In lay man’s language, follow the sun simply means that your business is working 24 by 7.
This is most crucial for Call Centres / Contact Centres or what Ugandans proudly announce as BPOs.
There are 24 timezones in the world. The most successful companies have learned that their phones have to be answered by humans for 24 hours per day.
Here is where you should have paid attention to my article on Time Zones. http://www.theinsider.ug/world-time-zones/
No company can afford to have people in their country working 24hrs even if it is on rotation or shifts.
What companies do is group time zones and then set up a center in each time zone so that people work in their day time instead of having them half asleep at night time.
Uganda is in a very strategic place for this type of work because it is more or less central to Europe and can take some work from Asia and North America. However, the youth have to learn to read and write. There are many jobs which involve online chatting to solve customer problems. Imagine this, I am chatting with a Ugandan and they type in the chat window “hw r u mukyala?” or worse “gwe, nkuyambe ntya madam”. Meanwhile another one in Malaysia or Brazil chats “My name is Roberto. How may I help you Ms Martha”. Work on that English.
I am passionate about the English language because I know it can help you to get a job or not get one. Here is the article I previously published. http://www.theinsider.ug/unglish-is-not-an-international-language/
Now, for those companies which want to get work into Uganda, remember about Cloud storage and Cloud storage. You can check this previous article out too. We work in the could because that way the entire team can access what you were working on before you sign off. http://nangalama.blogspot.ca/search?q=cloud+storage
For BPOs to work for Uganda, they have to understand the concepts I just mentioned above.
Let me introduce another concept I have not touched on previously. TELEPHONY.
When you call the toll free numbers, the call hits the cloud then hits a destination. Most Telcos provide these services. You give them your toll free number and they program it requesting you to provide the drop off destination. Here is where Uganda needs to know that the local receiving numbers are not the ones which the customers dial.
There is also programming for telephony. We are allowed to schedule call reception depending on the time of day. For example, we can make 8:00am to 6:00pm drop into the Moncton, Canada centre, the next 8hrs drop in Malaysia. Then the next 8hrs return here because we are awake. This is following the sun, cloud storage and computing as well as cloud routing of calls. AT&T and Bell are really good at this. We get a drop off rate of the calls which less than 3% but the calls will get answered by someone who is fluent in whichever language we choose.
Remember also the solid Infrastructure that you must have in place to attract such work. Here is my previous article on that one. http://www.theinsider.ug/poor-infrastructure-contributes-to-unemployment-poverty/
Information you can use.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have an IT and business background. I never write about what I have not lived through. Job migrations, job outsourcing, telephony, etc… UGANDA has much to learn. I inform and educate. All my opinions are mine and mine alone.