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Will relaxed homeworking regulations increase risk?

By Steve Sullivan, Head of Regulatory Compliance

India’s regulations governing outsourcers have recently been relaxed, making it much easier for contact centre agents to work from home and lowering the barriers to entry for businesses wanting to offer outsourced services from India. What does this mean for businesses using outsourced labour to meet customer service demand?

The slimmed-down regulations, announced earlier this month, mean that Indian outsourcers do not now need to register their premises, whereas previously every office used by an outsourcer was required to go through a registration process. There is also no longer any need to give static IP addresses for all operatives and the previously required bank guarantee per seat has been abolished.

This means that outsources in India can now create wide VPNs enabling voice and data to be shared throughout the country and across other countries too.

On the positive side, the new regulations mean that Indian outsources will be able to react to the global shift towards homeworking and counter the move by businesses to move their operations back onshore, nearshore or inhouse, which could potentially have a devastating effect on India’s huge outsourcing sector.

What do you need to know?

Amazingly for any UK reader, the new regulations span just eight pages. You can read the entire document as published by the Ministry of Communications, Government of India, 5th November 2020, in a few minutes here.

Although there are requirements to make call data, secure system access logs and other details available on request, there is no obligation to submit these regularly or register them in advance. The emphasis in the new regulations is on correction rather than prevention of issues.

Is your business outsourcing to India?

These new regulations may make it easier for poorly managed or even unscrupulous operators to work more easily in India. However, it is important to consider that they also make working from home practical for an industry that needs to adapt to a rapid global shift in the way contact centres work.

If you are using Indian outsourced service providers, ensure that their own operating parameters reflect what you need. Seek assurances that data is handled securely and that their systems are safe. Many established outsourcers will already have implemented good data handling and security infrastructures. Make sure that your customer data is safeguarded.

In short, there is no need to stop using reputable outsourced contact centres or remote business process handling. There is, however, an increased pressure to obtain the assurance that your customers’ data is, and will continue to be, handled securely and safely.

Want to assess your potential risk?

If you are unsure how to assess your risks with offshoring parts of your operations, we can help? We have a team of experts who can advise and assess your operation and if required, a network of fully vetted reputable outsource contact centres and technology providers who can provide alternative options to ensure your operations are safe and secure.

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