How to Outsource Semantic Segmentation
Semantic Segmentation – what is it?
Semantic segmentation is the identification of each pixel present in an image by object type. For example, if in the image of a classroom, the objects that are present are a teacher, students, blackboard, chairs, tables, walls, ceiling, floor and windows, each pixel in the image will be allocated to one of these objects.
The range of this identification, or the set of objects from amongst which each pixel needs to be linked to one, will be based on the objective of the exercise. For example, in some cases, we may not need to distinguish between teachers and students and may classify both of them as ‘humans’ while in others we may need to classify them as different objects. In a third situation, we may need to identify male and female students separately.
We need to make a distinction here with the ‘object detection’ type of annotation where the purpose is to identify the objects which can often be achieved by placing a ‘bounding box’ around the object. Semantic segmentation need not identify the entire object as some parts can be hidden behind another object in a two-dimensional image. Whatever part is visible, each pixel in that part should be identified as such.
As can perhaps be guessed, semantic segmentation is mainly used in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Semantic segmentation solutions provide inputs into the training data sets that are used for training and building the knowledge of computer models based on which they eventually become AI engines.
Some common application of semantic segmentation:
- Autonomous Systems – Self-drive vehicles are fast becoming the most quoted example of AI application. Semantic segmentation solutions are often used for training models while developing algorithms for self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles.
- Medical Images – The process of doctors performing diagnostic and other procedures is greatly aided by computers trained on the human body through semantic segmentation.
- Geographical Data Analysis – Facilitates tasks like classifying land-use patterns through visual aerial images or identifying changes in patterns from one period to another.
How to Outsource Semantic Segmentation
While one could debate whether to outsource semantic segmentation or not, the issue seems fairly settled with more and more businesses with a need for semantic segmentation, outsourcing to a specialist provider. The reasons are many, from efficiency to access to trained resources to do this repetitive task to the ability to stay focused on one’s main business and not get distracted by non-core resource hungry activities. Hence, we will jump straight into the subject.
Collated below in an easy-to-follow tabular format is a set of criteria that can often make a difference between a successful semantic segmentation project and a not so successful one. These have been listed for the specific purpose of evaluation of partners for outsourcing your semantic segmentation services to. However, they can just as easily be used for the purpose of evaluation of your inhouse services too. The second column provides the reasons why that particular criteria is important. Provided in the third column is the capability of the oWorkers team against that particular criteria.
Quality of Output
Many business processes produce output that forms an input into the next process, hence precision and quality are important. If a business process is an orange juicer, a machine that peels an orange and squeezes the juice out, it expects an orange from the previous process. If, however, the previous process provides it with an apple, the entire sequence will come to a grinding halt as the machine equipped to squeeze juice out of an orange will not be able to do so on an apple. Hence, the ability to produce output of the right specifications is the bedrock of any partnership arrangement and any business process, often non-negotiable. Semantic segmentation services are no different.
oWorkers has a track record of over eight years of consistent delivery and growth. It works with clients who have choices. The continuing relationships and expanding engagements are a testimony to the high standards of delivery maintained by oWorkers that has continued to create value for clients.
Attrition is a fact of life for BPOs, and not necessarily always bad. Like they say in technical parlance, “it is a feature, not a bug.”
The effort of most BPOs is to hire resources inexpensively, perhaps resources who do not have advanced educational degrees or work experience. They then train them and make them fit for delivering on one of their engagements. What happens in the process is that a) the workforce is not yet committed to a full-time job and could find the going not to their liking and b) since compensation is low, the prospect of someone else offering a marginal increase could be lure enough for them to move.
Of course, this is a simplistic explanation. The reasons are myriad and could be very complex too. Suffice it to say, attrition is a common challenge faced by BPOs. The ability of a BPO to manage attrition more effectively than competitors can give it a huge advantage both in terms of knowledge retention as well as reducing the cost of hiring and training.
oWorkers is deeply entrenched in the communities it works in and is seen as a desirable employer by many people in the community. This results not only in a steady stream of interested candidates, but also employees being reluctant to leave once they have got the job they wanted, keeping our attrition rates well in control.
Our low attrition rates reduce our financial drain which is how we are able to offer extremely competitive pricing to our clients for our semantic segmentation services.
As a business owner, you would like to associate with partners who share your vision of the world and are forward-looking in a way that enables them to stay in step with happenings around the world and position their business for continuity.
Many businesses are global today. Many others want to go global. One fallout of this is the need to be able to handle communication with clients in different languages, as well as operate in many languages.
When you outsource Semantic segmentation, the provider having the capability to deliver in multiple languages is an added advantage. Otherwise, each time you wish to add a language, you will need to look for a provider all over again. You would rather spend your time doing business than looking for providers again and again.
