As winter’s snow transforms into the green shoots of spring, the best of outsourcing thought leaders, industry insiders and prospective clients prepare to gather in Canada’s largest city to debate the future of BPO north of the US border.  Sourcing Decisions 2017 will act as a relaunch pad of sorts for a national industry that has a great deal to offer, and which has been more active of late.  What will be imperative for the growth of Canadian BPO this week is a willingness among all parties to acknowledge that the sector is transforming, and that a business-as-usual approach simply won’t cut it.  Rather, outsourcing in Canada must embrace ongoing technological changes and new market dynamics if it is to be successful.

Nearshore Americas deserves tremendous credit for organizing Sourcing Decisions 2017, which takes place in Toronto on March 2nd.  After all, in recent times the Canadian outsourcing sector has been among the quietest on the global scene; in fact, after the rise toward parity between the CAD and USD some years ago, Canada’s BPO story was one rarely discussed outside of domestic quarters.  However, the recognition that things are changing and that Canada now represents a renewed opportunity for nearshore and domestic outsourcing can only be positive. In fact, recent consolidation activity, highlighted by the acquisition of Minacs by Concentrix and the TeleTech buyout of Atelka, is good news for Canada’s outsourcing sector.

Going into the Sourcing Decisions 2017 conference, a logical point of discussion for those interested in Canadian outsourcing will obviously be where the country can provide unique points of value.  From a nearshore perspective, the exchange rate, which has returned to attractive levels for US vendors eager to leverage Canada’s cross-border commercial culture, is clearly a great selling point.  Equally, for those outsourcers aiming to penetrate Canada’s consumer market, the possibility of using home-based agents (a business model that has yet to be fully exploited in the Canadian context) is also very attractive.  More importantly, the chance to take advantage of the skilled and multilingual Canadian workforce across the country’s multiple urban centers will also be a matter of pressing interest for attendees.  And, what of Canada’s shifting digital landscape?  With Canadian consumers adopting new technologies at a rapid rate, how outsourcers navigate this disruption is a major point of debate.

The bottom line is that for all intents and purposes, Canada’s BPO industry has as much, if not more, potential than ever before. The issue for all outsourcing stakeholders in 2017 and beyond will be how best to take advantage of this burgeoning market.  Nearshore Americas is providing the forum for this debate.  It is now up to Canada’s outsourcing professionals to do the heavy lifting.