Trust: The Critical Factor in Managed Services

Trust: The Critical Factor in Managed Services

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) have evolved to become an integral part of the operations of many companies. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of Fortune 1000 companies use MSPs, manifesting high confidence in the value of these partnerships.

But what makes for a successful MSP partnership? As in any deep business relationship, trust and rapport between the two parties are of utmost importance. Trust is in fact the very cornerstone of the relationship between a managed services provider and its clients. If a client cannot trust its MSP, then the relationship is challenged from the start.

When there is trust between a client and its MSP:

  • The provider thinks and acts with its client’s business foremost in mind;
  • The provider seeks maximization of the client outcomes first, then balances that with its own outcomes; and
  • The client stands by the provider when issues arise, and gives a chance for recovery.

Such trust between a client and its MSP engenders long term collaboration, which comes with a deep understanding of the client’s business and goals. It brings about a sense of stability that enables learning and discovery. It gives rise to a healthy collaboration to achieve a common goal – operational and financial growth for both parties.

Whether the engagement is for IT, customer relationship, or back-office support, an MSP handles operations that are mission critical to the client, and which entail access to sensitive company information. This explains why data protection and cybersecurity top the list of what defines trust for 500 business leaders and 1,000 consumers in the US surveyed by PwC. Treating employees well, ethical business practices, and admitting mistakes are the three other elements on the top of the list. When choosing an MSP provider, a company must ensure the provider offers these elements or whatever other values it deems fundamental to cultivating trust. This careful consideration should effect a most beneficial MSP partnership.

About the author:
Joeri Timp is the Founder and Managing Director of Eastvantage. He is a lawyer and technology enthusiast with an HR background and has extensive experience in leading global managed services centers of multinational companies. Prior to establishing Eastvantage, Joeri was Philippine Country Head for Elevate Services, a global law company. Before that, he was the Executive Director of the global service center of law firm Baker McKenzie. In 2010 Joeri founded Eastvantage in order to put his wide career’s learnings into a single practice, with the notion of trust at its center. A hands-on leader, he steers the Eastvantage team to success through his vision.
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The inspired Eastvantage team delivers inspired results through its Managed Services.

 

The Impact of Organizational Culture on Organizational Performance in a Highly Digital World

The Impact of Organizational Culture on Organizational Performance in a Highly Digital World

The emergence of remote working arrangements has made managing projects a major challenge for many organizations. Collaboration has become all the more difficult with team members spread out in different locations and time zones. The impact of organizational culture on organizational performance has never been more critical than in these present times when doing business virtually has become the norm.

A company that has a great organizational culture promotes positive employee experience, which translates to engaged employees. And, time and again, studies show that engaged employees perform better. In a study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in partnership with Quantum Workplace, 56% of respondents say their organization has achieved positive ROI for its investment in employee engagement. Organizational culture, therefore, does impact a company’s bottom line and should be a priority, especially for global companies.

Our experience in Eastvantage, for instance, nurturing an empowering corporate culture resulted in growing our client portfolio by a staggering 72% in the past year. This, in the midst of a pandemic, when the majority of our workforce was working from home. Our focus was in ingraining a culture of ownership, communication, and collaboration (#OCC). #OCC played a big part in allowing employee engagement to flourish in a virtual setting. Everyone has a view of the roles each individual and department plays and therefore understands how they can work together to help each other and the company grow. Removing the barriers inspires synergy and taking responsibility. The strategy proved that aligning team members with corporate goals inspires participation, and employees, irrespective of position, are encouraged to give feedback.

With a higher sense of purpose, our teams find their work more meaningful, and this helps us deliver the business outcomes that truly matter for our clients. The increased job satisfaction also enables a virtuous cycle in which it’s easier for us to attract and retain top talent so we can make good with our commitment of providing inspired results to our clients.

