Phils Boosts its BPO Capabilities to Go Beyond Non

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Phils Boosts its BPO Capabilities to Go Beyond Non
JANUARY - MARCH 2009 • Vol. 3 - No. 1 • 16 pages • free
Phils Boosts its BPO Capabilities to
Go Beyond Non-Voice
EXECUTIVE
PROFILE p. 10
Charlie
Villaseñor,
TransProcure
Interview highlights:
The Only BPO
of its Kind
in the Phils
■ The e-Services Conference: The Phil BPO Industry
to Boom Despite Crisis p.2
• US$6 billion revenues reached in 2008
• Main sectors that contributed to growth: call centers,
back-end, IT, and engineering
• 74,000 graduates added to the workforce
• 20-30% projected growth for 2009
■ The Phils Boosts Its BPO Capabilities p.3
• The US$500 billion market potential, of which
the Philippines has only tapped US$90 billion
• The market dynamic that should put concerns about
cancelled accounts in proper perspective
• BPAP projects for 2009
■ Management Program Graduates its First Batch p.4
• The fast ascent of young BPO employees into team
leads who manage multimillion accounts
• Why experience on the field has to be augmented
and refined by education and training
• Skills and programs offered by a new
management leadership course in partnership with a
leading university
■ The ICT Awards Now on its 3rd Year p.4
• Categories for nomination of one of the industry’s
most awaited awards ceremonies
■ Mission 2009: Better Data for Better Results p.6
• The vital role that research plays in the achievement
of the objectives of the BPO-IT industry
■ Meet BPAP’s New External Relations Director p.6
• Martin Crisostomo is a veteran broadcast
journalist and holds the record as the youngest
Philippine Press Undersecretary.
■ Everest: Phil Poised To Emerge
as Non-Voice BPO Destination p. 6
• The Philippines’ offshore market has grown
by 46% since 2004
• The global BPO offshore market has addressable
opportunity of US$220-US$280 billion by 2012
• The Philippines: the second largest low-cost market
after India
• The global BPO offshore market has addressable
opportunity of US$220-US$280 billion by 2012
• The factors that will determine operational success
in the Philippines
■ ACPI Launches First Flash-Fiction
Scriptwriting Contest p.8
• The new literary genre that has captured the interest
of young creative Filipinos
■ Supply Management and Procurement p.9
• The new wave in outsourcing and how the Philippines
can play a bigger role in it
■ Cyber Corridor Extends to Next Wave Cities pp. 11
• Local government reps highlight their regions’ location,
talent pool, govt. incentives, and educational support
• The Philippine Next Wave city named among Asia’s Top
Ten Cities of the Future and the Top 5 with the Best
Human Resource
• Emerging Next Wave cities: Cagayan, General Santos,
Subic, Poro Point, and Legazpi City.
Seeking to spread its lead in
voice and customer service
to the other service lines
By Cora Llamas
“Given the global crisis, all bets are off.
What industries will help the economy?
This one is the one that is really driving
[Philippine economic] growth.”
So says Business Processing
Association of the Philippines (BPAP)
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Oscar
Sañez in response to the questions
being raised about the sustainability
and growth of the BPO-IT industry.
This concern persists in light of
the global economic crisis that has
devastated many other sectors around
the world, compelling some forecasters
to compare the situation to the Great
Depression of the 1920s.
There are reasons for optimism:
over US$6 billion in revenues in 2008,
372,000 working employees, and a
reasonable growth projection of 2025% [See related story on Phil BPO
Boom – Ed.]. Sañez adds that after
being a mere “speck in the Philippine
gross domestic product (GDP) of
about 2-3% in 2004,” the industry now
makes up 6% of GDP and is projected
to contribute to 8% to GDP by the end
of 2010.
More important, the inquiries
from potential locators and investors
keep coming. There are 20% more
investor inquires now than there were
last year. BPAP Industry Affairs Exec.
Dir. Jonathan de Luzuriaga says,
“We get at least one e-mail inquiry a
day. I got about 200 leads alone from
my participation in the NASSCOM
[India’s own BPO industry association]
conference in February.”
Approximately 35% of all inquiries
still come from the U.S. India takes
second place with 13% of inquiries
and Australia third at 9%. The rest
of the inquiries come from Korea,
China, Canada, Nicaragua, Malaysia,
Netherlands, Pakistan, and the U.K.
Turn to page 3
BPAP CEO Oscar Sañez speaks of the industry’s non-voice capabilities in the e-Services conference. Photo by Bong Mercado
e-Services: Phil BPO
to Boom Despite Crisis
“Business is going to be
tough, but the BPO-IT
industry will deliver,” said
BPAP CEO Oscar Sañez
By Lynda C. Corpuz
Photos by Bong Mercado
The BPO industry continues to
boom while global outsourcing is
adapting cost-cutting measures, said
Her Excellency, Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her
keynote conference address at the
e-Services
Philippines
Global
Sourcing Conference and Exhibition
held February 9–10, 2009 at the SMX
Convention Center, Mall of Asia.
Arroyo noted that from 2001, the
country had only 4,000 BPO workers,
a record that has now ballooned to
400,000. “BPO is a key economic
driver and continues to create jobs and
drive investments for the country,” she
said.
Turn to page 2
The ICT Awards Now on its 3rd Year
Its recognition of excellence
encourages best practices
and brands the Phils. as the
BPO Destination of Choice
By Cora Llamas
The Best BPO Company, Best New
Locator, Best Mid-Sized Company,
Fastest-Growing BPO, and Most
Innovative BPO in 2008—by the time
this edition sees print, the BPO firms that
can claim these distinctions would have
been announced by the ICT Awards,
one of the most prestigious and mostawaited events of the BPO-IT industry.
Now on its third year, the event,
set on March 26 at the InterContinental
Manila, is expected to grow in scope as
its organizers, the Canadian Chamber
of Commerce in the Philippines
(CanCham) and the Business Processing
Turn to page 4
Management
Program
Graduates its
First Batch
Formal education and
training will augment and
refine the experience that
young managers bring to
their sites
By Marla Silayan-Gonzalez
The
Business
Processing
Association of the Philippines (BPAP)
and the Ateneo Center for Continuing
Education (CCE) graduated its first
batch of participants to the BPO
industry-specific Leadership and
Management Development Program
on January 21, 2009. “We worked
together with the Ateneo CCE to
develop this program specifically for
our industry. We sat in on their classes
and chose which modules to include
and which to remove,” says Jamea
Garcia, BPAP Executive Director,
Talent Development.
Turn to page 4
BPA/P Stories
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Breakthroughs
e-Services Conference ...
Continuation from page 1
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
ERIC ALBERTO
FRED AYALA
KAREN BATUNGBACAL
beng coronel
grace dimaranan
miguel garcia
GIL GENIO
benedict hernandez
BETH LUI
BARRY MARSHALL
DAN REYES
myla rose reyes
OFFICERS
OSCAR SAñez
jonathan de luzuriaga
nette roselo
ATTY. BOB GUINTO
editorial
advisory board
manuel guillermo
marian santos- hernandez
JONATHAN DE LUZURIAGA
businessinfo inc.
ARMIE DUARTE
President
heinz bulos
Publisher
cora llamas
Editor in Chief
william dizon
Art Director
DONNA LARAGA
Executive Assistant
LYNDA CORPUZ
EVA GOYENA
MARLA SILAYAN-GONZALEZ
Contributing Writers
ROSELLE AGUILAR
WILLIE BICERA
ARTHUR FIDELSON
BONG MERCADO
Photographers
advertising contacts
nette roselo
Administrator
business processing
association of the philippines
9th Flr. The Palisades Condominium
107 perea St., Legaspi Vill., Makati City
Tel: 817-BPAP (2727) Fax: 817-8141
E-mail: [email protected]
PEACHIE G. CORTEZ
Operations Director
businessinfo Inc.
16th Flr. IJ3 Burgundy Corporate Tower
252 Sen Gil Puyat, Makati City
Tel: 856-4956 Fax: 856-4954
E-mail: [email protected]
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
From left to right: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo acknowledges that the BPO industry is a key economic driver.; Everest CEO Peter Bendor-Samuel;
The conference was also a venue for BPAP represented here by Info & Research Exec. Director Gigi Virata (farthest right) to meet potential locators interested in the Philippines.
Business Processing Association of the
Philippines (BPAP) Chief Executive Officer
Oscar Sañez reported that industry revenues
reached US$6 billion in 2008 from US$4.9
billion in 2007. The climb, however, was lower
than the 30% to 35% growth BPAP expected
in 2008. Sañez attributed this to some delayed
projects during the fourth quarter of last year,
as the global financial and economic crisis
started to sweep in. “But that is still a strong
growth. Not so many industries can show
that,” Sañez told reporters at a conference
sideline.
He further related in figures that the
voice segment or call centers added 65%
to the revenues, while the non-voice, like
back-office operations, contributed 17%; the
rest was from the IT and engineering design
sectors. Last year, the industry also added
74,000 talents to its workforce, Sañez added.
On the other hand, global research
and consulting firm Everest Group Chief
Executive Officer Peter Bendor-Samuel said
the Philippines will continue to be a top
outsourcing destination, due to the country’s
English-speaking workers. “There are many
low-cost locations out there but there aren’t
many with a large pool of English-speaking
talent,” Bendor-Samuel said.
He pointed out that even China and Brazil,
which are hyped as low-cost outsourcing
destinations, still have to compete with the
Philippines in terms of English fluency. This
language advantage is also favor the country
as the BPO industry expands into more
areas apart from call centers and softwarerelated services. “Future growth will largely
be in non-voice. Work involved will be
more industry-specific and in much more
complicated areas,” Bendor-Samuel said.
Diversification
While there is growth, the Philippines’ BPO
industry should also address other pressing
concerns.
Speaking from the conference sidelines,
Bendor-Samuel pointed out that labor
arbitrage is increasing annually, meaning, the
total cost becomes higher for outsourcers as
wage levels rise. “But the issue is sometimes
exaggerated,” he conceded, noting it is still
30% to 40% cheaper for firms to outsource,
with companies looking to migrate about
30% of their services offshore.
Diversifying is now the key for the local
BPO industry to rake in more revenues.
