Written by:John Borillo
Published by: Magellan Solutions
The business processing industry in Asia remains to be optimistic in the past years despite the economic downturn happening across the world. This is because the industry continues to have a positive outlook. This outlook is also true in the Philippine contact center industry where it remains to be attractive even to many foreign clients. The country is hitting it big in the industry due to its rich potential workforce.The Philippines has been a part of the global outsourcing industry. A large percentage of BPO workers are into the contact center sub-sector. College graduates are attracted to find employment at contact centers due to the minimum qualifications. The monthly compensation of BPO employees is also very attractive. In fact, the average compensation in BPO sector is more than double as compared to the Philippine average wage. The compensation increases year after year, making the industry more progressive. The good thing is that the personnel recruitment in the BPO industry ensures hiring highly qualified individuals who can carry out the job well. That is why it is safe to say that this country has the best pool of BPO workers as compared to other countries.Filipino call center agents working in the Philippine BPO industry are not only proficient in English but are also diligent in doing their tasks. They are also known to be polite at work. Likewise, Filipinos have the ability to learn the ropes of the industry quicker as compared to others. The industry ensures that the workers can address the needs and requirements of their clients. This way, it is not surprising that this industry will continue to grow in this country.
The status of business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines
During the 2006 Workforce Development Summit, the Philippine government pointed that cyber services would be that one sector that could be key to providing more employment. Eight years later, it becomes a reality as the industry brings in a tens of thousands of jobs to Filipinos across the country. This industry offers various services including e-services, ICT, teleservices, and information technology outsourcing. All of these are connected to business process outsourcing. The Philippines contact center industry is one of the great contributors to the country’s gross domestic product. In fact, most jobs in the country were produced by the BPO industry.
Seventy percent of the workers in the BPO industry in the Philippines are connected to the contact center. Aside from the competitiveness of the workers, the BPO industry in the country is improving its key factors in order to become more competent against the leading BPO provider, India. Magellan Solutions is one of the BPO providers in the country offering different services including the following:
• Contact center – it offers outbound and in-bound voice operation services for the purposes of customer service, sales, technical supports and a lot more.
• Back office – the services are related to accounting and finance as well as human resource administration.
• Data transcription – this service interprets the oral dictation during legal proceedings, interpreting health professional’s dictation and other encoding services.
• Software development – this includes prototyping, analysis and design, customization, programming and testing, installation and maintenance, middleware and application software as well as education and training systems software.
• Engineering development – caters to engineering design for civil works and building components, electronics and ship building.
• Digital content – this BPO service helps in creating products in digital form like information, images and music.
What makes the Philippines more advantageous as compared to other countries is that its own government is supporting the BPO industry by forming the Information technology and E-Commerce Council or ITTEC. This is a very essential tool in developing the Philippines as an E-service hub. Thus, the demand for workers in the BPO industry rises in which the big part of the employment was intended for call centers in the Philippines. Presently, there are plenty of outsourcing firms in the country catering to foreign investors.
Philippine Call Center is using innovative applied technologies
Using innovative technological advances has made the industry of the call center in the Philippines more effective and efficient. A variety of software and hardware solutions is being used to make the job of call center agents more productive and much easier. The Interactive Voice Response, or the IVR, is an automated response system that is used in replying to customers. This device allows customers to use toll free numbers that reduces the call cost. It is also expected to increase productivity because it can be used 24/7. The system is programmed to respond in different languages thus enabling smooth communication.
Telemarketing agents are using the predictive dialer system that automatically dials the telephone numbers. It decreases the idle time thus increase the productivity of an agent. Likewise, contact center Philippines is also using voice over internet protocol (which is more commonly known as VOIP). It can be used in calling your loved ones through Yahoo! Messenger and Skype. Any call center is also using ubiquitous software that is known as CRM. It is used for customer service as it contains all the pertinent history of the customer in order to better understand and address issues effectively. Indeed, call centers are training their agents using these technologies. To ensure that the agents can effectively listen and speak to their customers, they are given career development training.
The flourishing business process outsourcing of the Philippines
The business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines is flourishing. The industry caters to different outsourcing services in various sectors including information technology, finance, business and many others. According to Ms. Gillian Virata of Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), healthcare outsourcing is expected to grow by 2016. Thousands of Filipino nurses are finding it hard to be booked for work overseas. Through the emergence of BPO industry and new call center in the Philippines, nurses were employed to tag insurance codes and do medical transcriptions. The industry is growing rapidly in such a way that it has the capability to serve the global market. The success of the outsource industry is credited to the flexibility of the business model.
