Newsletter Vol2 Ish4 NO AD

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Newsletter Vol2 Ish4 NO AD
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008 • Vol. 2 - No. 4 • 24 pages • free
Meet BPA/P’s New Board of Trustees
EXECUTIVE
PROFILE p. 18
Susan Padley,
StarTek
Interview
highlights:
Thriving on
challenges
and change
■ Meet BPA/P’s New Board of Trustees p.2-3
• The election process and the new Board of Trustees who
will help shape BPA/P’s direction in 2009
• The eight new Board of Trustees, their profiles and
contributions to the IT-BPO industry
■ The Top 10 Best Philippine Outsourcing Locations p.4
• Why Metro Laguna and Metro Cavite topped the list
• The other cities that ranked from #3 to #10
■ BPA/P’s Year-End Report p.5
• Number of players in the IT-BPO industry: 600+
• Number of BPA/P members: 200 and rising
• Number of IT-BPO employees by end of 2008:
400,000+
• The number of certificates issued for the PGMA
Training Scholarship Program: 40,000 by end of
October 2008
• The conversion of scholarship trainees to hirees: 63%
• Attrition: the subject of a BPO study to be finished by
end of the year
• Other markets beyond the U.S. that BPA/P is
successfully penetrating
■ The BPA/P Info and Research Power Team Awards p.6
• The people and organizations who have made a huge
contribution to BPA/P’s success since its early days
■ Talent to Detemine the Growth of the IT-BPO
Industry p.6
• The programs that will turn near-hires into actual hires
and make students more employable for the BPOs
■ On the Road to Marketing Excellence p.8
• The realization of foreign clients about the Philippines
as a preferred outsourcing destination
■ Next Wave Cities Special pp. 15-17
• The factors considered for the final selection of the top
ten outsourcing cities
• Bacolod City: voted the Most Business-Friendly City
with a 99.6% rating in crime solution efficiency
Five represent Industry Members, and three represent Non-Industry Members
On Oct. 7, 2008, 70% of the
Business Processing Association of
the Philippines’ (BPA/P) 200 members
elected a new Board of Trustees
composed of both Industry and NonIndustry players.
“We expect the collaboration
that will be facilitated within the
different sectors of the BPO industry
to be stronger, as a result of the recent
elections,” BPA/P Industry Affairs
Director Jonathan de Luzuriaga says.
The elections followed a twoweek campaign period from Oct.13
to Oct. 26 after candidates were
nominated by their peers. Member
outsourcing companies nominated
candidates representing Industry
Members; and members in allied
industries, e.g., vendors, suppliers,
and service providers, nominated
candidates
representing
NonIndustry Members. All nomination
forms were submitted to the Election
Committee which asked nominees to
confirm in writing their acceptance
(or not) of their nominations. The
Turn to page 2
From l-r: Dan Reyes, President, Sitel; Barry Marshall, Sr. Country Operations Officer, JPMorgan & Chase Bank; Miguel Garcia, Managing Dir.,
DTSI; Eric Alberto, SVP, PLDT; Ester Punongbayan, Partner, Punongbayan & Araullo; Jesus Romero, Head, Corp. Group,Globe Business;
Cathy Ileto, BPA/P Exec. Dir., External Relations; Jonathan De Luzuriaga, BPA/P Exec. Dir., Industry Affairs; Jojo Uligan, Exec. Dir., CCAP,
Jamea Garcia. BPA/P Exec. Dir. Talent Devt, Fred Ayala, CEO, LiveIt; Edwin Domingo, Marketing & Bus Dev. Head, Eastern Telecom; Oscar Sañez,
CEO, BPA/P, Myla Rose Reyes, President, MTIAPI; Atty. Bob Guinto, NMGRA; and Gigi Virata, BPA/P Exec. Dir., Info and Research.
Metro Laguna and Metro
BPA/P’s YearCavite Judged Top 2 Phil
End Report
Best Outsourcing Locations 200 members, 5-8 new
The capacity to sustain the level of BPO employment
was one major criterion
Metro Laguna and Metro Cavite
topped the list of Next Wave Cities for
outsourcing in the Philippines on a report
jointly developed by the Commission
on Information and Communications
Technology (CICT), the Business
Processing Association of the Philippines
(BPA/P), and the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI).
The Next Wave Cities scorecard
ranking aims to provide objective and
credible information to investors and
stakeholders in locations across the
Philippines, other than the more well-
known locations Metro Manila and
Metro Cebu. According to BPA/P CEO
Oscar Sañez, “The scorecard results have
validated the view of analysts that areas
close to Metro Manila would benefit
from the spillover of the industry.”
Metro Laguna was judged the
best outsourcing location in the
Philippines and covered the cities and
municipalities of Santa Rosa City,
Calamba City, Los Baños, Cabuyao,
and San Pablo City [This is discussed
more fully in the Next Wave Special
Section – Ed].
Turn to page 4
members a month, and one
prospectiveinvestoraweek
By Marla Silayan-Gonzalez
As 2008 draws to a close,
BPA/P is confident that targets
for Roadmap 2010 are very
much in place. “The investors
keep coming,” says Jonathan de
Luzuriaga, Executive Director for
Industry Affairs. “We meet at least
one prospective locator a week and
more often than not, that meeting
Turn to page 5
BPA/P Stories
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Breakthroughs
Meet BPA/P’s New Board ...
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
FRED AYALA
OSCAR SAñez
jonathan de luzuriaga
dan reyes
nette roselo
ATTY. BOB GUINTO
editorial advisory board
manuel guillermo
marian santos- hernandez
JONATHAN DE LUZURIAGA
businessinfo inc.
confirmed nominations were finalized on
October 3.
Of the thirteen seats in the Board of
Trustees, only eight seats were up for election:
five Trustees representing Industry Members
and three Trustees representing Non-Industry
Members. Considered elected as other Board
Trustees were the representatives of the
partner industry associations (the Contact
Center Association of the Philippines,
Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc.,
Medical Transcription Industry Association
of the Philippines, Inc., and the Philippine
Software Industry Association), as well as
BPA/P’s current President and CEO.
By the time of the release of this
newsletter, the new Board should have
convened on Nov. 24, approximately 30 days
after the release of the election results. The
outgoing Board members are still in-charge
of administrative requirements until the First
Board Assembly. De Luzuriaga describes the
first few tasks that are already on the table,
“Standing committees will have to be filled
and each new member will get the chance
to participate in the different segments of
BPA/P such as membership, research, talent
development, among others.”
Breakthroughs! presents the newly
elected Board of Trustees before they buckle
down for work in 2009:
FRED AYALA
The CEO of LiveIt Solutions, Inc., Ayala
Corp.’s holding company for its investments
in the BPO sector. Ayala is also the former
Chairman and CEO and current Director of
eTelecare. He was also formerly Chairman
of SPi, one of the leading non-voice BPO
companies in Asia.
Previously, Ayala
was a Partner at Crimson Investment, an
international private equity firm that provides
buyout and growth capital financing to
companies capitalizing on the accelerating
globalization trend in manufacturing and
services. Before that, he was a Managing
Director and Co-Founder of MBO Partners,
an Asian investment firm.
Ayala has a double major BA in
Developmental Studies (Honors) and
Economics from Brown University and an
MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of
Business Administration.
“Fred is a tried and tested Chairman
and has been quite successful in building
BPA/P’s relationships with key stakeholders
in government, industry and academe,”
says Sañez.
The Senior Vice-President and Head for
PLDT Customer Sales and Marketing
Group responsible for overall PLDT fixed
line revenues from the Retail, SME and
Corporate market segments (Est. 2008 at
Php 42 billion). Prior to this appointment,
he was the Senior Vice-President and Head
Miguel Garcia
He continues to spearhead initiatives to
allow even mid-sized BPOs to experience the
Philippines. He believes that every dollar spent
on the right prospect will profit everyone, and
spur a business ecosystem of opportunities
for real estate owners and developers, design
and construction companies, HR, accounting
and legal firms, telcos, etc.
According to Sañez, Garcia “is one of
the most experienced leaders in this industry
having been involved directly with it since its
beginnings. He is quite familiar with investor
requirements, having a good experience
with developing product offerings in various
areas of operations including infrastructure
and capability. Miguel is quite passionate in
selling the Philippine brand.”
President
heinz bulos
Publisher
cora llamas
Editor in Chief
william dizon
Art Director
DONNA LARAGA
Executive Assistant
VERONICA SILVA-CUSI
EVA GOYENA
MARLA SILAYAN-GONZALEZ
JASON JOHN LIM
Fred Ayala
Contributing Writers
KAREN BATUNGBACAL
WILLIE BICERA
PAUL DEL ROSARIO
BONG MERCADO
Photographers
advertising contact
nette roselo
Administrator
Eric Alberto
9th Flr. The Palisades Condominium
107 perea St., Legaspi Vill., Makati City
Tel: 817-BPAP (2727) Fax: 817-8141
E-mail: [email protected]
businessinfo Inc.
16th Flr. IJ3 Burgundy Corporate Tower
252 Sen Gil Puyat, Makati City
Tel: 856-4956 Fax: 856-4954
E-mail: [email protected]
Erratum: The What’s Inside column of the
Breakthroughs Sept. issue stated that Davao
City had 300,000 call center seats. The actual
figure is 3,000. Apologies for the error.
—The Editor
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
having enabled more than 80,000 call center
seats throughout the country, Garcia and the
DTSI Group are continuing to take bigger
and bolder steps to bring contact centers
and business process outsourcers to the
Philippines.
ERIC ALBERTO
ARMIE DUARTE
business processing
association of the philippines
Continuation from page 1
for PLDT-Smart Corporate Business Group.
He has over 25 years of extensive experience
in telecommunications, corporate banking,
relationship management and business
development, having held key positions in
PLDT and leading local and foreign banks.
Alberto sits as a Member of PLDTSmart Group’s Senior Management
Committee and holds directorships in some
subsidiaries of PLDT and Smart such as
Acasia, Mabuhay Satellite, Smart - NTT
Multi-Media, Inc., and as Chairman and
President of Telesat, Inc. and as Chairman
of Bonifacio Communications Corporation,
Subictel, Clarktel and Maratel, Inc.
BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez says of Alberto,
“He is an experienced leader in the telco
industry. He can contribute well to building
overall infrastructure capability, quality, cost
and reliability.”
The President of ICT Group Philippines
responsible for its overall operations
management, business development and
strategic growth and expansion initiatives.
ICT Group‘s Philippine operations comprise
six contact centers and over 8,000 employees
across the Metro Manila area.
Batungbacal is a highly sought-after
resource speaker in various customer service
conferences and panels in the U.S. and the
Asia-Pacific region. She received the Gold
Award and the Diamond Award in Customer
Service, Telecoms Sector, in the 1999 and
2000 Teleperformance Philippines Grand Prix
Awards in Customer Service. She also serves
on the Board of CCAP. Additionally, she is
also responsible for co-founding the Customer
Service Association of the Philippines, where
she served as president since its creation in
1997. She is also a member of the Direct
Marketing Association and the American
Teleservices Association.
Sañez says, “Karen is a passionate industry
leader making her mark in our initiatives
with the legislative and executive branches of
government and with all the foreign chambers
and foreign embassies. A passionate seller of
the country and the industry.”
GIL GENIO
The CEO of Innove Communications, the
Head of Globe Business and Carrier Services
Group of Globe Telecom, and a Managing
Director of Ayala Corporation. As head of
Globe Business, he oversees relationships
across all products with all business segments,
from SMEs to the largest enterprises, as well
as wholesale businesses with other service
providers. Genio is concurrently responsible
for Globe’s Carrier Services, dealing with
MIGUEL GARCIA
A veteran in the industry with 11 years of
experience under his belt, serving over 40
BPOs and multinational companies, and
Karen Batungbacal
www.bpap.org
BPA/P Stories
Breakthroughs
Gil Genio
relationships with foreign and domestic
telcos, as well as investments in international
submarine fiber optic systems and landing
stations.
Before joining Globe, Genio had spent
more than 11 years with Citibank in various
capacities, in Manila, Singapore, Tokyo
and Hong Kong. He obtained a Masters
in Business Management, graduating With
Distinction, from the Asian Institute of
Management. He holds a Bachelor of Science
degree in Physics, magna cum laude, from
the University of the Philippines.
Sañez describes Genio as a well-respected
industry leader who can “promote Philippine
BPOs well here and abroad and can link
BPA/P to a host of available resources in their
fields.”
the delivery of technology services such as
systems integration, application outsourcing
and infrastructure outsourcing.
Lui is a Certified Public Accountant with
a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, major
in Accounting, from the University of Sto.
Tomas (UST). She started her IT career with
the Management Consulting Division of
SGV. At Accenture, Lui has taken on various
roles, such as software developer, designer,
team manager, project manager, and senior
executive, and has helped build and led
industry practices like Utilities and Financial
Services.
Lui was a member of the very first
BPA/P Board. Says Sañez of his colleague,
“Her passion in the field of HR best practices
and operational excellence will be quite
important in the Roadmap 2010 projects in
talent development and quality assurance.
Beth is very well respected in the industry.”
Lui has led the phenomenal growth of
Accenture in the Philippines in recent
The
Country Managing Director of
Accenture’s Delivery Centers in the
Philippines who steers a more than 16,000strong workforce who provides high-quality IT
and BPO services to global clients in Europe,
North America and Asia. Lui is concurrently
the Philippines delivery centers’ Lead for
Technology, with overall responsibility for
www.bpap.org
Beth Lui
years and is largely instrumental in
creating the Accenture brand. Today, the
company is one of the industry’s biggest.
