Capgemini: The Evolution of BPO – Hubert Giraud

Organisations are looking to standardise their technology and processes while also seeking long-term partnerships. Hubert Giraud, CEO of global BPO at Capgemini, explains how a new generation of BPO solutions is improving the top line, and how connected enterprise solutions enhance clients' customer service and process efficiency.

The move from the classical, traditional model, where people 'lift and shift' their outsourcing process to a much more complex strategy is an extremely striking evolution," says Hubert Giraud, CEO of global BPO at Capgemini. "Increased process and technology expertise has enabled work to be moved from nearshore to farshore, facilitated multi-centre delivery and improved the quality while reducing risk."

Today, organisations require a supplier that can look at processes end-to-end and then work with the client through a transformation, providing mature business partners with process and business analytics expertise.

"Increasingly we see this evolution of end-to-end where clients are assured about the externalisation of their processes," explains Giraud. "They are comfortable that providers have the capacity to offer innovative services that can offer the full spectrum of activity on an end-to-end basis."

This long-term relationship between provider and client requires commitment and trust on both sides. Giraud says that business models that focus on the outcome, allowing the provider to take control over delivery, generate the most benefits for both parties.

"This creates a positive business model that is flexible, enabling the client to benefit from the provider's investment in transactional expertise," he says. "BPO is a genuine solution that lowers clients' working capital requirements, improves the efficiency of their procurement strategy and provides faster financial reporting. It is accepted that BPO is a fantastic lever to improve the business objectives of a company's functions."

"BPO is a genuine solution that lowers clients' working capital requirements, improves the efficiency of their procurement strategy and provides faster financial reporting."

Capgemini has successfully used a combination of front and back-office models for one of its major clients, a leading paper manufacturer, providing a complete end-to-end solution. It created a strong front office for the firm in Krakow, Poland, and transferred back office functions to Guangzhou, China. Services provided to the client included supplier relationship management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, supply chain and procurement.

What Capgemini did for another client is a further example of its offering. The company created a global accounting transaction and compliance centre, performing all accounting and transactional activity on behalf of the client. "This centre is monitoring, organising and coordinating the work of five centres around the world," Giraud reveals.

Clients are asking for harmonisation, standardisation and unification of their technology and processes. As a result, organisations expect flexibility and scalability, deep process knowledge, global process models, as well as a technology platform and IT environment. Capgemini offers clients process-as-a-service (PRaaS), combining its standardised global process models with best-in-class, cloud-based technology platforms such as its IBX SaaS platform for procurement.

"Due to the technology transformation and the cloud approach, everything that organisations are now hearing about BPO, I think we have achieved with IBX," says Giraud.

The CEO notes that BPO is core to Capgemini's future and the cloud is integral to its platform solutions. Cloud computing is a growing trend that is bringing value, greater flexibility and better disaster recovery plans. "When one of our centres in Chile was hit by an earthquake, we were able to restart work from other countries such as Argentina a few hours later, thanks to cloud technology," says Giraud. "It is a clear indicator of how the cloud can help.

"It also lowers technology expenditure, which is a good way to reduce the cost of delivery and facilitate 'rightshoring', the outsourcing of work to locations that are relevant to the client's needs."

Although Capgemini started with traditional accounts payable, and finance and accounting, it now offers a complete environment that the company predicts will get a client to the best-in-class standardisation that organisations are aiming for. Capgemini, as Giraud notes, is perceived as an extended operational arm, bringing partners scalability, flexibility and enhanced global reach.