May 17, 2020

Capgemini talks fourth-generation BPO

Supply Chain Digital
Outsourcing Growth
Outsourcing Stats
Freddie Pierce
4 min
According to KPMG’s 4Q11 Sourcing Advisory Pulse Survey, global economic uncertainty contributed greatly to outsourcing’s demand and growth in 2011
Before you read this, check out this story in November's issue of Supply Chain Digital. Trust us, it's way cooler! Business process outsourcing...

Before you read this, check out this story in November's issue of Supply Chain Digital. Trust us, it's way cooler!

Business process outsourcing, more commonly known as BPO, has seen its share of innovation since its mainstream acceptance in the mid-90s. Capgemini’s Steve Rudderham got involved in the BPO market from the get-go, as the outsourcing guru worked for General Electric in India, and was one of the first people on the scene to witness outsourcing’s potential.

“A lot of companies in IT and consultancy saw the need to start the outsourcing drive to leverage this global talent,” Rudderham, Vice President of Client Engagement for Capgemini, said.

“Not all the best people in the world are within the United States and Europe; there are some very bright individuals in Asia and South America as well.”


From that realization, business process outsourcing was born. It started slowly, with first-generation BPO consisting of “lift and shift” operations, which included data entry services.

Second generation business process outsourcing focused more on continuous improvement, and evolving BPO’s breadth to include multilingual services. Third generation BPO added visibility and communication to the equation as service providers look for ways to continue to add value to the outsourcing function.

And that’s where we are at the moment. Naturally, fourth generation business process outsourcing is just around the corner, but where exactly will that road take the industry?

“Projecting out, what we’re seeing is an increasing shift to greater verticalization in the back office,” Tony Kelly, Business Development Director of BPO for Capgemini, said. “Clients are looking for an industry-specific flavor to their horizontal processes.”

Fourth generation BPO will further utilize technology across its fields and will focus heavily on analytics, Kelly went on to say. Both Capgemini managers predict that we’re far from witnessing the end of the outsourcing drive, as belief in BPO is at an all-time high.

“One of the major things that I’m seeing now is the confidence in the industry,” Rudderham said. “If you go back to the late 90s, when we were in that position of trying to market and sell outsourcing, there was a lot of nervousness around outsourcing, and putting jobs and operations in a foreign country.

“The confidence came up, however, and people understood that they actually had a country like India that had an incredible mass of talent. That transformed the industry.”


Rudderham’s BPO operations for General Electric in India, for example, started off with basic data entry. Within three years, many people in Rudderham’s initial workforce held master’s degrees, and were doing modeling for insurance companies in the U.S. and Europe.

The talent level is, and will continue to be, there. The challenge is now on outsourcing providers to continue to find value in their processes to combat rising labor costs.

“Interestingly, as we shift from third-generation into fourth-generation BPO, the pressure is on the service providers to add the value,” Kelly said. “We’ve moved from a more even balance between people, process and technology in the value proposition.

“The winners in the BPO game will develop their own global process models and increase their use of technology to add value to their service, which will offset the rising cost of labor.”

Finding the right processes and utilizing cutting-edge technology is easier said than done, and it will likely take several years before fourth-generation BPO reaches its potential. In the meantime, outsourcing professionals find themselves in an enviable position, as companies looking for ways to cut costs and drive efficiency often look to outsourcing as a means to an end.

“It’s fair to say that as economic times have got tougher, we’ve been experiencing some of the best growth years,” Rudderham said. “The outsourcing growth models are focused on operational efficiency and productivity, and improving back office operations. It’s a very attractive business model.”

Kelly says the contrasting economic situations between the Western and Eastern economies put BPO in an interesting spot for the future.

“There’s a very interesting dynamic between each half of the world, with one side trying to do things more efficiently and the other side trying to catch up,” Kelly said.

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Jul 30, 2021

The Ultimate Procurement & Supply Chain Event

3 min
Take a look at our agenda for Procurement & Supply Chain Live, where innovation meets implementation, coming to you live from London

From September 28th-30th, network with C-level executives, gain insight from industry pioneers and walk away with actionable insights that accelerate your career. By the end of the week, we promise you’ll have the skills to solve the world’s most pressing supply chain and procurement challenges. 

The three-day show is an essential deep dive into the industry, with influential speakers sharing insights and strategies from their organisations, group roundtable discussions, and fireside chats. Whether you attend virtually or in person, you’ll strategise how to cope with global disruption, learn from industry leaders, and walk away with tips, tactics, and tangible connections. 


How to Attend


In a COVID-disrupted era, we know that the majority of people would rather avoid travelling for events─why take the risk, right? In response to the continued disruption, BizClik Media Group has decided that Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will offer the best of both worlds through hybrid accessibility. 

That means you and your peers can attend the event in person or virtually ─ with no disadvantages for people who choose not to make the trip to the Tobacco Dock venue. 




Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will be held at the Tobacco Dock in London, an industry-leading venue that is renowned for delivering world-class events. For attendees’ peace of mind, the venue is working to the government-endorsed AEV All Secure Framework, alongside mia’s AIM Secure and ‘Good to Go’ accreditation, they will ensure that we achieve a COVID-secure environment to facilitate all of your networking needs. 




Our physical venue is both historic and stunning, but it has no bearing on the information that you and your peers can gain from the event. You can still absorb it all, interact with other attendees, and enjoy the conference experience on your alternative, virtual platform. 

The platform will feature live feeds from all of the stages, as well as virtual networking areas. So, if you want to avoid travel, it’s not a problem! You can still get involved and enjoy the entire experience from the comfort of your own home. 


What’s on the agenda?


With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, Procurement & Supply Chain 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach. 

Across the three-day event, a number of relevant topics and trends surrounding procurement and supply chain will be discussed. 


  • Tuesday 28 September - Digital supply chain
  • Procurement strategy (11:30 am)
  • Supply chain leaders forum (12:00 pm)
  • Women in supply chain (14:00 pm)
  • Procurement technology (14:30 pm) 
  • Wednesday 29 September - Procurement consulting
  • Sustainability (11:30 am) 
  • Supply chain management (12:00 pm) 
  • Digitalisation (14:00 pm)
  • Risk & Resilience (14:30 pm)
  • Thursday 30 September - APAC sessions (04:00 am)


Influential executives from around the world will give their insights and professional experiences surrounding these topics, allowing you and your company to leave with valuable information. 

The past year has shown how important supply chains are and the importance of managing them correctly. With increasing digitalisation across all industries, you won’t want to miss out on our great speakers and information surrounding this topic. Preparing your company for the future is key, and we are sure you will gain great insights at our three-day event. 

Order now to make the most of our early-bird offer. Ticket prices increase over 50% soon! For tickets and information, head over to our event site.

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