After a hiatus over the festive period, we are excited to be back in action, bringing you the latest updates on global business services (GBS) and customer experience (CX) from around the world.

In a significant development for urban development in Africa, CCI Global has been featured in The Economist for its pivotal role in establishing a 5,000-seat call center in Tatu City, located 20km north of Nairobi, Kenya. Tatu City is an urban development project designed to create a ‘Special Economic Zone’ to foster the growth of a thriving urban center with residential, commercial, and industrial components. CCI’s involvement in the project signifies the impact of private-sector leadership in overcoming hurdles and fostering sustainable urbanization in Africa.

A recent article from Ryan Strategic Advisory, based in Canada, delves into the lessons that can be gleaned from CX practices of the 1980s. The era, marked by intense competition, prioritized quality experiences over points schemes to drive customer loyalty. Notably, the professionalism of service, channel-management excellence, and post-sale service accessibility were integral. The article suggests that today’s businesses could benefit from a return to the customer-centric strategies of the past, emphasizing the importance of investing in end-user experience for long-term loyalty.

Over in Japan, Bellsystem24 – a provider of customer support and contact center solutions – has collaborated with Taiwanese startup Intumit to introduce a generative AI-based call center service in Taiwan. The hybrid model combines live customer service agents with Intumit’s AI chatbot for automated responses. If queries become complex, agents will engage customers via phone or chat. With the increasing adoption of AI in Taiwanese call centers, Bellsystem24 aims to expand the service to markets like Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, targeting ¥3 billion (US$20.6 million) in related revenue by fiscal 2027. – the global B2B e-commerce platform headquartered in Hangzhou, China – is set to launch its new AI-powered Smart Assistant features at the international 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Smart Assistant is an AI-powered global sourcing tool, with features like Upgraded Image Search and Smart RFQ. It has already demonstrated success since its September 2023 launch. The upcoming Instant Help feature – driven by an AI-powered chatbot – will further enhance user efficiency, offering real-time insights and resources.

In the Philippines, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) is collaborating with Lumify Work PH to enhance the skills of Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) professionals. Lumify, a joint venture between the Aboitiz group and Australia’s Edventure Co., will offer training and skills development courses to IT-BPM professionals. The courses will enable the development of various in-demand skills such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data analytics, with the hopes of ‘futureproofing’ the workforce and achieving the goal of generating 1 million jobs by 2028 in the Philippines.

Multinational courier delivery services company, FedEx, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, has introduced is new data-driven commerce platform, fdx. Launching in 2024, fdx will offer end-to-end solutions, empowering businesses of all sizes by providing insights for strategic logistics decisions and enhancing visibility. Current capabilities include connecting with high-value customers, increasing conversion with delivery transparency, managing real-time shipments, and accessing carbon-emissions data.

Also in the United States, Manhattan Associates has launched the Fulfillment Experience Insights dashboard. This development from the software and technology company offers real-time assessments of retailers’ omnichannel fulfillment performance. The tool provides a single view of digital-order fulfillment KPIs, allowing retailers to measure their performance against peers. With insights into store pickup conversion, abandonment rates, and fulfillment times, the dashboard is expected to empower retailers to enhance efficiency and customer fulfillment.

In global news, the supply chain management BPO market is set to grow significantly in the next six years. A report released by global market research firm Persistence Market Research has revealed that the market is projected to grow at a robust 8.6% CAGR. This would propel its size from US$27.6 billion in 2023 to an estimated $49.2 billion by 2030. The report outlines some of the sector’s growth factors, as well as expected challenges such as data security concerns and obstacles in integrating advanced technologies.

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