OFFSHORING READI­NESS TEST

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Aimee En­gel­mann

to the Philip­pines has re­cently gained a good deal of at­ten­tion. The ben­e­fits are com­pelling and the idea of free­ing up your team to fo­cus on more im­por­tant as­pects makes com­plete sense for many, but the prac­ti­cal de­tails may put oth­ers off. Aimee En­gel­mann ex­plains the tools you’ll need in your of­fice to man­age the vir­tual team out­side the of­fice.

THE RE­AL­ITY IS that es­tab­lish­ing tai­lored out­sourc­ing op­er­a­tions in the Philip­pines is both rel­a­tively easy and in­ex­pen­sive if you know what you are do­ing.

There is an ex­tremely broad range of tech­nol­ogy now avail­able which we have found use­ful in es­tab­lish­ing and main­tain­ing off­shore op­er­a­tions, es­pe­cially if those op­er­a­tions in­clude vir­tual as­sis­tants with whom you need on­go­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Many of these items can al­ready be found in most of­fices these days – re­gard­less of how large the real es­tate agency is.

The range of use­ful tech­nolo­gies in­clude: • Video call ser­vices such as

Skype or Zoom • A we­b­cam for video calls • Stan­dard com­puter • In­ter­net con­nec­tion • Head­set for video and

phone calls • Mi­cro­phone and speaker for

group calls • A tele­vi­sion for web

con­fer­ences • Web con­fer­enc­ing soft­ware

For as lit­tle as $60, the tools you need to make sure your staff can com­mu­ni­cate with each other – and you – are read­ily avail­able.

For video con­fer­enc­ing soft­ware we rec­om­mend Zoom, which can be tri­alled for free and al­lows you to have free 30-minute meet­ings, or you can pay around $50 an­nu­ally to un­lock all its func­tion­al­ity. Zoom also works on a smart­phone.

To con­nect your tele­vi­sion to your com­puter for web con­fer­enc­ing, we rec­om­mend us­ing the In­tel Com­pute Stick CS125. This plugs straight into your tele­vi­sion’s USB port and can run Win­dows, web con­fer­enc­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, web browsers and so on.

For our mi­cro­phone and speaker sys­tem used for phone con­fer­ences, we use the JABRA SPEAK 510, which sells for around $120.

We have found that es­tab­lish­ing open lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion early on is the key to having the off­shore sup­port you need. This in­cludes let­ting your staff in the Philip­pines know what is ex­pected of them, ex­plain­ing your op­er­a­tions and pro­ce­dures, and en­sur­ing their early train­ing cov­ers ex­actly what you need.

Not com­mu­ni­cat­ing and en­gag­ing with your staff both in the Philip­pines and at home will have the same im­pact, pro­duc­ing a raft of er­rors which can be costly in terms of time, money and cus­tomer good­will.

When done prop­erly, es­tab­lish­ing out­sourc­ing op­er­a­tions in the Philip­pines can be the next step in grow­ing your busi­ness. The tech­nol­ogy is al­ready avail­able, ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able, mak­ing it eas­ier than you think. •

Aimee En­gel­mann is the founder and CEO of Beepo, one of the fastest-grow­ing out­sourc­ing com­pa­nies in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. For more in­for­ma­tion visit beepo.com.au.

Es­tab­lish­ing open lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion early on is the key to having the off­shore sup­port you need.

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