Bendor-Samuel said that the Philippines
and India are currently leading as low-cost
BPO destinations. “The pie is tremendously
bigger than what’s already been captured; the
question is really not about maintaining the
50% stake but growing this,” Bendor-Samuel
stressed.
The country should also try to provide
more non-voice and back-office services
like accounting, human resources, insurance,
procurement, and purchasing—functions
which are now also outsourced and are
potential areas that local firms should get
into, Bendor-Samuel said.
Integrated
Solutions
Technology
president John Romagna also suggested
that manufacturers and exporters could tap
BPOs to their advantage. They could, for
example, provide customized, value-added,
supply-chain re-engineering, both upstream
and downstream, for a particular customer
or supplier. He further noted that bundling
custom-made supply-chain services (including
source qualification, order placement, credit
facility, product inspection, packing, and
automatic invoicing and payment) is another
potential growth area for the Philippines
given its central location in the region.
Marketing to infrastructure
The Philippines also needs to be more
aggressive in attracting the rest of the world.
“(Because) the risks are low, talent is high,
and the government support is great,” BendorSamuel said.
In response, President Arroyo cited in
her keynote address that the government is
in full support of the BPO-IT industry. Her
administration is also optimistic that the local
outsourcing industry is in a good position
to take advantage of this global economic
slowdown, resulting in more outsourcing and
offshoring. “We meet today in interesting
times but, for the physically strong, this is a
time of opportunity,” she said.
The President added that the government
will further invest in programs like the PGMA
Training-for-Work Scholarship Program,
which was launched last year to train nearhires across the various BPO-IT sectors and
to promote the country’s Next Wave Cities—
an extension of the Philippine Cyber Corridor
extending the reach of BPO-IT hubs to key
locations in the country.
President Arroyo stressed that the country
must also further encourage the building
of telecom infrastructure to lower cost
of connectivity; create a supportive legal
environment through the Commission on
Information and Communications Technology
(CICT), and harness human capital to address
the sector’s requirements.
Nurturing more Filipino-owned BPO-IT
companies is another concern the country
should deal with—an effort India undertook,
encouraging more Indian firms to set up and
build the country’s own BPO-IT community,
Bendor-Samuel said. “Customers want a
different level of commitment. They want
a provider that truly understands the local
economy, culture, and which can garner
better government support in a more intimate
way than a multinational (provider) would,”
he pointed out.
Sañez said that since January, BPAP has
been busy accommodating inquiries from top
executives. “We are telling them that this is
the time to outsource,” he said. BPAP will also
strengthen its marketing efforts to further tap
the United States (which remains the biggest
market at 86%), Canada, and Australia.
Sañez added that BPAP is also
promoting its top five initiatives for
2009: to advance English proficiency
training, develop and implement a national
competency assessment program, conduct
more investment missions and conferences;
support the Office of the President’s
scholarship program for the BPO sector,
and institute a training program for future
industry managers and supervisors.
An additional BPAP initiative also aims
to consciously ensure the Philippine value
model is competitive, address cost drivers,
improve business processes, ensure that
quality standards are met and surpassed,
and create a business environment that
promotes Philippine competitiveness through
legislation and policy development.
BPAP is projecting 20% to 30% growth
for this year. “We are still on track wtih our
Roadmap 2010 targets,” Sañez, in relation to
BPAP’s target for the Philippines to capture
10% of the global market. “We are still poised
to deliver dramatic growth this year. It’s going
to be tough but this industry will deliver.” z
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
BPA/P Stories
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
The Phils Boosts Its BPO Capabilities ...
Continuation from page 1
Future diversification
Given that the entire global industry has
tapped only US$90 billion of the over-all
US$500 billion market potential, the pie
appears to be huge enough for every player.
Gigi Virata, BPAP Exec.Dir. for Info and
Research confirms, “It’s more than any
single country can fulfill. The Philippines
has a unique proposition to bring in more
BPO-IT business because of our language
skills, our customer-service orientation, our
trainability, our cost, our infrastructure, telco
competition – all of these advantages still
keep us competitive in the industry.” She
adds, “We are now providing more diversity
and scale in other fields of service and levels
of complexity.”
A report from the Everest Research
Institute has noted the Philippine potential in
capturing a greater part of the international
non-voice sector. It calls the Philippine
BPO-IT industry the “silent knight” and
predicts that the country could take a
greater lead in the future. In the report,
Everest makes the following observations:
the Philippines’ success in voice-based
BPO services has made the country the
second-largest low-cost destination after
India; current non-voice work from the
Philippines is concentrated in transactional
services such as finance and accounting;
large-scale non-voice delivery centers
can be established in the country; and
other complex non-voice services such as
legal and analytics can be delivered from
Philippine centers although on a smaller
scale.
Similar to the voice sector, the nonvoice BPO sector carries with it a huge
market potential of US$220-US$280 billion,
according to the Everest report. It also
predicts that non-voice and back-office
processes will eventually contribute 90% to
the over-all global BPO market.
BPAP Exec. Dir. de Luzuriaga (right) and Ashank Desai (left),
Mastek Chairman in the NASSCOM Conference in India
BPAP Projects in 2009
BPAP Industry Affairs Exec. Dir. Jonathan De Luzuriaga (2nd from left) with World Bank execs
Geographic diversity can also be a source
of growth. De Luzuriaga sayst, “We’ve
hardly explored other territories as we are
still in the traditional market like the U.S.,
U.K., and Australia. But there’s so much
demand for services in other countries such
as Africa which need web hosting services.
The Philippines can offer a very very good
rate at a highly proffessional standard for
these ypes of services.”
That there is such an untapped market and
the entire BPO industry is evolving should
allay crisis-related fears such as redundancy.
De Luzuriaga continues, using the above
example, “How redundant can you get if you
have a presence in Asia and are operating in
Africa?”
Sañez says that a broader view of market
dynamics would put concerns about cancelled
accounts and their consequent loss of revenue
in their proper perspsective: “There’s always
turnover and movement in the industry. Some
people may call it lay-offs, but they are turnovers; there are new jobs and there are new
movements. A company may close, but you
can move to another branch or another call
center in the same industry.
“Even banks that have announced they
are eliminating thousands of jobs will have
to make their own worldwide decision to
restructure. For example, they would close
some services and geographies, consolidate
them as part of their objective to recruit
a certain number of employees, and send
some of their accounts here. Many of these
banks such as Citibank, J.P.Morgan Chase,
and HSBC are expanding or looking to
expand in the Philippines.”
Sañez adds, “The other day we closed
a deal from somebody in Singapore. That
company concluded that if they move here
overnight, they save hundreds of thousands
in revenues. The only question they are
raising is: how fast can we do it? They asked
if they can recruit this number of people
and be operational in two months. They’re
under pressure from their shareholders and
employees to survive in this kind of crisis.”
De Luzuriaga adds, “Our flexibility, by
which we can draft a specific plan and move
logically according to current scenarios, is
what makes our industry strong.” z
The lobbying of the following bills in
government:
• Data Privacy Bill
• DICT Bill
• Omnibus Labor Code Amendment
• Fiscal Incentives Rationalization
• Work-Hours Flextime and Holiday
Economics Issue
Planned marketing missions
to the following countries:
• Australia
• Singapore
• London, U.K.
• Toronto, Canada
• U.S. (New York, Texas, Chicago,
California, Florida)
Publications:
• O&O Directory Philippines 2009
launch
• Next Wave Cities 2009 Journal
CEO Forums/Events:
• Talent Supply & Demand
for the BPO-IT Industry
• Mid-Year Industry Performance and
Outlook
• BPO Summit
BAYANTEL AD
www.bpap.org
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
BPA/P Stories
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Breakthroughs
Management Program Graduates ...
From l-r: BPAP CEO Oscar Sañez; Ateneo CCE’s Program Director Jet Magsaysay (5th from the left, last row) and Maersk Managing Director Erik Nielsen (3rd
from the left, last row) with the 25 Maersk employees who graduated the BPAP-Ateneo Middle Management Program (LMDP) on January 21, 2009.
The industry finds itself peopled by very
young managers. If an agent excels at work
and is able to produce the needed numbers,
promotion is not far behind. Unlike other
industries where there is the luxury of time to
train in all aspects of management, the BPO
industry has team leaders with work experience
as short as six months into their employment.
“Agents can be as young as 18 years old as
long as they have completed second-year
college. Some have been promoted as fast as 6
months into their tenure. They are able to lead
a team of 10–15 agents by age 22,” says Eric
Concepcion, Human Resources Regional VP
of Teleperformance.
Aside from the speed at which leaders
are promoted, they also have to contend with
the sheer number of people under their wing.
The growth of the industry, at an average of
over 40% annually for the past 4 years, has
companies constantly in search of people to
hire. Together with rank and file is also the
seeing the need to develop leaders who can
harness the potential of their people. “In less
than a year they can be team leaders, then
senior supervisors or assistant managers.
Some have been promoted in one-and-a-half
to two years with 6–8 supervisors under them.
In another 1 to 2 years, they can be promoted
as managers with 3–5 assistant managers.
At age 25–26, they are in charge of their
own programs and sometimes in charge of
multimillion accounts,” says Concepcion.
Skills beyond BPO experience
Most of the time, the leaders are promoted
based on their ability to produce the numbers.
They also possess great technical skills and
know their products very well. “The person
with the best metrics is usually the one who
gets promoted,” says Garcia. Based on the
numbers given previously, a person may be in
charge of 180 agents by the time he turns 25
years old.
While the kind of worker described above
may be congratulated for having reached such
a high position so early in life, the problem
lies in his dealing with people. It is people
that make up the support system needed to
produce the numbers to climb up the corporate
ladder. Unfortunately that young manager’s
lack of experience in dealing with people may
be the stumbling block in his career growth.
“A good leader is one who is able to manage
people—who knows his people and is able
to harness their strength; is able to motivate
and discipline when needed,” says Garcia.
Given the lack of time to develop these skills
in potential leaders, it is important that they
undergo training.
Age does come into play when the young
manager deals with his or her team. First, he
or she may have agents who are just as young
and inexperienced. Second, the manager may
also have agents who are twice his or her age
with greater experience in problem solving
and hence who might question the manager’s
decisions. This mix lies like an undercurrent
in the manager’s daily dealings with the team
when discussing concerns such as absenteeism
or the discipline of peers who were once
colleagues as agents or seniors in age and
professional experience.
