30 percent of the top 100 global outsourcing companies are in Central and Eastern Europe

Marketing Insiders Group gathered prolific international BPO experts at the 2nd European BPO Forum edition, which took place on April 22nd in Vienna, reuniting 9 countries and 12 speakers from 2 continents, who offered valuable outsourcing insights, from both a global and regional perspective.

Vienna, April 30th 2015
– The BPO market is evolving at a very accelerated pace in Europe, the numbers revealing a fast overcome of its emerging status in the region.  An analysis conducted by Colliers International in 2014 regarding the companies located in Central and Eastern Europe revealed that 30% of the top 100 global outsourcing companies are already in the region. There are 2.8 million seats in the contact centers across Europe, while the headcount engaged in outsourcing processes reaches 3.8 million and the economic clout is worth 67 billion euro, according to the Call Communications.eu 2014 study. The business process outsourcing market represents 17.9 percent of the outsourcing industry in the region, which is growing at a 3.6% rate annually.

“Eastern Europe has evolved into an important link in the global outsourcing chain and a more attractive destination for companies around the world. The second edition of the European BPO Forum established a multidisciplinary and comprehensive platform for professionals in the industry and enriched the outsourcing community, providing useful insights and data. On top of that, the conference gained its reputation as a strategic field of interaction and gainful partnerships”
, said Madalina Vilau - Managing Director, Marketing Insiders Group.

Rising stars on the outsourcing map: the Balkan countries

Eastern and Central Europe are gaining ground as a viable location for outsourcing, challenging the Western Europe’s position on a global level. Central Europe is often chosen as an offshore destination due to its mature industry and highly skilled players, at a cost even 50% lower than Western Europe. Nonetheless, the cost advantage increases even more in Eastern Europe. The low cost criteria is not the only advantage in the region, as Balkan countries also provide a highly educated and specialized workforce. In the A.T.Kearney Global Services Location Index for 2014, which measures the offshoring potential in 51 countries, two Balkan countries rank among the top 20 - Bulgaria (9) and Romania (18), with Poland occupying the 11th position.
The Balkan region also offers the possibility to outsource in many locations in the same country, each of them offering a vast pool of talent. On top of that, second-tier cities are becoming more and more competitive, offering better location costs, convenient labor expenses, skilled labor force, sound business environment (source: Call Communications). Also, the infrastructure in most major European cities is more reliable compared to the world leading countries in outsourcing such as India and China (source: Euroanswer). The outsourcing and offshore market in the Central and Eastern Europe region is dominated by the IT and telecom sector – 46%, followed by banking & insurance – 23%, professional services – 13%, energy/ industrial and other business sectors – 20% (source: Colliers International 2014 report). The latest developments in the outsourcing industry reveal a paradigm shift regarding customer interactions. “Social represents the greatest revenue opportunity for the outsourcing community”, according to Conversocial, a social customer service software provider. With a 30 percent yearly growth, social is now the fastest growing Digital Channel, covering an important sector in the customer service industry, given the fact that digital interactions account for 35 percent of all interactions. This year, social media represents up to 11.5 percent of interactions in contact centers (source: Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report; Business Systems).

"Everything is in the public domain. How do we restore trust between us and our customers? Dismiss your call center. Don’t think about outsourcing, move from the idea of call center, and embed a consistent experience Omni channel"
, stated Richard Kenny, EMEA Marketing Manager, Plantronics.

"Social is difficult. It’s text based, it’s public, only one error can go viral. The opportunity is the gap between the number of the customers’ questions and the number of the responses of the companies to the customers. The outsourcing world has a great opportunity to fill this gap"
, stated Joseph Rice, Director, Channel & Business Development, Conversocial.

These valuable insights and many more were presented at the 2nd edition of the European BPO Forum, which was designed as a networking and learning platform. The attending guests and speakers joined a remarkable business voyage on April 22nd in Vienna (Studio 44 der Österreichischen Lotterien - Rennweg 44, A-1038 Wien), mapping the following strategic coordinates: meeting hub for top speakers and BPO experts, profitable partnerships, gateway towards the latest data, complete perspective over the outsourcing industry, dynamic audience debate regarding the Balkans versus other European regions and the BPO future etc.

This year’s edition can be described as a multicultural approach towards the outsourcing industry, with professionals from 9 countries: Romania, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Serbia, Macedonia, Poland, UK and Canada - who offered savvy evaluations and predictions. Here are the main trends that were presented at the conference, which will bring a predictable difference in the outsourcing industry: social customer care, proliferation of digital interactions, smartsourcing, omnichannel, Human2Human versus B2B or B2C, aggregation of marginal gains, unified communications, and intelligent commerce through human relations.

“The second edition 2015 provided a professional speaker and country mix including the topics: managing BPO strategic culture, 3.0 leadership tools, hi-tech business optimizations, and coping with challenges in the Balkan region. A great strategic mapping for new dynamics and the current fast change in customer care”
said Maria Hoffrichter-Zanetti - Communications Management, Competence Call Center.

The international business gathering highlighted both the role of beneficiaries and providers of the business process outsourcing field, underlying some pivotal insights through the voice of some inspiring professionals: Joe Rice – Director, Channel & Business Development, Conversocial (UK); Robert Murray – Chairman, GrowthPoint Group (Canada); Richard Kenny – EMEA Marketing Manager, Plantronics (UK);  
Roy Reinelt – Marketing Board, CallCenter Verband (Germany),  Vincent Vanden Bossche – General Manager at Call Comunications.eu (Luxembourg); Zenaida Antonica – HR Director, Euroanswer (Romania); Marian Raianu – Global Business Development, Euroanswer (Romania) ; Zeljko Rosic – COO, Trizma (Serbia) ; Milos Miljkovic – Senior Integration Manager, Trizma (Serbia); Catalin Victor Arjoca  – Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Romania to Austria (Romania); Heather White – CEO, 2020 Communication Inc (Canada, remote workshop) and Colin Bykowski – Business Development Director, The Leader Within (Canada, remote workshop).

European BPO Forum
was made possible with the valuable support of Competence Call Center – Start Sponsor.

The conference also benefits from the strategic partnership of: The Leader Within, Plantronics, Euroanswer, ECCCO, Bluepoint, Aspen Institute Romania, CCI Francaise en Roumanie, EOA and Mediatel Data. Moreover, the forum built a strong media partnership with Contact Management, CCV, Call Communications and Contact Center Magazine.
The next forum edition will take place in the spring of 2016, on April 14th. Early bird registrations benefit from special discount fees.

For more information about conference participation terms, sponsorship and speaking opportunities, please contact us via mobile: +43 720 880 246 or e-mail: oana.olteanu@market-insiders.com. The 2015 forum agenda, photos and speaker presentations are available online http://www.conference-arena.com/european-bpo-forum.

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