What is the Mantra to Winning in the next decade of GBS?

Six Dead-or-Alive Questions

Pavan Pamidimarri
Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols
Chief GBS Officer , WPP
Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols is a business leader with over 15 years of experience as building strategy for the future scope of the GBS in companies like American Greetings, ADM, UPS. She is currently serving as Chief GBS Officer at WPP.
Caroline Basyn
Sashi Narahari
Founder and CEO
Founder & CEO of HighRadius, a fintech enterprise SaaS leader that provides Autonomous Software for Order to Cash, Treasury & Record to Report. Sashi’s leadership has secured the trust of 200+ Global 2000 companies.

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Dead-or-Alive Question #1: In 10 years, do you think BPOs for outsourcing will be dead or alive?
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Answer First: Dead
  • If the business fundamentals are not transformed over time, the BPOs will be very much dead.
  • BPOs need to make a transformation from the existing model.
  • Their approach to outsourcing contracts has remained stagnant for the last two decades.
  • Most outsourcing failures occur because of a lack of well-documented processes.
  • BPOs mainly focus on being cost centric rather than seeking clarity on the initial baselines.
  • BPOs need process refinement, which will act as a key metric for their sustenance.
  • Dead-or-Alive Question #2: In 10 years, will large, centralized service centers be dead or alive? Especially given the Covid effect of Work From Anywhere?
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    Answer First: Dead
    • Large service centers would be dead 10 years from now.
    • The global pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way organizations used to work.
    • The prevailing scenario has taught an important quality of ‘Flexibility’.
    • The new model of working needs to be hybrid to allow room for employees to come to the workplace as per the requirements of the projects.
    • This helps to establish a personal bonding with the team as well as establishes a sense of commitment to their role..
    • A workplace environment that focuses more on imparting training and team building should be encouraged in the long run.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #3: In the next ten years, do you think RPA in the current form ‘AS IS screen flow automation’ will be dead or alive?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • Generally IT has been owning everything predominantly that is being automated.
    • But the RPA aspect has enabled GBS and Shared Services organizations to bypass IT organizations in terms of delivering excellence.
    • If RPA doesn’t function properly as per your will, it kills your bot.
    • RPA integration is more like a two-way equation-
      • The implementation of automation that is made available to GBS.
      • The ownership and maintenance aspect is owned by the IT.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #4: What are your thoughts on AI in GBS. In 10 years, will AI be dead or alive?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • GBS still needs to utilize the potential of AI.
    • It needs to embrace AI as a foundational platform of value-added services for its stakeholders.
    • AI is the go-to option in the near future and holds a lot of scope for improvisation.
      • At UPS, AI was deployed on a client process requiring automation that involves piles of documentation and was an obstruction in the workflow.
      • But AI immensely helped to identify the shortcomings and adapt accordingly to give desired results.
    • Besides labor arbitrage, GBS is about growing your organization’s topline and customer experience.
    • In the long run, AI is promised to enhance customer experience and address the scale of claims coming in.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #5: In 10 years, given the consistent wage inflation, will India be a top choice for service centers?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • India as a good choice for a service center would always be alive.
    • But as GBS leaders, it is crucial to keep looking out for places where the best work is being done.
    • To diverge from inflation, one needs to search for low-cost places like Africa or Asia.
    • The idea should be to achieve the Right Work at the Right Location.
    • The BPOs in India holds a lot of skills and knowledge handy but that too needs to evolve as per the needs of the market space.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #6: Would GBS be dead or alive as an organization?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • GBS would be absolutely alive.
    • Organizations, in the long run, would like to be cost-efficient.
    • Most of the GBS models fail as they keep bouncing from one leadership to another which ultimately defeats the purpose of being able to deploy it.
    • GBS should be viewed as a strategic partner and to be utilized to gain values like-
      • Enhanced Customer Engagement
      • Enhanced Employee Engagement
      • Cost Efficiency
      • Increasing the topline of growth
      • Enabling reinvestment opportunities for enhanced ROIs.

    Suzanne’s advice to you: What’s your advice to other GBS leaders? What’s most important for them to keep their eyes on for success?
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    Key Points
    • GBS leaders will need to increase networks with other leaders in the business.
    • Knowledge transfer with the right approach is crucial to be able to understand the evolution of GBS.
    • It’s crucial to leave the imprints of the knowledge with younger generations to help the future develop an even better and more sustainable alternative to this.
    • The statement Out of Sight, Out of Mind holds true even today and if evolution isn’t there then extinction is guaranteed.

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