It’s hard to go more than a day without hearing news related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – commonly referred to as “ObamaCare.” While the national spotlight remains squarely focused on enrollment, coverage policies and technical setbacks on HealthCare.gov, many outside of healthcare circles are less familiar with the influence of new federal mandates on interpretation services. Although the foundation for legal access to various languages was first created in the 1960s, properly providing interpretation services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients has been a challenge. Now, the power of the crowd is being leveraged by forward-looking facilities to provide unprecedented, equal and immediate access to even the least commonly spoken of languages. Continue reading »
The recent 60 Minutes segment on Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos drew some serious attention over the revelation that the company is working on an uber delivery service using drones to drop items at consumers’ doorsteps in 30 minutes or less. While delivery-by-drone is far from imminent, it certainly got people buzzing about the role of machine vs. man in our every day lives.
Two weeks later, The Boston Sunday Globe carried not one, but two stories focusing on the potential for apps, robots and computers to handle jobs and tasks traditionally performed by humans. The common denominator is, of course, automation and the vast – and at times, scary – potential it offers to businesses and consumers who embrace new technologies to get things done faster, more efficiently and more cost effectively. Continue reading »
The end of the calendar year always presents a good time for reflection, as well as an opportunity to look forward to expectations for the New Year. As we’ve continued to watch the crowdsourcing industry mature this year – some segments doing so faster than others – we’ve been thinking about what the promise of the crowd holds for businesses in 2014.
We’ve come to the realization that further crowdsourcing adoption by businesses will be driven by the crowd’s innate ability to shatter language, geographic and other traditionally restrictive business barriers that mature, stagnant businesses operate within. In effect, the true promise of crowdsourcing is that it can create entirely new “blue oceans” for just about any market. Continue reading »
Last month, many of the providers within the growing crowdsourcing market came together at CrowdConf to discuss the current trends in the industry and predict its next evolutions. The universal sentiment was that the industry is maturing, and like any maturing market this development was accented by some consolidation among crowd platform providers. Much of the discussion revolved around how businesses would need to evolve their thinking to make the best use of the crowd, and it’s this point that led our Business Process Crowdsourcing (BPC) team to realize how drastically different our approach is to the rest of the crowd platform providers on the market. Continue reading »
Last week, we launched a new e-book entitled, “The Complete Guide to Business Process Crowdsourcing: Changing the Way Work Gets Done,” which highlights the advantages of Lionbridge’s unique Business Process Crowdsourcing (BPC) solution that sits between crowdsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). It highlights BPC’s advantage over traditional BPO models to tackle complex business demands with increased speed, efficiency, scalability and flexibility. Continue reading »
First there was Software as a Service or SaaS (thanks Marc Benioff). It was arguably the most disruptive of all disruptions in the technology sector, and it turned traditional enterprise software licensing on its head by introducing the concept of “renting” versus buying software to run your business.
Soon after SaaS, there was Platform as a Service or PaaS (thanks Marc Benioff’s marketing folks). This took SaaS to an entirely new level by giving businesses the ability to build their own custom software applications.
Next came Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS (pioneered by Amazon, Rackspace and others) which made it faster, easier and less expensive for companies to outsource the technological underpinnings of their business – storage, hardware, servers and networking.
The latest incarnation of XaaS (anything as a service) involves not the replacement of a technology or product, but rather skilled professionals who have developed expertise in everything from Big Data classification and verification, to language translation, to testing, to search relevance testing. We call it Business Process Crowdsourcing (BPC) at Lionbridge. But in keeping with the “XaaS” nomenclature, another way of looking at how we are delivering a solution to our clients’ business problems is to characterize it as Talent as a Service or TaaS. Continue reading »
Spoiler Alert…designing and successfully implementing crowdsourced business processes is not easy! Reorganizing the way your business approaches long-standing tenants of workplace structure and management is a complex undertaking. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it takes a disciplined approach and expertise in numerous areas to make crowdsourcing a reliable part of your workflow.
The allure of a seamlessly integrated virtual workforce that redefines traditional staffing approaches to deliver massive efficiencies over traditional solutions is certainly something that will pique any executive’s interest. Many businesses have tried crowdsourcing tasks on their own, and many have been disappointed and frustrated by the challenges that stand between theory and practice. At Lionbridge, we’ve spent more than 10 years navigating these complexities, and wanted to share some insights that any business should know when considering crowdsourcing solutions. Continue reading »
There’s a pretty significant “Perfect Storm” brewing offshore. We’re not talking about the weather (although it is monsoon season), but about the current state of the offshore outsourcing industry, which finds itself under increasing pressure on several fronts. Individually and collectively, these developments are changing how large companies work with their sourcing providers. We believe these factors will compound each other to have a measurable impact on the industry as a whole, and expand on the already steady rise of business process crowdsourcing. Continue reading »
Crowdsourcing as a business practice is still in its infancy, and its effective application as a reliable solution for complex business processes is still evolving. While some industry observers are questioning it, at Lionbridge, we’re less interested in the potential failures of the model and more interested in continuing to deliver on its promise.
Still in its formative years, the crowdsourcing market as a whole resembles the Wild West. With numerous start-ups and tech giants alike offering unmanaged and unqualified crowds as a potential solution for business, the market (when viewed with this all-encompassing lens) has only realized moderate success as a realistic alternative to traditional staffing or outsourcing practices. Many micro-task services are looking to deploy technology to create the efficiencies promised by crowdsourcing, but in fact, are realizing this goal is far more complicated.
Here at Lionbridge, we’re constantly evangelizing the benefits of enterprise crowdsourcing and how it can help businesses by offering more cost-efficient and flexible staffing options. Not only have we been delivering the cost-saving benefits of our Enterprise Crowdsourcing model to our global client base, we also leverage the streamlining concepts internally.
Recently, we started crowdsourcing an internal process for inputting client invoices for our Federal Division Interpretations work. We have reduced processing time by 92%, where data once took 48 hours to round-trip we can now handle the simplified process in four hours. Based on the resulting decline in the highly-skilled staff time of interpreters and financial staff the Interpretations division is realizing cost reductions of 85%! In reviewing the workflow for the back-office processing for our Interpretations division, we were able innovate the workflow leveraging the crowd to reduce and create a more time and cost efficient process. By leveraging our proprietary cloud-based platform, we were able to automate and transform a lengthy manual client invoicing process, resulting in the aforementioned faster data processing results and significant cost savings.
The original, five-step process required significant time commitment from our highly-skilled interpreters and finance personnel. Now, the interpretations division has streamlined the process down to three steps using our own platform and our crowd of global data processing professionals who perform verification, classification, indexing and data capture on each invoice form.
So, not only are we seeing how our model and crowdsourcing solutions can help our customers, we’re experiencing firsthand how they can transform a process. It hasn’t been an arduous transition either – the interpretations division did this in only 38 business days!
To learn more about crowdsourcing and its benefit for enterprises download our free white paper, “The Crowd in the Cloud: Exploring the Future of Outsourcing.”