BARRY MARSHALL
The Senior Country Operations Officer of
JPMorgan Chase & Co. where he oversees all
of the firm’s Philippine-based Offshore and
Outsourced operations; his responsibilities
also include providing direction for the growth
and expansion efforts of JPMorgan Chase &
Co.’s Real Estate and operational investments in
the country. Marshall has been with JPMorgan
Chase & Co. for over 15 years.
He is the pioneer for the firm’s efforts
in the Philippines, instrumental in growing
its internal operations to over 3,000 FTE
and leveraging over 5,000 FTE at strategic
third party partners. He has had over five
years of hands-on experience in offshore and
outsourced operations across both India and
the Philippines.
Marshall has been a resident in Manila
since 2005. He completed his Bachelor of
Science degree in Business Management
from the Arizona State University in 1993,
and attained his Masters degree in Business
Administration from the London Business
School, UK in 2005.
“Barry is very active in and supportive of
many of the industry’s initiatives in marketing
and industry development,” says Sañez. “He
represents the ‘captive’ sector in the Board, a
key source of growth and development in the
Philippine IT-BPO sector.”
DAN REYES
BETH LUI
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
One of the respected leaders in the BPO
industry who has been steering Sitel
Philippines Corporation, where he is Country
President, to phenomenal growth over the
last nine years culminating in the company’s
being voted as the “Best BPO Company in
2007.”
One of the pioneers of the BPO Industry,
Reyes is also one of the founders of BPA/P.
Reyes started his career in Fujitsu
Philippines in 1989. He held various
Barry Marshall
executive positions until his transfer to
Salmat Corporation, an Australian BPO
company in 1997, eventually rising to the
rank of Country Chairman. He holds a
Bachelor of Science (BS) major in Computer
Science from the De La Salle University. In
1999, he was able to complete the Senior
Executive Management Program at Jardine
Management Institute.
Reyes is a “true BPO leader,” says Sañez,
“back-filling the BPA/P Team 2010 duties
in representing the industry in many of our
external affairs.”
Sañez also adds about the Trustees who
have been with BPA/P for a long time and
helped nurture its growth: “Fred, Dan, and
Karen have been instrumental in leading the
transformation of BPA/P into a ‘beefed-up’
organization.
“They helped consolidate the industry
and partner associations and led the work
towards developing Roadmap 2010 and
Team 2010.” z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
BPA/P Stories
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
A BPA/P trip to the Next Wave City of Bacolod: Zyra Rayos del Sol, BPA/P;
Rita Trillo- Ugarte, ExcelAsia; Jenny Garcia, ExcelAsia; Jamea Garcia, BPA/P.
Breakthroughs
Del Sol (left) and Garcia (right) of BPA/P with Yolanda Porschwitz, Provincial Director, TESDA Bacolod.
The BPA/P ladies with Kristelle Ong of the Call Center Academy in Cebu , also a top
outsourcing city aside from the Next Wave Cities.
BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez joins the BPA/P ladies in Bacolod.
Metro Laguna and Metro Cavite Judged ...
Second highest on the scoreboard is
Metro Cavite composed of Dasmariñas,
Bacoor, Imus, and Cavite City.
The rest of the cities that rank from #3 to
#10 are Iloilo City, Davao City, Bacolod City,
Angeles-Clark-Mabalacat, Baliuag-MarilaoMeycauayan, Cagayan de Oro, MalolosCalumpit, and Lipa City.
“Metro Laguna taken together ranked
the highest for availability of graduates
and workers out of more than 30 locations
assessed,” says CICT Secretary Ray Anthony
Roxas-Chua III. “The talent criteria carries
the largest weight—a full 50%—in the
overall ranking, which explains Metro
Laguna’s position at the top.”
Laguna, host to several industrial parks,
is now known as the Silicon Valley of the
Philippines and the Automotive Capital or
Detroit of the Philippines. It is also home to a
number of top academic institutions, like the
University of the Philippines in Los Baños,
Ateneo de San Pablo, Colegio de San Juan
de Letran, Laguna State Polytechnic, Mapua
Institute of Technology in Cabuyao, and the
Polytechnic University in Sta. Rosa, as well as
research and development organizations like
the International Rice Research Institute.
On the other hand, Cavite, according to
the Philippine Economic Zone Authority
(PEZA), has 13 economic zones as well
as other industrial estates all successfully
hosting various international and local
companies that include some IT and business
process outsourcing (BPO) companies.
Infrastructure and the wealth of human
capital made these two Metro cities preferred
destinations for IT-BPO companies and
leaders of the list of the country’s top ten
Next Wave Cities.
Expansion beyond Metro
Manila and Cebu
In addition to talent and infrastructure, the
other factors affecting city ranking are cost
and business environment. Cities are scored
for the quality of their roads, access to
international and domestic flights, presence
of hotels, presence of providers of fiber
optic networks—with at least two telephone
companies in the location to prevent
downtime, cost of labor and office space,
power rates and reliability of power supply,
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
Continuation from page 1

City
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
METRO LAGUNA
METRO CAVITE
Iloilo
Davao
Bacolod
Angeles-Clark-Mabalacat
Baliuag-Marilao-Meycauayan
Cagayan de Oro
Malolos-Calumpit
Lipa
Score
Talent
(50%)
Infra
(30%)
Cost
(5%)
BERM
(15%)
88%
89%
95%
62%
82%
85%
84%
93%
63%
82%
81%
72%
89%
87%
92%
80%
78%
95%
80%
60%
78%
70%
81%
80%
96%
77%
67%
100%
60%
70%
74%
66%
95%
67%
60%
73%
63%
91%
87%
68%
73%
68%
84%
67%
68%
73%
67%
87%
67%
64%
Source: BPAP-CICT-DTI Next Wave Cities Scorecard
1
vulnerability to natural disturbances, crime
rates, the presence of PEZA sites and ICT
councils, among other factors.
There were 50 locations on the initial Next
Wave Cities scorecard, with Metro Manila
and Cebu included. “Basically, the research
aimed to tell the investors where to locate
and to give the cities advice on how they can
improve further to be able to get investors,”
explains Gigi Virata, BPA/P’s Executive
Director for Information and Research. “We
included cities that have and don’t have
BPO locators yet. What is important is their
‘absorptive capacity’ or the level of BPO
employment they can sustain.”
The long list was refined as the study
progressed; thus Metro Manila and Cebu
were dropped as the further development
of the industry necessitated its spread to
other regions. “Competition tends to heat
up (in major locations like Metro Manila
and Metro Cebu) and salaries inflate. As a
result, employees jump from one company
to another. To keep salary rates manageable,
the industry needs to spread out,” Virata says.
“Attrition rate could also climb as it has in
India; thus, we need to handle the growth of
the industry properly.”
Issues addressed in the study also include
rising office space rental rates in Metro Manila
and the availability of graduates and workers
willing to work in the BPO industry. Figures
show that more than 80% of the Philippine
outsourcing industry is located in the Metro
Manila; however, only 25% of the graduates
come from these cities.
Board of Investments (BOI) Executive
Director Celeste Ilagan also stresses the
problems that are caused by the over
concentration of outsourcing companies in
Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
“We realized early on that to help investors
look beyond Manila and Cebu and to help
local stakeholders prepare to be effective
hosts for IT and BPO companies, we needed
to provide more information about our cities
and towns; otherwise pressures to raise rental
rates and salaries in these major metropolitan
areas would go unabated,” Ilagan comments.
“Having ten Next Wave Cities and more will
help ease the pressure and spread the benefit of
employment, higher incomes, and increased
business activity across the country.”
This joint undertaking of BPAP, CICT,
and DTI focused on gathering verifiable data
through coordination with the Commission
on Higher Education, the National Statistics
Office, the National Statistical Coordination
Board, PAG-ASA, and the Philippine
National Police.
“The cities that have ICT councils
submitted their reports to us which we also
used as information sources. We coordinated
with the Chambers of Commerce and some
city officials as well,” says Virata.
BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez describes the
Next Wave Cities scorecard as an effort
spurred by an agreement signed by the
three organizations in November 2007 after
launching the industry’s Roadmap 2010 which
set to capture 10% of the global outsourcing
market share and “identified the work that the
BPA/P as the industry association needs to do
to reach its target.” z Research compiled
with additional report by Eva Goyena.
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
BPA/P Stories
BPA/P’s Year-End Report
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Continuation from page 1
eventually results in the company setting
up shop in the country,” he adds.
The global slump has not affected
the entry of new players to the industry.
According to de Luzuriaga, stability is not
an issue with prospective locators. Walking
down the central business districts and
finding familiar brands such as Starbucks,
Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, and other
U.S.-based companies doing brisk business
immediately puts them at ease and has
them convinced.
Having attracted numerous BPO
players to set up shop, what is BPA/P doing
to ensure they are here for the long haul?
Membership
BPA/P currently has more than 200
members, half of which are directly
involved in the industry and the other half
come from the support industries, e.g.
telcos, training and recruitment houses,
real estate companies, software and
hardware vendors, and system integrators.
Approximately five new members are
added monthly but eight new members
were welcomed in October 2008.
According to de Luzuriaga, there are
more than 600 companies involved in
the BPO industry. “Although we live on
membership, we want our members to
have touch points with the industry. If we
find that an organization is not involved in
any way with the industry, we don’t push
through with the application,” he says.
The association is also open to receiving
applications from other industries so long
as they are involved in the BPO industry.
He cites HMOs as some of the possible
companies that may apply since these
industries supply some BPO requirements.
Membership to BPA/P is tiered. It is
based on size for those directly involved
in the industry and for those from support
industries, it depends on the level of
engagement of an organization. The type
of membership determines the amount of
information a company has access to.
Aside from monthly general assemblies
where members are updated on the
association’s activities, the association
intends to enhance other programs which
are already in place such as the CEO
Forums, major events such as the BPO
Summit, tradeshows where members
can showcase their capabilities, and
De Luzuriaga with Lyndon Bird, Technical Services Director of the Business Continuity Institute
community-building activities such as the
BPA/P golf tournament.
As major industry players form part of the
membership, the association has been able to
steer the industry toward the goals for 2010.
“We can influence the direction of the industry
because most of the major industry players are
members,” de Luzuriaga adds.
Talent development
By the end of 2008, the BPO industry
expects to have over 400,000 employees. The
target for 2010 is to have 900,000 full-time
employees. In the next three to four years,
projections are such that one out of 10 jobs
created will be in the BPO industry. “The
Philippines became attractive to major players
because of our English-speaking capability,
our affinity to the U.S., and similarities in
terms of jurisprudence and general acceptable
accounting practices,” says de Luzuriaga.
To further leverage the industry’s
strengths and fill the gap, constant training
and workforce enhancement is done.
The Training for Work Scholarship started
when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
allocated Php350 million for training
development for the BPO industry. As of
October 2008, 40,000 certificates have
been issued worth Php260 million. These
scholarships enable a person to be trained
in a skill area needed by the BPO industry.
The conversion of trainees to hirees is
high with 63% hired by contact centers,
86% hired by transcription services, and
100% each for software development and
animation.
De Luzuriaga also notes that the growth
of the industry has created a need for
middle managers as well as professional
training to augment and complement
what they have already learned (and are
learning) from experience.
He says that these employees who
finally fill the middle-management
positions will need to develop the ability to
forecast trends in a fast-paced environment.
“In a traditional environment, performance
appraisal is done once a year. But in the
BPO setup, performance appraisal can be
done weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly
because of contact center tools. These tools
enable management to look at numbers and
determine trends that guide operational
adjustments,” says de Luzuriaga.
The ability to forecast and adjust
a service’s direction complements the
natural customer service orientation of the
Filipino people.
To further boost human resources
capabilities, the association would like to
see a National Skills Assessment Test to be
given to graduating students to determine
a person’s skill set and further work on
developing a person’s skills. This will help
develop healthy career paths for everyone.
Employee retention
“BPA/P is working to develop a standard to
measure attrition. The study should be done
by the end of 2008,” says de Luzuriaga. He
adds that the measurement of attrition right
now is done differently in different centers:
“Attrition may be measured in several
ways: attrition from the standpoint of
total attrition—people who totally left the
company—training attrition, operational
attrition, or attrition through promotion or
transfer to another program.”
Trends also show that attrition rate in
third-party contact centers is faster than
that in captive centers. Centers such as JP
Morgan and HSBC which provide offshore
services for their companies are able to
keep the loyalty of their employees for a
longer period of time. “Although there is
still movement within the industry, it has
slowed down. People are finding their
niches,” de Luzuriaga adds.
He says that eventually the association
would like to track movement within the
industry.
Attracting new locators
The Philippines is making a name for itself
globally in the BPO industry. “You cannot
be known as a global player if you do not
have a footprint in the Philippines,” he
proudly adds. The association entertains
at least one new investor a week. More
than 10 companies have set up shop this
year alone.
De Luzuriaga enthuses, “We have
managed to forge a good partnership
between industry, government and
other players to make barriers to entry
disappear.” The association brings together
the various sectors involved in setting up a
business—government, telcos, recruitment
houses, training, real estate, and other
entities needed by the prospective locator.
The Roundtable Discussion Group, as
it is known, presents as one to sell the
advantages of setting up shop in the country.
This manner of presentation makes it easier
and faster for the client to gather data and
make an assessment. Currently this group
is convened weekly as they meet at least
one client a week.
Aside from presenting to prospective
clients, some of BPA/P’s members ask the
association to do this same presentation to
their prospective clients.
BPA/P’s future
Although the majority of industry
players come from the U.S., BPA/P
is currently making
presentations
in countries such as Australia, New
Zealand, Singapore, and the U.K., etc.
The industry has expanded its share of
businesses from some of these countries.
The global economic slump has made
the Philippines even more attractive as
it allows companies to stay in business.
“Companies have only two choices these
days—outsource or surrender and close
shop,” says de Luzuriaga.
