Industry Commentary

Emerging Players Disrupting Canadian Front Office BPO

By October 23, 2018July 25th, 2023No Comments

In any commercial space there is room for growth by the most innovative players.  Front office BPO in Canada is no exception, and in recent times a number of its upstarts have established a strong commercial presence, based on both hard work and an innovative approach to providing customer experience management. Of late, ‘the great white north’s‘ front office sector has been a major point of consolidation for larger, global players looking to gain a presence in this demand market.  However, the extent to which entrepreneurs in Canadian contact center outsourcing are disrupting in their own respective niches cannot be understated, and this is certain to drive more dynamism in how this sector’s business is conducted.

Relative to many other locations, Canada’s outsourcing space is relatively quiet, but it has changed considerably over the past two decades.  Since the early 2000s it has gone from a Northern Nearshore delivery point into the US, driven by low CAD exchange rates relative to the USD, through to one of the most dynamic consumer demand markets in the world.  The result of this has been a significant spike in industry consolidation, as providers have sought to shore up their competitive position in Canada.  In many cases, this has led to the outright acquisition of domestic outsourcers by global entities, the most notable examples including Merchants’ buy out of Millenium 1 and TTEC’s acquisition of Atelka.  And, while there has been a trend toward fewer, larger players in Canada’s outsourcing space, there remain a number of providers that are innovators in their own right.

One example of this disruptive community is Blue Ocean Contact Centers.  Based in the traditional customer experience delivery hub of Canada’s maritime provinces, Blue Ocean provides bilingual support to domestic and US clients through its two hubs in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  The firm continues to expand its base of clients across sectors, and in the eyes of many it has established itself as the leading home-grown provider in the Maritimes.

Delivery innovation is something that many enterprises are seeking in order to maximize value in consumer interactions, which is leading to more interest in the home-based agent model.  This was not lost on ATAC Inc., a Canadian virtual delivery provider based in the greater Toronto area, which services end-users of firms based in both emerging and established vertical markets.  It does so with a team of agents who are hired from across the country after a stringent quality management process.  With the opportunity for home-based delivery in Canada stronger than ever, ATAC Inc. is well positioned to recoup clients that are hungry for a value-driven manner of servicing clients.

The American nearshore has traditionally been positioned as the logical alternative for US consumers.  However, WW Calls Canada based in Hamilton, Ontario has thrown conventional wisdom on its head, and for the past two decades has been servicing a large number of Canadian technology clients from its base of operations in Mexico.  By sourcing English and French speakers from the local community, it has become a go-to provider for Canadian clients that are seeking value-driven nearshore alternatives, relative to the usual overseas suspects.

The three firms discussed above are but a sample of Canada’s front office outsourcing community, but they show the sector’s ability to drive entrepreneurial, home-grown innovation.  It makes for a stronger domestic market, and provides clients with alternatives that are essential to maintain a competitive, disruptive customer experience management space.