The outsourcing relationship is very much like a personal relationship. It has its ups and downs, and requires the trust and full commitment of both parties— the client and the outsourcing service provider— in order for the relationship to work. In the article “The “Crying Game” — Ending the Tears in Outsourcing Relationships,” Dianne Smock of Information Services Group (ISG) outlined the “top 5 signs of rocky outsourcing relationships.” Recognizing these signs early on could very well save what is still salvageable in the outsourcing relationship, or even turn things around and still drive success for the outsourcing program.
Green on the Outside, Red on the Inside
The article likened this issue to a “watermelon,” where it’s green on the outside but red on the inside. Outsourcing service providers become confused when, despite providing good performance and quality figures, they still receive complaints from clients. This usually occurs when the client failed to clearly communicate their goals to the provider, or the provider failed to understand what matters most to the client besides the apparent performance figures.
Lack of Trust
Like any other relationship, the outsourcing relationship needs to be based on a foundation of mutual trust to enable both parties to deliver on their side of the agreement and more, trusting the other party to offer the same commitment. However, having both parties constantly refer to the specific terms outlined in the contract is a sure sign of a lack of trust and a failing relationship.
Difficult relationships are characterized by constant arguments about issues that never seem to get resolved. In most cases, these are past problems that were not dealt with properly or resolved in a manner that’s acceptable to both parties. As a result, these past problems keep cropping up and interfering with present issues.
With business strategies and technology constantly evolving, it is crucial to maintain open communication lines throughout the organization in order to communicate changes that might occur in response to new strategies and opportunities. However, with a lack of communication, these changes aren’t passed down to Operations— handled by the external providers— in order to implement the appropriate adjustments to the outputs and delivery of service.
Lack of Encouragement for Innovation
Most clients are concerned that their outsourcing service provider is not innovative enough to their liking. Service providers can indeed become complacent in this area; however, the client also has a responsibility to encourage their service provider to become innovative. Clients must be prepared to “demonstrate a willingness to tolerate a creative process.”
Related Article: The “Crying Game” — Ending the Tears in Outsourcing Relationships
President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act (RA) 10173, known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012, bringing the Philippines to international standards of data privacy protection. The new law is also seen to boost foreign investments in the country’s sunshine industry, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.
Modeled on the standards set by the European Parliament and aligned with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Information Privacy Framework, the Data Privacy Act is intended to protect the confidentiality of personal data.
Related Article: Aquino Signs Data Privacy Act
The new law covers all types of processed personal information, and will pave the way for the creation of the National Privacy Commission to monitor and ensure compliance of both public and private institutions to the international standards set for data protection, as well as reco
The new law covers all types of processed personal information, and will pave the way for the creation of the National Privacy Commission to monitor and ensure compliance of both public and private institutions to the international standards set for data protection, as well as recommend to the Department of Justice the imposition of penalties for noncompliance, including imprisonment and fines.
Related Article: Better data protection expected to boost BPO competitiveness
Some provisions of RA 10173 include the following:
- The disclosure of personal information shall be allowed subject to certain requirements, including consent of data subject and stated legitimate purposes.
- The rights of the data subject are also provided for, including the scope and purpose of the information processing.
- Data collectors must implement appropriate measures for the protection of personal data taken from data subjects.
- Unauthorized processing of personal data is punishable by 1 to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Php 500,000 but not more than Php 2 million; with the higher penalty set specifically for persons who acquire personal data without consent or through illegal means.
- Releasing of sensitive personal information is punishable by 3 to 6 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Php 500,000 but not more than Php 4 million.
Republic Act 10173 is expected to boost confidence of foreign investors and support the Philippines’ fast-growing BPO industry in reaching its earnings forecast of $27.4 billion by 2016.
Related Article: IT-BPO sector sees $27.4-B revenues by ’16
“Much of our work involves confidential personal and company information,” said Business Processing Association of the Philippines president, Benedict Hernandez, “and client firms of our IT-BPOs want to know that the Philippines provides international standards of protection to safeguard their information.”
Related Article: Aquino boosts BPOs, signs Data Privacy Act