Business process crowdsourcing disruptive to outsourcing market

By : |September 2, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Lionbridge Enterprise Crowdsourcing is a division of Lionbridge Technologies, Inc., an organizaton that provides translation, online marketing, global content management and application testing solutions that ensure global brand consistency, local relevancy and technical usability across all touch points of the global customer lifecycle.

Lionbridge Enterprise Crowdsourcing is dedicated to leading the next generation of outsourcing by leveraging its secure crowdsourcing model to help enterprises increase productivity, reduce the costs related to the workforce and to maximize it’s elasticity. It uses a cloud-based technology platform that provides an innovative and secure solution to manage the transformative workflows to quickly drive high-quality task results.


In recent years there has been an increase in the adoption of crowdsourcing as an alternative labor model for businesses worldwide. The rise of business process crowdsourcing, or managed crowdsourcing allows workers to complete tasks that were once reserved for outsourcing centers.

Martha Crowe, senior VP of Global Enterprise Solutions, Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. talks about the ways in which businesses are effectively using business process crowdsourcing, the advantages of crowdsourcing over outsourcing, and what executives should know before utilizing a crowdsourcing project.

CIOL: How are businesses effectively using business process crowdsourcing?

Martha Crowe: Business Process Crowdsourcing (BPC) offers the best of both outsourcing and crowdsourcing. It is the ability to deliver complex business tasks and activities with a high quality, output-based delivery model. It is highly productive because clients pay for each completed task and the workers are paid for the same. Outsourcing is a mature industry and cost savings have already been realized. The work is being done with full time employees in facilities where turnover and access to productive, skilled resources is always a challenge. BPC offers the ability to deliver tasks, 24/7, with a skilled, available pool of resources. 

Today we are working with businesses where the work has already been outsourced to a BPO provider in India or the Philippines. BPO providers have moved up the value chain and are now referring to their services as Business Process Management which means end-to-end services. There are situations where that is a viable solution. However, we are seeing significant demand for a value solution that is cost effective, responsive and high quality. Data services is an example of a business need that is growing as Big Data matures. The ability to leverage global, multi-lingual crowds for projects like data research, data cleansing and other related services is a perfect solution for businesses where speed and quality are top priorities.

CIOL: What are the advantages to crowdsourcing vs. outsourcing?

Martha Crowe: BPC is an innovative work model that is unlike traditional outsourcing.  Unlike offshore outsourcing where work is delivered from one or two locations, BPC offers 24/7 access to a skilled, multi-lingual, global workforce which works from home. It is truly a “follow the sun” model where clients pay for successfully returned work. It is a less expensive, highly productive model. In addition, where turnover is a concern for offshore delivery centers it does not appear to be the case with crowd workers. There are more skilled workers, than work, every month. Outsourcing has a role in the continuum of sourcing solutions but crowdsourcing is the next evolution of work.

CIOL: What should executives know before utilizing a crowdsourcing project?


Martha Crowe: Leveraging skilled, online workers requires an engagement that has high volume and persistent work. BPC is a flexible outsourcing model, not an on-demand temporary model. It is not about replacing headcount in one location with headcount in a lower cost location. It is about changing the way work gets done by bringing professional work to highly qualified, at-home workers. Lionbridge manages the entire process from solution design, crowd recruiting, delivery and quality assurance. 

CIOL: Explain a little more about “private” crowds’ execution of projects and how is it different from the sourcing of resources?

Martha Crowe: At Lionbridge, a private crowd can be recruited to meet a client’s very specific needs. Whether the client has a requirement for global workers with multi-lingual skills, US-only workers for government projects or highly specialized industry skills such as pharmacy technicians, a crowd can be built. Sourcing these private teams and matching them to the work is part of the managed services that large enterprise clients expect from a partner. What makes the project execution unique is that the work is output-based, meaning the final results are guaranteed. 

CIOL: Crowdsourcing is poised to be quite disruptive to the outsourcing market. In your opinion, should crowdsourcing replace outsourcing?

Martha Crowe: BPC is not a replacement for IT or application outsourcing. Taking over data centers, network operations, application development and support is best delivered with some combination of onshore and offshore full time employees who are trained and dedicated to one client. It is, however, an alternative delivery model for certain business process services.  Leveraging skilled, qualified, online workers to deliver work is a unique model and offers tremendous flexibility and scalability.

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