The Philippines has not yet fully
tapped the global BPO market. Aside from
players from other countries, there are still
higher-value processes the country can
attract such as finance, accounting, and
HR-related functions. All these can happen
with a stronger partnership between the
industry, academe, and government. z
BPA/P Industry Affairs Exec. Dir. Jonathan de Luzuriaga at the 8th Annual BCM Conference in Singapore
www.bpap.org
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
BPA/P Updates
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Breakthroughs
The Information and Research Power
Team Awards: Pagpapasalamat I&R 2008
By Gigi Virata BPA/P Executive Director for Information and Research
A grateful acknowledgment
of the partners who have
contributed
to
BPA/P’s
success
Convincing companies that sharing
information is vital to the well-managed
growth of the industry has not been easy.
That said, I happily acknowledge that there
were many individuals and companies
that contributed in different ways to the
Information and Research (I&R) Power
Team’s activities in 2007 and 2008.
First, I acknowledge the pioneering
two-man I&R Power Team of Mike
Garrison (Dell) and Gerry Topacio (DTSI)
who ran BPA/P’s research efforts in 2007
including the IDC market survey (Gerry)
and the DDI Global Leadership Forecast
Survey (Mike). Mike helped ensure that
there were enough responses from the
Philippines for the DDI survey to warrant
a benchmark country report.
Because surveys are the lifeblood of
research, I also thank all the companies that
participated in our surveys on leadership
(by DDI), attrition (by HRCC-BPAP),
various issues (by Outsource2PhilippinesBPA/P), and health-risk behavior (by the
Department of Health). Special mention
goes to Penny Bongato (HRCC), Haidee
Enriquez (ACS/HRCC) for leading
the attrition survey effort and to DBM
Philippines (Binky Kilayko and Marivic
Gustilo) for its pro bono services for the
survey. Thanks, too, to companies that
have provided data for the BPA/P Industry
Inventory, especially on headcount.
Participation in events and meetings
in which information is shared is also
important and I’d like to thank all the
companies that attended our meetings,
workshops, and forums. Special mention
goes to companies that are regularly
represented and have representatives
who contribute to discussions at the I&R
Power Team’s monthly meetings, these
are: Accenture (Myra Arenas), Asiatype
(Levi Balanon), BayanTrade, DTSI,
HSBC (Philip Amores), Jones Lang
LaSalle Leechiu (JLLL), Kaisa, SPi, and
Sutherland Global Services.
Deserving of special recognition are
organizations that contributed most to
BPA/P’s I&R efforts in 2008:
PeopleSparx, led by May Cuevas, for
providing voluntary services in the review
of the DOH survey and, most especially,
for helping prepare the presentations of
our speakers, leading the breakout session
at the National Competitiveness Council’s
Local Government Unit Summit, and
finalizing our report for the summit. Dan
Reyes (Sitel), David Leechiu (JLLL), and
Maulik Parekh (Teletech) also deserve
special thanks for ably representing the
industry at the summit.
The Commission on Information and
Communications Technology (CICT),
especially Secretary Ray Anthony RoxasChua III, Commissioner Mon Ibrahim,
Director Trish Abejo, Mae Agne, and
Emmy Delfin are recognized for making
up the public half of the highly productive
and congenial public-private partnership
(PPP) BPA/P has with CICT. The updated
Next Wave Cities (NWC) Scorecard is
just one of the many outputs of this model
PPP. Celeste Ilagan, an executive director
of the Board of Investments, also deserves
recognition for actively participating
in the NWC Working Group, sharing
information, and helping facilitate PPP
with other government units. These are
civil servants that we can be proud of.
We find some of the data for the NWC
Scorecard on the Web sites of government
and private organizations. However, there
are member and government organizations
that have contributed custom reports
for the scorecard and they too deserve
acknowledgement: Ayala Land, Bayantel,
CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), Colliers,
Commission on Higher Education,
Department of Trade and Industry
(Regional Operations and Development
Group),
Eastern
Communication,
Globe Telecom, various ICT Councils,
JLLL, Meralco, Philippine Export Zone
Authority, and PLDT. Carol Dominguez
(John Clements Consultants) and David
Leechiu (JLLL) contributed as well their
time and expertise to make the scorecard
metrics correspond more closely to
investor concerns.
We also thank all who attended the
CEO forums, including industry panelists:
Karen Batungbacal (ICT Group), Bong
Borja (PeopleSupport), James Donovan
(American Data Exchange Corporation),
Ray Espinosa (SPi Technologies),
Joey Gurango (Gurango Software),
Rick Santos (CBRE), Nora Terrado
(Headstrong Philippines), and Marife
Zamora (Convergys). Special thanks goes
to Accenture for sponsoring the first forum
and to Globe Business for sponsoring two
forums. Very special acknowledgement
goes to Excel Asia Training and
Development Inc. for sponsoring both
forums and being a principal sponsor for
the second.
Since the beginning
If there were “finalists” for the Best
BPA/P Information and Research Partner
for 2008, they would be:
Outsource2Philippines (O2P), that
is, Frank Holz, who since 2005 has
sponsored the O2P-BPA/P Periodic
Survey—efficiently filling the industry’s
information gap. Frank was the only
member to attend the second I&R Power
Team meeting where we conceived of
the CEO forum as a venue for discussing
pressing industry issues relevant to all
industry sectors and companies regardless
of size. He has continued to be actively
involved in conceiving, planning, and
conducting the periodic surveys and CEO
forums.
Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, led by
David Leechiu, for actively participating
in all I&R Power Team and Next Wave
Cities Working Group meetings. David
and his team have very generously shared
information, time, and expertise for the
benefit of the industry as whole. JLLL
has also committed to invest in personnel
and logistical resources to assist in major
BPAP research projects.
Asiatype Inc. (ATI), for initiating
the cooperative effort between ATI and
BPA/P as co-publishers of Offshoring and
Outsourcing Philippines Directory 2008.
ATI invested in this two-year research
and publication project and
invited
BPA/P to contribute to it. ATI also invested
generously in the directory’s launch and
is working with BPA/P to market and sell
the directory. ATI continues to update the
directory, providing us with invaluable
information; future projects between ATI
and BPA/P are being discussed.
The Grand Finalist for
Best
BPA/P Information and Research Partner
2008 goes to TeamAsia under the very
active and able leadership of Mike and
Monette Hamlin. In BPA/P’s early years,
TeamAsia provided pro bono services for
BPA/P’s Web site and technical support
needs. It has helped conceive and lead
the implementation of all
the O2PBPA/P Periodic Surveys since 2005. Most
importantly, TeamAsia has unselfishly
contributed to the conception, planning,
and implementation of the CEO Forums.
TeamAsia not only does 90% of the work
for the forum, it also writes off or gives
hefty discounts to BPA/P—amounting up to
almost 50% of total costs—to ensure that the
forums are an enriching experience and also
help replenish BPA/P’s research budget.
There many other companies and
people who have helped; I’ve limited
my “candidates” to (mostly) BPA/P
members and government partners. I
apologize to any company or person I
may have inadvertently left off this list.
Please don’t hesitate to jog my memory
([email protected]). z
Talent Will Determine the Growth
of the IT-BPO Industry
By Jamea Garcia BPA/P Executive Director for Talent Development
To reach our 2010 aspirations,
the industry will need to
employ 900,000 to 1,000,000
workers. These means that
one out of every 10 Filipinos
will be employed in this
industry.
Thus, the BPA/P
Talent Development Team has
drawn up several programs
and initiatives to reach this
goal.
A number of these programs require
the collaboration between industry,
academe and the government. We have
been fortunate that both academe and
government have been proactive in this
endeavour. BPA/P has an actively been
working with the Presidential Task Force on
Education (PTFE). We are also part of the
National Competitiveness Council (NCC)
and we are a member of the IT-Panel for
Bi-Cameral Commission on Math, Science,
Technology, and Education or COMSTE.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
As 2008 draws to a close, we are
pleased to update you on the various
programs and initiatives of the BPA/P
Talent Development Team.
ADEPT
The Advanced English Proficiency
Training Program (ADEPT) is a tie-up
between BPA/P and COCOPEA. This
program focuses on developing near-hire
and hiring-level competencies in English,
so that graduates can be immediately
employable in the BPO-IT industry. It is an
intensive English proficiency training class
to be taken by students in their final year in
the university.
ADEPT Working Group has finalized
the standard courseware to be used in the
ADEPT Class for the participating schools,
including the assessment tools for the
students who will be enrolled.
An Administrator’s briefing and
orientation was held last September 11,
2008 at the Far Eastern
University.
BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez, gave an industry
overview, Dr. Vincent Fabella (former
President of COCOPEA), and I conducted
the briefing. It was attended by university
presidents coming from Metro Manila,
Laguna, Cavite and Dagupan.
A faculty training program for the
ADEPT Courseware was held last October
20-24 at the Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Twenty-nine faculty members from 11
universities and colleges participated. This
five-day training workshop is designed for
the faculty of the ADEPT participating
universities.
An initial pilot run of the ADEPT class
was conducted last school year 2007-2008
and had very promising results. The 40 to
50% of students who underwent the ADEPT
were assessed to be immediately hireable
by the call center partners (as compared
to the current 5 to 10% hiring rate). We
hope that we will be able to replicate if not
increase our hiring rates with this coming
run.
TOOL
The Training for Offshoring and
Outsourcing Leadership Program (TOOL)
is a middle management program for the
BPO-IT Industry done in partnership with
Ateneo De Manila Graduate School of
Business and the De La Salle Graduate
School of Business. This program aims to
help create more capable managers for the
industry by enhancing leadership mindsets
and developing managerial skills.
This program is divided into two
phases. Phase one is a basic management
program developed for newly promoted
managers and supervisors. The second
phase is a management-and-leadership
development program designed for middle
managers which may be credited as a sixunit elective for those intending to purpose
an MBA degree.
We are currently accepting enrollees
for the courses.
PGMA-TWSP
We are co-managing with the TESDA the
PGMA Training for Work Scholarship
Program for the BPO-IT industry. The total
allocation for the BPO-IT Industry is Php350
million. To date, we have distributed over
Php260 million of scholarship vouchers
nationwide.
We are optimistic that the above projects
will help us move towards our 2010 goals
and aspirations. There are more projects
to look forward to for the coming year. z
www.bpap.org
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
BPA/P Updates
Breakthroughs
On the Road to Marketing Excellence
and London, UK for BPA/P
By Cathy Ileto BPA/P Executive Director for External Relations
Foreign companies are realizing
that the Phil IT-BPO industry
provides
services
beyond
voice
There is definitely no stopping the
Business Processing Association of the
Philippines (BPA/P) in terms of reaching its
Roadmap 2010 goals.
This explains why BPA/P, through
the efforts of the External Relations
team, embarked on an ambitious foray to
reinvigorate its marketing strategies as it
prepares to propel the Philippines to the
global information technology-business
process outsourcing (IT-BPO) market as a
top and world-class IT-BPO destination.
Foremost of these efforts are the new BPA/
P marketing tagline, “Experience Excellence.
Experience the Philippines,” which was
launched to the media early October. The new
tagline was the result of extensive discussions
between BPA/P executives and local IT-BPO
industry players.
The operative word that came out of those
discussions was the word “excellence,” which
they said best describes what the Philippines
is all about with regard to IT-BPO, from
abundant and highly skilled talent, robust
telecommunications infrastructure, healthy
and active Western-based lifestyle, and
authentic and incomparable customer-focused
mentality. These qualities, they said, are already
encapsulated in the word “excellence.”
The Web and the world
BPA/P will also be deploying other marketing
campaigns on the local front, particularly
with regard to online recruitment, and other
marketing tools that would generate deeper
awareness among Filipinos about the ITBPO industry. For this, we have entered into
a partnership with Havoc Digital, one of the
country’s foremost web developers and also
BPA/P portal developer, to effectively see
this ambitious project through.
BPA/P, true to its visionary inclinations,
also plans to engage the use of online sites like
Yahoo! and popular social networking site
Friendster, which has a huge base of Filipino
subscribers, to the tune of around 13 million,
for its talent marketing initiatives. Yahoo! and
Friendster would be very efficient mediums
in order to generate more awareness about
our industry, especially among the youth and
also their parents. These sites would also be of
big help to us in countering all other negative
issues emanating primarily from the lack of
understanding of what the IT-BPO industry
is all about and what benefits it can bring to
Filipinos, especially during these hard times.
Finally, we are also proud to report to you
that this new tagline had its “world premiere”
of sorts during the recently-concluded
National Outsourcing Association (NOA)
Summit held at the elegant Queen Elizabeth II
Convention Centre located right at the heart of
London. The presentation of the new tagline,
via a hip and cool marketing AVP, during the
NOA Plenary Session where our CEO, Mr.
Oscar Sañez, presented a case study about the
Philippines, is in line with BPA/P’s strategy
to gain inroads in the United Kingdom and
other countries in Europe like Germany, and
even in other significant IT-BPO markets like
Australia and Singapore.
After the plenary, foreign delegates to the
NOA joined a round-table sessions, wherein
BPA/P and members of the Philippine
delegation answered various queries about the
Philippine IT-BPO industry.
During the roundtable, we made the
foreign countries realize that the Philippines
has already moved up from just speaking good
English, answering mails and basic accounting
operations work, to the higher end of the
IT-BPO value chain like animation, design
services, finance-related functions, software
development, and efficient whole back-end
operations. z
IPO Forum: BPA/P Holds Exclusive Forum
on Equity Funding for Sr. Execs
L-r: Joey Gurango, CEO, Gurango Software; Luz Lorenzo, Regional Economist, ATR KimEng Capital Partners,
Inc.; BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez; Monette Hamlin of Time Asia (top photo); BPA/P Info and Research Exec. Dir.
Gigi Virata; Michael Alan Hamlin, Managing Director, Team Asia; and Atty. Francis Lim, President, PSE
Serious IT-BPO players —
regardless of their size — will
require access to capital to
fuel continued growth. One
alternative
for
generating
capital is equity funding.
In response to inquiries and discussions
within the industry on the processes involved
in obtaining equity funding, the Business
Processing Association of the Philippines
(BPA/P) and Outsource2Philippines (O2P),
with the support of the Philippine Stock
Exchange (PSE), organized an exclusive
senior executive briefing entitled On the Road
to Going Public: A Forum for Corporate
Executives Considering Equity Funding last
Sept. 18 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
TeamAsia, Excel Asia, and ATR KimEng
Capital Partners were major sponsors; Globe
Business and First Metro Investment House
were minor sponsors; and BusinessWorld was
the exclusive media sponsor.
This briefing examined alternatives
for equity funding in the Philippines with
top executives of leading IT-BPO service
providers who have or are considering
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
accessing equity funding to support growth.
Respected ATR KimEng Regional Economist
Luz Lorenzo presented an overview of
the global investment outlook for the ITBPO industry. Next PSE President Francis
Lim told PSE’s story and own journey to
listing. Joey Gurango started off the panel
discussion with the inspiring growth story of
Gurango Software, a Filipino multinational
in the global IT space. Bong Borja added
to the picture the growth of PeopleSupport
using equity capital up to its recent sale and
delisting. Karen Batungbacal shared the many
challenges in the highly transparent world of
listed companies.
PSE Legal Officer Varvie Roldan and
Securities & Exchange Commission Director
Justina Callangan clarified the requirements
of listing. First Metro Securities, Inc.,
Chairman Roberto Juanchito Dispo explained
how investment houses proposed to help fund
expansion. TeamAsia’s Michael Alan Hamlin
gave an overview of BPA/P’s recent survey
on this same topic and moderated the panel
discussion. The survey received the highest
response rate of any of BPA/P’s past surveys,
suggesting keen interest in learning more
about equity funding in the Philippines.z
O&O Directory to Help
Market RP BPO Firms
By Veronica Silva-Cusi
Aware that adequate exposure
is needed to promote the
IT-BPO sector in the global
market,
the
Business
Processing Association of the
Philippines (BPA/P) launched
the Offshoring & Outsourcing
Directory Philippines 2008 on
August 15.
It is expected that the directory will
serve as a strong marketing tool to boost
efforts by the IT-BPO sector in acquiring
the 10% share of the US$130-billion
market abroad by 2010.
BPA/P CEO Oscar M. Sañez said the
directory is an important marketing tool
for industry players particularly when
engaging in investor networking and trade
missions abroad.
“Over the years, we have all seen
how the industry posted phenomenal
numbers that led to the Philippines being
recognized as a top IT-BPO destination
in the world,” Sañez said. “With this
directory, we hope to concretize that
recognition and showcase to the world
that the Philippines is not just about call
centers but a whole lot more, and poised
to achieve more growth even beyond our
original projections.”
The directory is the next major step of
the BPO industry following the presentation
of Offshoring and Outsourcing Philippines:
Roadmap 2010 , a document which outlines
the industry’s strategies and programs.
“The growth of the outsourcing and
offshoring industry in the Philippines could
no longer be ignored – and neither could
the need for a publication that promoted it
abroad,” said Philippe Gauthier, Chairman
of Asiatype.
Aside from company information,
the directory contains contact details and
business description of over 550 local and
foreign companies.
To help investors find their way in
the industry, the directory also has basic
information such as how to register, a list
of investment promotion agencies and
relevant information regarding available
office space.
Published by BPA/P and Asiatype, Inc.,
the 364-page directory costs US$295 or
Php13,500. z
www.bpap.org
BPA/P Updates
Breakthroughs
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
From the CEO Desk
A Historic Transition
BPA/P has capped the year
quite fittingly with the election
of a new Board 30 days after the ratification
of the new BPA/P charter in September
and very much in line with the dictates
of Roadmap 2010. At this time, it is only
right that we acknowledge the valuable
contribution made by the outgoing Board
in forging the right direction for BPA/P
and the BPO industry, for paving the way
for the development of our strategic plan
called Roadmap 2010 and the formation
of 2010, the full-time management team
tasked to lead the execution of the portfolio
of initiatives embodied in the roadmap.
If not for this bold move by the outgoing
Board, we would not have achieved this
industry breakthrough that is rarely seen
in the Philippine business scene and the
remarkable +50% annual export revenue
growth that they had delivered over the past
two years. Let’s take our hats off then to
this Board that led us to where we are now –
Chairman Fred Ayala, President Dan Reyes,
Board members Karen Batungbacal, Bong
Borja, Maulik Parekh, David Sutton, Rose
Montenegro, Mike Garrison, Myla Reyes,
Tarcs Taruc, and Grace Dimaranan.
The new Board takes over in these
very challenging times marked by a global
recession, a new Obama presidency in the
U.S. and a really full “Year 3” agenda in
Roadmap 2010 that will take on untested
initiatives like the National Assessment
and Competency tests, the BPA/P Quality
Assurance Program and Accreditation
program, the roll-out of ADEPT and Middle
Management Development program and
the institutionalization of the annual Next
Wave Cities ranking.
The new Board will have to play a
key role as well in supporting our new
marketing campaign in the light of the
worldwide economic issues and the growth
of the emerging markets. The new Board
will take us to the closing of 2010, the endpost of our Roadmap 2010 and should also
take the lead in initiating the setting of the
next big leap for our industry.
It will truly be another historic period
for the industry and one we should all be
proud to be a part of. z
The Insider
By Jonathan De Luzuriaga
BPA/P Executive Director for Industry Affairs
Prophet of Boom
That’s what I half-jokingly
texted a colleague yesterday:
“I’m the prophet of BOOM,” which counters
in spirit the atmosphere of gloom and doom
that has descended around the world—and
yes, in our BPO industry—following nonstop news about a global recession that has
seen thousands lose jobs and businesses close
shop, if not declare bankruptcy.
Yes, there is reason for concern; I’m not
laughing that away. Yes, the financial giants
in the U.S. which happen to be the customers
of some of our BPOs have cited significant
losses. Yes, the new U.S. President-elect
Barack Obama has repeatedly said that he
will translate into policy that the American
economy would be best served by jobs being
filled by Americans in their home country
rather than being outsourced to BPOs across
the globe.
However, as an industry veteran who
started in the front lines many years ago and
who has seen its growth and wrestled with
its challenges, there is one thing I do keep in
mind: the time-tested rules of the economy.
Economic crises, regardless of how hard
they hit a sector or a country, come and go.
They make people tighten their belts and
compel companies to take a good second
look at their budget—but they eventually
run their cycles. It may take a year or two to
recover, but the economy will eventually see
an upturn.
What is important is what we do now. My
principle in life has always been: don’t panic
during a typhoon, but strengthen the structure
of your house, stock up on food and water,
make sure your family is safe. In a manner
of speaking, this is what we have been doing
in the industry.
Our English-speaking talent is still a
pool to contend with, and the partnerships
and programs we have established with the
government, the academe, and other members
of the private sector will ensure that that
wellspring of talent will be nurtured, trained,
and made ready when this ominous shadow
hovering over us is finally dispelled.
Another asset we have in our favor is the
Filipino creativity and flexibility. We have the
brainpower to adapt to change and adjust to
new things. Make no mistake about it: the
BPO industry during this crisis might have to
www.bpap.org
make a few changes which is what companies
always do during times like these. New
technologies might be introduced and new
skills might be required. I am confident that
the ever-adaptable Pinoy BPO worker can
rise to the task.
New horizons
New technologies, new skills, and new
accounts come from new horizons. Even
prior to the U.S. crisis, BPA/P has been
making aggressive inroads into markets like
Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and
Europe. Though all of these places have been
affected by the economic slowdown, their
different cultural and market conditions may
make outsourcing an even greater necessity
rather than an expense that has to be removed.
Even as I’m writing this column, I’m reading
the statement of a British telecom company
executive who is currently exploring options
of setting up shop in Manila mainly because
U.K. does not have the sufficient labor pool to
do the jobs required.
Oh, yes, that’s another thing to remember.
The number of prospective locators who have
come here has not diminished. I’ve been
touring and entertaining one potential BPO
client a week.
And let’s not totally give up hope on
getting business from the U.S. Let’s look
beyond the news bulletins but ask ourselves:
at the end of the day, will U.S. companies
not realize that it will be more cost-effective
to continue outsourcing work outside where
labor costs are far more reasonable than they
are in the U.S.? Will not the resultant savings
from outsourcing lead to a healthier bottom
line?
As far as the proverbial laid-off American
who will take on any kind of work just to keep
afloat is concerned, how long will he stay on
in a call center job until he finds something
“better?” Let’s not forget that one strength
of the Filipino BPO workers (and which our
U.S. clients are happy about) is that many of
them see a long-lasting career in the industry
where they can literally start at the bottom and
rise up the ranks. I’ve seen it happen, and it
has happened to me.
So, cheer up! The boom will follow after
the bust! And, on that note, Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year! z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
10
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
People, Places, Events
Breakthroughs
The Sept. General Membership
Assembly Meeting
BPA/P’s September General
Membership Assembly Meeting
(GMAM) was held at the Makati Shangri-
La Hotel last September 29. The guest
speaker, Michael Palacios, Managing
Director of Havoc Digital Inc., spoke about
online recruitment initiatives. Also discussed
during the GMM was the election of the
BPA/P Board of Trustees for 2009. z
Jonathan De Luzuriaga, BPA/P’s Industry Affairs Director
BPA/P CEO Oscar Sañez with Susan Padley and her StarTek team
Cathy Ileto, BPA/P’s External Affairs Director
Michael Palacios of Havoc Digital
GMM has become an event to look forward to for BPA/P’s 200 members.
A Warm Despedida to an Exec Director
Globe Business hosted a warm
send-off intimate party for BPA/P
BPA/P ladies (Rona Quilban, Ali Arboleda & Zyra Rayos Del Sol) man the registration area.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
Director for External Relations Cathy Ileto
at the the Tower Club to celebrate her new
venture, as the forthcoming President of
Environments Global Foundation. Ileto will
oversee all of Environments Global’s CSR
initiatives, and concurrently hold the role
of Director for Strategic Communications,
managing Environments Global Limited’s
PR and marketing functions. “I’m looking
forward to this role because it will allow me
to continue working in the BPO sector, an
industry I love for its dizzyingly fast pace
and dynamism,” says Ileto. “It’s exciting
because Environments Global is at the
cutting-edge of design and engineering, even
by global standards.” By Doy Roque,
Managing Director, MediaMeter.
From l-r: Juris Umali, Chief of Staff of First Gentleman
Mike Arroyo; Cathy Ileto; and BPA/P ladies
Nette Roselo, Rona Quibilan, Zyra Rayos, and Gigi Virata
From l-r: Tina Peregrino, Marketing Exec. Globe
Business; MJ Hyndman, Lead for Marketing Services,
Globe Bus.; Jay Perez, Marketing Exec, Globe Bus.;
Doy Roque, Managing Dir., Media Meter; and
Jesus Romero, Head, Corporate Group, Globe Bus.
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
People, Places, Events
The Elections of the
Board of Trustees
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
11
Giselle Sanchez, host for the evening
Raul Pagdanganan, CFO, Eastern Telecom
BPA/P members line up at the registration area.
The atmosphere is charged with anticipation
The October General Membership Assembly Meeting last Oct. 27 at
the Blue Leaf Events Pavilion was special in that it was the Election Night for the new Board
of Trustees for 2009. z
Turn to page 14
www.bpap.org
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
14
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
People, Places, Events
The Elections of the Board ...
Breakthroughs
Continuation from page 11
Time to celebrate! From l-r: Dan Reyes, Sitel; Barry Marshall, JP Morgan Chase Bank; Miguel Garcia, DTSI; Eric Alberto, PLDT; Ester Punongbayan, Punongbayan & Araullo;
Jesus Romero, Globe Business; Fred Ayala, LiveIt Solutions; Jojo Uligan, CCAP; Edwin Domingo, Eastern Telecom; Atty. Bob Guinto, NMGRA; and Jonathan De Luzuriaga, BPA/P.
Information about the candidates is prominently displayed.
Maulik Parekh of Teletech, Roel Ramos of BPO Training Academy, Dan Reyes of Sitel,
Glad Ramos of BPO Training Academy
Dave Rizzo and Eric Concepcion from Teleperformance and Grace Castillo of Globe Telecom
From Epldt Ventus: Patrick Dy, Jessica Powell, Joseph Verzosa and Helen Marquez
BPA/P members cast their vote for the new Board of Trustees.
Industry members and Non-Industry members vote for their representatives.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
www.bpap.org
Next-wave Cities
Breakthroughs
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
The Top 10 Next Wave Cities
One of the many attractions of Sta Rosa, Laguna is the theme park The Enchanted Kingdom.
The Battle of Imus monument commemorates the prominent role that Cavite played in Philippine history.
BPO campus Nuvali is Sta. Rosa’s newest prime real estate located south
of Metro Manila and less than an hour away from Makati.
By Gigi Virata, Alma Mae Agne,
and Tonette Consuelo
A brief overview of the best
locations
for
outsourcing
outside the NCR
On November 3, 2008, Commission on
Information and Communications Technology
(CICT) Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua
III, Business Processing Association of the
Philippines (BPA/P) Chief Executive Officer
Oscar Sañez, and Board of Investments
Executive Director (ED) Celeste Ilagan
publicly announced the Philippines’ top 10
Next Wave Cities (NWCs) for outsourcing.
Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, Iloilo City,
Davao City, and Bacolod City are, based on the
BPA/P-CICT-DTI NWC Scorecard, the best
locations for outsourcing in the Philippines
outside of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
Angeles-Clark-Mabalacat, Baliuag-MarilaoMeycauayan, Cagayan de Oro City, MalolosCalumpit, and Lipa City make up the rest of
the top ten. These cities and municipalities
garnered the highest scores for availability
of talent, which carried 50 percent of the
overall score. Other factors considered were
infrastructure (30%), business environment
(15 %), and cost (5 %).
The aim of producing these rankings is
two-fold: to provide investors with credible
and objective information on recommended
outsourcing locations; and to provide
benchmarks for local stakeholders to
improve their capability to host outsourcing
operations. Achieving these goals should
help lower the concentration of the IT-BPO
industry in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu;
together, employment in these two major
locations comprises 86% of the entire
industry. Spreading operations to other
locations would avoid heated competition
that could lead to spiraling salary rates and
real estate rentals—such as was beginning
www.bpap.org
to happen in Makati City before the opening
of several alternative locations within and
outside of Metro Manila.
The announcement of the top 10 NWCs
capped a year-long validation and refinement
process of the scorecard by the NWC
technical team led by CICT Commission
Monchito Ibrahim and the writers of this
article [Ms. Virata is the BPA/P ED for
Information and Research, Ms. Consuelo is
a BPA/P Research Consultant and Ms. Agne
is the CICT Head Executive Assistant – Ed].
This most productive and congenial publicprivate partnership also involved participation
from other DTI units such as the Regional
Operations and Development Group (RODG)
and Philippine Economic Zone Authority
(PEZA); and BPA/P members Jones Lang
LaSalle Leechiu (JLLL) and John Clements
Consultants (JCC). Information was provided
by the Commission on Higher Education,
ICT councils, PEZA, and the Philippine
National Police as well as JLLL, Ayala
Land, Bayan, CB Richard Ellis, Colliers,
Eastern Communications, Globe Telecom,
Meralco, and PLDT. The team also consulted
organizations such as PAG-ASA and the
National Electrification Authority (NEA).
Demographic and other data were culled from
the Web sites of other organizations such as
those of various airlines and locations, the
Department of Tourism, Manila Observatory,
National Statistics Office, National Statistical
Coordination Board, and NEA.
The current version of the scorecard
evolved from the original scorecard produced
by the Roadmap Team of BPA/P and
McKinsey and Company in the first half of
2007. Originally, 43 locations were considered
including locations in Metro Manila and
Metro Cebu. A memorandum of agreement
between BPA/P, CICT, and DTI was signed
in November 2007 and this collaboration
produced the second version, which was rolled
out at the eServices conference in February
2008 by Sec. Chua and covered 18 locations
15
A popular commercial complex rises in Cavite.
with ICT councils. In July 2008, the NWC
Working Group was convened—led by Sec.
Chua, Sañez, and Ilagan; and including David
Leechiu of JLLL, Carol Dominguez of JCC,
Ibrahim, representatives from CHED, DTIRODG, and PEZA, and this article’s writers.
The group identified 50 locations out of
more than 1,600 cities and municipalities
across the country for inclusion in
the scorecard. Locations within close
proximity to each other and, thus, sharing
resources, were later grouped (such as
locations in Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite,
and Bulacan) to reduce the scorecard list
to 30 potential locations. Locations 11 to
30 will be featured in publications on the
NWCs planned for 2009.
Here is a brief overview of the top 10
cities and the qualities that placed them on
that list:
1. METRO LAGUNA
Situated just 30 kilometers (km) south of
Metro Manila, Laguna can be accessed via
the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX) or
the eastern road that winds through the towns
of Anitpolo and Tanay. It topped the list of the
country’s Next Wave Cities by garnering an
overall score of 88.35% and scoring highest
in talent.
With its proximity to Metro Manila, Metro
Laguna enjoys the same first-rate infratructure
facilities such as telecommunications, road
network, and power rates. The availability of
big tracks of commercial spaces is imminent
with the emergence of techno parks and BPO
campuses from top-rated real estate firms.
Laguna plays host to several industrial
parks
where
different
corporations,
multinational and local, are nestled. As
a major contributor to the gross national
product, it is known as the Silicon Valley of
the Philippines and the Automotive Capital
or the Detroit of the Philippines. The stable
peace-and-order situation continues to attract
investors to Laguna.
Laguna’s primary resource is its
skilled manpower. Metro Laguna, which
is comprised of Sta. Rosa, Calamba, Los
Baños, Cabuyao, and San Pablo has access
to a combined college graduate pool of over
148,000 annually and over 6 million people
in the BPO-relevant labor force. It is home to
a plethoria of esteemed academic institutions
like the Ateneo de San Pablo, Collegio de San
Juan de Letran, Laguna State Polytechnic,
Mapua Institute of Technology in Cabuyao,
Polytechnic University in Sta. Rosa, and the
University of the Philippines in Los Baños.
2. METRO CAVITE
Situated some 30 km south of Metro
Manila, Metro Cavite’s strategic location
has helped it become one of the country’s
more viable sites; a place where investments
and trading have prospered. According to
PEZA, Cavite has 13 economic zones and
other industrial estates hosting international
and local companies engaged in processing
and packaging agricultural products, or in
manufacturing, IT, and BPO.
The local government of Cavite has
created an attractive investment environment
by adopting local investment incentives in
addition to those of PEZA. Infrastructure,
particularly power and telecommunications,
is more than adequate to serve the needs of
its burgeoning business activities. Telecom
providers like Digitel, Globe, PLDT, and
their wireless subsidiaries have a strong
presence in Cavite, ensuring redundancy for
IT-BPO companies.
Another factor that makes Metro
Cavite a preferred destination for ITBPO is its wealth of human capital.
Universities and colleges within Cavite
are readily accessible to its residents. An
added advantage of Cavite is its proximity
to Metro Manila where most Caviteños go
for higher education.
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Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
16
Next-wave Cities
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
The Top 10 Next Wave ...
Breakthroughs
Continuation from page 15
Home to the world-famous Maskara Festival, Bacolod plays host to both local and foreign
tourists who flock to witness and be part of the annual Mardis Gras-style fiesta.
3. ILOILO CITY
Iloilo City is considered the center of finance
in the Western Visayas Region. Its location,
likewise in the center of the Philippines,
makes it accessible to other regions by
air, land, and sea. Though it is known as
an important producer of agricultural and
fishery products, the number of businesses,
especially BPO companies, which are setting
up shop in the region, is rising. Some of
these locators include Callbox Customer
Contact Center, ePLDT Ventus, Global Mega
Communications Inc., SPi Corp., Techno
Call Corp., and TeleTech.
In recognition of the importance of the ITBPO industry, several of Iloilo’s universities
have incorporated call center fundamentals in
their courses. Four institutions offer finishing
courses for call center agents and medical
transcriptionists with full scholarships from
TESDA. There are 13 major academic
institutions, including the University of
the Philippines–Iloilo, which produce over
13,000 graduates a year.
4. DAVAO CITY
Davao City was featured lengthily in the
September issue of Breakthroughs! This major
province in Mindanao boasts of six major call
centers, over 3,000 BPO employees, and was
named the Philippines’ Most Competitive
City in the Asian Institute of Management’s
Philippine Competitiveness Ranking project
in 2007.
5. BACOLOD CITY
Bacolod City has consistently gained top
ratings in surveys and studies of prominent
business organizations: Most BusinessFriendly City in both 2007 and 2006 by
the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry; top 5 in the Most Competitive
Mid-Sized Cities in 2005 by the Asian
Institute of Management in coordination
with USAID, the German Technical
Cooperation, and Asia Foundation; and
number 1 in that latter category in 2003.
With a 99.6% rating in crime solution
efficiency, it was awarded the Best Peace
and Order Council in 2007.
Bacolod is a thriving BPO hub with
over 4,000 workers in the ICT sector. They
are employed in major companies such as
Convergys, TeleTech, and Teleperformance.
Forty colleges and universities within
Negros Occidental produce 10,000–14,000
graduates a year. There are also TESDAaccredited call center training centers and
a training center for medical transcription.
The five presidentially proclaimed IT
zones are the Bacolod IT Park, East Bloc
IT Park, Luxor Plaza IT Center, Monfort
IT Building, One Sanparq, and Robinsons
Metro Bacolod.
The major airlines service the new
Bacolod-Silay Airport, while13 operational
ports provide access to the region by sea.
A road network connects Bacolod to the
whole island of Negros.
Bacolod City has 40 major real estate developers providing the city with prime commercial
spaces like Robinsons Land Corporation (above) for prospective IT-BPO locators.
Mixing business with pleasure in Bacolod is not hard
to do. The place is full of rich historical sites, resorts
and hotels to unwind and relax.
6. ANGELES-CLARKMABALACAT
BPO Sites
Existing Call Centers (Medium to Big) Bert Barriga
A map of the IT-BPO hubs in Davao
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
Angeles City has emerged as a first-class,
highly urbanized city after clawing its way out
of the devastation of Mt. Pinatubo’s explosion
that paralyzed the province of Pampanga. The
Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City is an
investor’s haven, playing host to companies
like FedEx, Texas Instruments, United Parcel
Services, Yokohama Tire Philippines, among
others. It also is home to established IT-BPO
companies like CyberCity Teleservices,
eTelecare, Intellirisk Phils. Inc., NCO, SPi
Corp., and Sutherland.
The need for skilled manpower is readily
addressed by the presence of 159 established
and renowned academic institutions located
in the heart of Angeles City like the AMA
Computer Colleges, Holy Angel University,
Philippine Womens University, STI Colleges,
and the University of the Philippines–
Pampanga, as well as other colleges and
universities conveniently located around the
city. Its minimum wage is pegged at US$0.8
per hour.
Companies in the freeport enjoy generous
tax incentives such as a 5% tax on gross
income earned in lieu of national and local
taxes, duty-free importation of equipment
and raw materials, exemption from real
property taxes, and free movement of goods
within the zone. Another incentive is that
foreign investors (of any nationality) are
now permitted to maintain 100% foreign
equity in all areas of investment which they
will set up in the Philippines, provided such
companies are neither financial institutions
With 10,000-14,000 graduates every year coming
from 14 colleges and universities within the city
itself, Bacolod has more than enough skilled talent
to power the HR needs of any IT-BPO locator.
nor are indicated in the Foreign Investment
Negative List.
Clark’s excellent infrastructure includes a
400-km high-grade road network and telecom
providers like Digitel and PLDT. The zone is
equiped with a high-speed fiber optic cable,
redundant fiber optic loop, as well as STM1
and multiple STM1 capabilities. Power rates
in Clark, at $0.11/kwh, are the lowest in all
of Luzon.
The Diosdado Macapagal International
Airport boasts of two runways that are capable
of NASA Space Shuttle Landings. The facility
will be developed as the Philippines’ premier
gateway airport replacing the Ninoy Aquino
International Airport by year 2010. Once
completed, it can accommodate an Airbus
380 and will be one of the biggest airports
in the world.
7. BALIUAG-MARILAOMEYCAUAYAN
Meycauayan City, one of the three
component cities of the Province of Bulacan,
is located just 19 km north of Metro Manila.
Meycauayan is a first-class city known for its
jewelry and tanning industries and home to
several industrial parks.
Baliwag and Marilao are first-class urban
municipalities. Baliwag’s economy features
shopping centers and numerous banks as well
as the province’s transportation hub; while
Marilao is famous for its metal craft, food
processing, and garments industry. Baliwag
has the best private education in the province,
where its reknown and established academic
institutions attract students from as far as
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Breakthroughs
Next-wave Cities
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
17
The entrance to the Clark Freeport Zone covers a massive 28,000 hectares of property, formerly used by the
United States Air Force as one of its military bases in the Philippines. 47,000 people from within the areas of
Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac provide manpower fueling the development of the local economy.
Copyright: www.istockphoto.com
A diagram of the Gbps Digital Fiber Optic backbone that undergirds Cagayan de Oro
Stepping out of the new Diosdado Macapagal Airport in Clark, one is met with low airport traffic.
Pampanga (to the South), Norzagaray (to the
North), Gapan (to the West) and Calumpit (to
the East).
The triumvirate of Baliwag, Marilao,
and Meycauayan had an overall score of
73.53 % in the Next Wave Cities scorecard.
In terms of infrastructure, this seventh-best
outsourcing location scored an impressive
94.67% for infrastructure putting it at
par with Metro Manila—specifically in
telecommunications, power, and a worldclass road network featuring the North
Luzon Express Way.
8. CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY
Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) in Northern
Mindanao has eight universities, 70 colleges,
and six computer technology institutes, and
its graduates are filling the seats of eight BPO
centers. CDO is also known as a center of
talent development in the fields of computer
science, IT education, and mathematics.
IT-BPO infrastructure in CDO consists of
three IT parks and four IT buildings, all of
which are PEZA-registered. Also present are
the major telecom companies with unlimited
capacity and with fiber optic lines. The
www.bpap.org
region is connected to the surrounding areas
by an international airport in Laguindingan,
diversion roads, and modernized seaports in
Macabalan and Phividec.
9. MALOLOS-CALUMPIT
The cities of Malolos and Calumpit are only
45 kilometers away from Metro Manila and
thus enjoy the same first-rate infrastructure
facilities and utilities as the megalopolis—
in particular, its telecommunications, road
network, transportation system, and power
supply. This factor helped them achieve an
overall score of 73% in the Next Wave Cities
scorecard.
The steady industrialization of MalolosCalumpit is evident in the increasing
number of major commercial and banking
establishments setting up shop in the
are—including DBP, Keppel, and RCBC.
Economic zones Bulacan Agro-Industrial
Subdivision and First Bulacan Industrial City
are location options for investors.
