Driving design excellence in outsourcing
No one can deny how successful the outsourcing industry in the Philippines has become over the years. From employment generator to economic driver, the industry is one of the most active business sectors in the country.
Moody’s Investors Service earlier reported that the country’s growth was expected to accelerate, in part because of the business process outsourcing industry, which accounts for 30 percent of the Philippines’ total export earnings.
While it is noteworthy that business process outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest-growing industries, with steady year-on-year revenue growth, business leaders should remember to leverage emerging technologies to further excel in the sector.
The design segment of the industry has so much room to grow. With about 8 percent of total BPO workers, design industries like engineering and animation have several opportunities to push and break barriers—especially with the advances in cloud computing.
Let’s put this into context: A client located in the United States will send his design concept to a designer in the Philippines. There is no design per se from the client—no 2D or 3D model—just a written description or a conceptual sketch. The designer will then develop a design based on the client’s description. There will be a series of changes and modifications to accurately capture the client’s objectives. Simply put, the geographical distance between the client and the designer affects the coordination protocols, collaboration process and the efficiency of the entire production. Sending e-mails is never enough.
With the cloud, designers now have access to almost infinite computing power that enables them to design, visualize and simulate their ideas more efficiently and accurately. In addition, cloud services may be employed to use high-performance 3D visual communication, simulation and collaboration that were once limited to organizations with privileged access to expensive, high-end supercomputing centers. We must note that not all outsourcing operations have deep pockets, thus one can think about investing in cloud-based services as a cost-saving business maneuver. The value of computing power is not limited to just accelerating design and reduces costs, though both are true. The value is that it can also extrapolate, mutate and mash up an infinite number of designs simultaneously.
One of the main benefits of cloud computing is the capacity to perform multiple jobs simultaneously and handle extremely large jobs, which will lead to better-engineered and -performing designs and, therefore, better products, buildings or infrastructure. For example, to do a single design rendering in the cloud, you can increase the speed by three to five times and achieve comparable image quality. Also, if you submit multiple renderings to the cloud service, studies show that the time savings increase exponentially.
It is perhaps due to the invention of the cellular phone that the definition of mobility has changed. The latest smartphones have 30,000 times more computing power than the original space shuttle. Several technological innovations have helped us improve the way we live and work. Time lost equals opportunity lost. So with the age of advanced mobility through the cloud, designers can now do their jobs whenever and wherever they may be. There is also the reduced stress level from not having to rush to the office to change or revise something for the client.
Autodesk recently introduced its 2013 Design and Creation Suites, which will enable designers in the engineering, manufacturing and entertainment segments to work and collaborate more efficiently. These suites connect the desktop to Autodesk 360, a cloud computing platform that enables customers to dramatically improve their performance by providing the ability to store, edit and share their designs and access virtually infinite computing power anytime, anywhere. This capability also provides a powerful and complete digital view of information and processes, combined with the ability to securely manage data, so that the right information is more accessible wherever and whenever it is needed. With Autodesk 360, design data are more easily accessible to both technical and nontechnical professionals within or outside the enterprise.
Autodesk customers have rendered 200,000 jobs with Autodesk 360, involving millions of core-hours of rendering computation. The company has had more than 2 million unique visitors to its cloud offerings since January of this year. In fact, one AutoCAD file is uploaded to the cloud every two seconds.
There is a huge window of opportunity for those willing to break through to the cloud. While the design outsourcing segment has grown steadily in the past years, the cloud can help further accelerate growth. With the abundant capabilities that the cloud provides designers, design-related outsourcing companies can move forward toward excellence.
Autodesk 360 provides the following: Combining the power and capability of Autodesk 360 with the enhanced workflows of Autodesk design suites gives customers a competitive edge to respond to changing business requirements.
(The author is Autodesk Philippines’ country manager).
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