The convergence of voice- and data-network technologies, the rise of on-demand applications that let users securely access enterprise data from any Internet connection, and the widespread availability of high-speed Internet connections to the "last mile" are driving a new breed of business-process outsourcing. BPO 2.0 breaks down the physical constructs of the office or call center and the geographical characteristics of the labor pool to let companies outsource jobs?or even parts of jobs?to the most qualified workers at the lowest cost, regardless of location.
Of course, BPO 2.0 does pose challenges. In addition to technology hurdles, companies will have to rethink human resources, scheduling, accounting, corporate culture, and training practices to maximize the benefits of a distributed labor pool. However, those that do will have the opportunity to reap significant rewards. Just as BPO slashed costs and boosted efficiency, BPO 2.0 will open a new world of opportunities for customer service and change the office real-estate game.