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30% of top 100 global outsourcing companies are in CEE

Marketing Insiders Group gathered prolific international BPO experts at the 2nd European BPO Forum edition, which took place on April 22nd in Vienna, reuniting 9 countries and 12 speakers from 2 continents, who offered valuable outsourcing insights, from both a global and regional perspective.

BPO market is evolving at a very accelerated pace in Europe, the numbers revealing a fast overcome of its emerging status in the region.  An analysis conducted by Colliers International in 2014 regarding the companies located in Central and Eastern Europe revealed that 30% of the top 100 global outsourcing companies are already in the region. There are 2.8 million seats in the contact centers across Europe, while the headcount engaged in outsourcing processes reaches 3.8 million and the economic clout is worth 67 billion euro, according to the Call 2014 study. The business process outsourcing market represents 17.9 percent of the outsourcing industry in the region, which is growing at a 3.6% rate annually.

“Eastern Europe has evolved into an important link in the global outsourcing chain and a more attractive destination for companies around the world. The second edition of the European BPO Forum established a multidisciplinary and comprehensive platform for professionals in the industry and enriched the outsourcing community, providing useful insights and data. On top of that, the conference gained its reputation as a strategic field of interaction and gainful partnerships.” – Mădălina Vilău | Managing Director, Marketing Insiders Group.

Eastern and Central Europe are gaining ground as a viable location for outsourcing, challenging the Western Europe’s position on a global level. Central Europe is often chosen as an offshore destination due to its mature industry and highly skilled players, at a cost even 50% lower than Western Europe. Nonetheless, the cost advantage increases even more in Eastern Europe. The low cost criteria is not the only advantage in the region, as Balkan countries also provide a highly educated and specialized workforce. In the A.T.Kearney Global Services Location Index for 2014, which measures the offshoring potential in 51 countries, two Balkan countries rank among the top 20 – Bulgaria (9) and Romania (18), with Poland occupying the 11th position.

The Balkan region also offers the possibility to outsource in many locations in the same country, each of them offering a vast pool of talent. On top of that, second-tier cities are becoming more and more competitive, offering better location costs, convenient labor expenses, skilled labor force, sound business environment (source: Call Communications). Also, the infrastructure in most major European cities is more reliable compared to the world leading countries in outsourcing such as India and China (source: Euroanswer). The outsourcing and offshore market in the Central and Eastern Europe region is dominated by the IT and telecom sector – 46%, followed by banking & insurance – 23%, professional services – 13%, energy/ industrial and other business sectors – 20% (source: Colliers International 2014 report).

The latest developments in the outsourcing industry reveal a paradigm shift regarding customer interactions. “Social represents the greatest revenue opportunity for the outsourcing community”, according to Conversocial, a social customer service software provider. With a 30 percent yearly growth, social is now the fastest growing Digital Channel, covering an important sector in the customer service industry, given the fact that digital interactions account for 35 percent of all interactions. This year, social media represents up to 11.5 percent of interactions in contact centers (source: Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report; Business Systems).

Everything is in the public domain. How do we restore trust between us and our customers? Dismiss your call center. Don’t think about outsourcing, move from the idea of call center, and embed a consistent experience Omni channel.” – Richard Kenny | EMEA Marketing Manager Plantronics.

“Social is difficult. It’s text based, it’s public, only one error can go viral. The opportunity is the gap between the number of the customers’ questions and the number of the responses of the companies to the customers. The outsourcing world has a great opportunity to fill this gap.” – Joseph Rice | Director, Channel & Business Development, Conversocial.

These valuable insights and many more were presented at the 2nd edition of the European BPO Forum, which was designed as a networking and learning platform. The attending guests and speakers joined a remarkable business voyage on April 22nd in Vienna (Studio 44 der Österreichischen Lotterien – Rennweg 44, A-1038 Wien), mapping the following strategic coordinates: meeting hub for top speakers and BPO experts, profitable partnerships, gateway towards the latest data, complete perspective over the outsourcing industry, dynamic audience debate regarding the Balkans versus other European regions and the BPO future etc.

This year’s edition can be described as a multicultural approach towards the outsourcing industry, with professionals from 9 countries: Romania, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Serbia, Macedonia, Poland, UK and Canada – who offered savvy evaluations and predictions. Here are the main trends that were presented at the conference, which will bring a predictable difference in the outsourcing industry: social customer care, proliferation of digital interactions, smartsourcing, omnichannel, Human2Human versus B2B or B2C, aggregation of marginal gains, unified communications, and intelligent commerce through human relations.

“The second edition 2015 provided a professional speaker and country mix including the topics: managing BPO strategic culture, 3.0 leadership tools, hi-tech business optimizations, and coping with challenges in the Balkan region. A great strategic mapping for new dynamics and the current fast change in customer care.” Maria Hoffrichter-Zanetti | Communications Management, Competence Call Center.