About the author:
Kamal Asarpota is the CEO of Eastvantage. He has over 22+ years of global experience and a successful track record of delivering financial and business results with large, reputed multinational organizations in the ITES/BPM Industry. Kamal has a deep understanding of various processes that go into organization building with respect to contact centers through his significant exposure in setting up, scaling up, and leading multiple verticals across different channels in India, China, Japan, and the Philippines. He is adept at managing complex business challenges and making high-stakes decisions within fast-paced, high-pressure environments, and has a proven track record of developing new service models and turning around underperforming operations. He has consistently demonstrated the ability to drive results through vision and strategy setting, team development, and an unwavering focus on execution. Kamal is an Executive of the Year awardee in the Best in Biz Awards 2022 and named Expatriate Executive of the Year in the Asia CEO Awards Circle of Excellence 2022 for his leadership role in Eastvantage’s phenomenal growth in 2021.
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The inspired Eastvantage team delivers inspired results through its Managed Services.

 

Making Customer Happiness our Business

Making Customer Happiness our Business

At Eastvantage, we understand that excellent customer service is all about providing a most satisfactory experience akin to delighting our friends. Naturally, as we value our clients and their customers as friends, we always want to make them happy.

We believe that in this highly digital world, the warm smile and sincere welcome should come across in all channels – be it via chat, email, or voice. As our customer’s comfort is of prime importance to us, we designed our personalized service framework to cover from first contact to operations. An Account Executive sees to the smooth delivery until the onboarding, then a dedicated Operations Business Partner oversees the general health of the team and coordinates operational requirements, while an Account Director, either the CEO or our Managing Director, is available for higher level communication, escalations, and strategic consulting.

“We always put our customers first. We chose Eastvantage to differentiate ourselves from competitors and we could not have done it without the experience and dedication of the Eastvantage staff. They have always been professional, courteous, and efficient. We have had a great working relationship throughout the years,” attested the Customer Care Head of a leading global online hobby store.

Our commitment to making every customer feel like they have a caring friend ready and able to address their needs is the reason our customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores are always above set targets and the industry benchmarks. In 2021, our customer service team’s average CSAT score for one of our e-commerce clients was 96.5%, 1.5% higher than the target of 95%, and 2% higher than the industry high performer benchmark of 93%. Needless to say, swift response and resolution of course also highly influence customer satisfaction. Our median first response time (FRT) for a chat support client is at 21 minutes (4 minutes below the ceiling of 25 minutes), while the median time to close is at 20 minutes (way below the ceiling of 40 hours).

Our customer-friendly approach goes beyond achieving benchmarks, though. We take it a step further by endeavoring to share innovative ideas to our “friends” on strategic measures for business growth. The COO of an American software company acknowledged the helpfulness of our Head of Operations, saying, “Sipin has been awesome with sharing his knowledge and experience.”

But the best measure of a true “friend” is during hard times. We are proud to say that we have passed the test with flying colors and, in fact, increased the confidence of our clients in us during this Covid-19 economic climate.

“The fact that we were able to continue delivering… despite the impact of COVID is a testament to the commitment of Eastvantage to their customers,” commented the Business and Operations Manager of a major player in the Australian ICT market. “During these very difficult times Eastvantage has gone beyond normal contractual obligations to ensure we have continuity of operations; …for us as an IT Services company, this was a crucial element,” he added.

Perhaps, one of the things that have endeared us to our clients is our mindset that customer happiness is our business.

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Eastvantage was awarded “Most Customer-Friendly Company of the Year” in the Best in Biz Awards 2022 for its customer-centric culture. The friendliness extends to our clients’ customers through our Customer Support solutions.

10 HR Processes That Can Be Automated

10 HR Processes That Can Be Automated

The automation of Human Resource (HR) processes has become a priority for many companies worldwide particularly due to the continued adoption of remote work. However, as HR needs to involve human interaction in the day-to-day operations to be effective, it is unlikely that all HR processes can be fully automated. Nevertheless, many HR manual processes can be streamlined through automation to increase efficiency like the following:

  1. Onboarding. An online HR Information System (HRIS) allows for seamless remote onboarding of new hires. Necessary employee data such as personal information, contact details, payroll information, and other important details may be collected and stored in the company’s secure database. All pre-employment requirements can be uploaded to the system as well. Onboarding and training schedules and reminders may be communicated automatically. This ensures completion of requisite employee submissions in a convenient, timely, and safe manner.
  2. Signing of Employment-related Documents. An eSignature platform facilitates the sending, receiving, and managing of documents that need legally-binding signatures. The use of an online signing tool can cut the completion of document signing by 50%. It also saves costs, and reduces carbon footprint.
  3. Timekeeping. There are different employee time tracking solutions in the market today. If the company has the inhouse resources, a tool may also be developed customized to its needs. Such a tool provides employees and management alike an easily accessible way to keep track of attendance. Ideal features of a good timekeeping platform are: online time in and out, online application and approvals of vacation/sick leaves and personal time-off, and provision for easy team collaboration.
  4. Payroll. Also widely available in the market are payroll systems. Aside from payroll computation, these platforms can include features such as the automatic sending of paychecks, computation of salary changes, and recording of tasks related to employee pay. Make sure you choose a system that can be integrated with your HRIS and can be customized to take into account local compliance.
  5. Tax Forms Preparation. The preparation of tax forms is a tedious task. Automating this can take a big burden off your HR and Accounting staff. It also reduces errors.
  6. Benefits Management. Providing employee self-service tools reduces time spent by HR on administrative tasks. Such tools also facilitate the process of monitoring and availment of benefits.
  7. Announcements and Email Reminders. Regular internal announcements and email reminders can be automated to ensure timeliness.
  8. Training and Development. Having training modules available online allows employees to take control of their upskilling schedule and development. A good platform will help in the management and tracking of employee training and skill sets, as well.
  9. Offboarding. Scheduling exit interviews, removing access, request and release of clearance papers, and organizational restructuring can now be automated.
  10. Rewards Availment. Instead of physical rewards, companies can now partner with eGift providers. This offers employees the liberty to redeem or spend to buy gifts of their choice for oneself or for others from rewards points earned. The convenience, suitability, and variety can also make the rewards more enticing to employees and motivate them to perform better to earn more rewards points.

Automating HR tasks has many benefits including cost and time savings and improved security and efficiency. The process of automating manual tasks may disrupt operations though. Minimize any negative impact to your operations by engaging an experienced partner with digital transformation expertise.

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Eastvantage provides end-to-end HR support through our Managed Services. Contact us to get you started with inspired outsourcing.

Eastvantage in Beast Mode

Eastvantage in Beast Mode

The Eastvantage (EV) teams opened the Year of the Tiger roaring to soar during its first-quarter town hall meeting – the EV Assembly (EVA). Continuing in the same spirit during the second quarter, the teams are in beast mode in pursuit of the company’s goals for 2022.

True enough, the teams have been able to push hard. With the additional accounts onboarded in the last three months, the company has already reached 76% of the targeted accounts portfolio and 87.5% of the targeted headcount by year-end. Of course, the additional accounts warrant the beefing up of the support teams in order to service the growing requirements. Thus, during the EVA for the second quarter held on July 1, 2022, new operations support team members were welcomed together with the new clients.

Taking from the burning intensity of the tiger, EV is not one to miss out on opportunities. The company has been aggressively expanding not only locally, but also globally. Just a month after launching a second delivery site in the Philippines at the central business district of Ortigas Center, the company launched its India IT hub. EV also recently announced that it has started delivery operations from Bulgaria. Moreover, the company has engaged a New York-based consultant to help promote its IT Managed Services to the US market. “There are more exciting developments coming soon,” shared Kamal Asarpota, CEO for Eastvantage.

“Like the tiger, all of us need to be able to adapt and identify opportunities, then define the best processes to chase them,” said Kamal, addressing the EV team members during the recent EVA. “I am happy that we have reached the stage where our teams manage on their own. Try to learn as much as you can, and convert the obstacles you encounter into opportunities,” he advised.

EV management has been steadfast in its employee-centric culture. It believes that if the people grow in their respective capacities, then the company grows. Thus, it has been actively empowering and engaging employees. Like the previous EVA events, the recent assembly was used as a platform not only to update the team members of the company’s developments, but also to recognize top performers. The EVA is also a venue where camaraderie and fun is encouraged, notwithstanding the hybrid setup, and everyone is given the chance to win nice prizes for participating in online games.

With a 91% employee satisfaction rate of a team that’s highly engaged in beast mode, EV is on the right track. It is not only expected to meet its targets for the current year, but also its five-year targets at the current growth rate of 20%.

