Monday, 6 July 2009

Philippines has secured its place in outsourcing space, according to top BPO players

By MELVIN G. CALIMAG
Manila Bulletin
http://mb.com.ph/articles/209411/rp-has-secured-its-place-outsourcing-space-according-top-bpo-players

The global financial crisis may have slightly slowed the growth of the local outsourcing sector, but the outlook and actual activities happening on the ground continue to be robust and upbeat.

This was the consensus of industry players who attended the recent “State of the BPO Industry: Mid-Year Report” conference organized by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) in Makati City.

Though some of the forum participants acknowledged that the Philippines is still mired with image problems, a number of BPO executives said the country has firmly nailed its place among the outsourcing heavyweights.

“If a company does not offshore to the Philippines, then that company does not have an outsourcing strategy,” said Mike Henderson, vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific of Sykes, a call center operator.

Noshir Kaka, an outsourcing and off-shoring executive at consulting firm McKinsey, said the Philippines has undoubtedly taken its place among the outsourcing giants like India.

“Now, it’s not longer about India versus the Philippines. Rather, it’s India and the Philippines,” he said, adding that the two countries must endeavor to help each other in order to grow the global outsourcing market.

Neil Elias, country manager of outsourcing firm Logica, said the fourth quarter of 2008 was its best ever and that recent months were not that bad either.

During the forum, it was also mentioned the hiring rate for local talents is also said to have improved to 9-10 percent from 4-5 percent.

Convergys Philippines head Marife and Accenture Philippines country manager Beth Lui, who were part of the panel of reactors in the forum, said a number of technology trends and developments are pushing the growth of the BPO sector to new heights.

Zamora said the recent shift of the US from analog to digital TV would likely keep the lines of call center agents busy. Lui, whose company is focused on non-voice services, said Software as-a-Service would “change the ballgame” and that the Philippines would like play a major role in nurturing this trend.

UPS equipment supplier APC, however, said during a presentation that the red-hot growth of the BPO industry is also requiring a huge amount of energy. The company said it is important for local BPO companies to embark on data center assessment initiatives to help their businesses.

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