As crowdsourcing continues to mature as a delivery method for completing work by leveraging large groups of geographically dispersed individuals, many crowdsourcing providers are working feverously to create the optimal approach to meeting enterprise-level standards for both quality and reliability. The term enterprise crowdsourcing is currently generating a lot of buzz – but buzz and business value can sometimes be mutually exclusive.
In the enterprise crowdsourcing space, two distinct approaches have emerged: platform/software-based solutions and Business Process Crowdsourcing (BPC). Although both are designed for use by big businesses, these two options are as different as the results they produce.
We hear from industry leading brands every day that are eager to attempt a crowdsourcing project because they recognize the potential for improved efficiency. However, some are hesitant because they’ve had a bad experience with a previous platform or software-based crowdsourcing company. Others aren’t sure if they’re ready to commit because they’ve read criticisms about crowdsourcing’s inconsistent quality.
When you delve deeper into these troubled projects, it often becomes clear that these problems occurred because the customer selected the wrong delivery method. Who can blame them, though? With so much hype around enterprise crowdsourcing, it’s hard to understand the options that exist – let alone select the one that’s best.
With this in mind, we wanted to share three important points that both differentiate BPC and help ensure its effectiveness.
1. BPC is a defined delivery method: Enterprise crowdsourcing is a catch all phrase used to describe any form of crowdsourcing which offers crowd-based services to big businesses. This includes platform products, managed services, and even freelance/staff augmentation. Each one is unique despite the ubiquitous label of enterprise crowdsourcing. This is where much of the confusion is created.
By contrast, BPC is an established delivery method which blends the speed and scalability of crowdsourcing with the governance and quality assurance of Business Process Outsourcing through a managed service to deliver a guaranteed result.
2. BPC is a partnership: Crowdsourcing is highly effective when delivered correctly, but it’s also extremely difficult. This is a big issue for companies that decide to work with an “out of the box” platform provider. They’re given access to a crowd, but ultimately, it’s up to the company — with no experience — to design an appropriate workflow, execute the project with a crowd comprised of varying skills and experience and finally, to verify results.
Because it’s a managed service, BPC is a partnership that allows a provider such as Lionbridge to work hand-in-hand with the business to design a cloud-based workflow, oversee execution of the project and make adjustments as needed to reach quality benchmarks early in the process. The service provider takes full responsibility for sourcing a crowd qualified to complete a given project, which further assists with quality.
3. Not every project benefits from BPC: At Lionbridge, we have over 10 years’ experience in crowdsourcing. During this time, we’ve learned which types of work are best suited for BPC and which projects are most likely to falter.
Presently, we are seeing exciting growth with our Global Enablement Services delivered through BPC, including multilingual translation and localization of content; mobile product and application testing; telephonic and video interpretation; search relevance testing; and global market research. BPC has also proven uniquely adept at adding a human touch to machine learning assignments such as voice recognition, automation engine and machine translation engine training.
Business Process Crowdsourcing is quickly becoming a popular delivery method for completing work within the enterprise, especially for multilingual projects. Over the last year, we’ve worked with an increasing number of companies that previously attempted a crowdsourcing project with a platform or software-based provider that failed to meet the quality standards, leaving the customer frustrated and a bit disillusioned. However, their results dramatically improved, thanks to both the managed nature of BPC and Lionbridge’s deep experience in this area. BPC also continues to score high marks for quality in areas such as translation and machine learning. We expect more companies will recognize the consistency and efficiency of BPC as the year goes on.
What types of work is your organization currently crowdsourcing? Do you agree that having an experienced partner delivering a managed service is much more likely to result in high quality results?