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Why Outsource IT infrastructure, network and support

 

IT-related corporate organizations worldwide have discovered that availing third-party outsourcing companies’ support is certainly an advantageous path to corporate growth both in the local and in the international arena.

 

What is IT infrastructure, network and support?

It is common for companies not to possess the necessary in-house expertise for certain tasks. With the presence of outsourcing companies, client firms have the choice of choosing to solve their manpower and other problems using these external firms’ offerings or otherwise.

The in-house administration is the process of not availing outsourcing services. Companies selecting this option have chosen to build and perform everything by themselves. This decision could lead to burdensome scenarios. Company personnel will, therefore, have to support and do everything themselves.  Corporate establishments that follow a traditional business mindset are, hence, overloaded and most likely hampered with the tasks.

Outsource or do it in-house?

These modern companies would have little funding, room, or time to respond to today’s cutthroat competition in the business world.  Furthermore, focusing on innovation would be difficult for them to carry out. Maintaining in-house administration could certainly be more expensive, time-consuming, and challenging. By their very nature, administrative-related costs and tasks are voracious eaters of managerial time.

IT-related companies resorting to in-house administration are demoted to become not very agile in dealing with their ever-evolving business, market, and regulatory needs. In fact, they become distracted from their corporate agenda.

Technology analysts worldwide understand that a number of risks persist and plague IT-related firms. First, these companies’ computer systems may have a dearth of space and energy to power supercomputers.

Second, significant packet losses in the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks can result from firewalls that safeguard web browsing, e-mails, and applications.

Considerable reduction of network speeds and loss of important data can torment IT-related firms. Moreover, because some routers and switches do not possess the necessary high-speed memory, further losses can occur.

Third, the in-house administration of IT-related functions also makes it difficult for IT managers to simplify tasks like automation and virtualization. These processes are important in the high-performance computing of considerably large sets of data that are available today.

Fourth, when it comes to data storage architectures, problems arise when they are insufficient, if not, lacking.  These types of digital necessities help accommodate different kinds of applications as cloud storage has increasingly become paramount in the digital world.

Fifth, the separation of quality data from enormous data groups can also be a challenge for these corporate organizations.  These companies cannot usually properly identify patterns in the data by themselves.

In addition, they may not have the personnel who can correctly evaluate them and make sound business decisions when it comes to infrastructure management.

Finally, the possession of dependable network connections is necessary for any digital organization to operate in a plain-sailing manner. IT managers may have a hard time dealing with IT infrastructure management.  They may need the latest network architecture design and the newest software-based techniques for data optimization. Given these problematic scenarios in corporate settings, the practice of business process outsourcing (BPOs) has been established.

Outsourcing IT infrastructure, network and support

These external service providers exist to provide a vast array of support services. BPOs handle business domains which are not “core” to a certain firm. These are back-office tasks or those jobs which do not require facing the clients. Today’s firms usually outsource activities like marketing, information technology, design services, customer support, and sales. In addition, functions like human resources, manufacturing, accounting, payroll, finance, transportation, logistics, and security are contracted to outsourcing companies.

IT network and support software and tools

Outsourcing suppliers utilise the best IT network and support tools on the market. Below are some of the core IT networking tools, for the leaders in the field.

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Outsourced IT network and support jobs and roles

We outline some of the most commonly outsourced IT network and support roles.  The Philippines now offers some of the best IT expertise and can be at a fraction of the cost to ‘Western’ equivalents.

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Technical Support Representative

Technical support representatives are capable of troubleshooting most issues faced by the client. They coordinate and interact with other offices with the aim of completely helping the customer with their problems. This personnel determines whether more action is necessary regarding a customer’s complaint or the case has been resolved already. They may also sell or promote a client company’s services or products. They can normally be reached for help through a live-chat interface, by telephone, or through email.
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Installation Support Agent

Installation support agents are capable of performing system and software installation on a customer’s website or computer.  They can work with multiple network domains, servers or cloud-based systems. These technical representatives can also configure and accomplish systems integration and software interaction with other systems. They are required to have demonstrated abilities in analytical and logical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and reasoning to aid customers to optimize operational efficiency.
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Remote Network Specialist

Remote network specialists are reachable through live-chat support, telephone, or e-mail, these professionals can perform remote access or control an electronic device or a computer system anywhere. Using a remote access application mutually installed in the user and the agents computer, the latter can connect to the clients device remotely and perform troubleshooting.

Commonly used program is TeamViewer. Aside from remote access, it also features desktop sharing, guest accessibility, and command line accessibility.

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Office Network Specialist

Office network specialists play a vital role in ensuring that the network of a corporate organization operates smoothly. They are trained in configuring network security, local area networks, and routers, and are usually knowledgeable when it comes to systems integration, security, and network management. Moreover, office network specialists function by troubleshooting and maintaining computer networks. They anticipate problems, perform routine maintenance, and assist users who stumble upon these types of concerns.
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Warranty and Returns Agent

Warranty and returns agent are trained about the specifications of certain products and services of their company.  Given this knowledge, they are able to determine and take suitable actions fast when it comes to product and service dilemmas.  They make sure that customers are satisfied from their business transactions. They may also work in companies answering telephone inquiries, live-chat questions, and e-mails.  Their primary responsibility lies in processing and responding to incoming product returns.
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Desktop and Application Support Agent

Desktop and application support agents function by helping customers address common programming and network security problems. Within a corporate organization, these IT professionals ensure that business processes run smoothly. They usually possess in-depth knowledge in software engineering, computer science, and database management.  In addition, they commonly have strong skills in IT, problem-solving, and multi-tasking. They are capable of dealing with people both on an IT and business levels of understanding.
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System Administrator

System administrators are responsible for maintaining the systems and processes being used  within the organization. They are capable of supporting nearly everything like a corporate organizations’ wireless local area network (WLAN), local area network (LAN), hybrid cloud storage, voice over IP (VoIP) phone system, PBX system or an end users’ desktop computer. They are required to be comfortable working with desktops, file servers, diverse applications storage, databases, information security systems, and networks.
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Cloud Network Specialist

Cloud network specialists have become essential go-to people, expected to have a strong understanding of technology as well as excellent proficiencies in analytical reasoning, they usually help corporate organizations to transfer physical IT activities like on-site servers and file storages to virtual environments, or the so-called “cloud.” Cloud network specialists usually have a background of working with networking and software. They are capable of developing and maintaining secure virtual environments.
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B2B Technical Support Agent

B2B technical support agents are skilled in speaking to both individual clients and an entire business organization.  They are trained to be detail-oriented to prevent any costly mishap for the business collaborations. Knowledgeable of the products and services offered by one company to another company, they are fully aware of the B2B company’s highly specialized and technical services.  They are adept at handling complex issues. In addition, B2B technical support agents possess sound interpersonal skills.
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Technical Support Engineer

Technical support engineers function to diagnose software and hardware problems.  Skilled in troubleshooting and installation, they can work on a wide array of computer programs and applications. Using chat applications and email, they address network issues and may utilize remote desktop applications to deliver an instant remedy. These IT workers can also configure operating systems and can quickly respond to simple IT-related problems of customers. Certifications on Linux, Cisco, and Microsoft are considered pluses.
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Site Hosting Specialist

Site hosting specialists helps their customers with different kinds of issues. Site hosting specialists upload clients’ files through a web interface or File Transfer Protocol (FTP). They can also be reached to provide help concerning troubleshooting problems in security, data storage, and Internet connectivity as well as concerns relating to software settings and website migration. Possessing extensive knowledge of web-hosting platforms and mainstream web-based software like Joomla and WordPress are advantageous.
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PBX Management Specialist

PBX (or Private Branch eXchange) refers to a corporate telephone system that provides voice mail, multiple outbound, and inbound lines, call management features, and call routing. This hardware system deals with handling switching and routing of calls between the telephone network and a business location. IT-related companies may require technical personnel known as a PBX management specialist to handle tasks about this system. A PBX management specialist works using a business telephone switching system.

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Widest range of outsourcing services

The Source Superstore offers the widest range of productised outsourcing services.  The Superstore offers incredible packages, supplied by some of the best companies in the industry and offer market-beating discounts.

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IT Infra., Network & Support

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Why outsource to the Philippines?

The Philippines is considered the ‘Swiss banking of outsourcing’.  The country has been outsourcing longer than any other nation, so it has incredible expertise in the area, plus it has incredible cultural alignment with the ‘West’, a very young and well educated population, and English is a native language.

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Cheap Labor Costs

The number one reason why you should outsource to the Philippines is to save on cost. Cost of labor in the country is normally half of that in developed nations. Additionally, you get to avoid payments for office space, work equipment, human resource costs, legal costs, and some taxes. Despite all the savings, the quality of work remains high. An explanation for this is that the cost of living in the Philippines is lower than in developed countries. Save more than 70 percent of your total labor costs by outsourcing to the Philippines.
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English Language Proficiency

Along with Filipino, English is one of the most-spoken languages in the Philippines. Filipino workers naturally have high English language proficiency, whether it be through written or verbal communications. Some have even developed natural-sounding American accents, while others have neutral accents, which make it almost impossible for customers to notice that they are talking to a foreigner. It is the primary competitive edge of the country over its neighboring nations and one of the reasons why you should outsource in the Philippines.
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Excellent Education System

The Philippines has an excellent education system, giving the country a literacy rate of 95 percent. According to the ASEAN Briefing, around 450,000 Filipinos graduate from college each year. Scholarship grants provide access to higher education for less privileged Filipinos, allowing the country to produce highly skilled and knowledgeable workers. Some universities have even included BPO work preparation in their curriculum. Postgraduate education programs allow older employees who want to change careers to gain basic BPO skills.
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New Generation Workers

The average age of Filipino workers is 23 years old. It means that most of them have grown up amidst the advent of the new technology. This is a great advantage for companies that rely mostly on modern technology. There are some workers who receive BPO training while they were still students, making them well-prepared to join the industry. This new generation of workers understands that the BPO industry is one of the best employment options right now. They accept every opportunity to do so, which resulted in a massive BPO talent pool.
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Cultural Flexibility

Unlike in their competitor nations, the culture of the Philippines adapts well to Western countries. Hundreds of years of colonization by the Spaniards and Americans have made the country embrace Western culture naturally. English is one of the primary languages in the Philippines, while the political setup is very much alike with that of the West. It resulted in a government that fully supports the business process outsourcing industry. Indeed, outsourcing in the Philippines will not be too much of a trouble for any Western company.
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Familiarity with Western Lifestyle

Filipinos are quite familiar with the Western culture and lifestyle. Not only are they fluent in speaking English, but Filipinos could also talk to anyone about the latest on politics, sports, movies, TV shows, and other pop-culture topics currently happening in the West. Filipinos are also avid user of western applications such as YouTube, Google and Facebook. This type of awareness to the current events in the West has become an advantage for outsourcers to the Philippines as there is an immediate rapport with a service provider.
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Customer Service Oriented

One of the innate traits of Filipinos is being hospitable. They bring this attitude even to work, which makes them one of the most courteous and welcoming service providers in the world. They are respectful not only to customers but also to their superiors and colleagues. Filipinos are also cheerful by nature. They easily find the positive in any negative circumstance and can handle pressure situations with much poise. Filipino workers also have an excellent work ethic that makes them the ideal employees in the outsourcing industry.
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Strong Government Support

The Philippine government has always been supportive of the BPO industry. One recent law that has been passed to reinforce the outsourcing industry is the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which improved the country’s security policies up to international standards. One of the main reasons why Western businesses have hesitated about outsourcing abroad is the involvement of sharing confidential data with third party service providers. The Data Privacy law managed to fix that uncertainty, making the Philippines a reliable outsourcing destination.
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Improving Philippine Economy

Before the introduction of outsourcing in the Philippines, most Filipinos work as OFWs. At that time, the Philippine economy was highly reliant on OFW remittances. Many Filipinos still work abroad today, but the trend has slowed down because of the option the BPO industry had presented. It resulted in a huge improvement in the Philippine economy as outsourcing provides millions of jobs in the country. With more Filipinos opting to stay, the local economy has flourished, and Philippine small and medium-sized businesses reaped the benefits.
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Reduction of Potential Legal Issues

A lot of corporations and their executives in developed nations have to take care of unnecessary lawsuits or complaints from their existing in-house employees. Some of these charges were even silly in nature. By outsourcing to the Philippines, these companies will be able to reduce these potential legal issues, as this would be totally on the shoulders of the service provider. Through outsourcing, you will no longer have to worry about in-house politics between employees as the BPO firm will already take care of their own workers.
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Established Infrastructure

Because outsourcing in the Philippines came a little late, the country was able to learn from what did not work with the outsourcing models of the other nations that tried it first. This resulted in a more established and organized BPO infrastructure in the Philippines. The industry leaders had prepared topnotch BPO centers, facilities, utilities, and transportation setups for outsourcing even before the practice boomed. The Philippines has the capacity to provide better infrastructure options as compared to their global competitors.
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Access to Latest Technology

The country’s BPO industry has made huge technological advances in the last few years. Philippine telecommunication and internet service firms, along with healthcare and airline services, have upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growing industry in the country. Outside support from global companies has also been coming in, providing access to the latest technology. As a result, BPO firms in the country have become Omni channel service providers that can offer email, social media, live vide and chat with their clients.