Additionally, the Philippine government is predicting to increase revenues nearly to $15B by the year 2016 and this amount would be generated from call centers. Global industry giants have set up shop in the archipelago including Convergys and Accenture. Plus, more foreign companies are interested to start business in the country. Due to the increasing demand of workers in the call center Philippines, thousands of people are getting the chance to find jobs. This means that in the coming years, employment will continuously increase and revenue should go up as well. The good thing is that call centers in the country are starting to expand their market to other languages like Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Bahasa, Korean and Thai.
In an article written in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Roman Romulo said that for the next three years, BPO firms will add approximately 124,000 jobs. This means that more people will be employed thus unemployment statistics will be reduced. In the same manner, the government is supporting the industry by drafting a legislation called Data Privacy Act. This legislation requires all BPO companies in the Philippines including call centers to keep the confidentiality of the information collected from clients. It also obliges BPO firms to conform to the international privacy standards regarding security in order to attract other global companies to invest in the country.
Key factors for selecting the Philippines for outsourcing services
Foreign companies prefer the outsourcing services in the Philippines because it ensures service continuity. It is important to choose the right outsourcing provider that can give you continued services. The first thing to consider is the stability of the provider. Choose a vendor that does not only exist but can provide continued support. Check first the services offered and its track record. It is also important to check the credibility of the BPO provider that you want to get. Make sure that the vendor has the best knowledge in the services that are relevant to your business. The BPO industry in the country is maintaining its integrity of providing high quality services and ensuring the welfare of the clients.
There are many call center companies in the country and each of them has its own market services and unique forte. Different countries all over the world are outsourcing their business operations in the Philippines, trusting BPO companies in the Philippines. It is because the call centers in the country provide unique approach in giving outbound and inbound services. They ensure that their agents and support group are skillful and knowledgeable of what they are doing.
Likewise, the BPO industry of the country aims to provide excellent and world-class services and upholding global competitiveness. This way, a client can expect sustainable growth of business and good investment returns. Thus, it is necessary to know and understand the key factors in selecting the best BPO provider.
The stand of the business process outsourcing industry about the Cyber Crime Law
Many netizens were raging about the Republic Act 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Law. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines has expressed its stand about the provision that may restrict the freedom of speech. BPAP also concluded that the provision was inserted without considering the private sectors. BPO companies in the Philippines particularly the call centers are collecting traffic data and anytime they found out collecting malicious content, the government may sue them for cyber crime.
Additionally, the law may also cause the loss of trust from foreign investors. At the same time, it should also be a factor in losing the reputation it had acquired thus lose the huge number of companies investing in the outsourcing business in the country. Fortunately, BPAP gives assurance that the law was approved for the purpose of promoting the BPO industry and other businesses that depend on internet technology. This way, users’ data will be protected thus computer-related offenses will be avoided.
Considering outsourcing in the Philippines is a smart decision. It is because there are many reliable BPO firms which have the best staff who can help in carrying out certain tasks. Plenty of articles and news pieces were released dubbing the country as second top global outsourcing hub. This is one of the many reasons why foreign companies are outsourcing services in the country. The Philippines’ business process outsourcing industry is keeping its reputation on track and the industry is continuously growing as reflected with the revenues generated.
The Philippines has the edge over other countries offering outsourcing because aside from having excellent communication skills, Filipinos are also known for Western culture affinity. The government is also giving full support to BPO industry Philippines by improving the regulatory environment and utility infrastructure. Likewise, the government also provides non-fiscal and fiscal incentives to investors including exemptions from local taxes and permits.
Outsourcing in the Philippines also offers more opportunities as shown by the positive growth of the software services sector that is associated to the outsourcing sector. According to the Philippine Software Industry Association or PSIA, the employment rate has escalated and that means generating more revenues. The good thing about outsourcing in the country is that foreign investors can expect vast potential growth not only in the business but also in its workforce. By getting the various services of the competitive BPO companies in the country, investors can enjoy potential growth in application enhancement, support and remote infrastructure services as well as maintenance.
On the other hand, the industry should also pay attention to the challenges it will face in the future. Some of the issues that it should consider include the high electricity cost, high attrition rates and possible low hiring rates.
Likewise, the contact center sector should also level up the knowledge intensity ladder to ensure moving toward the so-called knowledge process outsourcing. This means that the industry should not only focus on hiring people with high English proficiency but also those who have specialized skills.
Business owners who want to start a new business or expand an existing one should consider this business strategy of outsourcing. It will not only reduce the costs but also increase productivity. Investors can expect that while they are sleeping, their business is progressing. Indeed, the BPO industry is a great help in resolving the lingering unemployment problem in the country. As long as the government will continue to support the industry and common issues are addressed well, we can ensure that BPO will flourish and expand.