Tag Archives: Business Process Outsourcing

What is a BPO and what do such companies specialize in?

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A BPO is a business process outsourcing company. The term is popular in India, but is gaining popularity around the world. It is expensive and time consuming to do your own back office work. So, it is popular to hire virtual assistants and outsourcing companies overseas to do particular repetetive tasks at a low price. Please be aware that there is RPO which is recruitment process outsourcing, KPO which is highly specialized knowledge process outsourcing which normally includes research, accounting or programming. LPO work is legal process outsourcing. But, in a general sense, all of those other acronyms fall into the BPO category.

There are various general categories of BPO work.
Call Center, Data Entry, Programming, Web Design, Medical Transcription, Accounting, and Content Writing are some of the most popular BPO tasks to outsource. Recently, social media outsourcing has been on the rise as well. There are various subcategories of call center work including appointment setting, order taking, chat support, inbound, outbound, lead generation, sales, and technical support.

Then, there is more general back office work that is harder to categorize. Some companies offer marketing and loyalty programs, content management, digital marketing, online publishing, payment processing, proofreading, data transcription, engineering, eCommerce set up, translation, web research, mobile applications, and the list goes on.

In fact, there are so many types of BPO tasks, that 123outsource.net divided the tasks into 28 specialties to keep them all straight. The most popular by far is our general call center search results as well as BPO and data entry.

We welcome you to browse 123outsource.net to see what companies are out there. We verify our search results every few months, so the information should be up to date 97% of the time! Good luck!


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Outsourcing is a business practice where a particular company will hire someone who does not work for their company such as another company or a freelancer to do particular tasks for them. Typically, tasks outsourced will be highly repetitive or specialized tasks such as calling long lists of names with a particular call script, accounting, programming, data entry, technical support, payment processing, or some other specialized task.


The reason companies outsource work to other companies are multi-fold. One reason could be to:

Save Time — so that employees and management can focus more on the core competencies of the company such as selling widgets while outsourcing bookeeping and reminder calls to companies who specialize in those particular tasks. Another reason could be:

Cost Cutting — Many outsource companies are located in India, The Philippines, or Eastern Europe where labor costs are lower than the United States, hence, creating an opportunity to capitalize on less expensive labor.

Skill Optimization — is yet another reason to outsource work as outsourced companies specialize in particular tasks such as blog set up, eCommerce site creation or XML conversion while your company specializes in widgets.

Eliminating Uneven Schedules — if you have a job to be done that will take only 10-15 hours a week on some weeks and more or less hours on other weeks, hiring a full-time or even part-time employee is a commitment that you will have trouble keeping. If that employee quits in the middle of a project, you’ll have another problem. It might be easier to outsource the project to a company who specializes in that task and has dozens of people who know exactly how to do it rather than hire your own staff.

Reducing Hiring — hiring and firing is expensive and is an art form that you might not have time to master. If you have a particular job that people are always quitting every two months, it might be easier to have the job outsourced to Manila where they have full-time HR managers to handle the hiring and firing for you! That way you can focus on widgets instead of dealing with people who quit on a whim leaving you high and dry. The outsourced company you hire will have plenty of backups all in the same specialty when the employee assigned to you quits.



Freelancers — Some companies hire freelancers which is a type of outsourcing.

Fixed Schedule — Others hire another company for a particular schedule with a contract which extends for a particular number of months or years such as 40 hours a week for two years.

Employee Leasing — Some companies hire a team of workers from an agency which is sometimes called “employee leasing.” Other companies pay for results in specialties like lead generation rather than paying for particular hours of work.

Assignment Based — Programming or software development outsourcing often has a company pay for a completed product or for a particular number of hours to do a particular job although there is very rarely a deadline.

On Call — Some outsourcing is on an on call basis. Programmers might be hire to fix code only when it breaks or to do programming work as needed. Call centers might have a small assignment from time to time only when needed.


Outsourcing jobs are sometimes categorized using particular terms such as:

ITES — Information Technology Enabled Services which could include data entry using computers, web design, technical support, or other tasks which involve technology to facilitate the task in some type of a way.