The Ateneo-CCE–BPAP management
program has been designed to equip the young
BPO manager. Aside from the first-level basic
supervisory course targeted to newly promoted
leaders, a diploma in BPO Leadership +
Management Development Program (LMDP)
has been developed. This diploma can be
credited as a six-unit elective toward an MBA
from Ateneo. The basic supervisory program
is a 4-day course, while the LMDP is a 3–4
month course with twice-weekly meetings.
The LMDP schedule enables enrollees to
keeping working at their jobs and to study
case studies peculiar to the BPO industry. To
The ICT Awards ...
Association of the Philippines, (BPAP) lay
the groundwork for the future. CanCham is a
non-profit organization that promotes business
between Canada and the Philippines for the
benefit of its members.
The two associations recently signed
an agreement that confirms their intent to
strengthen and promote the success of the
Philippines’ BPO industry on the global
stage. In highlighting industry successes and
excellence, the event’s ultimate goal is to brand
the Philippines as the world’s BPO Destination
of Choice.
“It is about getting the word out about the
Philippines and its BPO industry,” says Sean
Georget, CanCham’s Executive Director.
“This award will not just benefit the winners
but everyone that is involved. The whole idea
behind it is to promote the industry.”
Many players in the industry certainly have
aligned with this vision. An average of 150
companies submitting their nominations for the
8 awards which are, namely, BPO Company
of the Year, Best New BPO Locator of the
Year, Best Mid-Sized BPO Company of the
Year, Best BPO Employer of the Year, FastestGrowing BPO Company of the Year, Most
Innovative BPO Company of the Year, ICT
Individual Contributor of the Year, and MultiSourcing Company of the Year. CanCham
receives 10–15 nominations for each award.
Internal and external
Georget adds that in the past three years,
the event had an average of 400 attendees
a year, some of them potential clients who
were considering the Philippines as a place
to set up shop. Other expatriates from foreign
corporations who attend out of curiosity or at
the invitation of a Filipino colleague leave with
some of their perceptions of the country and its
industries radically changed for the better.
Georget says, “Some European or Canadian
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
companies still think of the Philippines as they
would of developing countries. They still
ask if the necessary infrastructure is in place
for their businesses to thrive. Some of them
automatically associate the country with
certain images such as caregivers. But in
attending the awards night, they immediately
see the players, the potentials of the industry,
and the support sectors that are in place.
We’ve had as members of our audience
international players who came from the US
and worked around their hectic schedules so
they could attend.”
BPAP CEO Oscar Sañez agrees,
“Externally, the ICT Awards is able to
showcase the local capability and excellence
to the rest of the world. This then serves the
purpose of becoming a badge of performance
in order to help build trust and credibility for
the Philippines in the global market.”
Individual companies who have won their
own badges of honor can capitalize on them to
expand their market reach. Georget points out,
“When you’re marketing your organization to
North America or Europe, you can promote
the fact that you’re a finalist. It gives you
credibility because the event is co-organized by
an industry organization which is BPAP, and a
non-industry-related business organization
which is CanCham.”
BPAP Industry Affairs Director Jonathan
de Luzuriaga seconds this with feedback
from the industry players, “A great number
of former awardees, including those who
were just nominated, leverage their awards to
highlight their achievements. We’ve been told
that this distinction is even being used for their
client presentations as well as advertising and
marketing initiatives. The credibility of the ICT
Awards has never been questioned which puts
a premium on the nominations.”
Sañez enthuses that the awards likewise
sets the bar for the local setting. He says, “It
Continuation from page 1
ensure each participant gets maximum benefit
from the course class size is limited to 20–25
participants each run.
BPAP created this program to help the
industry control attrition. Although big
corporations may have their own management
development programs in place, some of
the small and medium companies may not
have similar programs for their leadership
development efforts. “One of our problems
is attrition,” says Garcia. “This is one way
to control attrition of the industry—people
leave because of poor management. If leaders
are equipped with the skills to motivate their
people, attrition would lessen and goals and
targets would be met.”
She adds, “The Ateneo course is just the
beginning. We are open to developing other
programs with other educational institutions
to boost the industry. The strength of the
industry is in our people.”
This program is divided into three modules
each addressing particular managerial skills.
Module 1 covers Appreciating Financial
Statements, Problem Solving and Decision
Making, and Macroeconomics, giving the
participants an overview of the big picture and
the opportunity to see how decisions affect
the bottom line. Module 2 covers People
Management for Competitive Advantage
and Project Management. Module 3 covers
Business Ethics, Strategic Thinking, and
Leadership and Change. These skills, coupled
with technical knowledge, help develop
highly effective managers for the industry.
BPOs which send their leaders to attend the
program send a positive signal to their present
and future leaders, affirming their confidence
in their skills and leadership potentials. Garcia
says, “This would inspire people to stay
loyal to the company and encourage them to
consider this industry their career.” z
For registration and more information
regarding this program, please call
(02) 830-2050.
Continuation from page 1
Signing the MOA that will ensure the continuation of the ICT Awards for the next three years (from l-r): Jonathan de Luzuriaga,
BPAP Industry Affairs Exec. Director; Oscar ������������������������������������������������������������������������������
Sañez�������������������������������������������������������������������������
, BPAP CEO; Richard Mills, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President; and
Sean Georget, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
promotes best practices and provides an avenue
for recognizing significant gains in the industry
thereby encouraging local players to achieve
the highest levels of performance.” It’s not just
the players and the industry practitioners who
take note, he adds, as potential recruits who
have heard of the ICT Awards may be more
inclined to join the nominees and the winners.
Sañez says, “Interestingly, one of the best
applications of the ICT Awards have been in
the company’s recruitment efforts as a way of
establishing presence and branding in order to
achieve positive ratings in over-all perceptions
from campuses and students.”
Yet, following a time-honored principle
honored by most successful establishments,
the ICT Awards will not sit on its laurels.
Categories will be added or refined in response
to developments in the industry. The MultiSourcing BPO Company of the Year is a new
one and was created for this year’s event to
recognize companies who focus on several areas
of service. Georget hints that more categories,
such as the Corporate Social Responsibility of
the Year Award, are in the pipeline.
De Luzuriaga confirms, “The ICT Awards
committee is constantly studying the awards
that are being given out. The inclusion of
the Multi-Sourcer of the Year Award is an
indication that there is a conscious effort on
the part of the committee to look at industry
trends and new areas of engagement that
would eventually influence the health of the
industry. We will continue to add more awards
that would harp on achievements in segments
like quality assurance and productivity.”
While seconding that the ICT Awards
will continue to “become bigger and better,”
Georget stresses that “it’s not about the bells
and whistles. It’s about promoting success in
the Philippine BPO industry at a key time when
developed economies have hit a wall and are
looking to reduce costs—and outsourcing is a
viable way to do it without closing down.” z
www.bpap.org
BPA/P Updates
Breakthroughs
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
From the CEO Desk
By OSCAR SAñez
Swimming against the Tide
A
s the effects of the global downturn
begin to be felt in various industries
starting with the manufacturing export
sector and the foreign remittances, the
nation’s attention is drawn toward the single
industry that continues to submit positive
growth numbers in the light of negative or
flat projections from most sectors of the
economy. As the often-quoted article in the
Philippine Daily Inquirer aptly described
this situation, “BPO: A shining light in a sea
of doom.”
Many people actually agree with our
forecasts. The only exception would be
a few economists who are of the wrong
assumption that the global offshoring market
is mature and saturated. If this market was
indeed mature, I can understand if some
economists would think that a downturn in
U.S. banks and financial institutions would
have a direct relationship with the finance
and accounting outsourcing (FAO) business
here.
But we all know that BPO is far from
the saturation stage. We are in fact, still
very much in the early stages of growth.
Estimates given by Everest Consulting
indicated a market size of US$89–$92
billion in 2008, growing at about 27% a year.
With global potential at US$220 billion by
2012, this means that the Philippines can
hit a minimum of US$14 billion by 2012
if we just maintain market share or reach
US$22 billion if we grow market share to
10%.
To put it more squarely, the global crisis
is putting more pressure on CEOs and CFOs
to accelerate their global restructuring plans
to pick up a few margin points and survive
this global storm. The offshoring option is
definitely being considered, present in about
8 out of 10 CEO short lists of ideas in a
recent survey by AMR, and one they’d like
to accelerate since this is considered a lowhanging fruit. The flurry of investor meetings
in the first quarter of the year should be an
indication of positive growth prospects, not
to mention the already announced expansion
plans of current locators whether these are
service providers or captive centres.
If we take all this into consideration, the
BPAP pronouncement of 20%–30% growth
estimate this year is actually even quite
conservative. z
The Insider
By Jonathan De Luzuriaga
BPAP Executive Director for Industry Affairs
I
Filipino Qualities as
Competitive Edge in this Crisis
t has been said that the times that we live
in are “historical,” comparable to the oftencited Great Depression or the First and Second
World Wars which redefined the alignment of
nations and restructured entire economies and
eventually charted the course that the world
would take for the next few decades.
Over and over again, we have heard from
clients, partners, colleagues, and media—with
almost everyone we have brushed shoulders
with—that the world has changed in such a
dramatic and drastic faction that its ultimate
incarnation may be unrecognizable once the
smoke has cleared.
However, it is also best and encouraging
for us to remember that after those great crises,
the world flourished. New industries arose, new
technologies were invented, and new markets
emerged, until finally the struggles of the
preceding crises were happily forgotten as
people enjoyed the flood of prosperity.
I am happy to say that we in the BPO-IT
industry enjoy an advantage over most sectors,
and the Philippines in particular finds itself at
a pivotal point in the global arena where it has
not only taken a strategic position, but where
it can take the reins as a leader and influencer.
This is something that I’ve realized in my recent
travels to Korea, China, Singapore, and India.
Bottomline, the BPO-IT industry will continue
to grow for the next 10 years. Bottomline, the
Philippines maintains and will continue to
maintain a dominant position in this industry.
However, I do suggest that we not rest
on our laurels, given the emergence of other
players hungry for their own share of the
outsourcing pie.
Attitude, not skills
And therein is the paradox that we in the industry
find ourselves in. First, I maintain that the
aforementioned outsourcing pie, which offers
an immense potential of US$500 in revenues, is
abundant enough for everyone that competition
need not be cut-throat and that cooperation is
possible. Second, that development of new skills
and the adaptation of nascent technologies should
still keep us driven and hungry in our own way.
