Bo Zhou Financial Services Outsourcing in Hangzhou Is Like a Rainbow After the Rain

[Editor’s notes]
“The 9th International Conference on Information Technology for Financial Services” (ICITFS 2009), jointly hosted by People’s Municipal Government of Hangzhou, Zhejiang University, State Street Corporation and Insigma, ceremoniously opened at 9 o’clock AM on October 19th, 2009, at Zhejiang University. ICITFS 2009 is a distinguished international conference in the background of economic recovery trends. Professors and scholars from Zhejiang University, technical and business experts from State Street Corporation, leading international and China domestic financial firms and IT companies all came together to host seminars, workshops and discussions on the latest financial innovations, information technologies, and to exchange ideas on how the latest information technologies could contribute to the world’s financial industry.
Economic rebounds, how about the development of the financial information service industry? Bo ZHOU, the CEO of Insigma Hengtian Software Co., Ltd, a domestic financial service American outsourcing business leader, specifically illustrated the development and trend of financial services outsourcing in the current economic climate.

In financial crisis, government is a strong supporter for financial services outsourcing enterprises

As a service outsourcing company based city in China, Hangzhou not only has a strong industrial base, developed urban economy, and good investment environment, but also effective government support for the service outsourcing industry. Hangzhou Mayor Qi CAI said, “Hangzhou will use its own obvious advantages in software information and financial services industry to focus on the financial services outsourcing, to build up a delivery centers for international financial services outsourcing.” In addition to many well-known local service outsourcing enterprises such as Insigma, Alibaba, and Hundsun, Hangzhou has also attracted State Street, Microsoft, Intel and some other international companies to set up outsourcing centers, in what is regarded as “the most suitable city for developing high-end services outsourcing industry in China” by the chief analysts of Gartner, a famous research group based in the U.S.

Over the past year, despite the economic turbulence, Zhejiang Province and Hangzhou government has paid attention to and given strong support to financial services outsourcing. Guili TONG, the vice mayor of Hangzhou, has visited services various outsourcing companies several times in order to observe the situation of the outsourcing market and the difficulties they encountered, and to give her encouragement and support. In May 2009, the second International Outsourcing Business Development Annual Meeting (IOBD), organized by the Hangzhou Municipal Government and co-sponsored by Hangzhou Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, has discussed business policies and cooperation opportunities for the integration of global enterprises. ICITFS 2009 provides a perfect communication platform for financial services outsourcing enterprises in Hangzhou as well.

With the government’s strong support, we have always been optimistic about the bright future of the financial services outsourcing industry. In the face of challenges in the marketplace and slowdown of business development, we insist on an open, strategic perspective and avoid taking short-sighted policies, and we also focus on technological innovation, enhancing staff technical and professional knowledge training, and standardizing project management and internal operations processes. Just in this period, we have obtained ISO 27001 and CMMI certification. In the meantime, we have further increased marketing investment, such as organizing a number of new marketing teams.

Financial services outsourcing industry to get warm again after a cold spell

The current international economy is slowly becoming more stable. The financial services outsourcing industry, compared with last year, has had remarkable improvement. There are two main reasons: firstly, a large number of projects that become stagnant during the grim period of last year have been restarted. Secondly, the economic crisis has brought changes in business models, mainly focusing on strict cost control, in order to search for new needs and opportunities in the market. These factors have been driving the financial services outsourcing business to improvement, showing signs of recovery in the industry.

Business model innovation to inspire new impetus

Nowadays, business model innovation is an important way to obtain competitive advantage for services outsourcing enterprises, whether in or out of crisis.

From launching to a certain size, if enterprises want to reach a certain height and get rid of their own limitations, business model innovation is a necessity for seeking long-term development. Co-sourcing, one successful model, focuses on the basis of mutual trust. Outsourcing service providers and customers share risk and cost and focus on project supervision and management, product management, and applications together. In co-sourcing, the outsourcing service team and client integrate their own expertise in technology and professional knowledge to achieve complementary advantages and generate economies of scale and multiplier effects as well, so that it can control costs more effectively, improve efficiency and achieve win-win situations.

In addition, Chinese service outsourcing industry, by virtue of geography, can operate nearly 24 hours every day with their western counterparts, thereby enhancing work efficiency.

It is worth mentioning that China itself is a huge market. We can use our own marketing channels to assist clients in developing businesses in China, thus providing customers with more value-added services. This emerging business model achieves a win-win outcome between outsourcer and client.

Hangzhou, located south of Yangtze River Delta and adjacent to the international financial center Shanghai, is one of the most developed financial services industry cities in China. According to “Hangzhou Service Outsourcing Industry Development Strategy and Planning”, at present, Hangzhou is sparing no effort to build up an international financial services outsourcing delivery center.

We believe that financial services outsourcing industry in Hangzhou will have a brighter future!
October 19th, 2009