The hub has a 108,000-strong labor
force and taps a pool of about 4.2 million
professionals from surrounding provinces
and the NCR. Malolos-Calumpit is a
The Next Wave city of Lipa is located in Batangas which is near the NCR.
center of education in Central Luzon that
produces 5,200 graduates. Other educational
institutions outside the area but within a 50km radius serve as sources for about 103,000
fresh graduates every year. Some of the
tertiary and specialized schools include AMA
Computer College, Bulacan Polytechnic
College, Bulacan State, Call Center Academy,
Centro Escolar University, Divine Colleges
of Malolos City, St. Augustine College of
Nursing, STI College, TESDA–Provincial
Training, and University of Regina.
10. LIPA CITY
Lipa City, with its modern infrastructure and
the highly qualified talent pool, has a business
environment highly suited for the IT-BPO
operations. First movers Advanced Contact
Solutions (ACS) and Teletech opened their
facilities in Lipa in 2007 and never looked
back. In about a year of operations, total
employment for these BPO centers grew to
2,300 full-time employees from 1,400. ACS
and Teletech maintain a combined total of
1,800 seats.
Lipa offers business-ready properties
to investors, all equipped with world-class
facilities and infrastructure. It is host to the
LIMA Industrial Estate (economic zone)
and multinational companies such as Nestle.
The growing number of business locators
like banks, financial institutions, and large
shopping centers benefit from the city’s
telecommunication facilities, transportation
networks, and public transport system.
Highways Southern Tagalog Arterial Road
(STAR) and SLEX provide convenient
access to Metro Manila and other
neighboring cities.
Among the most prominent tertiary
schools in Lipa are De La Salle Lipa
and Lipa City Colleges which offer
undergraduate and graduate programs
in various fields of study (arts, sciences,
communications, business and economics,
tourism and
hospitality management,
engineering, computer science, education,
and nursing). Other tertiary educational
institutions in the city are ABE International
College of Business and Economics, AMA
Computer College, Philippine State College
of Aeronautics, and STI College. These
schools turn out 3,000 English-speaking
graduates a year. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
18
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Executive Profile
Breakthroughs
Welcoming Innovation
Susan Padley:
The mastery of change and the building of a strong core group
are the elements that contribute to StarTek’s 20-year success
Although working in a BPO is considered
a prestigious opportunity to earn a big salary
in the Philippines, a common misperception
is that industry employees are doomed to
repetitive work, in offices that are bereft of
any sense of fun and enjoyment. The reality
is very, and pleasantly, different, and a legacy
BPO company relatively new to the Philippines
has set out to show just how much.
At the Makati-based site of StarTek, Inc.,
brightly painted interiors greet prospective
agents who are plied with free coffee or tea
and are entertained by videos while they
undergo the application process. StarTek
General Manager
and Regional VicePresident Susan Padley explains that the
process is actually the first building block in
developing a StarTek agent. “Application can
take a couple of hours, so we want the career
center experience to be fun,” she says. “This
is our way of communicating to applicants
that our company puts balance in their lives.
We like to work hard but play and have fun
too in a very healthy way.”
Indeed, when it comes to its services,
StarTek is no nonsense. Founded in 1987 as
a small product packaging and fulfillment
company, StarTek, then known as StarPak,
quickly built upon its early success and
opened its first customer contact center in
Greely, Colorado. It now offers a variety
of BPO solutions such as Customer Care,
Technical and Product Support, Upsell/Cross-sell Campaigns, New Sales,
Provisioning, Receivables Management,
and Retention/Loyalty Program solutions
to clients The company has also grown to
21 call centers in North America, recently
adding its newest flagship facility in the
Philippines.
Padley says that StarTek wants everyone
to feel at home. Employees are permitted
— even encouraged — to bring personal
possessions to decorate and personalize their
workspace. “It’s always good to have family
photographs around,” she says. “We want our
people to surround themselves with what’s
comfortable for them and what they are closest
to. After all, this is their second home.”
its business. StarTek’s IT infrastructure
provides access to both global and at-home
resources and multi-channel support through
IVR, e-mail, and chat capabilities. “StarTek
agent performance technologies ensure
that a customer will reach a knowledgeable
representative who will quickly resolve their
issues and provide an outstanding customer
experience,” Padley explains.
This opportunity to manage change and
make it work to one’s advantage was one of
the things that attracted Padley to the BPO
industry 22 years ago. She admits, “When I
go to work, I have a plan and then the plan
changes and I love that. Change is good as
we learn with every change that occurs. I
enjoy the challenge to solve our customers’
problems and while helping them accomplish
their business objectives.”
Following a stint working on an MBA
at Dallas Baptist University, Padley’s
“baptism” in the industry began with a large
telecommunications firm in Dallas, Texas. In
2004, she launched the Olympic Ticketing
Call Center in Athens, Greece. She recalls
fondly, “It was exciting to watch a ticketing
center grow from a shell of a building with
one employee to hundreds of agents taking
calls in five languages talking to customers all
over the world.” The next challenge came a
year later and Padley was launching another
new ticketing call center and implementing
communications and customer service
systems in England.
The globe-trotting General Manager’s
current position fulfills a dream to work for
a lengthy period of time in a foreign country.
It seems that this fun-loving problem-solver
and innovator has found kindred spirits in
the Philippines. She says about her Filipino
workforce, “They’re genuinely interested
in success. They really want to solve the
customer’s problem; they don’t want him to
hang up or go away, and not be cared for the
right way. They’re educated, either getting
their degrees while they’re working, or they
have them when they come through the door.
They’re very well spoken and definitely bilingual. It’s hard to speak English if it’s not a
first language, but our Filipino workers do it
beautifully.” She pauses and then chuckles,
“And they also have an interest in having
some fun while doing the work.”
Cultivating a family spirit
That philosophy contributes to building an
obvious camaraderie as well as confidence
and a strong esprit de corps that is critical
to the smooth functioning of a productive
organization. As Padley describes it, “We
spend a lot of time together and it’s important
that we work well together and enjoy each
other’s company. Because we do, we produce
high-quality results, and love the work because
we feel we are making important contributions
that help people as well as organizations.”
The General Manger herself prefers to
be called by her first name in line with her
open-door management policy and the spirit
of family the company cultivates. “Yes,”
she says simply. “I want people to know
who I am.”
Joyce Peñalosa, StarTek’s Director for
Human Resources, describes how Padley’s
approach motivates her people and encourages
them to be more participative: “She trusts
her direct reports and as a result, they are
empowered to meet, and in many cases,
exceed expectations.” She adds, “Susan is
very generous in sharing her past experiences,
which is meant to inspire the team. What I
appreciate most about Susan’s management
style is her genuine interest in and respect of
Philippine culture, which is then translated
into how she adjusts her style depending
on work situations. This trait is rarely
displayed by expatriates who are assigned to
the Philippines, which is why she was easily
embraced by the team from the beginning.”
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
By Jason John S. Lim
Photos by Paul del Rosario
Strong support
Seeing her people grow is a source of major fulfilment for Padley, a BPO veteran.
Flexibility is in fact part of Padley’s
distinct style. For instance, as a matter of
policy, employees are requested to speak in
English during work hours because StarTek’s
clients are English speakers. However, says
Padley, “although we don’t put up signs we
do make requests for them to speak English
while they’re in the building. We honor the
fact that they were raised in the Philippines
and that Tagalog is a very important language
to them.”
This authentic concern for employees and
their development provides a genuine sense
of customer service that in turn strengthens
long-lasting client relationships.
Padley
elaborates, “A successful company is one
that listens to its clients and their customers
to create and deliver solutions that achieve
client goals. At all levels of the organization,
our people can make a difference by listening
and responding to the needs of our clients
and their customers. This approach to our
work and our culture provides StarTek a
distinct advantage within the BPO industry,
because we do not accept the status quo. We
continually work to improve processes and
responsiveness, and the culture that drives
this effort is difficult to replicate.”
Riding the wave of change
This refusal to be hemmed in by “business
as usual” coupled with a spirit of innovation
that pushes the envelope can be traced to
the company’s transformation from StarPak
to StarTek in the late ‘80s. Padley recalls,
“We transitioned from providing productpackaging and fulfillment services for large
technology firms when the Internet came
of age and customers began downloading
software and manuals online. As part of
the fulfillment process, we began to answer
technical questions for our large technology
clients and our outsourced customer care
business was born as a result. Transitioning
to customer support allowed us to expand
our client and service reach, as well as our
product offerings.”
This investment in change continues, and
is seen in the company’s enthusiastic embrace
of new technologies that enable and enhance
Padley also has her share of cheerleaders,
namely her two children and husband of 20
years, Jackson, who she jokingly calls “Sir”
and whom she refers to as her counselor,
coach, motivator, and best friend. She says
with a smile, “I can’t do it without his patience
and support. Every day he makes me laugh
so I don’t get too serious. My children are
also key to my happiness. Robb is a CFO in
Oklahoma City and Chelle is an elementary
school teacher. They play a huge role in my
life and I am so proud of how they grew up
and are raising their own children.”
But Padley has her hands full nurturing
another family here, given her marching
orders to accelerate the ramp-up of the Makati
site and lay down future plans for expansion.
She accepts the challenge, saying confidently,
“My greatest satisfaction is watching the
growth of my team: agent to Team Lead,
Team Lead to Manager; Manager to Director;
and up. Their progress, their learning, their
energy and passion for doing their best all the
time is what thrills me.”
“I get a lot from that – and I like to build
and then hand over to others,” says Padley.
“In my 22 years, I have always been proud
of my team’s success and have never been
disappointed at what can be accomplished
with common goals and principles.” z
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
Company News
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
19
Aegis Concludes the
Merger of PeopleSupport
CB Richard Ellis and Chevron in Business
Mirror Forum on US Presidential
Election’s Impact on the Phil Economy
Aegis BPO Services Ltd., an Essar
When the United States
sneezes, the rest of the world
catches a cold. Thus, the possible
Group Company and a leading global
business process outsourcing (BPO) provider
has concluded the merger of PeopleSupport,
Inc. (Nasdaq:PSPT), a leading offshore
BPO provider, hrough its wholly owned
subsidiary Essar Services (Mauritius).
The combination creates a new global
BPO leader with revenues of approximately
$450 million, nearly 30,000 employees and
20,000 production seats in 31 locations
worldwide, servicing over 60 different clients,
most of which are Fortune 500 companies.
In India, Aegis BPO is also the largest
domestic BPO provider with a dominant
presence in telecom, banking, and financial
servies.
This is the 11th acquisition of Aegis in
the last three years. With the completion
of this merger, Aegis has demonstrated a
distinctive intellectual property of being one
of the fastest aggregators of organizations in
the services space across the world.
This business combination catapults
Aegis into a differentiated league of service
providers with deep domain knowledge in
telecom, banking, and financial services,
insrance, healthcare, travel and emerging
enterprises, with delivery platform spanning
onshore, enar shore and offshore, thus
providing end to end global delivery for all
their clients. This global delivery platform
provides right shoring opportunities for
United States corporations helping them
to significantly optimize their total cost of
ownership.
Aparup Sengupta, Global CEO and
Managing Director of Aegis, commented,
“We are extremely pleased to welcome
PeopleSupport’s clients and employees to
www.bpap.org
our organization. The combined entity will
offer clients and prospects an expanded set
of solutions and services from a broader
geographic delivery platform.
With
significant operations in the Philippines,
India, the U.S., and Costa Rica, Aegis BPO
provides cost-effective high-quality solutions.
We will continue to serve PeopleSupport’s
clients with their existing treams and with the
same high-quality services they have come to
expect.”
Lance Rosenzweig, PeopleSupport CEO,
said, “We are excited to become a member of
the Aegis family and to create a global BPO
leader offering award winning solutions.
Our focus on high performance outsourcing
locations will continue, and our value
proposition is now stronger as we expand
our industry and process expertise, service
offering, and global delivery platform.”
Rosenzweig continued, ‘We are pleased
to close this transaction in light of the current
economic environment, and we believe this
is a testament ot the world-class organization
that is Aegis and the Essar Group. This also
reinforces the values of trust, goodwill, and
honor that are prevalent at Aegis and Essar
Group. We are proud to become part of such
a high quality organization.”
On October 30, 2008, the certificate
of merger was filed with the office of
the Secretary of State for Delaware, and
PeopleSupport became a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Essar Services, Mauritius and
Aegis BPO. PeopleSupport also reported
that it has filed for delisting of its stock
with NASDAQ and has filed with the
Security Exchange Commission (SEC) for
deregistration under the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. z
effects of the U.S. Presidential elections
on the local economy were discussed by
CB Richard Ellis Chairman Rick Santos,
BPA/P Chief Executive Officer Oscar
Sañez, and Chevron Country Chairman
Randy Johnson with the Business
Mirror’s Senior Editors last October.
Santos gave an overview of how the
world would change after the election,
in particular how the Philippines is
well positioned to withstand the current
economic chaos, with the financial systems
having learned some valuable lessons from
the 1997 crisis. He also commented on
how neither U.S. presidential candidate
would be able to alter the offshoring trend
to “bust” the much-touted BPO boom.
Sañez described BPA/P’s efforts to work
out the math: they were unable to generate
a scenario where enough tax cuts for U.S.
businesses that create jobs locally could
equal the savings generated by putting up
an office in the Philippines.
Speaking for one of the first companies
to put up a shared services shop in the
Philippines, Johnson described Chevron’s
activity in Manila as an important and
geographically strategic unit in the
multinational’s operations. “We don’t refer
to our business here as outsourcing,” he
said. “Our Manila operations are an integral
part of Chevron’s global business – we’re
in it for the long haul.” z
Synnex-Concentrix Receives 2008
SSS Balikat ng Bayan Award
SYNNEX-Concentrix Corporation
recently received the 2008
SSS Balikat ng Bayan award
for top employer in the large-sized category,
Mindanao cluster. It is the only BPO company
to receive the recognition in the said area.