It is a time for courageous optimism.
Optimism, because the new frontier is out
there waiting to be taken, and courage,
because we still need to buckle down, do some
www.bpap.org
PLDT AD
serious work, and yes constantly assess the
quality of our work and our manpower and the
robustness of our individual companies.
One of the core strengths that we in the
Philippine industry can capitalize on is a trait
that is endemic and probably unique to the
Filipino. Much has been said of our English
skills. That, indeed, is a strength we can be proud
of. However, skill by definition is an ability that
others, like our competitors, can develop.
Attitude is something that is far more
difficult to emulate, because it is embedded
deeply in culture, seeded by history, and
nurtured over a long span of time.
The one quality that our clients have
treasured in the Filipino BPO worker, and
which they are hard-pressed to find anywhere
else, is our customer-service orientation. The
average Filipino BPO-IT worker, especially
those in the voice sector, genuinely want to
serve their clients and are more than willing
to go the extra mile. And, may I add, they can
weather the harshest demands with a smile that
turns an irate customer into a happy, long-lasting
one. That kind of sunny service comes from
within and would be difficult to duplicate.
Another related quality is the legendary
Filipino resilience. This is something that we
as a people laugh at among ourselves as an
inside joke, yet ironically it is an emotional
and spiritual resource that we have not yet fully
valued or capitalized on. Volcanic eruptions,
coup d’états, earthquakes, storm signal #4
typhoons, political crises, name it and we’ve
endured it—and we are still standing.
Poverty does not faze us; the threat of an
impending job loss would not drive us to suicide.
The notion of tightening our belt and giving up
on small luxuries (or even the big ones) would
not drive us to despair. Should the worst hit, we
can rest easy knowing that family (and God,
for some) will be there to support us not just
in terms of resource, but in terms of emotional
encouragement and fortitude.
Like our own indigenous bamboo, we
sway with the onrushing wind, just ride its
angry assaults and then gently bounce back to
retain our position.
These indeed are historical times, and our
customer-service orientation and ingrained
resilience (among others) will sustain us until
the breaking of dawn. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
BPA/P Updates
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Mission 2009: Better
Data for Better Results
Breakthroughs
Welcome BPAP’s New
External Relations
Executive Director
Data quality from industry associations
has never been better
By Gigi Virata
BPAP Executive Director for Information and Research
B
etween Christmas and the e-Services
conference, representative research
geeks of BPAP and its member associations,
in the company of fellow data-crunchers
in government, convened in the BPAP
presentation room. On the screen were
previous years’ results by sector. The blanks
for 2008 employment and revenue results
were in turn filled by association reps. As
the new numbers appeared on the screen,
sector heads described in detail recently
improved data-gathering methods and
assumptions. A debate broke out on how
much more precise and comprehensive
the data could and should be in a perfect
statistical world, how far we were from that
state, and what we were doing to get there.
The associations have truly evolved in
terms of data-gathering and analysis. Most
have run surveys among their members and
have reviewed, mostly revising, previous
assumptions. The data Oca presented at
the e-Services conference have never
been more meticulously compiled and
scrutinized by the industry; signs are, the
data will only get better.
Needed: greater response
But greater efforts by researchers won’t
produce better data—only a greater response
to our efforts can do that. Be forewarned
therefore that even more surveys will more
pester you this year. Your responses will be
vital in efforts to accurately measure the
many facets of our industry and will help
analysts, executives, and officials better
understand the issues that affect us. Solid
information gives us the ammunition to
deal with growing uncertainties.
In 2009, the associations are expected
to revalidate the profiles of their respective
sectors as well as hold periodic surveys to
watch for trends and red flags. BPAP, with
Outsource2Philippines and TeamAsia,
for example, is planning five periodic
surveys this year on issues affecting
the industry and to systematically take
industry’s “temperature.” We are also in
discussions with partners for a study on
the socioeconomic effect of the industry
on the country and, resources permitting,
studies on the perception of markets on
the Philippines in terms of business risks.
Government agencies and ICT councils are
already busily gathering data to help spread
BPO operations even more widely. Some
members have also suggested that a road
map for beyond 2010 be started this year.
Research is not a priority. More
important to us is finding and honing more
people for the industry, spreading the word
about us to clients, and making and keeping
us more efficient and competitive. But
without good data, achieving our goals is
left to little more than whim, chance, and
bravado. So, when you get a questionnaire
from us or your other industry associations,
we hope you’ll just keep on telling us how
you are and what we need to know to get us
all where we want to go. z
Martin Crisostomo (4th from left) at the Jan. GMM with (from l-r): Ralph Sarmiento and Chay Mondejar-Saputil from
Microsoft Phils, BPAP Administrator Nette Roselo, and BPAP Talent Dev. Exec. Dir. Jamea Garcia.
M
artin Crisostomo joined the BPAP
Power Team last January with more
than 12 years experience in media, public
relations, and government affairs under his
belt. One of his accomplishments was his
being the youngest Press Undersecretary, an
office he held until December 2008. Prior
to that, he immersed himself in government
service for five years in the Office of the
Press Secretary.
Mr. Crisostomo also has extensive
experience on the other side of the
fence:
journalism. He steadily rose
up the broadcasting ranks starting
as writer, reporter, newscaster, and
eventually producer in networks RPN-9
and ABS-CBN.
As BPAP’s new Executive Director
for External Relations, Mr. Crisostomo
is in charge of the association’s external
communications, including road shows,
all media campaigns, the management of
messages, and the upkeep and maintenance
of the BPAP Web site.
He will also oversee interactions
with all government entities including
articulating key policy positions for the
sector, drawing input from BPAP members
and partners, and presenting the industry’s
concerns to national government policymaking bodies.
Mr. Crisostomo has an MBA from the
Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. He
graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree
in social sciences and communication arts
from the Ateneo de Manila University. z
Talent Development Remains
A Top Priority for 2009
Scholarship programs, management courses, and career caravans will ensure the constant supply of talent
By Jamea Garcia
BPAP Executive Director for Talent Development
T
alent is one of the most important
drivers of growth for the BPO-IT
industry. Thus, talent development remains
a top priority for BPAP.
BPAP continues to work with
government, academe, and industry players
to ensure that the country will have a
sustainable supply of qualified talent to
meet the growing demand of the industry.
In 2008, through the PGMA Training for
Work Scholarship (PGMA-TWSP) Program,
BPAP was able to distribute training
scholarships to over 40,000 individuals.
Over 30,000 scholars have already graduated
from the various training programs and 67%
of these graduates are now employed in the
BPO-IT industry. This means an additional
22,000 BPO-IT workers.
For 2009, the training-for-work
scholarship program will continue through
the Pangulong Gloria Scholarships (PGS).
BPAP will continue to manage the program
for the BPO-IT industry. The PGS has been
expanded to include a training support fund
for the scholars.
BPAP has also developed an English
communications course for tertiary-level
students—the Advanced English Proficiency
Training Program ( ADEPT). This program
focuses on developing near-hire and hiringlevel competencies in English, so that
graduates can be immediately employable
in the BPO-IT industry.
The initial pilot of ADEPT resulted in
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
a marked increase in the suitability level
of the students who joined the program.
Forty to fifty percent of students who
completed the ADEPT class were assessed
to be immediately hireable by the call center
partners (compared with the current 5% to
10% hiring rate).
The ADEPT program is now being
implemented (on a pilot run) in 10 partner
universities. We hope that we will be able to
replicate the results in the initial pilot.
Management programs and career
caravans
Aside from entry-level talent, BPAP
is also focused on developing mid-level
managers. We have partnered with the
Ateneo Graduate School of Business in
designing an executive leadership and
management program for BPO—the
Diploma in Business Process Outsourcing.
The first batch graduated last January 25,
2009 (please refer to Front Page article on
this for the details).
The BPAP Talent Development Team
is also working on a number of activities to
increase the awareness on career opportunities
in BPO-IT. The BPAP Career Caravan, for
example, will be travelling to the 10 Next
Wave Cities throughout the year, visiting its
first city in March. The caravan includes a job
fair, exhibit, and demonstration area for BPOIT companies. It will also feature career talks,
industry overview, focus group discussions,
and a lot more. z
The scholarship program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has graduated more than 30,000 potential employees.
L-r: Marissa Legaspi, Dept. of Labor and Employment; Mila
Hernandez, Technical Educational Skills Dev. Authority (TESDA)
Deputy Dir.-Gen; Charlyn Justimbaste, BPAP; and BPAP Exec. Dir.
for Talent Dev. Jamea Garcia.
Ms. Garcia with TESDA Director-General. Augusto Syjuco
BPAP Exec. Dir. For
Talent Dev. Jamea
Garcia (middle) with
Charlyn Justimbaste,
staffer (1st from left)
and Trish Abejo,
Chief of Staff, Office
of the Secretary
(1st from right) from
the Commission
on Information
Communications
Technology.
www.bpap.org
NETTE AD
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Industry Report
Breakthroughs
ACPI Launches First Flash Fiction
Scriptwriting Contest
The Animation Council of the
Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), in
cooperation with the UNESCO
National
Commission
of
the Philippines (UNACOM),
proudly announces the first
nationwide animated flash fiction
scriptwriting contest as part of
its active campaign in producing
original Filipino content in
animation that’s grounded on the
country’s rich cultural heritage.
With the immense popularity of
animated films and cartoons among the
young generation, not to mention adults,
animation has become an effective tool
in raising awareness and educating
the public about Philippine traditions,
history, and culture. However, there is
a dearth of Philippine culture–centered
animation. Foreign productions have
been dominating the movie houses and
taking over the boob tube.
As the world progresses with
developments
in
information
communication technology, the world of
creative writing keeps up with the fastpaced lifestyle of people and joins the
bandwagon of instant creations through
instant storytelling. A new trend of shortstory writing has been introduced to the
literary world known as flash fiction,
which is defined as a very short story that
ranges from 100 to 1000 words, and can
be written or read in one sitting.
ACPI uses this emerging genre of flash
fiction by transforming and developing
these stories into a script for a short
animated feature project that centers on
and promotes cultural diversity, as well as
encourages the development of original
Filipino content in animation.