KPO — Knowledge Process Outsourcing is also a bype of Business Process Outsourcing that includes tasks that require a higher level of education, knowledge or skills such as Accounting, Software Development, Research, etc.

LPO — Legal Process Outsourcing focuses primarily on legal research, patent research, contract drafting and legal support services, but rarely involves actually going to court.

RPO — Research Process Outsourcing or Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Research outsourcing is popular in Bangalore, India as there are many companies that offer market research, web research, and Pharmaceutical research. RPO could also be a form of human resources outsourcing where an outside company will help you find employees or leased agents. This is by far the least popular form of international outsourcing as there are few providers who offer overseas assistance with recruitment.

HRO — Human Resources Outsourcing as mentioned above is the least popular form of international outsourcing as there are very few overseas companies who offer competent service in this industry. However, there are a few companies in India and the Philippines that allow you to lease call center agents and programmers at low rates. However, the quality of such help is dubious and not guaranteed in any way by the provider company.

MBPO — Medical Business Process Outsourcing includes outsourcing of Medical Billing, coding and Medical Transcription. Quality standards and billing in these fields is a lot more uniform than in other BPO tasks as companies can charge a percentage in Medical Billing and can offer rates per number of characters or words (or lines) in Medical Transcriptions. Quality standards are also easy to measure as there are international standards for Medical Billing and Medical Transcription. You can measure errors as a percentage rate. If a company makes more than a particular fraction of a percent of errors, they generally go out of business or get fired.


Commonly outsourced jobs might include: Accounting, Bookkeeping, Call Center, Data Entry, ePublishing, Legal Research, Market Research, Medical Billing, Medical Transcriptions, Social Media, Software Development, and Web Design. However, there are many specialties in most of these types of outsourcing jobs.

Accounting Specialties — Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation, Payroll, Bank Reconcilliation

Call Center Specialties — Appointment Setting, Chat Support, Collections, Customer Help Desk, Data Verification, Email Support, Inbound Customer Care, Lead Generation, Order Taking, Outbound, Survey Taking, Technical Support, Telemarketing, Ticket Sales,

Data Entry Specialties — Data Capture, Data Cleansing, Data Conversion, Data Entry, Data Mining, Data Processing, Data Quality, Data Security, Data Transcription, eCommerce Data Entry, Forms Filling, Forms Processing, Image Processing, Product Data Entry, Scanning, etc. Data Conversion includes XML, SGML, HTML5 conversion, PDF or JPG conversion, and conversion from one language or format to another.

Social Media tasks might include article writing, proofreading, posting on Facebook, managing a Twitter account, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or any of the other common social media platforms. Most companies specialize in several social media platforms, but cannot provide service for ones they are not familiar with or don’t have sufficient staff for.

Software Development Specialties — Blog Set up, eCommerce Set up, Software Testing, Web Design, Employee Leasing, etc.

Common software languages include: C, C#, C++, ERP, J2ME, Java, jQuery, LAMP, MySQL, .Net, OpenSource, PHP, Ruby on Rails, SAP, SQL, XML, and more.


You might also like:

Wikepedia’s article on — outsourcing

Investopedia’s article on — outsourcing

Entrepreneur’s article on — outsourcing

See our informational page on the term — outsourced.

See 123outsource’s compilation on best articles about outsourcing.

What countries are best to outsource a particular task to?

Six problems that only individuals working in a BPO industry would understand.


Being Aware in Business & BPO Outsourcing

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Being Aware in Business & BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)

I wrote a previous blog article about being aware in business. You really need to be a Zen Monk to be good at business. You need to have a still and watchful mind that notices everything. You need to notice behavioral traits in others. If you can spot bad behavior or signs of risky character traits in others EARLY, then you can save yourself a lot of grief in business. But, what I have been thinking about recently is more tactical.

Multiple approaches to getting tasks accomplished
Let’s say that you have a particular set of tasks or BPO business processes to do. You might have one way of doing those tasks. Perhaps there might be other ways of doing those tasks that you thought of. But, what if you meditate on this business process and come up with ten ways to approach the tasks at hand? The issue is that in business, your workload varies over time, and your labor resources vary too. It is expensive in terms of time to interview lots of people just to fill one position, and then potentially have that person quit or get fired. One interesting way to solve this situation is to have a “fluid system” for business process outsourcing (BPO Outsourcing).

