A recent ComputerWorld article about European Union data privacy safe harbor abuses (hat tip to JFehrman) made me wonder about their potential effect on the LPO industry. To help explain the EU data privacy regime, I spoke with a publicity-shy LPO industry colleague who is a cross-border data management expert. (Though he prefers not to be identified, I still wish to publicly thank him here – you know who you are!)
In managing for efficiency, managers often refer to the intersecting elements of people, process, and technology. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry participants initially focused on reducing people costs by moving work to lower labor cost jurisdictions like India. For most, it quickly became apparent that coordinating onshore and offshore labor to deliver consistent, measurable results would also require the development of consistent, coordinated processes. However, their approaches to technology are among their most significant differences from each other. Some industry participants have invested in the development of industry-specific technologies that allow them to tightly integrate their people, processes, and technologies. Others have adopted technologies on a project basis to provide the best fit for each client, while still others have adopted a combination of these approaches. There are pros and cons to these approaches, and potential clients should fully consider them when selecting an LPO provider. Read the rest of this entry »
In a recent post (New Locations Offer a New Twist on Offshoring Legal Services), I highlighted the growing geographic breadth among Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) vendors. Geographic breadth helps vendors distribute their operational risks and costs while providing access to a wide range of talent. Another measure of a vendor’s “breadth” is the range of services it offers.
As illustrated in the diagram above, vendors providing LPO services cluster into three major categories along a wide “services breadth” spectrum. They range from very small companies often focused on a single LPO service area (or those with only a tangential LPO offering), to others offering a full set of LPO services but little else, to those offering not only LPO services but a suite of outsourcing services that may include other Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services (LPO is considered a specific type of KPO service) or even generalized Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) or Information Technology (IT) outsourcing services. Read the rest of this entry »
Within the legal services market, a new model of outsourcing has emerged to supplement the more well-known models that include combinations of onsite, onshore, and offshore. Outsourcers in Israel and New Zealand have positioned themselves between the higher cost, onsite & onshore vendors and the lower cost, offshore vendors. The higher prices that onsite/onshore vendors have been able to command are not so much a function of their geographies, but of their relative skill with the substantive and procedural aspects of the U.S. and U.K. legal systems. This new model reorders these assumptions by providing knowledgeable and experienced western legal resources from individuals who have moved to, or returned to, medium cost locations like Israel and New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »