While cutting edge companies are thinking of upskilling their online staff as virtual teams with AI technology, the majority of BPO processes are using aging equipment. Not that BPOs are not strategically investing in new tech, but normative standards have come and stayed for this field. Investing in technology is something you might want to keep close to the chest or to home, which is impractical when using online staffing from an offshore outsourcing firm.

What are these normative standards in business process outsourcing? One thing we are concerned with is that the field had accessed what looked like unlikely locations logistics-wise or in terms of personnel and came up with winners. The standard now is to put these successful outsourcing locations on a short list of options, and these locations in turn have been consolidating and developing into transformative places for the industry.

The transformation is often unique for select offshore locations in BPO. Not just any kind of place can, for instance, establish and develop the most effective VA teams that help make smaller businesses have the means to compete with their bigger competitors in global markets.

The concern for investing in people rather than tech can split your focus.

Normally, a commercial loan would be faster to process when you list your capital outlay destination in any one of the recognized centers for offshore outsourcing. Your banker though would advise you to think twice before investing on too much tech and equipment for the long-term  at any offshore destination. But this destination, when already well-developed, often accommodates this issue.

You have a set of items on a list to which you allocate specific amounts of money. The budget is already structured: a certain amount for tech is essential. Everyone has been telling you that investing in tech is really worthwhile. But back of your mind is the fact that the tech you get now may be compared unfavourably to the latest equipment available three or five years from now.

How long you intend to use an offshore destination matters. Many companies have gone the full monty and invested for the long-term on their favourite destinations, and these aren’t just the large ones, but a representative mix of small, medium, large and super large.

What to Do if You Decide to Invest on People

First off, an investment of this sort means developing a competent matrix of employee selection and engagement to get the most valued assets from the local workforce. Assets investment comes in a close second though, and again there will be the worrisome issue of how to keep pace with tech, which might mean your putting in ever larger amounts on the tally sheet year on year.

Tech and human asset concerns are reversed in any good offshore locality. Where the primary financial pressure point in places like the US, UK and Australia is generated by the need to keep pace with technology, investment on personnel is weighted heavier in offshore locations. Ideally these should have developed compatibility with and competence for business in the said countries, in human and technical terms.

Nominally, nobody involved in this kind of business would want you to break the bank investing on BPOs offshore — this is an oft-stated fact in local business community commitment. So hiring local and buying local answers to the mentioned workforce compatibility and competence with the added incentive of the latest in peripherals and hardware within easy reach in your offshore location.

The development of online staffing rose out of call center services in certain offshore locations.

Once before, the CSR position reigned supreme in a typical offshore location like Cebu City in the Philippines. Technically, this position still has the largest number of hires here, especially in the big BPOs catering to large corporations. Now, when seen against the backdrop of recent developments in the industry, these can have the feel of being outmoded and out-teched. Whether this is a natural development in business tech and competencies specific to this city or not requires a formal or official study with survey statistics.

In any case, the savviest CSRs of Cebu did not stop at their entry-level positions, but consciously developed and then migrated to more tech- or knowledge-intensive jobs. Online staff jobs are therefore more diverse in this location, with tech and culture gaps narrowed. What used to be jobs essentially done by a native for a native in one country or closely-related countries can now be outsourced here and in other choice offshore locations.

Virtual assistants were once confined to being just that, admin assistants to management on the remote environment. Tech redefined their role, conflating it so it could work with a dozen or more differentiated roles to create virtual teams that could support or run far-flung offices.

Outsourcing added further refinements, which put VA access within a more affordable shelf for potential clients. The former CSRs form the backbone of many online staffing teams in the sample offshore location, now completely able to handle specialist roles and calls, adding more engagement to the mix. They have also helped virtual staffing services firms in this sample location catch up to native VA standards in major countries. This fact may point to the creation of a location-specific niche.

Outsourcing for SMEs can actually mean online staffing running up to 60% of company operations.

Business process outsource may be applicable to outsourcing for SMEs. BPO was developed for larger businesses to address things like big data management, ERP, accounting, legal work, finance and more. All of the said concerns are basic to small businesses too. However they need more compact virtual teams so that team competencies and management are easier to handle.

Like follows like in this regard: small businesses can really appreciate small virtual teams. One each of pros for essential items and you have a complete back office staff. You could head up a small business, headquartered in an office with three staff members physically present for core business. This staff can work with a remote team made up of perhaps a half dozen people. These can be handling your online marketing, IT, accounting, admin communications and HR. The combined work of home and remote teams can give you a going concern delivering results bigger companies can envy.

The above formula can have the virtual team 60% of the total tasks needed for business. This formula works better with a managed virtual services company, a variant but fast-evolving variant of BPO firms. This company is composed of a picked management core group overseeing dedicated teams of VAs and technical specialists. These take on jobs or projects for specific kinds of client employers, guaranteeing engagement, continuance and completion.

Let us help you work out your office solutions.

Smart Online Staff is a dedicated virtual office solutions firm which can make everything work out relevant to your unique specifications, environment, business field need, and company policies. If you are a startup or small business that’s been operating for some years and needs access to online staffing, then we are on the same page. Contact us today for details.

We are committed to helping smaller Australian businesses have the proper resources to scale and to get traction on the best tools and programs in twenty-first century business. To know more about Smart Online Staff, visit our website.