Capita has confirmed that it is in talks with British Airways to take over some of its contact centre operations. The move would see two centres moving from the travel giant to the outsourcer.
Coverage in the mainstream media has inevitably focused on costs and made reference to the suggestion that BA’s outsourcing policy was responsible for the outage a couple of weeks ago. This explanation has proven contentious, as the idea that an enterprise could have suffered so badly from a power cut – what, someone kicked the plug out and grounded the entire airline around the world? We’d have put a battery of some sort in, just in case!
There will be ongoing discussions about what needs to happen to ensure there is never a repeat of the technology outage of a couple of weeks ago. One thing that certainly failed, however, was the communications operation. The probability is that people understand that technology fails from time to time; in the face of the Wannacry attack they understand it all too well. They will be frustrated and annoyed but if you give them a fair warning they will basically accept it; fail to communicate what’s going on, don’t get in touch at all, and they’ll be furious.
This is the role Capita will be fulfilling and at best there will be the opportunity to share best practice and ensure that even if there is a similar problem in the future, the communications underpinning the business will at least take the edge off the annoyance. Cost will undoubtedly come into it, but at its best this will be an outsourcing engagement sparked by a business issue and not the almighty dollar.