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Business process services (BPS)

What is business process services?

Business process services, or BPS, are services related to the design or ongoing management of an enterprise workflow or process. BPS includes services such as process discovery and transformation, intelligent process automation (IPA) and business process outsourcing (BPO).

How does BPS help during market uncertainty?

Turbulent times create opportunities for businesses to get ahead of the competition, yet in volatile economic times, the resources to invest in new revenue streams are often not available, or the cost of capital is too high. By leveraging business process services (BPS), businesses can benefit from increased flexibility, resiliency and cost efficiencies, while freeing up resources for strategic investments.

What are the advantages/benefits of BPS?

Business process services (BPS) have many advantages ranging from flexibility, scalability and cost-optimization to access to specialized skills in emerging areas. Examples include:

  • Increased revenue per transaction through the incorporation of AI into order systems for basket analysis
  • Improved customer and employee experiences through the utilization of design thinking in process redesign, multi-channel support—incorporating chat, phone, social media, email, data and analytics-augmented processes to increase resolution speed
  • Increased profitability through cost reduction
  • Increased productivity through technology, data and process-redesign
  • Faster time to market for new services through specialized support to help businesses test, iterate and scale new ideas
  • Progress towards a circular economy through simplification and by incorporating reuse and recycling concepts into operations
  • Access to skilled experts and modern operational principles
  • Connection to other vendors within a specific ecosystem, and cross-pollination of innovation across domain areas
  • Access to skills in emerging tech areas like artificial intelligence and genAI
How does automation improve BPS?

In the context of processes, automation combined with process redesign and artificial intelligence (AI and GenAI) is often referred to as intelligent process automation. Among the most notable benefits of IPA is that it facilitates an end-to-end view of enterprise processes across silos—connecting data, insights and people to improve business outcomes.

Business process outsourcing providers leverage automation along with analytics and AI to reduce costs and dramatically improve customer and employee journeys.

What is the difference between BPS and BPO?

Business process services (BPS) is a broader term that includes business process outsourcing (BPO). While often used to avoid the notion of “outsourcing”—which elicited some trepidation from operations buyers in the past—BPS include process optimization, managed services and advisory services that are not accompanied by a transfer of staff to the vendor. The nature of business process outsourcing and business process services has evolved over the past 10 years, with leading vendors bringing significant value as partners for profitable, sustainable growth vs. blunt cost reduction.

Can a company outsource its core business processes?

Yes. While traditional business process outsourcing (BPO) mostly supported back-office processes, modern BPO services support both critical and non-critical processes. Examples include:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Marketing and sales operations
  • Employee experience
  • Customer care
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Supply chain

Modern business process services are offering specialized support in industry-specific areas—benefits and claims management or revenue cycle in healthcare, asset and wealth management in banking, drug testing and development or regulatory and compliance in life sciences, retail analytics and order management in retail, etc.

Depth of industry knowledge, along with the availability of digital assets and platforms that can accelerate the speed of implementation, are important ways for BPO providers to differentiate themselves.

What are the steps in BPS?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) involves contracting with a service provider (time, material or outcome-based contract) to take over the operations and resources for specific processes.

Companies considering BPO should select a business provider that can be a partner for growth—one that provides technology-infused processes, industry-specific digital accelerators, talent and be well equipped to modernize their services over the time of the contract.

Agreements usually start with an assessment to understand the client’s current process needs and performance. Then a proposal that demonstrates the potential benefits to the client is provided. Parties then enter the contracting phase where the final terms, delivery locations and outcomes are agreed upon. Next, there will be a transition phase where existing processes and resources are migrated to the provider--this phase is either followed by or done concurrently with a transformation phase in which processes are being modernized—process redesign and simplification, automation and AI-infusion. Finally, ongoing governance and optimization of process performance is established.

In some cases, outsourced processes are transferred back to the client after a period of transformation and operation by the vendor.

How do cloud services streamline a company's business process?

Cloud services provide a platform that enables new levels of flexibility, scalability and automation, facilitating significant process improvements. Embracing cloud technologies empowers companies to streamline operations, drive efficiency and adapt to changing market dynamics more effectively. Cloud platforms also offer opportunities for systems thinking and increased collaboration within and across value chains.

How can BPS improve efficiency?

Business process services (BPS) can improve process efficiency through access to best-in-class expertise, technology and resources that promote better business performance and help you scale. Technologies, like AI and automation, can remove tedious tasks and reduce risks while improving employee and customer experience. Since processes are industry-specific, providers specializing in your industry have optimized their operations to support many customers.

What are modern business operations?

Modern business operations use cutting-edge technologies, data, talent and collaborative ecosystems to drive innovation, achieve operational efficiency and deliver value to a broad range of stakeholders in a rapidly evolving business landscape. They are built on simplicity, fluidity, creativity and cost-efficiency, and can deliver impact at high speed.

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