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For the third year in a row, South Africa has been named the second most favoured offshore location for contact centre delivery, globally.

India came in first and the Philippines third in the annual 2020 Front Office Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Omnibus Survey conducted by global firm Ryan Strategic Advisory. The survey assesses 540 senior decision-makers representing 42 countries spread across multiple sectors.

In South Africa, the sector employs an astonishing 260 000 young people, of which 65 000 service international clients in Europe, the UK, US, Asia, Africa and Australia. Last year it recorded 34% employment growth, generating 15 086 new jobs, 13 102 of which went to youth aged 18 to 35 and 1 353 of which were inclusively hired through an impact sourcing approach.

The journey we have travelled

Today marks the end of the 9th week of lock down since the state of disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and it heralds a new stage in this journey as the country moves to Risk Level 3 in our risk adjusted approach to opening up the economy. Level 3 allows all call centre activity to take place, which is great news to those companies that focus primarily on non-essential services and to the debt collections subsegment.

he South African global business services (GBS) sector is gaining prominence across the global outsourcing landscape for offshore locations, with the country in May named the second-most preferred offshore customer experience location globally, says not-for-profit company BPeSA CEO Andy Searle.

He paid tribute to the slow and steady efforts of the industry, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and BPeSA over the past years to advance and promote South Africa’s competitive advantage as an offshore location in the global outsourcing market.

He noted that, over time, and with significant collaboration between the public and private sectors, South Africa has built a value proposition based on a skilled and young English-speaking workforce, a sizeable regional and domestic market opportunity, significant cost savings, sophisticated infrastructure and an enabling environment, strong information and communication technology and digital capabilities and a strong foundation in contact centres and niche domain areas.

Ubuntu - An African term meaning "I am, because we are"

Our country has been grappling with the lockdown and its prospects for future growth for 6 weeks now. A tremendous amount has happened across our industry over this period, and whilst we have been apart, we have never worked with more unity and purpose both for our sector and for our country.

As I sit back and reflect on our industry’s front line people (our essential service workers), its leaders and the many companies that have endured through this period of lockdown, I am genuinely filled with gratitude for what people have done in service to our industry, and inspired by what the future prospects hold for us. The purpose of this post is to express my gratitude to my industry colleagues for their phenomenal dedication and contributions, as well as to share a few of my personal reflections.

Excellent coverage on ITWeb of South Africa's recent performance in the annual 2020 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey conducted by global firm Ryan Strategic Advisory.

The survey included feedback from 540 Senior decision-makers on behalf of 240 businesses which represented 42 countries across multiple sectors.

South Africa has been named the second most favoured offshore location for contact centre delivery globally.

This is the third year in a row that South Africa has consistently taken second place, straddled in 2020 by two mature sector giants; India in first place and the Philippines in third.

The annual 2020 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey conducted by global firm; Ryan Strategic Advisory was conducted with 540 senior decision-makers responding on behalf of 240 businesses representing 42 countries spread across multiple sectors.

What Happened

BPESA’s membership year starts on the 1st April 2020 and with the sudden announcement by the President of the national disaster our roadshow to the regions, during which we planned to present the 2020/2021 plan of action and the new membership proposition, was cancelled.

Our world changed and our priorities switched immediately from memberships and growth to preparing for the lock down and ensuring that our industry (operators, suppliers, staff) activated work from home and kept staff safe, all the while continuing to deliver essential services to the domestic and international markets – a critical element in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

To all our members and stakeholders

More than two weeks have passed since the lock-down came into effect and we now know that it will stay in place until the end of April.

Cleary the decision to extend the shut down was not an easy one for the President and his team; a decision that was made on the back of deep consultation with key stakeholders, including business, and with as much relevant data and information as possible on the progression and impact of the virus, its’ impact on human lives and its impact on the economy.

It gives me great pleasure to share the Quarter Four Jobs Report for 2019. Amidst the anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic prevalent in the world and here at home, we should take hope from the 35% growth realised in 2019.

Loren Moss - a respected analyst, publisher & researcher with executive leadership experience and deep domain knowledge in Global service delivery (amoung others) - has published an article exploring the the concept of 'telework' (working from home) in the midst of the alarming Coronavirus COVID-19 global outbreak.

Read more for opinion from GBS stakeholders on the concept and benefits of 'telework' for our sector - Global Business Services.

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