Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Language - bone of contention in delivering Quality

LPOs are driven by various factors which includes, breadth and depth of coverage, domain expertise, location advantage, sales and marketing capabilities, data compliance with respect to regulatory standards (especially those defined by the US, Canada and EU) and management of business risks. All the aspects in unison help in making an LPO unit creditable in the world market. Among these aspects one that scores a point above all is the domain expertise which is inclusive of delivering consistently good quality work. India has in the outsourcing realm achieved major feats since the time of IT boom. India has 37% of the world’s shared of outsource services. This achievement is mainly because of the huge talent base trained in common law and the ability to scale up operations in a cost effective manner.

But in a recent blog post incorrect usage of English language was call into focus. Legal writing is archaic and very technical in nature. Since contract drafting and management requires an understanding of the nuances of the language in which it is written, a law degree doesn’t suffice the requirements of the job. The writer also specifies the reason as to why the incumbents are unable to match the standards accorded by the client. She says “Law in many of our local colleges is very often taught by professors who, while they are excellent with the subject itself, are from a vernacular background, with the result that their hold on the English language is tenuous at best. An LL.B. degree merely introduces its holder to legal vocabulary; to breed familiarity, one needs to be constantly reading and handling legal documents.”

It thus becomes imperative that LPO units make provisions of training in legal communications thus enabling the employees in making qualitative deliverables.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Indian vs. Chinese legal outsourcing industry

In a detailed analysis of legal outsourcing industry of the world’s two most prominent growing economies, Jalal Alamgir and Matthew Sullivan present the strengths of the Indian service sector over the Chinese set-up. The author attributes the strength to mainly four points. They are as follows:
1. Indians with an excellent command over English language and a legal system that is built upon the British system gives them an edge to their Chinese counterparts academically.
2. Investments made by the federal and state governments in the IT and BPO set-up. Currently most of the LPOs use the same infrastructure facilities.
3. The country that is able to address the two major concerns about information and data security will be able to garner maximum profits out of the business. With Chinese government remaining interested in controlling Internet activity, India will retain a big advantage.
4. Lastly, Indian government has taken major steps to showcase to the rest of the world of it being an investor’s paradise.

The cumulative effect of these points has made India have 37% of the world's share of outsourced services whereas China has managed to get only 10 %.

Outsourcing industry: another prediction of its future

James Dunning, a legal consultant, in his article Legal Process Outsourcing – Dream or Disaster? examines two perspectives of the present economic condition. One side of the coin depicts legal outsourcing as being an option for the law firms to implement “progressive management strategy”, wherein the work outsourced gives the law firms more time to deal with critical issues rather than being involved in routine work. While the other side of the coin shows that big corporations are realizing the downside of subcontracting. For example Boeing company. The company had to eventually acquire its subcontractors owing to its persistent problems in the Dreamliner’s development.

With these two facets of the economic reality in mind the author charts out a course of events for the outsourcing industry. Read more to know how outsourcing, in author’s opinion, eventually becomes a “more manageable middle ground” in future.