The international business gathering highlighted both the role of beneficiaries and providers of the business process outsourcing field, underlying some pivotal insights through the voice of some inspiring professionals: Joe Rice – Director, Channel & Business Development, Conversocial (UK); Robert Murray – Chairman, GrowthPoint Group (Canada); Richard Kenny – EMEA Marketing Manager, Plantronics (UK);  Roy Reinelt – Marketing Board, CallCenter Verband (Germany),  Vincent Vanden Bossche – General Manager at Call (Luxembourg); Zenaida Antonica – HR Director, Euroanswer (Romania); Marian Raianu – Global Business Development, Euroanswer (Romania) ; Zeljko Rosic – COO, Trizma (Serbia) ; Milos Miljkovic – Senior Integration Manager, Trizma (Serbia); Catalin Victor Arjoca  – Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Romania to Austria (Romania); Heather White – CEO, 2020 Communication Inc (Canada, remote workshop) and Colin Bykowski – Business Development Director, The Leader Within (Canada, remote workshop).

European BPO Forum was made possible with the valuable support of Competence Call Center – Start Sponsor.

The conference also benefits from the strategic partnership of: The Leader Within, Plantronics, Euroanswer, ECCCO, Bluepoint, Aspen Institute Romania, CCI Francaise en Roumanie, EOA and Mediatel Data. Moreover, the forum built a strong media partnership with Contact Management, CCV, Call Communications and Contact Center Magazine.

The next forum edition will take place in the spring of 2016, on April 14th. Early bird registrations benefit from special discount fees.

The number of companies which deploy outsourcing services is growing bigger, and Europe is becoming a benchmark in the global competition of externalized services. According to the Frost & Sullivan consultancy company, Europe and North America will make for 50 per cent of the smart cities of the world by 2050, characterized by the conditions which foster a competitive business environment.

The business process outsourcing market is growing by 5 per cent annually, according to the management consultancy company Source One. In 2014 the market reached 154 billion dollars, and estimates for 2015 reveal a 162 billion dollars value, says the American market research company Gartner.

Europe is becoming a more and more prominent attraction in the outsourcing industry, following the major global trends in the area: offshore and nearshore – substitutes for local outsourcing. The second edition of the European BPO Forum, which will take place on April 22nd in Vienna (Studio 44), aims to be a melting pot for new partnerships, a center for the most recent developments in the field and an interactive map of perspectives & attributes of the outsourcing industry.

The Eastern European countries are becoming an actively growing force in the global outsourcing area. Bulgaria was ranked as the 1st destination in the region in 2014 and amongst top 10 worldwide most attractive outsourcing destination for customer support. The main assets for Eastern European countries, including Romania, are: educated workforce, motivated people, multilingual communication and competitive pricing (source: AT Kearney Global Services Location Index).

Marketing Insiders Group designed this international forum as a meeting hub for top speakers and a gateway towards the latest data that comes to uncover a new perspective over the outsourcing industry. The content structure of the event revolves around three key areas: processes, people and innovation.


“Eastern Europe positions itself as one of the main global players in the outsourcing industry. European BPO Forum offers a comprehensive perspective on the latest tendencies in the field, as well as relevant information for the two main actors of outsourcing services: providers and beneficiaries. According to last year’s results, this business platform continues to operate as a special center for the professionals in the outsourcing industry where new strategic projects and partnerships come to life.”Mădălina Vilău | Managing Director, Marketing Insiders Group.


Anytime we enter a new frontier there are moments of doubt, and uncertainty. When we look at the advances in technology in a very short time, it can be intimidating, but on the other side is opportunity beyond our imagination. We’ve opened the doors to do business across the world, and work with top talent, without the constraints of distribution and proximity capabilities. These are incredibly exciting times to embrace and enjoy!” Heather White | CEO 2020 Communication Inc.

This year’s forum edition will be moderated by an outstanding business leader, strategic facilitator and book author, Robert Murray – Chairman, GrowthPoint Group and Co-Founder, The Leader Within.

EU BPO Forum 2015

The 2015 edition speakers shape a result-oriented balance by their expertise and regional coverage:

  • Richard Kenny – EMEA Marketing Manager Plantronics (UK)
  • Vincent Vanden Bossche – General Manager Call (Belgium)
  • Manfred Stockmann – Vice-President European Confederation of Contact Center Associations (Germany)
  • Zeljko Rosic – COO Trizma (Serbia)
  • Milos Miljkovic – Senior Integration Manager Trizma (Serbia)
  • Joseph Rice – Director Channel & Business Development Conversocial (UK)
  • Zenaida Antonica – HR Director Euroanswer (Romania)
  • Marian Raianu – Global Business Development Euroanswer (Romania),
  • Heather White – CEO 2020 Communication Inc
  • Colin Bykowski – Business Development Director The Leader Within (Canada).

The main areas of focus at this year’s BPO are how to choose the right BPO location in Europe, HR management functions in the Balkans, BPO innovations and technologies of the future, the rise of South-Eastern Europe, why social customer care is the future and the role of organizational culture in leveraging BPO partnerships.

Even more, to make this learning and networking happening a dynamic and memorable experience, The Leader Within Team will launch their European Executive Power Days, a special leadership seminar tour – by offering the audience a unique remote workshop session.

European BPO Forum was made possible with the valuable support of Competence Call Center – Start Sponsor. The conference also benefits from the strategic partnership of Plantronics, Euroanswer, ECCCO, Bluepoint, Aspen Institute Romania, CCI Francaise en Roumanie, EOA and Mediatel Data. Moreover, the forum built a strong media partnership with Contact Management, CCV, Call Communications and Contact Center Magazine.

Results stand as proof of impact: 11 countries, 2 continents, 12 international speakers and top BPO professionals were part of the European BPO Forum’s first edition that took place on June 6th 2014. This year marks the next strategic level.

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