Outsourcing can be broadly classified into two categories, namely, technology services outsourcing and business process outsourcing.
Types of technology services outsourcing
Technology services outsourcing is the most common type of outsourcing and the following categories are the typical technology service areas that companies will outsource to a firm.
- Infrastructure outsourcing: This includes an outsourcing firm assisting in the design, implementation, and management of key infrastructure technology for a company. Furthermore, many companies will consider outsourcing infrastructure needs to an off-site data center.
- Network outsourcing: Network outsourcing typically includes LAN, WAN, and WLAN management, VoIP management, network operations center, network system integration services, network implementation services, and network consulting services. Outsourcing companies can assist with planning, implementing, and managing network services for an organization.
- Electronic commerce (ecommerce): Ecommerce outsourcing involves outsourcing the functions and services relating to selling products and/or services over the internet. The services typically outsourced include online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, supply chain management, electronic funds transfers, internet marketing, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
- Software outsourcing: This involves a company outsourcing software development needs to a third party outsourcing firm. The outsourcing firm is contracted to develop the custom software in accordance with the company’s specific requirements and instructions.
- Application outsourcing: Services and functions outsourced typically include application development, application support and maintenance, customer program management, and application operations.
- Website development & hosting: The services typically outsourced include general website design services, graphics and image design, content management systems customization services, and dynamic web development services.
Recommended technology outsourcing companies
There is a multitude of software outsourcing companies that offer various software development services to a range of industries. Many of these companies are located offshore or have offices located offshore with the headquarters being located in the U.S. The following two companies are some of the leaders in the technology outsourcing industry.
TatvaSoft– TatvaSoft is a technology outsourcing firm located in India. They service industries in many fields, including Oil & Gas, Retail, Finance, Sports, insurance, and enterprise solutions. They offer application development, web development, .NET development, Silverlight consulting, PHP programming, Flex programming, SharePoint consulting, and application maintenance.
ComputerSupport– ComputerSupport is an IT support and IT outsourcing company. They offer 24/7 IT support, helpdesk outsourcing, on demand IT supoort, VoIP, application hosting, email hosting, cloud hosted servers, and managed hosting. They also offer outsourcing for a category that they called business challenges. This includes IT consulting and strategy, staff augmentation, IT support for mobile workforce, and electronic medical records.
The second most common type of outsourcing is business process outsourcing. Business process outsourcing services involve companies contracting the responsibilities and operations of various business processes and functions to an outsourcing firm. The following list describes the services that are typically outsourced by companies:
- Human resources and training: Human resource outsourcing involves training and recruitment, management of databases, management of contracts, as well as retention and attrition.
- Transaction processing: This outsourcing deals with the main function of payroll maintenance. It can also include processes such as research, payments, check and credit cards, stock trading, mortgage, loans, and insurance.
- Intellectual property: Outsourcing includes licensing support, research, analysis of patents, and patent application management.
- Finance and accounting: Outsourcing of finance and account services includes expense management, credit and debit support, auditing, invoice management, accounts receivable and payable in addition to resolution of billing disputes.
- Supply chain management: Supply chain management outsourcing includes management of contracts, procurement, logistic support, warehouse management, and relationship management.
- Administrative support: This outsourcing includes conversion of documents, data entry, document scanning, processing of forms, and other secretary related tasks.
- Legal services: This outsourcing involves risk evaluation, mediation and arbitration, consultation, research, and support for legal functions.
- Security: Involves outsourcing for maintaining and securing data, equipment, and documents from theft. This can involve physical security, investigative services, computer and network security, and electronic security systems.
- Sales and marketing: Involves outsourcing activities relating to surveys, cold calling, pitches, and lead generation and nurturing.
- Document processes: This outsourcing includes marketing and communications, finance accounting, compliance documents, and customer facing.
- Publishing: The outsourcing of publishing processes includes design, internet publishing, graphics, drawings, and administration.
- Customer relationship management: Functions and processes outsourced are customer service and support; taking of orders, help desk support, product support, and market research.
- Research and analysis: Aspects outsourced include analytics on finance and data, market research, and primary/secondary research.
Recommended business process outsourcing companies
Accenture is one of the largest business process outsourcing companies. They offer three fields of process outsourcing. The first field is cross-industry business process outsourcing, which includes engineering, finance/accounting, human resources, learning, procurement, and supply chain. The second field is industry specific services such as credit services, health administration, insurance, network, and utilities. The third field is bundled outsourcing services. Bundled outsourcing services involve the re-engineering of the operations of the back-office to reduce cost and to increase flexibility by merging together multiple business functions.
IBM Global Process Services
IBM Global Process Services is the largest outsourcing company in the marketplace today. The outsourcing processes that IBM offers to clients are customer relationship management services, finance and administration, human resources learning and recruitment outsourcing, and procurement and supply chain management. Furthermore, IBM offers industry specific processes for companies that are in the fields of banking, healthcare, government, telecom, and insurance. IBM has helped large companies such as GM, Yahoo, and Southwest airlines to meet their outsourcing needs. Working with IBM is beneficial because they are an established company that works to maintain a strong reputation.
MphasiS is also one of the largest business process outsourcing firms. They offer industry tailored business processing services to industries such as telecommunications, banking, capital markets, insurance, and healthcare. They also offer business process services to enterprise companies that include transportation & logistics, manufacturing, retail & consumer goods, and energy & utilities. MphasiS emphasizes their established methodologies to their clients. They claim to have an established methodology for transition, transformation, BPO-IT integration, and steady state governance.