Jhayner Bufi, Concentrix HR Director,
accepted the award from SSS President
and CEO Romulo L. Neri, in ceremonies
held last September during SSS’ 51st
anniversary at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall,
SSS Building, East Avenue, Quezon City.
The Balikat ng Bayan award is given to
employers, collecting and paying banks, and
financial institutions in recognition of their
invaluable support to the SSS programs and
committed performance as SSS partners.
According to Attorney Josefina M. OlanFornilos, SSS Assistant Vice President for
the Northern Mindanao cluster, SYNNEXConcentrix was chosen for the company’s
compliance with the provisions of the Social
Security Law in terms of coverage, collection
and giving out of benefits, accuracy and
timeliness of the submission of reports, and
participation in SSS programs. Aside from
its three sites in Metro Manila, SYNNEXConcentrix also has offices in Davao and
Cagayan de Oro. Present during the awarding
rites were SSS Chairman Thelmo Cunanan
and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
SYNNEX-Concentrix is part of the
Fortune 500 firm Synnex Corporation which
has been operating in the U.S. for 25 years. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
20
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Company News
Breakthroughs
Prime Communications Enhances SME
Reach with EMC Information Infrastructure
EMC, the world leader in
information
infrastructure
solutions, announced that Prime
Communications, the leading internet protocol
(IP) communications service provider in the
Philippines, is the first company in the country
to implement the EMC® CLARiiON®
AX4 networked storage system, a highly
flexible, available and scalable storage area
network (SAN) system for small and medium
businesses (SMBs).
The CLARiiON AX4 can easily be
deployed, expanded and reconfigured
in traditional IT environments with no
application downtime, and is helping Prime
Communications implement a more costeffective information infrastructure. It does
so by reducing its number of servers, and
helping minimize maintenance and operating
overheads, while increasing processing
capability, storage capacity and ultimately,
uptime for the business.
Prime Communications, formerly known
as Pacific Internet, is the leading customer
service-focused IP communications service
provider in the country. The company partners
with world-class technology players to help
small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow
their businesses by providing a full suite of
IP services, which include Internet access
delivered via wired or wireless solutions,
managed Internet security, back-up and
disaster recovery services, VoIP, VPN, data
center services and customisable value-added
services.
In order to provide these services to
their customers, Prime Communications
needed a reliable, scalable and cost effective
information infrastructure solution. “We’re
a small, but growing company and needed
a more sophisticated storage solution
for our server environment,” said Prime
Communications MIS manager, Leo Veroy.
“The model that was in place in our company
was the ‘server farm’ concept where each
solution was stored on a dedicated server. We
ended up having to maintain multiple servers
at an unreasonably high cost,” he added.
With a view to implement networked
storage and realize the benefits of a storage
area network, Veroy considered multiple
network storage arrays and finally selected
EMC’s CLARiiON AX4 because of its
scalability, functionality and affordability.
“As a growing company, we also considered
what our future needs are going to be and
liked the CLARiiON AX4 system’s flexibility
and software features, which are a little more
sophisticated than you’d expect in an entrylevel networked storage system,” he said.
“It was very easy to take the EMC
CLARiiON AX4 and plug it and configure
it into our existing IP network. Even though
none of our MIS team had any hands-on
experience in storage administration, the
intuitive Navisphere interface was a big help
in getting us up to speed and EMC’s partner
(MSI-ECS) was more than helpful.” The
system was up and running in two hours,
and since deploying it five months ago, the
company has not required any assistance
from EMC or its partner.
The CLARiiON AX4 includes features
for high availability and reliability that are
not typically found in competitive systems
of this size. Designed specifically for SMBs,
the CLARiiON AX4 is built on the same
architecture used in larger, market-leading
EMC CLARiiON CX3 midrange storage
arrays which have achieved coveted “Five
9s” availability – 99.999% of uptime. It
features a mirrored cache design, builtin standby power supply, continuous disk
ICT Phils. Partners With DOS-1
for E-Transcript Services
consistency checking and hot swappable
components which provide superior levels of
data availability and reliability.
For Prime Communications’ customers,
the coveted “five 9’s” technical performance
benchmark translates to an assurance of not
having more than five-minutes of unplanned
downtime per month.
“When our network operations center
receives a call from a client, they need to be
able to access data about that client fast,” says
Veroy. “By being able to guarantee that the
servers and services will be up for them, we
are providing crucial business continuity to
our external clients.” To date, these external
clients include one of the country’s leading
universities and several government agencies
as well. With EMC as technology partner,
Veroy looks forward to better things to come
for his company.
With its built-in advanced information
management and protection features, AX4
can also store, manage, secure and protect
data from up to 64 Windows, Linux, Unix,
NetWare and/or VMware Infrastructure
hosts in a high availability set-up. It is
designed for various applications including
Microsoft Exchange, SQL, Oracle and SAP,
and can be configured with up to 60 SAS
and SATA II disk drives for an optimal mix
of performance, cost and energy efficiency.
For Prime Communications, the AX4 made
it possible to integrate different business
systems running on divergent platforms, with
Unix-based and Microsoft-based solutions
now integrated at the database level.
Veroy said that by migrating certain
applications and databases to the CLARiiON
AX4, Prime Communications was not only
able to reduce its number of servers, but
they also minimized their maintenance
and operating overheads, while increasing
KSearch Celebrates
9th Anniversary
KSearch Asia Consulting,
Inc., one of the Philippines’
leading executive search and
recruitment firms, celebrated its
Signing the partnership agreement on the 25th of September 2008 were (from l-r) Account Executive for
AIR21 Patrick Caces, DOS1 Business Development Head for Homegrown Projects Joanne B. Ramos, DOS1
President Edgardo Cayton, ICT Philippines Recruitment Director Marie Curitana, ICT Philippines Assistant
Manager for Talent Acquisition | Sourcing Honeychelle Hernandez and ICT Philippines Assistant Manager for
Talent Acquisition | Compliance Louie Ruste.
DOS-1 e-transcript has extended
its service to companies as
part of their hiring process.
ICT Group, a leading global provider of
customer management and business process
outsourcing (BPO) solutions, has teamed-up
with DOS-1 e-transcript service for a more
efficient, time saving and innovative service
package to ensure authentic school documents
presented by their applicants.
This new concept is specially designed
to guarantee the fast, efficient, safe, untampered and timely delivery of authentic
official school documents. Transcript of
Records in particular, may be requested over
the phone which can be delivered right at
their doorstep.
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
This is convenience at its best especially
during compliance of requirements to
prospective employers suitable even for those
who are abroad.
Present during the signing of the
partnership agreement on September 25
2008 were Account Executive for AIR21
Patrick Caces, DOS1 Business Development
Head for Homegrown Projects Joanne B.
Ramos, DOS1 President Edgardo Cayton,
ICT Philippines Recruitment Director Marie
Curitana, ICT Philippines Assistant Manager
for Talent Acquisition | Sourcing Honeychelle
Hernandez and ICT Philippines Assistant
Manager for Talent Acquisition | Compliance
Louie Ruste.
For more information call 7932104
or 4592145 or visit their website at
www.e-transcript.com.ph. z
processing capability, storage capacity and
ultimately, uptime. With fewer servers to
maintain, the company saved on licensing
and maintenance expenses as well as enjoyed
lower cooling and manpower costs. According
to Veroy, the Prime Communications MIS
staff is now able to serve the company’s
other requirements as their time is freed from
having to check on the servers.
“As the IT environments of SMBs become
more sophisticated, customers are looking
for storage solutions that are reliable, simple
to deploy and, most important, make their
lives easier,” said Arnie Alvarez, Solutions
Architect of EMC Philippines. “With the
EMC CLARiiON AX4, we’re giving the
IT manager the tools to act like a storage
specialist and to do so with minimal effort and
expense. We have taken SAN flexibility and
ease-of-use to a new level. It’s a full function
storage system that is affordable, has the
most important software built-in and can be
easily managed and scale to meet the future
needs of our customers as their information
requirements grow.”
The EMC CLARiiON AX4 has
made a significant difference in Prime
Communications’ business goals. “It is our
goal to become the benchmark of customer
service in our business sector,” Veroy asserts.
“For us to achieve this, we need to be able
to maximize the use of our information not
just as a resource but also as a tool. We at
Prime Communications are convinced that
our partnership with EMC will be a big
contribution to help us achieve our goals.”
EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the
world’s leading developer and provider of
information infrastructure technology and
solutions that enable organizations of all
sizes to transform the way they compete and
create value from their information. z
9th anniversary last October 23 at Makati’s
premier business club, the Tower Club.
KSearch, an active member of the
Business Processing Association of the
Philippines (BPA/P) and a member of
NPA, the Global Recruiting Network,
is widely known for providing the
executive and managerial requirements
of mostly multinational companies,
including those in the BPO sector.
KSearch’s
Chairman
Mario
Mananghaya and the company’s President
and CEO, Manny Guillermo, together with
the rest of their management team, Tony
Pedro, Karmeli Kintanar, Ruby Barcelona,
Lovelyn Marquez, and Dennis Bahia led
the company’s 22-strong consulting team
in hosting the anniversary party. The theme
of the celebration, which was well attended
by their clients, industry alliances, the
BPA/P leadership, associated companies,
and partners in their corporate social
responsibility programs, was “Networking
for the Future.”
At the event, Guillermo, co-Chairman
of BPA/P’s Membership Power Committee,
agreed with the bullish outlook of the BPO
sector for the forthcoming years. This
is despite the onset of the financial crisis
prevailing mainly in the Western countries
that he believes could convert to potential
opportunities for the Philippines. z
KSearch President and CEO Manny Guillermo
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
Company News
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
21
IP-Converge Establishes Phil Training
Center for Salesforce CRM and Force.com PHINMA to
Converge Data Center Inc., the
IT and telecommunications division of
publicly listed IPVG Corp (PSE:IP) and
Select Consulting Partner of NYSE-listed
Salesforce.com, announced last September
that it will be setting up Salesforce.com’s
3rd Asia-Pacific regional training center
in the Philippines. Along with Salesforce.
com’s two existing training centers in Hong
Kong and Singapore, the new training
center will help customers in the Philippines
and greater Asia-Pacific region realize
success through their use of the Salesforce
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
applications and the Force.com platform.
Larger customer demand led to the
establishment of this training center, with
more and more companies turning to ondemand,
Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS)
applications and subscription-based models to
drive business growth and achieve operational
efficiency. At the new center, Salesforce.com
will provide original materials, curriculum,
and content for the training sessions while
IP-Converge will take care of training and
logistics on a quarterly basis. The training
center gives users from the Philippines and
neighboring countries another option aside
from Hong Kong and Singapore.
“Customers in the Philippines and Asia
Pacific region are adopting Salesforce CRM
applications and the Force.com platform
in ever increasing numbers,” says Steve
McWhirter, Salesforce.com
Asia-Pacific
President. “We are committed to empowering
our customers with the knowledge and
techniques to make them successful with
Salesforce.com. As our customers’ businesses
grow, these regional training centers will help
ensure their continued success and help them
refine their strategies and solutions.”
IP-Converge is the Philippines’ premier
proponent of on-demand or Software-asa-Service and provides consultation and
implementation services to salesforce.com
customers in the country. When IP-Converge
became the Philippines Consulting Partner,
it foresaw the need to expand training for
Salesforce CRM applications since the
company believed that Software-as-a-Service
would be the new trend in business.
“As Salesforce.com becomes more
prevalent in the region, we made sure that
we had personnel equipped with the right
tools to make us the practical destination for
Salesforce.com training,” says IP-Converge
President Reynaldo Huergas. “IP-Converge
is a Salesforce.com Select Consulting Partner
with highly trained Authorized Consultants
(Level II) who will be conducting training
sessions around the product sets for users.”
Salesforce.com is the world leader in
on-demand CRM solutions and the Force.
com platform has helped more than 47,700
customers manage their sales, marketing,
customer service, and other critical business
functions. Salesforce.com pioneered the
concept of delivering enterprise applications
via a simple website. z
ePLDT Partners with Pru Life UK Phils
Threats such as super typhoons
and mutinies do not disrupt
the operations of Pru Life UK
Philippines because of its
partnership with the Disaster
Recovery service of ePLDT.
ePLDT is a premiere ICT company and
a leading outsourced data center service
provider, trusted by organizations to keep
secure their mission-critical applications.
It offers a host of IT services, including a
range of disaster recovery solutions that
help organizations continue operations
even in the midst of an emergency. It
is well-known for providing enabling
infrastructure and services focusing
on next-generation communications,
connectivity and content to corporate
clients and consumers.
Brett Medel, Pru Life UK’s Vice
President for Information Systems, explains
the reasons why they chose ePLDT:
“When we toured their data center, we
were immediately impressed with its setup.
The building was very secure and it has its
own power supply – which is very critical
for clients like us because we cannot have
downtimes on our production.”
ePLDT’s Disaster Recovery Solutions
provides organizations with seamless
continuity and immediate recovery in the
event of disasters. The data center has
readily available facilities and platforms
complete with workstations, telephone
and fax lines, and other office equipment
such as printers and photocopiers to ensure
availability of IT resources for today’s dataintensive business operations.
By availing of ePLDT DR (Disaster
Recovery) Seats service, organizations
reserve the right to use these facilities
should the need arise. Companies can
have a few of their IT personnel work on
resuming operations, or even have an entire
department use the facilities as a temporary
office.
Pru Life UK’s flourishing partnership
with ePLDT can also be credited to its
entire support team, says Medel.
“We have a very good relationship with
the technical engineers, customer support
group, and the industry manager assigned
to us,” he says. “Any time of the day, we
can call on them if we need something and
they are ready to assist us.”
The fast response of the ePLDT team is
evident during the DR testing that Pru Life
UK conducts twice a year. “We do testing
to ensure that the service really works, so
we have to familiarize ourselves with the
site and test our systems to ensure that we
can bring up the production environment at
the data center,” Medel says.