Roaring to Soar: A Quarterly Assembly Made More Engaging

Roaring to Soar: A Quarterly Assembly Made More Engaging

Tips on How to Hold a Winning Virtual Town Hall Meeting

For the last quarters since mid-2020, Eastvantage has been holding EVA (Eastvantage Assembly), our very own version of a town hall, on hybrid set up. Because of physical restrictions, a majority attend virtually. The dilemma was always how to make the meeting more engaging to the virtual attendees. Our first this year was a success, and here’s how we did it.

1. As one of our objectives was to increase attendance, we thought of a catchy theme that would stimulate curiosity and entice more to attend the event. The theme, “Roaring to Soar in 2022,” was deemed apt for the occasion, 2022 being the year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar. This was especially befitting to the event because it was to be the avenue for the management to update the employees on its outstanding achievements in 2021 (like it doubled the gross earning of 2020), and announce this year’s plans on surpassing its stellar growth by being more aggressive, much like the tiger who stretches its energy to maximum potential.
TIP: For your own purposes, you can brainstorm on a theme that is reflective of your organization’s current situation and would be relatable to your rank and file.

2. In order to create hype, we came out with a pre-event game wherein employees were to enter by engaging with a post in our social media group page. Of course, prizes at stake were attractive enough to our target participants (not necessarily of high economic value, but something exciting to them).
TIP: A pre-event game with winners announced at the start of the event not only makes people look forward to attending the event but also works as an ice-breaker. It’s best when the game has a correlation with the event or its theme.

3. We further piqued anticipation for the event through teasers via email and on our social media group page such as save-the-date, fun activities, and countdown to the event.
TIP: Build a buzz through pre-event communications in a consistent tone. You can go either corporate or casual, depending on your company’s culture. If you have a cool top management like ours, then go for a “chill” or laid-back tone.

4. We played a short, highly interesting motivational video about the positive and winning traits of a tiger after the ice breaker. This was not only in relation to the event’s theme, but also served as a prelude to the reports of past achievements and announcement of targets and plans by management and team leaders (double the income and headcount!).
TIP: Surprise your audience with something new. It need not be something flamboyant, but something unexpected. Always tie everything within the program together. Stay within the theme.

5. We had our team leaders pick top performers in their respective teams and they were given special mention and awards during the event proper.
TIP: Employee recognition always sparks excitement, so include mini-awards in the program.

6. Of course, we served food to everyone who attended in person. We also sent gift checks to those who attended online in appreciation for their participation.
TIP: You can serve food within the theme. For instance, if you have a red theme, then maybe you can serve red-colored food. You can also have food delivered to those attending virtually so everyone can dine together after the program.

7. Our very able host not only is great at keeping the program within schedule, but also in chiding the audience to applaud every now and then. “Roar!” was the battle cry of the afternoon. It was an amusing way of cheering on the attendees in person and online to solidarity in meeting the growth objectives of Eastvantage for 2022.
TIP: Assign an administrator to mute and unmute participants within the right timing. This is to ensure speakers are heard well and the program goes smoothly, while giving the audience the chance to participate.

With a little creativity and resourcefulness, hybrid get-togethers can strengthen our company culture. By the end of our first quarter EVA, everyone was roaring as they were all raring to soar with Eastvantage this year, and the years to come.

The Top Recruiter Skills that Nobody Thinks About

The Top Recruiter Skills that Nobody Thinks About

A good recruiter contributes highly to the success of a business. For one, securing the right hire – i.e., matching skill set and great culture fit – brings about employer and employee satisfaction resulting in improved productivity, and in the long run reduces attrition. All of this eventually translates to better financial gains for the company.

When recruiting, the brand needs to be “sold” to the prospective employee so that he/she will consider “buying in” or joining the company. Thus, the most successful recruiters possess the following characteristics and competencies of a great salesperson.

  1. Product/brand knowledge. In order to convince a candidate to join the company, a recruiter must be able to know by heart not only the job package but also the brand, the company culture, the core business of the company and the client, along with everything else relevant to the role and employment.
  2. Communication skills. The recruitment process involves dealing with different people, whether candidates or internal/external clients, and a recruiter must not only be comfortable and excel in putting into words information relevant to the requirements, but also know what, when, and how to communicate these.
  3. Listening skills. For a better appreciation of the requirements of both the candidate and the internal/external client, a recruiter should not only have the gift of gab but also be a good listener.
  4. Rapport-building skills. Recruitment, just like sales, is a personality and relationship business, and recruiters who establish good relationships with candidates and clients alike (usually by showing empathy and sincere interest in them) enjoy more success. This is because people tend to trust them more easily, and it is human nature to want to deal with people you like and trust.
  5. Information-gathering skills. A recruiter should be proactive and should initiate research to get to know candidates and clients better, and for prospecting purposes in order to build a good talent pool. Having the necessary information on hand facilitates the work and delivery of requirements.
  6. Closing skills. A good salesperson recognizes when a deal is exactly ripe for closing, and what to say precisely. A good recruiter should also be able to hone this skill in order to win the most suitable talent for the company.

The value of a company’s recruitment team cannot be undermined, and having recruiters with the ideal skill set, particularly with a flair for sales, is important to be on top of the competition for talent. It doesn’t really matter whether your recruitment is in-house or outsourced; the important thing is to ensure you leverage the value of the recruitment process to help grow your business through great recruiters.
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Recruitment Process Outsourcing enables you to have a great recruitment team who can help you hire for success.

Contact us today and let’s figure out the best solution for your requirements.

Overcoming the Challenge of Managing a Remote Team

Overcoming the Challenge of Managing a Remote Team

Currently, 16% of companies globally are fully remote, and 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm (Steward, 2021). This is mainly due to rapid technological advancements which allow employees to work from anywhere. Of course, the movement restrictions associated with the pandemic greatly contributed to this trend.

With the widespread adoption of remote work, employers are confronted with how best to manage remote employees. The task of ensuring engagement from a distance is definitely no mean feat, and enterprise leaders need to learn to adapt in order to ensure efficiency and productivity. The management strategies in place for a physical office will need to be remodeled to apply to the remote setting.

Many companies have turned to the Managed Services outsourcing model to resolve the remote management dilemma. An MSP takes on employer tasks such as talent sourcing and recruitment, payroll and IT services, training, monitoring KPIs, and employee engagement. It can also provide office hosting, equipment, and connectivity. Partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) allows a company to focus on its core revenue-generating activities, while leaving the nitty gritty of managing its remote workforce to its MSP.

Other benefits of leveraging an MSP’s expertise include:

  • Better employee productivity
  • Cost reduction and predictability
  • Reduced tools/infrastructure ownership

Companies who have found the right MSP partner are rest-assured of a well-managed remote team.

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Eastvantage provides end-to-end customer experience delivery with our Managed ServicesContact us to get you started with inspired outsourcing.

Bridging the IT Skills Gap Through Managed IT Services

Bridging the IT Skills Gap Through Managed IT Services

The past decade has seen a paradigm shift from traditional brick and mortar businesses to online. This shift gained irresistible momentum in 2020 as economies struggled to keep afloat, and remote work became the new norm. These circumstances brought the demand for IT systems and services at an all time high. Consequently, the skills gap, which was already a major concern for most employers prior to Covid-19, worsened.

If your Internal IT team is overwhelmed by the demands associated with the rapidly evolving business landscape, and you are having difficulty filling in the roles because of the stiff competition for talent among employers, then it is time to consider partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP). By outsourcing a subset of your IT services to an MSP, you are able to facilitate the ramp up of your IT team with the requisite roles while freeing up your existing IT team to focus on strategic projects that drive growth.

An MSP takes on the responsibility of recruiting talent, administration, and management of your external IT team. More and more companies are favoring this outsourcing model to dispense of the costly and time-consuming (and more often, frustrating) sourcing for IT talent they need to improve their IT environment. Further, they realize that it helps their bottom line as, aside from savings on the cost of employing and managing additional resources, they are also able to leverage on the scalability in order to maintain their competitive edge in an ever-changing digital world.

When choosing an MSP partner though, prioritize one that has a clear understanding of the culture of both your external and internal teams so that they can enable the two to collaborate and work together as a unified team. More importantly, ally with an MSP with the most flexibility in supplying support and services as needed by your business to handle emerging IT problems. Such a provider will prove the best help to you in achieving your specific goals.

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Eastvantage offers its clients bespoke outsourcing services that best fit their needs to make an ideal partnership. Contact us today and let’s figure out the best solution for your outsourcing requirements. Visit our solutions page for our delivery models and our portfolio pages for our success stories.