SA looks to World Cup to boost BPO hopes

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With some minds already turning to this summer's football extravaganza in South Africa, analyst Frost & Sullivan reckons that it's a great opportunity for the country to underline its business process outsourcing credentials. It says that network capacity provisioned for infrastructure such as the International Broadcast Center could be used to deliver high-quality call center services. "South Africa, as the host nation of the FIFA World Cup, is in a good position to communicate its BPO capabilities to the World," says Frost & Sullivan ICT analyst Mpho Moyo. "Emphasis should be put on South Africa's superior infrastructure and its ability to deliver high quality services by showcasing the successful services provided to both international and domestic clients." However Moyo says that the South African government needs to invest in the country's skill base to be able to meet its own stated aims for using BPO as a business growth driver. "The slow development of specialized skills sets has limited South Africa's ability to take advantage of the accelerated global growth in financial & accounting outsourcing, human resources outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing and outsourcing of other vertical specific services," she says. The South African government offers incentives for companies looking to set up offshore BPO facilities in the country. But according to the most recent global offshoring top 50 study by AT Kearney, at 39th South Africa is still way behind powerhouses such as India, China and Malaysia and also lags African competitors such as Ghana, Mauritius and Senegal. 

Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.