The competition is open to Filipino
citizens of all ages. The entry must be
good for a 5-minute story (average of
PSIA Shows a
Unified Front for
the 2009 e-Services
The Philippine Software
Industry Association (PSIA)
will implement a more
aggressive
international
marketing plan this year, as
seen at the 9th e-Services
Global
Outsourcing
Conference and Exhibition
last February 9, 2009.
“PSIA is keen on making the eServices a showcase of the exciting
growth of the Philippine software
sector,” says PSIA President Ma.
Cristina “Beng” Coronel. “It links the
country’s best and brightest players in
IT and outsourcing with some of our
biggest export markets.”
Despite the current economic
slowdown, PSIA is confident that
the Philippine software outsourcing
industry will continue to thrive.
While Gartner research cites that the
outsourcing industry in its entirety is
not immune to the ripple effects of the
widespread economic volatility, it also
says that in this economic downturn,
cost will trump value considerations.
“Outsourcing will be adopted by
more organizations to help them work
through financial and competitive
challenges,” says Allie Young, VP and
distinguished analyst at Gartner. “The
well-educated buyer and provider will
have the advantage. The potential for
outsourcing to address immediate
cost pressures as well as long-term
recovery goals will be unprecedented.
However, only organizations that
are diligent about understanding and
avoiding the pitfalls of cost-focused
outsourcing and that apply business-
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
outcome-focused outsourcing will be
successful.”
According to PSIA’s Director
of International Marketing Winston
Damarillo, “The Philippines has
an abundance of great engineering
talent for software development.
It is important that we are able to
communicate this to the global
markets. The 9th e-Services kicks off
this plan for aggressive marketing for
PSIA throughout 2009.”
PSIA gears up for a big year as it
aims to give itself the distinct image
and global marketing presence to
be the world’s best pick in software
outsourcing. It recognizes its need
to create a clearcut image to jolt the
marketing conventions of selling
Philippine software companies to the
world.
Since 1988, PSIA has been
working with the government,
academe, private sector, and other
concerned stakeholders to further
the objectives of its 140-strong
membership in line with its goal to
make the Philippines competitive in
the software development services
market worldwide.
“PSIA recognizes the tough
competition that the global outsourcing
market faces this year, so we are bent
on showing the world that Filipino
talents and software prodigies are more
than providing serious competitive
business,” says Salonga, who is
also the overall PSIA head for the eServices conference. “We are also
about fun and creative partnerships.”
Determined to live up to this new
image, PSIA partnered with Red Desk,
a dynamic new marketing firm for this
year’s e-Services event. z
8 to 10 pages) which can be funded for
a possible production in the future. All
stories must explore one or a combination
of the following ideas: a) celebration of
Filipino freedom from colonization; b)
recognition of the Filipino’s cultural
diversity; c) promotion of Philippine
cultural heritage, traditions, and way of
life.
Entrants may submit a maximum of
three entries for the contest, but each
entry should contain different themes or
ideas as specified for this contest. Entries
may be in English or Filipino. Entrants
writing in Filipino, however, must be
ready to submit an English translation
of the work when requested or when the
need arises.
Adaptations of existing material (for
example, flash fiction by other authors)
are also eligible. In this case, the entrant
must submit along with his or her entry the
written consent of the author of the existing
work to have his or her work adapted for
contest entry.
Entries may be delivered personally
to the secretariat or sent in by mail or
courier but must be received on or before
the deadline. Envelopes must be properly
labeled Flash-fiction scriptwriting contest,
and addressed to the ACPI secretariat: 9th
floor, The Palisades Condominium, 107
Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City.
The deadline for submission of entries is
12 noon of May 15, 2009.
The winners of the first animated
flash-fiction scriptwriting contest will be
announced and awarded on June 15, 2009.
The prizes are: 1st – PhP 10,000; 2nd – PhP
7,000; and 3rd – PhP5,000. All winners
will be posted on the ACPI Web site, and
will receive an official e-mail notification
from ACPI.
ACPI will have the option to produce
all the winning entries as five-minute
animated features. z
For inquiries, please call the ACPI
secretariat at 817-2727 local 108, or email
[email protected], or log on to
www.animationcouncil.org.
Special Report
Everest: Philippines Poised
to Emerge as Non-Voice
BPO Destination
Philippines is second largest lowcost BPO destination after India.
DALLAS, January 22, 2009 — The
Philippines, whose offshore market has
grown 46% annually since 2004, is poised
to emerge as a leading destination for nonvoice Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
work for buyers looking beyond India to
grow their offshoring footprint, according
to the Everest Research Institute. The
offshore BPO market, currently US$35
billion, has an addressable opportunity
of $220-280 billion by 2012, of which 90
percent is in non-voice BPO services.
Although a number of providers are
leveraging the Philippines for a vast scope
of non-voice functions, there is limited
awareness of the Philippines’ capability
in non-voice services, which has grown
significantly over the past three years,
according to the Institute’s study, The
Silent Knight: The Philippines’ Emerging
Non-Voice BPO Capability which includes
contributions from the Business Processing
Association of the Philippines (BPAP). The
US$6.8 billion Philippines offshore market
employs more than 450,000 people for
mostly voice-based services.
“Success in voice-based BPO services
has positioned the Philippines as the second
largest low-cost BPO destination after
India, and both countries combined account
for 50% of the BPO market in revenue
terms,” says Nikhil Rajpal, Principal,
Everest Research Institute. “While some
providers are leveraging the Philippines
for non-voice functions, the scale of work
is relatively low. However, tremendous
market potential exists if service providers
can successfully manage talent-related
constraints.”
Other study insights include:
• Most current activity and scale in nonvoice BPO is concentrated on transactional
services, such as finance, accounting and
medical transcription.
• Judgment-intensive services, such
as research, analytics and legal services,
are being performed, although scale and
maturity are low.
• Multiple suppliers and multi-national
captives have expanded their service
portfolios in the Philippines to include
multiple non-voice BPO services in addition
to voice-based BPO services, although the
scale of operations in non-voice is low.
• The Filipino government is focused
on development of the non-voice BPO
industry, providing incentive programs to
attract investors as well as providing grants
and infrastructure developments.
“Managing talent-related constraints,
especially the availability of specialized
and managerial skills, will determine
operational success in the Philippines,”
says Jimit Arora, Research Director. “We
expect strong growth to continue in the
non-voice services sector, especially in
the transactional services space. However,
these constraints suggest the Philippines
is not likely to replace India as the nerve
center for the sourcing and management of
services for many organizations.”
He adds, however, that the Philippines
can still serve as an important satellite
delivery location for such services, and it is
time the world starts taking note of its nonvoice BPO delivery capabilities.
To read an extract of The Silent Knight:
The Philippines’ Emerging Non-Voice
BPO Capability, purchase the report, or
inquire about other research services, visit
www.everestresearchinstitute.com, email
e-mail [email protected]itute.com
or call +1-214-451-3110.
Everest
Research
Institute,
the
research arm of global consultancy firm
Everest Group, serves as a central source
of independent and objective strategic
intelligence, analysis, and actionable
insight for leading corporations, suppliers,
technology providers and investors in
the global outsourcing and offshoring
marketplace. Everest Group has earned a
worldwide reputation for ongoing innovation
as it helps clients achieve maximum value
from their operations including sourcing
strategy and implementation. z
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
BPA/P Spotlight
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Supply Management and Procurement 101
An introduction to the new wave in outsourcing
Report by Eva Goyena
Photos by Roselle Aguilar
Procurement outsourcing is the transfer
of administrative functions or management
and execution of parts or all of a company’s
procurement activities to an external service
provider.
It has been one of the slower-growth areas
of BPO until two years ago when service
providers started shifting their delivery
resources to India. The first to explore
offshoring procurement were the financial
services and the retail sectors.
According to Charlie Villaseñor, CEO
of TransProcure [See Corporate Profile
–Ed.], a large amount of an organization’s
money goes to the payment of goods and
services. Yet, many of these organizations
lack the skills, expertise, and infrastructure to
effectively manage procurement; in addition,
developing these competencies in-house
can be too expensive—other than employee
training cost, much of the capital will be used
for infrastructure and technology.
For Villaseñor, the most viable solution
is to give these procurement tasks to an
organization for which it is a core competence.
This way, the organization can focus more on
its strategic priorities without worrying over
reducing and controlling operating costs.
Procurement areas that may be
outsourced may include:
• Tactical buying or transactional purchase
order processing
• International purchasing office (IPO)
• Strategic and global sourcing; best-cost
country sourcing
• e-procurement, automation, application
hosting
Procurement is the new kid on the block, but its leaders want to build it into a powerhouse.
• Procurement helpdesk
• Transformation (consulting)
• Procurement research (that is, category
researches)
• Supply market intelligence
• Executive recruitment and staffing
• Others, such as spend profiling, material
code standardization, and e-cataloging
While the worldwide market for
procurement
outsourcing
increases,
Villaseñor says he is not content with the
Philippines being an emerging alternative to
India. He says, “I want the country to rise as
the BPO procurement capital of the world.
If China is number one in manufacturing,
and India in IT, I envision the Philippines
as the hub of overseas supply management
outsourcing.”
A Certified Professional in Supply
Management (CPSM) program was also
developed last year by the Institute of Supply
Management (ISM) to address globalization
and expanded competencies in supplymanagement activities. “Professionals who
earn the CPSM will have a greater broad-based
understanding of their organization’s supply
network, the skills to make better decisions,
and the knowledge to take advantage of the
new global environment,” ISM states. The
pilot exam was performed in the Philippines
from February to March 2008, and the exam
has been made available starting May of the
same year. The Philippines, as host to this
initiative, gains another advantage in the field
of supply management and procurement.
Given that cost reduction and value
creation are the two main benefits offered
by procurement outsourcing, operating in
the Philippines is fairly compelling. To
date, TransProcure is the only procurement
outsourcing firm headquartered in the
Philippines. z
COMMERCE ASIA AD
www.bpap.org
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
10
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Company Profile
Breakthroughs
Boosting BPO Profitability
During a Downturn
TransProcure CEO Charlie Villaseñor explains why
this new BPO sector is gaining ground in the industry
By Eva Goyena
Photos by Roselle Aguilar
“Manage your spending.”
