Will O2 contact centre staff really be better off with Capita and need TUPE be end of world?

Capita has taken over the management of O2’s customer services operation for the next ten years. The deal will include increased digitization of services.

O2 says it is responding to changing demand. For example it says it is taking 1 million less calls per month from O2 customers today than it did 2 years ago. I am an O2 customer myself and I have rarely used the phone. I find the web chat good, although there is sometimes something lost in a conversation.

O2 told me that jobs transferred to Capita will be guaranteed for two years. It also said that there will probably be more opportunity at Capita in two years’ time than there is in O2’s contact centre. Capita has a broad range of customers and might offer staff opportunities to develop other skills as well.

It might sound just like O2 is softening the blow for affected staff. But it does work out better for some when they transfer to an outsourcing provider from an in-house role. But only a small minority I think.

It reminded me of an interview I did with Bob Scott at Capgemini. Scott started working for British Coal in the 1980s. He got his mine manager certificate in 1987 and became a fully qualified mine engineer. Now he is the group marketing dircetor at Capgemini and has held many senior global roles.

In 1992 part of a mathematical modeling team at British Coal that was outsourced to hoskyns, which was later acquired by Capgemini. British Coal needed the skills but could not justify having it in-house because the mining industry was declining.

Read this blog post to see how Bob Scott’s career developed after he was outsourced.
This is obviously not common but it gives some hope for those being transferred.