Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third-party service provider. Usually, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain its position in the marketplace. BPO is often divided into two categories: back office outsourcing, which includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing, and front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support.
BPO that is contracted outside a company's own country is sometimes called offshore outsourcing. BPO that is contracted to a company's neighboring country is sometimes called nearshore outsourcing, and BPO that is contracted within the company's own country is sometimes called onshore outsourcing.