That is the constant advice that
Charlie Villaseñor, President and CEO of
TransProcure, dispenses to clients (mostly
fellow CEOs and CFOs), who come to him
once they start feeling the crisis crunch.
He is also chairman of the Procurement
and Sourcing Institute of Asia (PASIA),
which is the official Asian affiliate of the
Institute of Supply Management (www.
ism.ws), the world’s largest, oldest, and
most respected professional organization
of supply-management practitioners.
These practitioners are also the executives
who most likely lead the decision-making
process on what and where to outsource and
offshore their existing internal functions.
TransProcure, headquartered in Manila,
is the first and only company in Asia
providing a complete end-to-end service in
Procure to Pay (P2P). The company helps
businesses manage corporate spending,
improve efficiencies in the P2P process,
increase savings, reduce cost, and create
higher transparency. TransProcure’s ability
to deliver two-way impact in the form
of cost reduction and value creation to
businesses has earned it recognition as, for
example, the Rising Star Citation awarded
by Malacanang Palace in 2004; The Best
Young Supply Chain Solutions Provider
as cited by the SCM Logistics Excellence
Annual Award in Singapore in 2005; the
Most Innovative BPO Company of the
year (2007) given by the International
ICT Awards; and the Most Progressive
Homegrown Company of the Year (2008),
an accolade from the e-Services conference
of the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI).
“Effective purchasing and supply
chain management can help enterprises
to be competitive, and for some it means
survival,” Villaseñor says of the services
his company offers. Supply management
may vary from business to business but it
all boils down to identifying and accessing
resources and executing a resource
acquisition strategy that aims to reduce
operational cost, streamline operations
and build competencies, and ultimately,
increase revenue.
However, since most companies find it
increasingly hard to train and develop their
internal procurement manpower, many are
seeking for more practical alternatives.
Villaseñor believes he has the answer.
Procurement
on the rise
outsourcing
To realize profitability, soliciting and
awarding bids to the lower bidder is not
the best practice; a thorough valuation
of whether the suppliers are truly giving
the best deal is the key. Researching and
making a judgment on whether a bid
represents the right price or not will better
be performed by an organization for which
this work is a core competence, Villaseñor
explains.
TransProcure’s successful model
of Pay as you Save is preferred by their
clients because of its minimal risk and
huge potentials. Savings does not come
only from labor arbitrage but on all spend
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
on technology like Oracle, SAP, CMA
Contiki, and Basware. It has successfully
engaged with multinational procurement
initiatives along diverse industries—food
and beverage, manufacturing, oil and gas,
pharmaceuticals, real estate and property
development, retail and distribution,
telecommunications, and utilities and
services. The company has thus established
benchmarks in various categories such as
management and sourcing, transactional
processing, eProcurement technology,
competitive cost country sourcing, and
supply market analysis.
On top of TransProcure’s client roster
are leading global companies like Novartis,
Motorola, National City Bank, Holcim,
Cemex, ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco,
AS Watson, and Shell to name a few. In
the Philippines, TransProcure has nurtured
the trust and confidence of several largescale corporations and companies like San
Miguel Corp., ICTSI, Universal Robina
Corp., Petron, and Banco de Oro, among
others.
TransProcure extends its commitment
to supply management through education
and training programs, jointly developed by
top universities. Satellite courses on supply
management and procurement strategies
are offered in collaboration with the
Technological Institute of the Philippines
(TIP) and the University of the Asia-Pacific
(UAAP), while a four-year college course
on procurement and logistics management
has been part of TIP’s curricula for four
years now. TransProcure also spearheads
procurement training in cooperation with
the Procurement and Sourcing Institute of
Asia (PASIA).
Boosting profits
and cutting costs
This pioneer believes that his industry provides a strategic bail-out plan.
categories like capital expenditures and
operating expenses. TransProcure effects this
through a combination of expert category
management of spend and technology to drive
best practices, transparency, compliance, and
risk management in the supply and supplier
relationship management arena
According to Villaseñor, procurement
outsourcing is growing abroad and also gets
some attention in Asia because it gives the
companies the opportunity to utilize high-end
procurement systems and processes without
huge capital investments. “With procurement
outsourcing, you don’t just get the expertise
(of the service provider) but the operational
infrastructure as well—we call it SAS, or
System as a Service. Above all, outsourcing
procurement allows the company to focus
more on its core competency,” he further
explains.
Villaseñor defines procurement outsourcing
as the transfer of administrative functions
or management and execution of parts or all
of a company’s procurement activities to an
external service provider like TransProcure.
Day-to-day purchasing and basic procureto-pay functions like purchase order processing,
general ledger, and management reporting
are just a few of the business processes in
procurement. More advanced activities are
likewise performed, leveraging on technology
like benefits, administration, payroll and
workforce development, sales and marketing,
technical- product support, and customerintelligent services.
“When procurement activities are
outsourced, the company’s internal resources are
freed for more strategic purposes,” Villaseñor
says. Leading the important reasons why more
and more companies embrace the fast-growing
trend of procurement outsourcing are access
to improved pricing and supplier intelligence,
which eventually transform into more savings.
Controlled budget and expenditures are not
the only compelling factors of outsourcing, it
also offers an enhanced ability to support and
accelerate global sourcing activities.”
Unlike the typical business process
outsourcing (BPO) which involves data entry,
technical support, and customer service (call
center), procurement outsourcing entails
more complex yet core strategic activities.
This evolution of the BPO industry, according
to Villaseñor, can be considered a sign of
maturation.
Equipped with experience, scalability, and
cost advantage, TransProcure has partnered with
large and niche IT solution providers focusing
TransProcure continuously innovates
the BPO procurement process since its
inception in 2002. Villaseñor believes that
“procurement and spend management is
a strategic ‘bail-out plan,’ no matter how
much of a cliché ‘bail-out’ sounds lately.”
A brainchild of Villaseñor and his former
colleagues from previous companies,
TransProcure upgrades the procurement
activity area from simply pay and settle to
developing sourcing strategy, from purely
labor arbitrage to knowledge arbitrage. The
company will keep taking major initiatives
in promoting the Philippines as the BPO
procurement capital of the world.
This
PEZA-accredited service
provider has satellite offices worldwide:
Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and
Sydney in the Asia Pacific; Houston and
San Jose (California) in North America;
Bogota (Columbia) in Latin America; Oslo
in Europe; Dubai and Riyadh in the Middle
East.
For over 20 years in the procurement
and supply management industry,
Villaseñor has held various key positions in
Ariba, Caltex, Cola-Cola, and 3M, bringing
these companies to greater heights in ecommerce and e-procurement solutions.
He was awarded Purchasing Manager of
the Year by the Purchasing and Materials
Management Association of the Philippines
(PMMAP) at the 1999 Gawad Sinop
Award, the highest recognition given to
the Purchasing and Materials Management
practitioners in the Philippines.
In 2004, Villaseñor was awarded as one
of the Global 2004 Pros to Know by the
Supply and Demand Chain Magazine. He
was also among the outstanding exporters
given tribute by the Department of Trade
and Industry in 2005. z
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
Next-wave Cities
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
11
Phils. Bullish on Extending Cyber
Corridor to Next Wave Cities
By Lynda C. Corpuz
Photo courtesy of www.istockphoto.com
Location, government incentives,
talent pool, and educational
support are among the advantages
that city reps are touting
Representatives from the different
Next Wave Cities (NWCs) throughout the
Philippines spoke about the developments in
their respective regions and the advantages
of establishing sites in these locations. The
discussion took place on February 10, 2009,
at the e-Services Philippines Global Sourcing
Conference and Exhibition held at the SMX
Convention Center, Mall of Asia. Officials of
local government units in these cities were
confident that they have what it takes to serve
the country’s growing BPO-IT industry.
Five of BPAP’s top-6 NWCs were
present at the event including Sta. Rosa City
(representing scorecard leader Metro Laguna),
Iloilo City (no. 3 on the scorecard), Davao City
(no. 4), Bacolod City (no. 5), and AngelesClark-Mabalacat (no. 6).
Sta. Rosa, Laguna, City Planning
Representative Danilo Pablo said that their
Lion City of South Luzon counted on its
strategic location, rich human resource, highend resources, cost of doing business, and ideal
business environment to make them an ideal
ICT hub. He added that the Laguna Information
Network for Knowledge Innovation and
Technology (LINK-IT) is also helping to
develop Sta. Rosa and neighboring towns and
cities as an attractive BPO-IT location.
Iloilo Foundation for Information
Technology Chairperson Dr. Glen Aguilar
highlighted Iloilo’s strategic location in the
Visayas, natural beauty, rich and unique island
culture, manpower pool, telecoms, and BPOs
as key takeaways. Iloilo also holds its annual
ICT Week every June, which features ICT
certification programs, workshops, seminars,
and conferences.
ICT-Davao President Lizable Holganza
took pride in the inclusion of their province in
the top-10 Asian cities of the future and among
the top-5 cities with best human resource. In
addition, its fourth-place result on the BPAPCICT-DTI NWC Scorecard was based on
its major telecom capacity, redundancy, and
resiliency; next-generation BPO-IT spaces;
and air linkages. The city is also a gateway
to the BIMP (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines) East ASEAN Growth
Area. Davao City can also be considered a safe
haven for investors, she said, with the city’s
police force named the best in the Philippines
in 2007.
Bacolod City Administrator Dr. Rogelio
Balo reported that their location has become
a favored BPO destination with locators like
Convergys and Teletech now operating in
Bacolod. The city’s advantages are: good quality
human resources; adequate infrastructure
composed of banks, health and communication
facilities, utilities, and transportation; affordable
cost of doing business; and a peaceful and an
attractive business environment.
Clark Development Corporation Executive
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Philip Panlilio highlighted their high score in
the IT-BPO readiness scorecard. This result was
based on their location’s attractive regulatory
fees and taxes like exemption from all national
and local taxes, and duty-free importation of
capital requirements.
Emerging cities
Several locations that are emerging as potential
IT-BPO locations also touted the comparative
advantages of their cities at the conference.
General Santos City Senior Industrial
Representative for Business Development
and IT Joaquin Tiongco pointed out that
the city is very cost competitive. This
competitiveness is based on a minimum daily
wage of Php229.50, an inflation rate of 5.9%,
www.bpap.org
This Davao monument celebrates the ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity and harmony in the region.
