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Acquisition signals increasing role of AI in outsourcing

Stephanie Overby | March 28, 2017
Genpact’s plan to purchase Rage Networks represents an evolution in IT automation and business process services – moving from improving back-office functions to enabling true digital transformation.

It also enables Genpact to change the old offshore outsourcing narrative from that of shipping jobs overseas to improving processes and delivering new business value, according to Borowski. “For existing customers, it provides the opportunity to reimagine how its existing outsourcing solutions are delivered in areas where pure cost reduction was the previous focus or there was a perceived risk associated with outsourcing,” Borowski says. “It shifts the discussion from ‘can you outsource an activity’ to ‘can you improve a process and result’ using a toolset that happens to be provided by your outsourcing provider.”

Genpact’s purchase is not the beginning of a trend, but rather the next phase of an ongoing attempt by outsourcing providers to embed enabling technology into their offering. “For the past several years, outsourcing providers have been actively pursuing ways to incorporate increasingly transformational levels of automation and intelligence into their solutions,” says Borowski.

To date, the tendency has been to partner with rather than purchase AI and automaton vendors. Automation software providers Blue Prism, AutomationAnywhere and UIPath have aggressively forged partnerships with most of the leading outsourcers, such as Accenture, IBM, EXL and Capgemini,” Fersht says.

“AI vendors IPSoft and Celaton have also been active, while several outsourcers are now working with Watson, including KPMG.” However, Bendor-Samuel argues, “the incumbent service provider industry has no choice but to accelerate their rotation into digital, and the most effect way to accomplish this is through acquisitions.

 

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