

But since the rupee is falling over the US dollars and the fact that the BPO industry earns its revenues in US dollars, they simply earn more. Hence, currency depreciation is as good as it bad for the industry.
But all BPO companies are gearing up against the odd situation, by entering into hedging, and auto escalation clause.  Also there are some companies who have asked and convinced their clients to bill in rupees instead of dollars and some others have opted the option of linking the pricing to the fluctuations in exchange rates.

In a backbreaking situation for the industry like this, it would be interesting as to how the Indian BPO industries gear up with different strategies to null the currency volatility crisis.

Hub and Spoke Model and BPO Industry

The IT BPO sector in India is a sunrise sector which has been propelling phenomenal growth rates for the Indian economy since past three decades.  In our initial articles we have already mentioned a few of the factors that make India an attractive destination for the countries world over to outsource their businesses in India, such as, cost efficiency, younger talented, technical population, high GDP rate, open economy, etc.

Now that India has already attracted the businesses, creating more efficiency out of the given task, would be more profitable for the industry. It is for this reason that the industry experts have suggested new business models tap this opportunity, Hub and Spoke, being one.

What is Hub and Spoke Model?
The Hub and Spoke model or network basically refers to a system of connections arranged like a chariot wheel, in which all the traffic moves along the spokes which is connected to the hub at the center.  Thus in the wider role, Hub performs the functions of management responsibilities of customers, quality risk and performance management, training and development, manpower management, and regulatory compliance. In a similar context, the role of Spokes include meeting the performance expectations of Hub, adding to its manpower needs, local project management, supporting the Hub on issues of legality and taxes and operating as an leeway to the delivery center.

Advantages of Hub and Spoke model:
The model is seen to have enabled centralized control in an already large and scattered organization with respect to skill developments, resource utilization, enhancing operational efficiency, and helping enforce uniform/universal standards across all delivery centers.  The model minimizes the risk of delivering from single or few locations, thus allowing the service provider to make use of the labor from respective locations it chooses as Spokes.

The model has been successfully implanted in aviation and manufacturing sectors. Seeing their surging growth, utilizing the benefits of the model for the Indian IT BPO industry surely sounds a successful business tactic.

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs: Uncanny Resemblance [PICS]

Ashton Kutcher Gets Steve Jobs Makeover
Photographs of actor Ashton Kutcher dressed up as late Steve Jobs emerged Saturday, giving the world a first glimpse of how Kutcher will look in the upcoming independent film about the former Apple CEO.
TMZ posted the images taken on a movie set in Los Angeles, showing Kutcher wearing Jobs’s iconic attire including a black turtleneck, blue jeans and tennis shoes. Filming for the flick — tentatively titled Jobs: Get Inspired — began in this month.
Producer Mark Hulme recently told tech website Neowin that the biopic will come out in the last quarter of 2012 and will focus on “the early years of Apple, its founding and the up and down years.”
Kutcher, who stars in CBS’s Two and a Half Men, previously played roles on Fox’sThat ’70s Show and films such as The Butterfly Effect, No Strings Attached, Valentine’s Day and Dude, Where’s My Car.

Persistent Toddler Gets Shot Down by Crush Again and Again [VIDEO]

Sometimes — no matter what you do — you just can’t get a girl to like you in the same way you like her. The kid in this video, for better or worse, is finding that out at an early age.
The little boy, our protagonist here, spends a solid two minutes leaning in for a kiss or cuddle time with his would-be toddler girlfriend. But the young lady is not having it. She pushes him away. She turns her back on him. She shoves him to the ground multiple times. Even his put-both-hands-on-the-ground-and-scoot-around move won’t work. That move always works!

The cute video has gone viral with more than 200,000 views since it was posted to YouTube on Monday. Its origins are unclear, but the video’s information is all written in Portuguese.
Sometimes, kid, you just gotta cut your losses and move on. But thanks for the laughs.

Facebook Rolls Out File-Sharing for All Groups [EXCLUSIVE]

Could Facebook become the next Dropbox — or a haven for sharing files without regard to copyright?
The social network has revealed to  that all Groups will now offer the ability to send files. This update rolls out to a small percentage of groups Thursday, and will become available to others during the following days. If you don’t have the feature already, Facebook wants you to know you’ll have it “soon.”
Facebook Groups for Schools, launched last month, incorporated the file-sharing feature — but you needed a .edu address to use it.
Users can upload most file types up to 25MB — the same file size limit as Gmail. The exceptions: music files (sorry, old-school Napster fans) and executable (.exe) files (sorry, hackers). But e-books, comics, music videos and other small movies are fair game.
To prevent the spread of malicious, inappropriate or copyrighted files, “users can report files the same way they can with other content across the site,” a Facebook spokesperson said. Whether a group that wants to share such things will willingly turn itself in remains to be seen.
More than 380 million people use Facebook Groups. Being able to share files was one of the most common requests from groups users, the spokesperson said.
This is how the new file sharing feature will look:

In October 2010, Facebook acquired simple file sharing service Unlike Adobe Connect or Dropbox users, users did not have to register to use the site. They could simply upload a file, create a “drop” with links to files and share it with others. also had free conference call service — so perhaps Facebook can incorporate this technology into its file sharing feature in future.
Do you use Facebook Groups? What do you think about this latest feature? Sound off in the comments.
Christina Warren contributed to this report.

GOOGLE+ is still the BEST

Things changed since than , but GOOGLE+ is still the BEST...What do You think about differences between these platforms for communication?Http://

GOOGLE+ is still the BEST

Things changed since than , but GOOGLE+ is still the BEST...What do You think about differences between these platforms for communication?Http://

Google Drive aesomeness instant OCR

Google Drive awesomeness, instant OCR

You want to digitize a print document? You have Google Drive and an Android device? You are all set!

1- Take a very clear picture of the paper document
2- Send it to Google Drive
3- (Re)name the uploaded document and check the "transform as a Google document" box. Go!
4- Wait for upload and process. Done! :)

Facebook Launches Two-Filter ‘Instagram’ on ‘Facebook for Every Phone’

One month after its $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, Facebook has added filters to one of its apps.
Users of Facebook’s app for non-smartphones, “Facebook for Every Phone,” can now tweak their photos with Sepia or Grayscale filters similar to those Instagram offers.
Instagram had nothing to do with the new feature, a Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook. Rather, the apps were developed at an employee hackathon.
The New York TImes reported in August 2011 that Facebook was developing a set of filters for its mobile app “with the hopes of drawing off fans of Instagram.”
Given its recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, that is no longer Facebook’s motive. But it could help users of phones that can’t run the Instagram app understand what the fuss is all about.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would be expanding the feature to its other apps.