With oWorkers, you get proficiency in 22 languages, and the list is growing even as you read this post. Whether you are a local business with ambitions to go global, or a business with a global footprint already in place, oWorkers is well positioned to handle your requirements in all common languages spoken around the world.
TAT (Turnaround Time)
Semantic Segmentation Solutions offered by providers can aid the efforts of a business to, in turn, provide a quick turnaround to their clients.
If today’s work can be completed overnight, so that the output is available to my business when we reopen the next morning, it is like someone having magically completed the work while we were asleep. It can be a huge plus.
It is oWorkers’ effort to complete your work fast. This enables us to do more for you which, as you might guess, is as much in our interest as it is on yours, since the more we do the more we earn. So, sleeping on the job is never our case, especially since we operate 24×7 facilities.
The nature of the business requires continuous hiring. Attrition is only one of the reasons. It also requires the ability to offer staffing for peaks and troughs to clients without billing them for peak requirements even in times of low volume. That is the nature of flexibility that can add significant value to a relationship. It may also require maintaining deep relationships with educational institutions, if the BPO normally hires resources either fresh out of high school or fresh out of college.
oWorkers starts with an advantage; of strategically having decided to operate with employed staff, and not freelancers or contractors. It gives us a great deal of predictability in the availability of resources allowing us to make commitments to clients. You get this advantage when you outsource semantic segmentation to us, as do all our clients.
oWorkers has been consistently rated above 4.6/5 on Glassdoor.
The data security protocol of the vendor should ensure watertight separation of digital spaces for processing. In a post-Covid scenario, the logical data security should cover the ‘work from home’ situation as well for semantic segmentation services.
In addition, physical spaces should also be segregated to which access is controlled.
Security and compliance are not choices for oWorkers. They are requirements, operating, as we do, from the Eurozone. We are GDPR compliant. We also offer physical segregation of processes through access control checkpoints.
There is perhaps a very good reason the BPO industry is also often referred to as
Information Technology Enables Services, or simply ITES.
It rides on the IT backbone. In fact, it can be said to have come into existence as a result of advancements in communications and software technologies that made it possible to take work to locations where the processing could be done in an inexpensive and efficient manner.
With its ISO/IEC 27001 certification, oWorkers is committed to following best practices in technology.
When you outsource semantic segmentation to us, with our three global centers, we are also well positioned to offer business continuity to clients in the event the primary delivery site is affected on account of local issues.
Of course the delivery team is the most important team in a BPO, as it works on delivering to client requirements and expectations and builds up skills that the company then showcases to other prospective clients to win more contracts.
Most progressive BPOs have a concept of a Quality team that is ‘external’ to the delivery team and keeps a check on the performance of the delivery team. In other words, the Quality team does not report to the delivery team. It is believed that by doing so its value would be compromised. It reports directly to senior management.
In a way, they play the ‘client’ role internally and are able to get things sorted before they become visible to the client.
oWorkers has a Quality Control (QC) process in place, carried out by a team of dedicated Quality Analysts (QAs).
QAs are often the most competent resources in a particular process and ensure their skills and knowledge are cascaded down to all agents through the coaching and monitoring process. The Quality team also acts as the ‘eyes and ears’ of senior management and keeps them updated.
Though a critical part of the evaluation process, it has been introduced at the end as there is a tendency to accord it attention at the expense of other parameters.
When you outsource Semantic Segmentation, this should be treated as one more variable to be considered, and not the most important one.
The other aspect to consider here is to be watchful of very low pricing. While beneficial to the outsourcer, if the pricing is unsustainable, it could lead to a premature termination of the contract, or the vendor cutting corners in delivery, both sub-optimal options.
With our transparent pricing, giving a choice to clients, oWorkers generates confidence amongst potential clients. Our growing client relationships also testify to our fair pricing. In addition, with control over attrition, clients don’t need to pay for any inefficiency.
Our clients from the US and Western Europe have advised cost savings upto 80% as compared to their pre-outsourcing costs.
The oWorkers Advantage
As a pure player in Data and Content services, oWorkers offers you the advantage of focus and specialisation in its semantic segmentation solutions. We are GDPR and ISO/IEC 27001 compliant and offer delivery from centers located in three global locations providing the benefit of business contingency in times of need.
Our leadership team has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry. We have been a trusted partner of several UNICORN marketplaces over the years. Our deep engagement with local communities enables us to ramp by a hundred people in just 48 hours.
When you partner with us, you also enable people from disadvantaged communities to enter the organised workforce and become a part of the global digital economy.
oWorkers, a partner of natural choice when you outsource Semantic Segmentation.