Three stoplights. Well, eventually four by the time I moved away in 1985. Also, a line of people each night around the new McDonalds for several days after it opened in the late 1970s. This was the situation in my hometown of Maryville, Missouri with a population of just less than 10,000 people at the time.
Small, rural town, right? Yes, it was in many ways. But it was also home to a university, Northwest Missouri State University, which was the first college in the U.S. to put PCs into every dorm room and a student population of about 5,000. The area was packed with PhDs and farmers quietly living the pleasant life in the middle of the country.
As the buzz about rural and domestic outsourcing has increased over the past five years, I have often wondered “Is this type of location a good candidate for a service delivery center?” To the best of my knowledge, it does not have a service delivery center of any notable scale.
To help answer questions like these, Everest Group is the research partner for RevAmerica, to be held in New Orleans on May 5-7, 2015. This is the only event focused on domestic sourcing in the U.S. and Canada.
The research report that we release at the event will analyze the trends in domestic outsourcing, looking at variations by location type across different functions (IT, business process, contact center), type of service provider, and other factors.
Although we are currently deep in the middle of collecting responses to RFIs and conducting interviews, we have been able to glean a few initial insights from the database of approximately 350 cities, which range from small, rural communities to tier 1 cities. Some of these insights include:
- The number of centers for domestic outsourcing is clearly on a growth trajectory and with a whopping 66% centers expecting headcount growth in next 3 years
- Some of this is in response to preferring domestic locations over offshore locations, but much is about creating a portfolio of locations to support increasingly diverse sets of work
- The typical size of a center is in the range of 100-500 employees; some centers are in the 1,000 employee range and are almost exclusively a long-term hub of an organization in a tier 2 location (vs. tier 3 or 4 or rural)
- For IT services, the key driver is largely around the presence of local educational institutions that offer computer science and technical training, and are willing to collaborate on helping shape that talent for the needs of technical employers. Having said that, IT is a function where more than half of the centers are using a mix of locally hired resources and landed resources (resources traveling from other parts of the world on work permit)
- Finally, two-thirds of the centers are single function delivery focused (i.e., IT or BP or CC) and couple with the fact that they are small, indicates that they have been primarily set-up to serve a specific need – serve a local client, tap into (small) specific talent pool at the same time gain cost arbitrage
We invite you to join us in New Orleans as we roll out the findings of this important study. We look forward to hearing your experiences.