iBPO: Silos and How to Knock Them Down

silosHorizontal back office processes such as Finance and Accounting (F&A), Procurement and HR Management exist in every customer lifecycle. As well, there are also a number of processes and sub-processes that support every customer interaction.

It’s almost impossible to separate and treat these processes as standalone activities in the back office as, in reality, the workflows are an ongoing shift from back office to front office to back office, etc.

Take, for example, a typical finance functions, like Order to Cash (O2C); the various processes are interwoven throughout the front and back office. Order management may be under the domain of sales and supply chain operations, while invoicing, credit and collections is under the purview of the accounting department.

Along with the horizontal departments, there is the problem of technology and systems. Front-office employees use customer relationship applications designed to support sales, marketing, and customer service. Back-office employees use ERP applications and workflow tools to handle invoicing, accounts receivable, cash flow management and reporting. That’s not even mentioning different internal tools that don’t talk to one another, or legacy systems that may be more difficult to integrate, or even geographic silos between divisions.

The result?

  • Little to no shared information
  • Process duplication
  • Increased error (both customer-facing and operational)
  • Higher operational costs
  • More inefficiencies
  • Miscommunication between departments, and to customers

In this day and age, these silo side effects can effectively render a business incapable of running efficiently.

An Integrated Approach to Business Process Outsourcing

Integrated business process outsourcing (iBPO) is nothing new. Outsourcing providers have a variety of tools and technology aimed at front and back office. However, typically, they are a sum of their parts.

As much as we want to talk about breaking down silos within companies, the BPO industry plays a role in creating those silos. Traditionally BPO has been transaction-based, and limited to a specific service offering or function, like AP.

The Sutherland Differentiator

As BPOs are struggling to manage these processes in silos, Sutherland Global Services has developed Integrated BPO – a New Generation delivery model that we are delivering on today and have been for some time. The result is a truly seamless integration of front and back office processes that operates across the enterprise and bridges organizational boundaries.

We bring in all stakeholders, and act as a “conveyer belt” of information and actionable insights for not just the vertical department, but for the horizontals as well. (Join me in my next post as I interview Sean Tinney, who will explain our process and approach.)

Here at Sutherland we see integrated BPO as an end-to-end business cycle solution that combines proprietary technology, advanced analytics and service excellence to consistently deliver measurable results that directly and significantly impact the client’s business performance.

We offer front and back office, as well as knowledge and business Transformation Services as an iBPO solution, managing business functions across the entire customer lifecycle. If you are interested in learning more, schedule an appointment today.

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David Kaminski (69 Posts)

With over 30 years of experience, David has worked as a Partner with Capgemini, and has served as General Manager of Worldwide Financial Services for Microsoft Corporation. During David’s 9 year tenure at Microsoft, his responsibilities were split between running two global businesses as Chief Credit Officer of Microsoft Corporation and President of Microsoft Capital Corporation. David and his team of 400 professionals managed a global asset of $8 billion in more than 180 countries.


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About David Kaminski

With over 30 years of experience, David has worked as a Partner with Capgemini, and has served as General Manager of Worldwide Financial Services for Microsoft Corporation. During David’s 9 year tenure at Microsoft, his responsibilities were split between running two global businesses as Chief Credit Officer of Microsoft Corporation and President of Microsoft Capital Corporation. David and his team of 400 professionals managed a global asset of $8 billion in more than 180 countries.

2 thoughts on “iBPO: Silos and How to Knock Them Down

  1. Pingback: iBPO: Interview with Sean Tinney | The Accounting MinuteThe Accounting Minute

  2. Pingback: The Weekly Roundup: The Customer Experience | The Accounting MinuteThe Accounting Minute

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