Using a BPO company vs. agency vs. Freelancer vs. Upwork

 

There are several different ways to get outsourced work done, and hiring a BPO company is just one of them. Another way to do it is to employ freelancers through an agency or directly hire an individual freelancer via his personal online site. These routes can be hard because you have to do a lot of research to find the best outsourcing websites and freelancers available.

However, there are also websites that make the search easier. Websites, such as Upwork, cater these individual and agency freelancers. These websites act as a marketplace that sign up individual and group freelancers all over the world. Companies who need to outsource portions of their operations can visit them and look for third-party service providers that could accomplish their requirements. Some of the most common outsourced jobs for individual freelancers are content writing, creative writing, product description and reviews, virtual assistance, and encoding.

If you want to work with an individual freelancer, then you can choose to do that. Working with an individual lets you have direct contact with the person when it comes to project development, project timeline, and payments. Workflow is easy with straightforward communications.

You can also choose to hire someone from an agency. Going this route means that you are given a contact person from the agency, and they will provide you with the staff that you need. Payments and complaints, if any, are coursed through the agency’s point person assigned to you.

The BPO company route may be slightly expensive than the other options, but you make up for those expenses with guaranteed returns. In BPO firms, you can be sure that you are working with highly-skilled professionals in their fields of expertise. Meanwhile, you are not certain about the skill level of your service provider when you hire a freelancer directly or via an agency.

Each outsourcing route has its own pros and cons, and so choosing the best option for your business depends entirely on the risk you are willing to take. The table below shows a comparison of these different outsourcing routes and some of their features.

  BPO Company Agency Freelancer Upwork
Verified Outsourcing Partner
Pricing Structure fixed varies varies varies
Redundancy yes varies none none
Quality Control yes varies none varies
Backup and Security yes varies none minimal
Trained and Skilled Professionals guaranteed varies uncertain uncertain
Equipment Reliability high moderate low low
Reasonable ROI guaranteed varies uncertain uncertain

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Comprehensive outsourcing vs. seat leasing vs. staff leasing

 

Seat leasing and staff leasing are two other forms of outsourcing. However, they are quite different from the comprehensive outsourcing offered by BPO companies.

Seat leasing means renting a workspace or “seat” for a fixed sum each month where your employee can work on his tasks. The best seat leasing providers can offer you warm seat leasing or cold seat leasing options. Warm seat means that the space lender will also provide you with the staff that will fulfill your requirements. In cold seat, you have to find your own employee and rent the space only. Seat leasing would be ideal for startup companies that do not have that much capital to hire regular employees. It is a cost-effective way of getting some of your operational tasks done while you focus on running or promoting your business. The temporary nature of seat leasing is also an advantage since you get to further grow the business before investing in actual office space and equipment.

On the other hand, staff leasing means that the outsourcing company will provide you a set number of employees for an agreed number of days. Basically, it is almost the same as BPO outsourcing, but the length of outsourcing time or contract is quite short.

Staff leasing allows you to gain the benefits of having skilled employees anytime you need them without going through the hassle of recruitment, payroll, benefits, and other human resource concerns. The best staff leasing companies already have a talent pool where they can pluck out the specific skilled worker that you need. You only need to approach the leasing company, inform them of your requirements, and they provide you with the right staff to accomplish your goals.

Comprehensive outsourcing, also called complete outsourcing, is much more all-encompassing in nature as compared to the previous two. The BPO company is hired to manage all of the processes and activities for a certain operational task you hired them for. All aspects of that specific task will be managed on your behalf, virtually eliminating your need to allot time and resources to it.

There is only a thin line differentiating comprehensive outsourcing from staff leasing. In simple terms, staff leasing companies provide you with manpower primarily while BPO firms help with operational processes and other tasks as well.

The table below shows the difference between comprehensive outsourcing, seat leasing, and staff leasing.

  Comprehensive Outsourcing Staff Leasing Seat Leasing
Manpower Guarantee yes yes n/a
Skilled and Experienced Workers Provision yes yes n/a
Recruitment and Training yes varies n/a
Payroll and Benefits Duties none varies n/a
Hiring or Contract Duration varies varies transient
Operational Support yes none none

Business roles to outsource

Outsourcing can be integrated into almost any business, in any business sector.  Virtually any business function that can be done from in front of a computer monitor, can be outsourced.  There are some more commonly outsourced roles though, and it might be wise to start with these roles first.  We outline some of those here:

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