What if you have what I could term as a BPO overflow tank?
Your car has an overflow container for radiator fluids, why doesn’t your business? Let’s say that you handle most of your work in house, but you always have a certain percentage of particular tasks outsourced to a BPO company. Let’s say that according to your business model, 20-70% of your outgoing call work is outsourced, and the rest is done in house. That buys you tremendous flexibility. The outsourced call center work might cost you more in labor, but you don’t need to interview people, etc. That buys you time. You can delay your interviews until you have more time in your management schedule. You can be more selective about who you hire. You can fire someone more easily who is not capable or who is slacking off. Having a reliable, tried and tested overflow system for handling your business processes is a great idea. Keeping that system always running ensures that it will run more reliably as well.

There are other solutions too.
If you want to outsource call center work, there are auto-call systems that you can use online that can send messages to clients. You can have a mass email system to communicate with mass amounts of clients. You can even auto-text them. You could devise a system where you would reduce the quantity of outgoing calls under certain business circumstances so you could gracefully adjust to changing workloads. Managing labor resources is fascinating and more complicated than you think! So, try to increase your awareness and think of more innovative ways you can solve problems. Write these solutions down and compare them. Don’t be afraid to use more than one system simultaneously!

You might also like:

Are you aware in business?

Paying attention to the long range effects of business decisions

BPO Definition and Information

Categories: Outsourcing Articles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

BPO Definition and Information
BPO means business process outsourcing.  It also means broker price option, but in the context of outsourcing, the first definition is the one we will concern ourselves with. There are various types of BPO outsourcing as well as specialties and it is important to understand the distinctions between them.
Some BPO companies stick to a particular type of specialty such as Data Entry and it’s associated specialties such as Data Mining, Data Conversion, Data Processing, etc.  Some stick to Call Center (call centre) work and it’s various specialties such as technical support, customer care, customer retention, telemarketing, etc. It is common in India for BPO companies to engage in a wide variety of functions.  I have seen many companies that will do Data Entry, Call Center, Medical Billing, SEO, Software Development, and Web Design, if not even more diverse specialties. BPO companies mostly stick to repetative back office functions like payment processing, information transcription, answering calls, etc.  However, there are other types of outsourcing operations that have very highly trained and highly educated employees.
There are various other types of outsourcing that include: KPO, LPO, RPO, and ITO.  There might be more acronyms or terms out there, but these ones are very common. 
KPO = Knowledge Process Outsourcing
LPO = Legal Process Outsourcing
RPO = Recruitment Process Outsourcing (HR work)
ITO = Information Technology Outsourcing (Software Development)
LPO, RPO, and ITO are easy to understand.  However, the term KPO, which is normally associated with research and analysis,  is often inclusive of legal and software work as well when used in a general way. Most KPO companies engage primarily in various types of research including market research, medical research, pharmaceutical research (a new trend in India), and other types of research.  Business analysis, data analysis, and various types of sophisticated number crunching fit neatly into the category of KPO.
The interesting point that one should understand is that it is common for BPO companies to engage in activities which blur the distinctions between BPO and KPO.  It is common for call centers to do surveys and data tabulation.  Taking and inputting the information (which involves call center and data entry work) fall into the general category of BPO. However, many call centers will also analyze the data for you to tell you which market segments you need to spend more time targetting.  Data entry firms will often do data analysis as part of their work.  The grunt work of entering data from forms, online, or databases into another form is low paying work.  However, the analytical work done once the data is in an appropriate format is much more intricate work.
Please keep in mind, that if you are browsing BPO websites on the internet, they might refer to themselves as a BPO when they are doing work that falls partly in the BPO category, and partly in KPO or even LPO categories.  You really need to read the “services” page of any website to get a clear idea of what they do.  The next question is what do they do best? Are they wonderful at legal research, but sloppy about data entry?  That question is not so easy to answer.  Good luck!

Please visit our KPO definition blog entry as well