News from Japan this week is that Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Inc. have established a joint venture with Accenture. The Tokyo-based subsidiary of Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Holdings will be teaming up with the multi-billion-dollar global services and consulting company from January 2024, with the goal of becoming a data-driven organization. Certain business functions will be transferred to Accenture in the joint venture, with the hopes of consolidating administrative, support services, and back-office operations while advancing the company’s technological skills and data management for advanced decision-making.

Meanwhile, over at the Accenture branch in Ireland, employees are expressing their ‘anger’ toward the company for its announcement of over 890 layoffs – this being the second major cut this year for the global services and consulting company. The company recorded a net profit of over €‎6 billion in 2022. An Accenture employee has suggested that the company’s mass layoffs are likely linked to its movement to outsourcing to more ‘cost-effective’ locations.

In the Philippines, the outsourcing sector is concerned amidst the growing challenges in maintaining its market share. The concerns are based around the lack of graduates with the necessary communication and technical skills for the market, combined with increased competition from other countries offering quality BPO services and the rise in the use of AI-powered bots since the pandemic.

Canon Central & North Africa has announced the launch of its Canon Contact Center in Egypt. The center is the first of its kind for Canon Central & North Africa and aligns with its ‘Closer to Customer’ strategy aimed at strengthening and enhancing relationships with its customers and partners making it easier to gain access to information on Canon’s brand, products, services, and channels.

In the UK, high-end department store group, John Lewis Partnership, has announced a £100 million strategic partnership with Google. Under this collaboration, most of the organization’s technology will move over to Google Cloud, and the company is set to integrate AI into its customer service operations with a customer-facing chatbot.

Also in AI advancements, Freshworks Inc. has announced the launch of its AI-powered customer service suite. The cloud-based and SaaS business enterprise headquartered in California will integrate self-service bots, automated ticketing management, and agent-led conversational messaging under a single solution: Freddy AI. It is hoped that the development will advance agent productivity, enable smarter data-driven decision-making, and improve customer experience.

In global news, Industry Research Co. has released a report on the 2023 global network outsourcing market trends. The report provides insights into top competitors, key trends, market size, segment sizes, and opportunities and plans for future development.

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