R Y A N S T R A T E G I C A D V I S O R Y
Emerge BPO â€“ Innovating in Contact Center Outsourcing 10 December 2016
Introduction In today’s commercial environment, enterprises need partners that they can count on to deliver the best possible outcomes when dealing with consumers. One of the facets that differentiates contact center outsourcers relates to the willingness of vendors to innovate for their clients, from the perspective of delivery models, technology and locations. For nearly a decade Emerge BPO has been disrupting in contact center services provision, providing clients across verticals with the attention to detail that consumers have come to expect. As an organization, it has pioneered both nearshore and virtualized front-line support, and is poised to continue an upward trajectory from its base of operations in Guyana. Presenting Emerge BPO Company overview History Emerge BPO was born in 2008, the brainchild of Adrian Collins, who had a vision of contact center outsourcing delivery being performed from his native Guyana for clients and consumers in North America. Having run captive contact centers in the US since the late 1990s, Collins had the knowledge of what American and Canadian executives needed in terms of quality delivery done in a secure and positive atmosphere. In 2015 it invested in a home-based agent pool, providing clients in North America with domestic support, in addition to its nearshore capacity Since Emerge BPO’s inception nearly ten years ago, it has experienced significant growth, in terms of its base of clients, its pool of agents and its management. And, as the first BPO company in the burgeoning Guyanese market, it has helped put that country on the map as a location of choice for housing contact center work destined for North America. Agent selection and training As Guyana’s first homegrown outsourcer, Emerge BPO is fortunate to have a steady flow of new applicants from which to recruit. Once onboarded each agent undergoes assessments, in order to strategically place them in the role best suited to their skills. Training is ongoing on all aspects of customer experience delivery during an agent’s tenure at Emerge BPO, in order to ensure the best outcomes for clients.
Connectivity and compliance Emerge BPO has a strong technology backbone, with all voice and data POP functionality housed in Miami, within a center that provides full redundancy and multiple fiber entrances. This center has in excess of 160 sources of carrier connectivity. It is also outside of FEMA flood zones and is capable of withstanding Category 5 hurricanes. As a company, Emerge BPO is PCI compliant, and places a premium on both facility and data security. Functional capabilities Emerge BPO is positioned to assist clients from across industries with a range of services designed to retain consumers and drive loyalty, which enterprises in the modern economy have come to expect from their vendor partners. These functions are being delivered from the company’s site in Georgetown that contains three hundred workstations, and a virtualized team of home-based agents across the US and Canada. Key functions currently being provided by Emerge BPO include: •
Customer experience offerings – Emerge BPO delivers its clients a full range of services designed to respond quickly and courteously to consumer queries, including account management, customer retention and after-sales follow-ups; Revenue generation – A suite of functions designed to maximize revenue potential with each client and prospect, such as up-selling, cross-selling, new order processing and lead qualification; Technical support – with clients from across multiple sectors, Emerge BPO can assist consumers with technology-related queries ranging from the straightforward to the complex; Virtualized agents – Enterprises are realizing that using home-based agents is one of the best ways of ensuring high quality consumer interactions. Using a technology and security platform that is stable and secure, Emerge BPO provides its clients a scalable network of home agents across North America; Non-voice channels – today’s consumer requires service using multiple communications mediums, and Emerge BPO provides its clients with support across digital channels, including email and webchat.
Vertical expertise The ability to support end-users across different industries is something that Emerge BPO has built since 2008. Among the sectors for which it has experience providing service delivery include: • • • • •
Retail / e-commerce Telecom and media Travel and transportation Utilities Health care
Emerge BPO aims to tailor industry-specific programs to each client in order to take into account the vertical nuances that can mean the difference between an acceptable interaction and one that will drive long-term brand loyalty. Key clients Over the past decade, Emerge BPO has been able to forge partnerships with clients that are among the most referenable brands in North America. Some of the most prominent include: Office Depot, Wayfair, AT&T, Grand & Toy and Ativa. Signing with North American firms of this magnitude is an impressive track record of success for a locally-owned Guyanese outsourcing firm. Guyana as an outsourcing delivery point As discussed at the outset of this white paper, Emerge BPO was the original pioneer of contact center outsourcing delivery from Guyana. The fact that since 2008 this country has become one of the fastest growing nearshore delivery destinations in the Americas speaks to its inherent value across several metrics. Ease of access For North American executives, Guyana is significantly less cumbersome a travel prospect than other offshore contact center delivery destinations. As per the table below, traveling to Guyana’s main air hub from New York or Toronto directly means less travel time and jet lag once on the ground, relative to other major English-speaking offshore destinations. Direct Flights New York Toronto
Delhi 14h00m 13h50m
Johannesbur g 14h35m 19h45m
Georgetow n 5h30m 6h30m Source - Expedia
Favorable business climate It is clear that the Guyanese government is committed to producing a positive commercial environment for prospective outsourcing investors. Among the provisions that have been implemented by the national government include (but are not limited to): •
A commitment to facilitating new outsourcing operations, by way of the government of Guyana commited to quickly establishing the necessary investment agreements; Offshore outsourcers receive favorable corporate tax treatment for a period of time when established in Guyana; Minimal import taxes toward construction and contact center equipment required for contact center set-up.
Time zone favorability Guyana provides a time zone advantage to North American clients, given that as the work day is flexible but still attracts employees to the most sought after daytime shifts. Comparatively, this is advantageous relative to offshore locatioins, where contact centers must find agents willing to work overnight to support end-users in Canada and the US. Labor force There are two aspects to Guyana’s labor market that make it attractive for contact center nearshore deployments. The first relates to its sustainability. Admittedly, Guyana has a small population relative to other offshore contact center delivery locations; however, its age distribution favors a very young workforce. In fact, roughly 50% of its population is under 25 years old, meaning a steady stream of potential gradutaes to recruit as contact center agents for the forseable future. However, what is a very important advantage to Guyana is that it is a native Englishspeaking location, one of only a handful of countries south of the US border in the continental Americas that can lay claim to this status. In addition, the Guyanese population is very connected to North American popular culture, which has helped develop a first-hand awareness of products and services found in the US and Canada. When triangulated, native English speakers that are acutely familiar with North American consumer products within a short flight is a major competitive advantage for enterprises choosing to outsource to Guyana.
Price competitiveness Guyana is a very advantageous location from which to procure outsourced contact center services. For example, with a price point in the range of $12 USD per agent / hour for inbound voice-based customer care, it is significantly less expensive than domestic US or Canadian delivery, which can runs between $27 - $30 per agent / hour for similar function - this constitutes savings of over 50%, which is excellent value for enterprises procuring the services of nearshore native English-speaking agents.
Inbound Voice-based Customer Care - Guyana versus North America (USD) 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Guyana
Source â€“ Ryan Strategic Advisory Conclusions There is little question that the value of Guyana is compelling from a contact center perspective. A proactive government that is facilitating a burgeonoing BPO sector, based around quality workforce, proximity to North America and favorable pricing cannot be discounted. This has been encapsulated by Emerge BPOâ€™s efforts at driving value for clients from Guyana, but as well with their entry into the home-based agent sector. It is clear that this company is aiming to build on its strong vertical base and referencable client list as it continues to develop new voice and non-voice offerings.