Photos courtesy of www.bigstockphoto.com
Fishing boats on the bay of Bacolod; BPO growth seems to be the order of the day in key cities in the archipelago (inset).
commercial and industrial power rates of less
than Php5 per kwh, and real estate rates (for
lease in the central business district) of Php 200
–Php1,000 per sq m.
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal reported
that their province offers the following
free, specialized training courses in line
with promoting the province as an BPOIT destination: Web development solutions,
AutoCAD, online Web marketing, online
copywriting, online office suite, legal
transcription, and call center skills.
Subic Bay IT Council Executive Vice
Chairperson Edwin Piano said that apart from
the location being developed as the next most
competitive international service and logistics
center in the Southeast Asian region, their
dependable telecom infrastructure, competitive
real estate, attractive business environment,
friendly business climate, and high quality
of living in the heart of nature, make this
former US base the location of choice for
ICT investment. Their Greater Subic Bay ICT
Council also supports the development of the
Freeport for ICT operations.
Poro Point Management Corporation’s
Acting Vice President for Corporate Planning
and Business Development Cristina Rodrigo
highlighted the site’s ICT training centers
for call centers. The corporation’s Poro Point
Freeport Zone also has a designated IT park to
reflect the priority of IT-industry investments
in its location.
DTI Cagayan Regional Director Esperanza
Bañares cited the presence of major educational
institutions, telecoms with fiber optic lines,
infrastructure support, and potential IT
buildings, and the continuing development of
its Mall of the Valley for BPO operations as
among the region’s main advantages for BPOIT operations. The proposed construction of
a 5-hectare IT park will further enhance the
region’s bid to become an industry hub in the
near future.
The emerging NWCs nicely complement
the Top Ten NWCs of Metro Laguna, Metro
Cavite, Iloilo City, Davao City, Bacolod City,
Angeles-Clark-Mabalacat, selected towns
and cities of Bulacan, Cagayan de Oro City,
and Lipa City. Together all these Philippine
locations, and more, provide a rich choice of
potential sites for IT-BPO operations outside
the established BPO-IT hubs of Metro Manila
and Metro Cebu. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
12
Next-wave Cities
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
Breakthroughs
Cagayan: A Region of Opportunities
By Katrina April Z. Saba
Executive Associate, Philippine Software Industry Association
November 17, 2008—Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI)–Cagayan, together with CADF-IT (Cagayan
Development Foundation for Information Technology) organized a
one-day conference called Cagayan… IT is Here! to open possibilities
for BPO in the region. Speakers from the different industries—back
office, transcription, animation, software development, and even from
government agencies, CITEM and BOI—were invited to take part in
this conference.
Cagayan Valley Region or Region 2 is
situated at the northeastern part of Luzon.
It is a region blessed with abundant natural
resources: fertile farmlands, grasslands, virgin
forests, and marine habitats. It is composed
of five provinces: Batanes, Quirino, Isabela,
Nueva Vizcaya, and Cagayan; all exuding
their own natural beauty that makes them
popular to tourists.
A trip from Manila to Cagayan takes one
hour by plane, and twelve by bus. Cagayan
has enough space for half of the Manila
population. Most of its lands are still virgin,
touched only by the forces of nature.
DTI gave a mini-tour for those who
arrived one day before the conference.
The stops included Sts. Paul and Peter
Metropolitan Cathedral, a church built
during the Spanish era; the City Hall, which
is said to be the largest in the country; the
barrio where software innovator Dado
Banatao lived before finding great success
as a chip maker and, later, entrepreneur
in Silicon Valley in the United States (his
house and the elementary school where he
donated a computer laboratory was also
part of the tour); the DTI office that proudly
displayed the products of the region such
as wood carvings; and the Callao Cave in
Peñablanca, which is known for its massive
limestone and rock formations.
The Cagayan City Hall is said to be the largest in the country.
The conference was graced by local
speakers and speakers from other regions
and was attended by the academe and some
members of the business sector in Cagayan.
Presenting the BPO-IT industry
James Rodney Romana of CITEM spoke
about the challenges and opportunities in the
global economy. Stephen Co of the Board
of Investments talked about IT and ITenabled services, explaining the investment
opportunities in IT and the services that BOI
provides.
Gillian Virata, Executive Director for
Research and Information of the Business
Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP),
highlighted the growth in the BPO-IT Industry
and elaborated on the Next Wave Cities.
PSIA Executive Director Anne Sy talked
The Saints Paul and Peter Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the historical landmarks of Cagayan.
about the opportunities in software, the
skills needed and required by the member
companies, and the available jobs for software
development.
Grace Dimaranan, the Executive Director
of the Animation Council of the Philippines
(ACPI), gave a profile of the animation industry
and showed clips from animated films.
Raymund Eruma, the Executive Director of
the Medical Transcription Industry Association
of the Philippines, Inc. (MTIAPI), explained
how the Philippines can be the outsourcing
destination for medical transcription.
Sister Remy Remulla, the President of
St. Paul University and CADF-IT, enthused
how Cagayan will be the next IT destination
in the Philippines. She then showcased the
performing arts talent of her university students
with a cultural show. z
BPAP Executive Director for Information and Research Gigi
Virata expounds on the growth of the BPO-IT industry.
City Mayor Delfin Ting visits the conference.
ICT Councils Form National ICT Conference of the Philippines
The First National Summit of ICT Councils in Iligan City drew representatives from organizations such as the Albay ICT Association, the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for IT, the Cagayan de Oro ICT Business
Council, the Cebu Educational Dev. Foundation for IT, ICT Davao Inc., the ICT Solutions Assoc. of Region 12, the Iloilo Federation for IT, the Iligan ICT Council, the Clark ICT Council, the QC ICT Council, and BPAP.
In a show of partnership and cooperation, ICT Councils all over the
Philippines have banded together to form the National ICT Conference
of the Philippines (NICP), an umbrella organization of all ICT Councils
nationwide. NICP serves as a venue for collaboration and sharing of
best practices among the member councils.
The landmark move came at the heels of
the staging of the first National ICT Summit of
ICT Council sponsored by the Commission on
Information and Communications Technology
(CICT) in partnership with the Iligan
Information and Communications Technology
Council (IICTC) held last November 25–26,
2008, at Iligan City.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
The NICP’s founding members include the
Iligan ICT Council, Bacolod-Negros Occidental
Federation for ICT (BNEFIT), Inc., Metro
Clark ICT Council, Quezon City ICT Council,
Albay ICT Association (AICTA), Iloilo
Federation for IT (IFIT), Cebu Educational
Development Foundation for IT (CEDFIT),
Cagayan de Oro ICT Council, ICT Davao,
Inc., and ICT Solutions Association of Region
12–General Santos City (ISA12GENSAN).
Aside from those present during the
summit, the other members of the NICP
are the Dagupan ICT Council, Urdaneta
City Council for ICT (UCC-ICT), Cagayan
Development Foundation for IT (CADFIT),
Olongapo Zambales Subic Educational
Development Organization for IT, Laguna
Industry Network for Knowledge, Innovation
and Technology (LINK-IT), Bohol ICT
Council, and Technology of Information and
Communications in Koronadal (TICK). Speaking before the Summit participants,
CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim
called upon all ICT stakeholders and partners
to prioritize the development of the nation’s
human resources to make the Philippine
BPO-IT industry more competitive. He
added that a sound and sustainable business
environment and a strong private-public
sector partnership are the keys in achieving
the employment and revenue goals of the
BPO-IT sector by 2010. BPAP Executive
Directors Jamea Garcia and Gigi Virata also
spoke on the industry talent development and
Next Wave Cities programs, respectively.
Lope Doromal of IBM also spoke on his
company’s Service Science Management
and Engineering (SSME) program. z
www.bpap.org
People / Places / Events
Breakthroughs
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
13
The BPO Summit Philippines, 2008
December 2-3, 2008
Crowne Plaza Galleria, Manila Hotel
Photos by Arthur Fidelson
The Game Developers Association of the Philippines
was one of the associations who took part.
It was an opportune time for companies to showcase their offerings.
The Intel rep is in high spirits despite the recent news
about the semi-con industry.
Early birds come before the opening.
The e-Services Global Sourcing
Conference and Exhibition
February 9-10, 2009
SMX Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Photos by Bong Mercado and Willie Bicera
TransProcure President and CEO Charlie Villaseñor (center) was presented with the e-Services Awards 2009
Special Citation for Outstanding Contributions for Business Development
Thomas G. Aquino, Senior Undersecretary, Department of Trade and Industry and BPAP CEO Oscar Sañez
The KPO panel discussants (from l-r): Alfredo I. Ayala, CEO, LiveIt Solutions and BPAP Chairman; George
Martel, President, SENCOR; Robert Gust, Director, Anthem Solutions; and K. S. Kumar, Exec. Vice President
and Head of Global Operations, Sutherland Global Services.
The Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, Inc. manning their fort
www.bpap.org
The Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) forum discusssed another BPO sector that has huge potentials.
BPAP’s finest (l-r): Administrator Nette Roselo, CEO Oscar Sañez,
Ali Arboleda, Exec. Dir. for Info and Research Gigi Virata, and Rona Quilban
Exec. Dir. Gigi Virata concluded
the KPO panel discussion with a synthesis and evaluation.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
14
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
People / Places / Events
Breakthroughs
The BPAP General Meeting
Membership Assembly
January 2009
Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City
Photos by Bong Mercado
The business forum sponsored by John Clements Consultants, Inc. discussed the economic crisis’ impact. From l-r: Barry
Marshall, Sr. Country Operations Officer, JP Morgan Chase Bank; Gi Sicat, Business Dev. Dir., John Clements; ICT Group
President Karen Batungbacal; Hans Sicat, LegisPro President and CEO; and Procter and Gamble Phils. President James Lafferty .
The Jan GMM signaled a fresh start for the new year.
From l-r: Maximo Del Ponso Jr., GE Money Servicing Phils HR Leader; Gig Gonzalez, John Clements Executive Director;
Atty. Monina Vierneza-Dio, GE Money Servicing Phils., Legal and Counsel Leader; and Mir Faisal Uddin Ali Khan,
GE Money Servicing Phils., Site Leader and Vice President.
