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Administration-as-a-Service (AaaS) – a BPO Model for the Free Agent

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By Meg Dennis

Mark Atterby’s piece on “the rise of the free agent” September 15 2014 profiled both the value to an organisation of a free agent workforce, and the challenges they need to overcome to make this a viable model.

For generations before us it was standard, in fact expected, to choose a career after school and pretty much stick with it.  Over the last few decades we have been witness a shift in this behavior, multiple career changes are common and now expected over a working life.

The free agent, although not a new concept, is now gaining critical mass through global services marketplaces and is also being fueled by crowd-sources such as Mechanical Turk, Crowd Flower and Airtasker. We are also seeing a shift in employer thinking about conventional work hours.

You will hear businesses, especially new technology or smaller agile companies embracing a flexible work environment more than ever before.  In a recent conversation in an entrepreneur hub in Sydney, there was a general consensus amongst business owners that they don’t care what hours their team work, if the hours of 5am to 1pm are desirable for someone who is a ‘morning person’ or has children, so long as they do what they sign up to that day/ week, what hours of the day they do the work in don’t matter.

Can a free agent model be applied to outsourcing? The answer is yes but BPO’s will need to have a few key components in place to ensure management of the workforce and quality output. Technology enablers will be key such as a cross borders, cross time zones standard platform for a BPO workforce to use.

And this user interface will need to measure and report on attendance and quality. And lastly it will need to ensure sound management around the service levels and demand for administration work against of supply of resources, not too dissimilar to a call centre workforce management model.

In fact, for many verticals that BPO workforces service, a free agent model opens up an Administration-as-a-Service (AaaS) offering where a crowd-sourced style workforce can sign up to perform administration functions fed through a secure web enabled platform and be based anywhere to do this work.

AaaS has promise to be the next BPO workforce model, no longer will a BPO workforce need to be office bound, those who seek the flexibility of choosing their hours of work and location could very soon offer their services in a ‘free agent’ capacity. And for the BPO, the free agent opens up the opportunity to deliver even lower costs to serve. We are truly witness to the ‘future of work’ unfolding.

AaaSMeg Dennis, CEO of WorkDivision.

Meg Dennis is founder of WorkDivision, creators of the innovative data entry technology using crowd sourcing to half time spent by businesses processing thousands of paper forms daily. While quite a mouthful, WorkDivision’s unique service is proving a strong alternative to outsourcing offshore.


September 23, 2014
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