One quarter of the top BPOs will deplete by 2012

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One quarter of the top BPOs will deplete by 2012
Bangalore: About one quarter of the top Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operatives will not exist as separate entities by 2012. The rise of new vendors, acquisitions and market exits will change the BPO provider landscape in the coming years. The enterprises should look for warning signs while evaluating BPO vendors to lessen risks, states a recent report by analyst firm Gartner.

"As providers are exposed to the economic crisis, loss making contracts and an inability to adapt to standardized delivery models, many will struggle to survive in their current form. Some will be acquired and some will exit the market completely to be replaced by dynamic new players delivering BPO as automated, utility services," said Robert H. Brown, Research Vice President, Gartner.

The report "Assess and Manage Vendor Risks to Protect Your Business" has identified six key points to watch for, that might announce the predicted market shakeout. The report also identified the BPO vendors which may be the candidates for acquisition or for instant market exit.

The report suggests to look out for unprofitable portfolio BPO deals, as some BPO providers are carrying unprofitable contract portfolios, largely stemming from too much, too soon pursuit of the deals, without much thought as to how to transition them to a standardized, rationalized, profitable state of ongoing operations.

The enterprises have also been asked to gain insight into the vendor's track record of winning new businesses, particularly over a sustained period of two to three years. The report suggests that the loss of a major customer can be a leading indicator of trouble, especially if the remaining portfolio of business is small. The report suggested that some heavily leveraged vendors may be unable to obtain the necessary investment needed to bid on a business opportunity despite of attractive propositions.

The financial services sector accounts for about one-third of the total BPO market globally and provides significant amount of BPO revenue. The banking sector was the first to be exposed to the credit crunch resulting to financial meltdown. The mergers and acquisitions saw both current and prospective buyers of BPO getting out of play and this exposure could still leave many BPO providers vulnerable for long term.

Also, as per Gartner's previous BPO survey report, cancellation rates rose in 2008 as compared to 2007 data. On this basis, the report advises buyers to build exit strategies into contracts and develop contingencies for contract termination, especially before signing the deal.

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