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The VoIP Report

How VoIP and SIP Trunking Improve Outsourcing
December 20th, 2017

How VoIP and SIP Trunking Improve Outsourcing

Ian Linton

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines outsourcing as, "a business model for the delivery of a product or service to a client by a provider, as an alternative to the provisio...

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines outsourcing as, “a business model for the delivery of a product or service to a client by a provider, as an alternative to the provision of those products or services within the client organization.”

Many US companies collaborate or have outsourcing arrangements with providers across the country or around the world. In fact, 38 percent of CFOs surveyed by Statistic Brain Research Institute in 2015 said their firm was currently outsourcing offshore.

A report by the consultancy Deloitte titled, 2014 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey, found that technology encouraged more companies to consider outsourcing. Sixty-nine percent of respondents to the survey said they were more likely to outsource due to cloud technologies.

In the 2016 edition of the Deloitte survey, 59 percent of respondents cited reduced costs as a primary driver for outsourcing, while 20 percent aimed to improve efficiency. In a new development, 31 percent claimed that innovation was becoming an important consideration. This supports Deloitte’s conclusion that companies increasingly consider outsourcing to drive greater value by capturing and enabling innovation that exists in the marketplace.

Outsourcing nationally or globally depends on reliable, low-cost communications to succeed. VoIP and SIP trunking provide the worldwide reach, low national and international call rates, and easy-to-use collaboration facilities to support effective communications with outsourcing partners, wherever they are located.

Managing outsourcing operations

Deloitte’s 2014 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey found that technology advancements such as cloud computing tend to reduce the importance of location and lead to an increase in the use of outsourcing.

The report also commented that vendor management is recognized as a critical factor for successful outsourcing. Smaller manufacturers may find it impractical to have a member of their team based in the outsourcing territory to oversee local operations, but VoIP can provide essential support.

Manufacturers and outsourcing partners can exchange essential production information over the VoIP data network. Companies can arrange regular web or audio conference calls to review production issues or deliver training for local employees.

VoIP is a scalable system, so it is easy to integrate new supply chain members into a communications network without the delay or disruption of installing new lines.

VoIP also supports other communication formats. Partners can exchange information by text, Instant Messaging, email or voicemail, with access to all communications through a single inbox.

Supporting global business meetings

In the past, companies with overseas outsourcing operations have seen large travel bills for meetings and conferences. With VoIP’s conferencing feature companies can eliminate the time and cost of travel by holding meetings online.

Participants can join online, video, or audio conferences from a desktop computer, smartphone, or mobile device with no need to book conference facilities or schedule meetings in advance. That makes it easy to arrange regular business briefings and updates, occasional meetings, or sales conferences for distributors and contract sales teams.

Improving collaboration with outsourcing partners

Collaboration is a key element in successful outsourcing. Partners may work on joint product development, research, engineering or cost reduction projects. More than one-third of respondents to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey say they already measure the value of innovation by their outsourcing relationships.

These respondents use outsourcing partners to deliver value beyond cost savings and view partners as innovation centers that create improvement opportunities for their business. They report that the right partnerships accelerate competitive advantage at a speed they could not otherwise achieve by themselves.

VoIP’s conferencing facilities make it easy to set up scheduled meetings and ad-hoc conferences on demand. So, members can arrange daily or weekly update calls to review progress or discuss any necessary changes. VoIP also supports screen sharing so members can review data and presentations.

To support collaboration on product development projects, VoIP can integrate with popular project management applications. Team members can share calendars to make it easy to set up meetings, communicate via email, Instant Messaging, and voicemail, and use VoIP’s data network to access project management portals. All of these meetings can be held without incurring traveling time or costs.

Outsourcing sales

Manufacturers may outsource sales to distributors or contract sales teams based in local markets. Customers receive a local service and manufacturers gain access to local market knowledge. SIP trunking can help manufacturers maintain efficient communication with their distributors by extending VoIP services to sales partners from the cloud. Because both parties are using the same network, calls between them are free.

Outsourced teams can send orders to manufacturers by phone, email, text, or instant message. VoIP’s Unified Messaging feature means that all communications go into a single inbox for processing and recording. Manufacturers can use VoIP’s broadcast features to release product information, technical updates, company news, or details of sales and marketing campaigns to their partners efficiently.

Because SIP supports data communications over the Internet, both parties can share essential business information on the same network.

Extending call center operations

Businesses can use outsourcing partners to handle essential call center services like technical support, customer service, or telemarketing. Many combine the outsourced services with an in-house call center, using partners to increase capacity or handle overflow, out-of-hours, or specialist services.

To gain full benefit from outsourced call centers and deliver a quality experience to customers, it’s essential to retain full control and streamline communications between the main call center and remote operations.

Using the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) has limitations. Calls that are routed via the PSTN to an outsource partner only carry the voice component. This means no caller data is transferred, so callers have to repeat the information when they reach an agent.

SIP trunking solves this problem and reduces overall costs by replacing the PSTN circuits with trunks capable of carrying both voice and data traffic on a single network. Initial contact information is transferred with the call, eliminating the risk of duplicate requests. SIP trunks also transfer essential management data to the central supervisors so they can validate delivery and monitor the performance of the remote center.

Implementing SIP trunking gives call centers other important advantages. These circuits carry video as well as data and voice traffic. That enables businesses to offer customers access to video or web conference calls in all remote centers. This is important for improving the customer experience and enabling callers to make contact whatever channel they prefer – voice, email, text, instant message, chat, or video. SIP’s multi-channel capability supports the transition from call centers to contact centers.

Creating virtual outsourced teams

Many businesses find they can increase their resources and skills by outsourcing specialist tasks or business processes to agencies, contractors, or freelance workers. Small businesses might hire specialists to carry out tasks such as marketing, research, or accounting. Larger enterprises might outsource IT or human resources.

The problem for organizations with outsourced teams based around the country or around the world is that it can be hard to communicate as a single business. Team members are likely to have their own contact numbers on various office or home phones and mobile devices. This can be confusing for customers and costly when it comes to team communications.

VoIP routes all calls to any destination, at low cost via the Internet providing a cost-effective virtual phone service for a business. Collaboration becomes easier because VoIP supports online, video or audio conferencing on many different devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. That makes it easier to hold team meetings or get updates on business issues without arranging formal meetings or incurring travel costs.

Better business with outsourcing

Outsourcing helps businesses control costs and boost profitability. It also enables them to make more productive use of their own staff while expanding their skills and resources. And, increasingly, outsourcing is helping businesses innovate and improve their competitive advantage. Communications supported by SIP trunking and VoIP play an important part in this success story.

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