BPAP inducts its new members for January. From l-r: BPAP President and CEO Oscar Sañez; Michael Martel, SENCOR Exec. VP and GM; Arlene Aguilar, Interactive Technology Solutions, Inc. GM; Manolo Aquino - Infinit Outsourcing Inc.President; Renato Jiao,
IBM Business Services Inc. President, Asia Pacific Delivery Lead; Fernando Santico, Alphaland Corp.’s EVP; and BPAP Exec. Dir. for Industry Affairs Jonathan de Luzuriaga.
From l-r: TJ Rosal, Bayan Telecommunications, Industry Manager; Jon Arayata, Bayan Telecommunications, AVP; Jay Gomez,
NCO Financials Inc., IT Regional Director; and Richard Loveland, AVP for CRM Business, NCO Financials Inc.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
Chay Mondejar-Saputil, Windows Client Product
Manager of Microsoft Phils.
BPAP Industry Affairs Exec. Dir. Jonathan de Luzuriaga
starts the evening.
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
Company News
HSBC Opens New Global
Resourcing Facility in Manila
HSBC officially opened a new
18,000-sq.m. global resourcing
facility at Quezon City, Manila
on September 15, 2008. This is
HSBC’s second Group Service
Centre (GSC) in Manila and the
15th in the HSBC Group.
The center was inaugurated by Sandy
Flockhart, Chief Executive Officer,
HSBC Bank Asia Pacific, with guest
of honor Sonny Belmonte, Mayor of
Quezon City, and Fred Ayala, Chairman,
Business Processing Association of
the Philippines. Also present at the
inauguration were Rumi Contractor,
Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Global
Resourcing; Mark Watkinson, Chief
Executive Officer, HSBC Philippines;
other local government officials; and key
dignitaries from the corporate world.
Speaking at the opening ceremony,
Sandy Flockhart said: “The opening of
this center serves to reinforce not only
HSBC’s commitment to its customers
globally but also our commitment to the
Philippines.”
Rumi Contractor emphasized: “HSBC
Global Resourcing is very excited about
this GSC, which represents our most
recent expansion here in the Philippines.
The strong skills and dedication of our
employees, as well as the courtesy and
hospitality that distinguishes the rich
Filipino culture, allow us to offer our
customers the excellent service that has
become our trademark.”
The new premises will support the
call center business of HSBC customers
in the UK, North America, and Asia
Pacific. The staff operating out of
the new facility will have access to a
state-of-the-art
telecommunications
and IT infrastructure, a training center,
auditorium, learning center, and many
other innovations. The facility has 2,252
seats with a maximum utilisation of
175%. z
JANUARY - MARCH 2009
15
ExcelAsia Gears Up for
Investment Boom in Cebu
With investment booming in Cebu
despite the global financial crisis,
industry-leading human resource
solutions firm ExcelAsia is beefing
up its Cebu operations to meet
demand for qualified workers.
“We are expanding our services in Cebu
by adding training and recruitment rooms to
process an expected increase in trainees sent
to us by our clients,” Excel President Rita
Trillo-Ugarte says. “We also plan to expand our
business development team there. Following
through on these plans is very important for
us because our clients expect it and we want to
capitalize on the investment boom in Cebu.”
Cebu ranked number one in Global
Services–Tholons’ Top-50 Emerging Global
Outsourcing Cities ranking for 2008, up from
fourth in 2007. The ranking covers 50 cities
globally. The results of the survey reinforced
the Philippines’ status as one of the top-three
outsourcing destinations globally, and Cebu
as a major investment destination within the
Philippines for the industry.
According to the Cebu Educational
Foundation for Information Technology
(CEDF-IT), business process outsourcing
(BPO) investment and employment have
grown rapidly in each of the past six years.
From 2001 to 2007, employment increased
from 7,000 to over 20,000. CEDF-IT expects
demand to remain strong as BPO investors
locate expansion facilities outside the National
Capital Region.
Coinciding with its third anniversary,
ExcelAsia Cebu received the Top Producer
Award in August 2008 from PeopleSupport
[now known as Aegis PeopleSupport].
“Excel Asia has been constantly providing us
with applicants for our e-Rep positions. As
PeopleSupport grows, so do our requirements
for more qualified personnel. This is where
ExcelAsia becomes an invaluable asset to us, as
they consistently send in volumes of qualified
career hopefuls,” AEGIS PeopleSupport HR
Manager for Recruitment Marketing and
Communications Diego Castro says.
ExcelAsia Cebu trains from 200 to 300
trainees a month and is also expanding its
executive search capacity in Cebu, adding new
professionals to the practice. z
JobsDB.com Supports the VP de Castro Awards for Students
JobsDB.com supports valuable initiatives and advocacies in making the great Filipino dream of college education a reality by being
part of the 3rd VP de Castro Academic Excellence and Exemplary Leadership Awards. Initiated in 2005, the program aims to recognize
deserving students who persevere in their academics and co-curricular activities and show leadership potentials despite facing tough
circumstances, thus inspiring others.
“These scholars are resilient and have
their heart for the families. This country has a
good future because our youth are determined,
motivated, and their hearts are in the right
place,” explains Atty. Jesse Andres, Chief of
Staff of the Office of the Vice President.
With the theme, Edukasyon: Sagot
sa Hamon ng Kahirapan [Education:
Answering the Poverty Challenge], the
awarding program covers all public high
school students. Four winners will be named
in each category from Luzon, Visayas,
Mindanao, and the National Capital Region,
while two others will receive the special
Kabayan Noli de Castro Foundation Award.
Each winner will receive a full college
scholarship grant and financial assistance.
After taking their respective courses in
college, recipients will be assisted in their
job-hunting through JobsDB.com.
“We believe that the potentials of these
students can be a great contribution to
our nation-building, that’s why JobsDB.
com would like to extend our assistance to
these students,” says Jayjay Viray, General
Manager of JobsDB Philippines, Inc. “We
also hope that these students will also inspire
others to strive harder in life. They should not
lose sight of their goals because nothing is
impossible.” z
Mapfre Insular Innovates
Insurance Claims Processing
Policy holders of industry-leading
non-life insurance company
Mapfre Insular can file claims by
phone, SMS, and e-mail as a result
of innovations recently introduced
in the company’s call center.
The call center facility, known as the
Mapfre Insular TeleCentro, provides policy
issuance, renewal and encoding services,
requests for endorsements and amendments,
and new policy quotations in addition to
assistance with claims.
Mapfre Insular’s latest customer service
innovation also allows agents to request that
policies be issued or renewed through SMS
and e-mail. Agents can also indicate what
branch the policies should be delivered to
for pick up by the agent or policyholder.
This feature is made available with Mapfre
Insular’s nationwide network of branches.
“Our statistics show that by transferring
certain services to our TeleCentro agents,
we are able to increase policy encoding
productivity three-fold versus branch
employees who handle both paper work,
walk-in requests, and calls,” Mapfre Insular
call center head Lalyn Luna says. “We can
assure clients and agents of faster and more
convenient delivery of claims and policy
issuance services. Through the TeleCentro we
also conduct post-claim surveys to monitor
www.bpap.org
the quality of service delivery and customer
satisfaction. We may also assist agents in
their selling activities through telemarketing
support.”
“The company believes it can offer
superior service by managing the call center
in-house,” adds Luna. We develop our
own training programs for our TeleCentro
agents and we are also the ones who directly
supervise these training,”
“Because Mapfre Insular is directly
involved in their training, we can assure our
callers that once they contact us through the
call center facility, they will be speaking with
Mapfre Insular experts,” Luna explains. The
call center facility, which is located in Mapfre
Insular’s head office in Alabang, serves all
Philippine-based clients, sales agents, and
repair shops affiliated with Mapfre Insular.
The company employs multilingual agents
who speak Visayan and Ilocano aside from
Filipino and English to help ensure friendly,
efficient service to the company’s policy
holders regardless of where they reside in the
Philippines. Luna says,“Our agents adjust to
the way our clients speak. It is important that
our clients feel comfortable talking to us so
we can fulfill their needs.”
Mapfre Insular is one of the leading
and more stable insurance providers in the
country today.
Its call-center facility currently operates
on from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays to Fridays.
However, plans are in place for 24/7 service. z
Present in the MOA signing at the Office of the Vice President (OVP) were (l-r): DepEd Exec.Dir.Joey Pelaez, Rotary Club of Makati
West; District 3830 President Atty. Roberto Lim; Vice President Noli De Castro, DepEd Secretary Jesli A. Lapus, OVP Chief of
Staff Atty. Jesse Andres and JobsDB Phils GM Jayjay Viray.
Eastern Communications Helps
Improve Business Competitiveness
Eastern
Communications,
the
pioneering
corporate
communications company in the country, focuses on delivering
corporate-grade, reliable, high-quality, and cost-effective
connectivity for its existing corporate clients. This reinforces
its commitment to provide communications services for the
demanding and exacting needs of the business environment.
Its priority infrastructure investments
for the future include expanding its
backhaul into Tagaytay and Batangas to
provide faster and more reliable services
at competitive prices. The company
has began investing in new systems
to improve its network efficiency and
operational responsiveness, among these
the upgrades of its customer care, billing,
and collection; service provisioning; and
interconnection.
Over the early part of 2008,
Eastern also invested millions in
consumer research to better understand
their corporate market’s needs. This
research is now used for developing the
company’s product innovation program
and for anticipating emerging service
customization requirements.
Eastern also leverages on its
international partnerships to meet its
carrier-based and other related services.
The company is currently affiliated
with telecom companies such as AT&T,
REACH, C&W, Singtel, CAT Telecom,
Softbank Telecom, China Telecom,
SPRINT, Chungwa Telecom Co. Ltd.,
Telekom Malaysia, KDDI, Telstra, Korea
Telekom, New World Telecom, Verizon
Business, PACNET, VSNL International,
PCCW, “Yes” Optus, and PT Indosat.
“All of these major investments will
get Eastern closer to its vision of being
the preferred corporate communications
provider in the areas where our network
and services are present,” says Edwin
Domingo, Eastern’s Marketing and
Business Development Manager. “This
will also allow us to help our corporate
clients maintain their competitiveness
in the face of a more cut-throat business
environment.”
Eastern Communications is a
full-service world-class provider of
telecommunications services.
These
services include data and Internet-leased
circuits, full-service telephony, and
managed telecommunications. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
LEECHIU AD

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