“From start to finish, the ePLDT team
is there to assist us – the industry managers
coordinate the entire activity, the support
personnel help us in setting up everything,”
he adds.
“We can really rely on them and they
are very good at what they do.” ePLDT
Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
telecommunications giant Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). z
Sell Asian
Plaza, Inc.
The
PHINMA
GROUP
announced its intention to
sell Asian Plaza a five-story
office condominium building with a
gross floor area of 10,310 sq m. on a
3,045-sq. m. property. The building
is prominently located at 328 Sen. Gil
J Puyat Avenue corner of Tordesillas
Street and H. V. de la Costa
Street in the heart of Makati City.
The property has a redevelopment
potential with a FAR of eight for
office use and 16 for residential use.
Asian Plaza is well positioned, with
close proximity to shopping malls,
restaurants, entertainment venues, and
major office buildings and embassies
at the Makati CBD.
The property will be offered for
sale via shares acquisition of Asian
Plaza Inc. The PHINMA Group has in
its fold several companies that address
the basic needs of the Filipino such
as affordable housing, construction
materials, hotel facilities, and facilities
management.
Colliers
International,
the
Philippines leading property Services
Company, has been engaged by
the Asian Plaza Inc. as exclusive
marketing agent to arrange the sale
of the property, and it expects strong
interest from potential purchasers.
“Phinma’s disinvestment plan is
timed to take advantage of the strong
real estate market and comes in the
wake of other major development
site acquisitions in Makati in recent
weeks.” said David Young, Colliers’
Managing Director.
“The sale
is expected to attract interest not
only from the local development
community but also from overseas
investors.”
The sale will be arranged by
way of a Tender process; a formal
announcement will soon be made. z
Robinson Land Developing Office Spaces for BPOs
ROBINSONS OTIS EXTERIOR-mall and office
Robinsons Land Corporation
(RLC), a premiere property developer
that has established an unparalleled
multitude of landmark developments, is
now strengthening its position as a leader in
BPO development in the country. Through
the synergy of its Office Buildings Division
and Commercial Centers Division, RLC
is presently developing and offering office
spaces that are suited, designed and equipped
for BPO and call-center industry standards.
The continuing expansion of the global
BPO industry drives RLC to develop more
responsive BPO-designed spaces available in
both office buildings and mall developments.
RLC
has successfully established
major BPO sites in Metro Manila that
have distinguished themselves as thriving
and dynamic BPO hubs in their vicinities.
Regionally, the breadth of RLC property
locations extends to the key urban areas of Cebu,
Davao, Northern Luzon, and the Calabarzon.
These strategically placed properties offer the
absolute advantage of accessibility, security
and safety. Furthermore, their proximity to
www.bpap.org
major landmarks such as schools, public
establishments and major thoroughfares gives
valued clients the advantage of having strong
visibility, as well as ease in recruitment.
Aside from well-planned locations, zoning,
and implementation, RLC is also committed to
deliver world-class facilities and amenities at
par with industry standards. With 24/7 facilities
for utility provisions, the BPO sites have
weathered typhoons and other natural calamities
and assure stability for business operations.
RLC’s BPO spaces also boast of state-of-the-art
communications technology and infrastructure,
redundant power capabilities, and cooling
capacity.
The first to house call centers and other
BPOs inside shopping malls, RLC offers a
total live-work-play environment. With their
worksite’s unique retail and dining components,
professionals can dine, shop, relax, and unwind
before or after their work shifts. All malls are
also near various religious houses; some even
have mall masses scheduled every Sunday of
the week. RLC’s BPO sites are excellently
planned both for the clients’ business activity as
well as for the holistic enrichment of their most
important assets, the employees. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
22
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
Company News
Breakthroughs
TeleDevelopment Services and The Call Center
School Announce Training Partnership
TeleDevelopment Services, Inc.
(TDS), the premier training, management,
recruiting, and HR solutions provider to the
Philippine contact center/BPO industry since
2004, announces its partnership with The
Call Center School (TCCS), a worldwide
recognized leader in providing comprehensive
training and certification programs for
all levels of call center professionals.
Under the partnership agreement, TDS
will provide over 50 TCCS training modules
and services to meet the increasing demand
for professionally trained team leaders,
operations managers, workforce planners,
quality specialists, and frontline agents.
TDS and TCCS, both headquartered in the
United States, now combine their 30+ years
of successful international operations and
reputation in servicing contact centers.
Training courses are available in
specialized learning tracks to meet the needs
of all levels of call center professionals.
Tracks include:
• 10-course Call Center Supervision
(supervisors, team leaders)
• 8-course Workforce Planning and
Management
• 5-course Call Center Operations
• 5-course Quality Assurance
• 5-course Leadership/Business
Management
In addition to the management courses
above, the curriculum is rounded out with
an eight-course Frontline Fundamentals
program available via web or classroom
delivery, and a 15-module Call Center ABC’s
course designed to acquaint new staff with
call center operations.
TDS President Jon Kaplan explains,
“There is an opportunity for significant
development for contact-center middle
managers and specialists in the Philippines.
Our partnership with TCCS is very exciting,
since it will fill the gap in training courses
designed to develop current and future
team leads, operations managers, workforce
planners, and quality specialists. The firstclass curriculum has a proven record of
success with all types and sizes of contact
centers all over the world. Our TDS trainers
will join the experienced TCCS faculty
to leverage our experience in delivering
course content, which is aimed at the unique
Philippine market.”
Clients throughout the Philippines can
choose from traditional classroom seminars,
instructor-led web seminars, and self-paced
e-learning programs. Students may attend public
deliveries of these programs, or TDS can arrange
private, customized programs on any topic.
“Our web seminar offerings have been
very popular,” says Penny Reynolds, a
TCSS founder. “Each web program is
packed full of information and is designed
to be highly interactive. The 90-minute
length allows participants to be more
easily released from normal call-center
duties for a set amount of time each week.
The sessions are also very cost-effective
since an unlimited number of students
may attend via one web/audio connection.
For example, if 15 people attend a public
web seminar at a cost of US$300, the cost
per person is only US$20. Additional
Internet connections can be purchased at
reduced rates to support multi-site training
needs. For those organizations training
several individuals over multiple sites, the
company’s per person training cost can be
substantially reduced.” z
Logica Phils On Path to Growth
Logica Philippines’ ambitious
headcount growth targets have
borne fruit in the accomplishment of its
expected milestone in 2008. It now pledges
to continue to build on this progress in
2009. Its goal is to have 8,000 staff in
its nearshore and offshore centers by the
end of 2009 (compared to 3,900 midyear
in 2008). Its presence in the Philippines,
including new offices in Fort Bonifacio
and Makati, will represent a significant
component of this increased reach.
As part of its growth and expansion
plans in the Philippines, Logica has
acquired MAPASC Inc., a subsidary
company of Michelin that specialized in
Application Support & Development in
the Philippines. The 36 individuals who
joined Logica through this acquisition bring
complementary skills to the different teams
within Logica. They will join project teams
such as application management, support
and development, and internal support
groups. Further milestones include a longawaited ISO27001:2005 certification and
the completion of offices in other floors of the
current building. There are also immediate
plans of an ISO9001:2000 certification and
a CMMi Level 3 assessment by year-end.
Logica is a leading IT and business
services company, employing 39,000 people
across 36 countries. It provides business
consulting, systems integration, and IT and
business process outsourcing services. z
From l-r: Mitch Locsin and Neil Elias of Logica, Rizalino Dalangin and John Ticzon of MAPASC
Sitel Footprints: Making Marks
on Ilocos Norte and Cavite
From l-r: Cavite Prov. Administrator Aristides Velazco, Imus Municipal Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi, Cavite Prov. Gov. Ayong Maliksi, Sitel Phils Chief Operating Officer
Tim Hardin, Sitel Phils President Dan Reyes, Sitel Phils Regional HR Director (Metro Manila & South Luzon) Robbie Berba
Sitel Philippines provides free
skills training through the help of
local provincial governments to those who
initially may be below the cut to qualify
as a call center agent. Officials of Ilocos
Norte and Cavite provinces recently signed
a memorandum of agreement with Sitel
in a partnership that will launch the Sitel
Community Training for Employment
Program (SCTEP).
SCTEP is one of the many components
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES
of Sitel Footprints, the company’s Corporate
Social Responsibility program. It addresses
the industry’s concern on increasing demand
for qualified manpower by providing free
capability-building training for interested
residents of the partner local government unit
(LGU) via the Sitel Mobile Academy. The
training includes English communication
skills coaching, technical and call-center
skills workshop, and self-confidence
building exercises.
The SCTEP was well received by Ilocos
Norte, whose governor, Michael Keon,
remarked, “It is but proper for us to be ready
for the opportunities that the emerging BPO
industry brings. We are currently working
on the requirements for the inclusion
of our province in the Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) map
of the Philippines, and our partnership with
Sitel will help us realize this goal.”
Sitel is banking on Ilocos Norte’s
untapped pool of talents as the business
expands, acquires new clients and braces
for its future growth. In return the company
gives alternative career options and source
of income to unemployed, underemployed,
out-of-school youth, returning overseas
Filipino workers, career shifters, and
retired individuals of the province.
Meanwhile, Cavite Governor Ayong
said that the soon-to-be-implemented
training program in his province would
help people earn the necessary skills to
qualify for a BPO job. Both Sitel and the
local government of Cavite are confident
that the SCTEP program will further boost
the already rich manpower pool of Cavite.
For now, Cavite Computer Center
in Imus will house the classes. This
was the same strategy used in the farflung provinces of Ifugao and Mountain
Province, where hundreds of trainees have
already completed the course and have
been subsequently hired by Sitel. Sitel is
positive that a permanent training facility
can open in Cavite.
The Ilocos Norte government is already
the fifth local government unit to partner
with Sitel for SCTEP while the Province
of Cavite is the sixth. The program is
being implemented in several other areas:
Baguio, Tarlac, and La Union, where Sitel
Academies have already been established,
and Ifugao and Mountain Province, where
Sitel Mobile Academy also operates. z
www.bpap.org
Breakthroughs
Company News
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2008
23
Call Design Opens To focus on SaaS
Call Design (Philippines), an
Australian-based
company
providing an extensive line of contact
center solutions and technologies, set up
a local office in Makati City last October.
It provides Contact Centre technology
and solutions, including Workforce
Management, Call Recording, Speech
Recognition, and Unified Communication
solutions. It also offers Managed Services
and Hosted Solutions / Software as a
Service (SaaS).
According to Jaime Richard Sese,
Country Manager of Call Design, there is
a great potential in the Philippines for the
firm’s technologies and solutions, especially
with the country’s contact centers. “With
staff recruitment and retention being the
number one challenge facing local contact
centers today and the constant pressure
to reduce costs, businesses need to start
thinking how to better optimize their
contact centers,” he said.
“Call Design’s suite of products and
services help contact centers of all sizes
optimize their workforce with Workforce
Management, improve quality and efficiency
with Quality Management, and increase First
Contact Resolution by harnessing Unified
Communications in the contact center,
effectively doing more with less.”
With SaaS becoming a more prevalent
delivery model, Call Design believes that it
can also help take the company further up
in the contact center solutions ladder.
“SaaS is being utilized more these days
especially with underlying technologies
that support Web services and serviceoriented architecture (SOA),” explained
Sese. “Broadband services have become
increasingly available to support user
access from more areas around the world
and this has increased SaaS acceptance.”
SaaS allows smaller businesses access to
applications that traditionally were available
only to enterprise-class customers, thereby
opening up access to world-class products
and services to the wider marketplace.
Call Design offers applications on a per
user basis, which includes installation and
maintenance. This significantly reduces the
entry costs for smaller businesses.
“As global outsourcing becomes
increasing competitive we believe that
better technology and resources available
to both Contact Center Agents and their
Managers will help keep the Philippines as
a leader in the Outsourcing marketplace,”
said Miles Stanton, Call Design Pty Ltd.
Managing Director.
Harnessing their relationships with
global partners has allowed Call Design to
expand its operations beyond Asia Pacific.
It now has a presence in 17 countries. z
Datacraft Helps IPCCO To Quadruple
Capacity and Boost Reliability
Datacraft, the region’s leading
independent IT solutions and
services company, has won a deal
to help one of the Philippines’ fastest
growing BPO providers, IP Contact Center
Outsourcing, Inc. (IPCCO), quadruple its
capacity within the next 12 months.
The project includes designing new
architecture, implementing high-availability
servers and a sophisticated call-center
management solution, and providing
carrier-grade support services in the form of
Datacraft’s Uptime maintenance service to
ensure rapid response to and quick resolution
of any IT infrastructure issues.
IPCCO began its operations in July 2006
and has already won a number of prestigious
outsourcing contracts from Fortune Global
200 and NASDAQ-listed companies. It is
the local partner of one of the largest ICT
providers in Asia, PCCW Teleservices.
One of the fastest-growing contact centers
in the country, it identified ramping up its
agent capacity as the key enabling factor
in expanding its business. With the goal of
increasing this capacity from 250 to 1,000 seats
in less than a year, without compromising agent
performance and affecting customer service,
IPCCO recognized its needs to boost its core
network.
“As an outsourced contact center service
provider, IPCCO needs the flexibility
and scalability to meet new and growing
customer demands while ensuring customer
satisfaction,” said Lim Puay Koon, Regional
Director for ASEAN, Datacraft Asia. “To meet
their business objectives, Datacraft worked
closely with IPCCO on the development
of a new architecture that would enable a
contact center outsourcing model (that) could
reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency,
and improve responsiveness to marketplace
changes.”
The new solution is based on the best-inclass Cisco Unified Contact Centre Enterprise
for network-to-desktop computer telephony
integration and multi-channel contact
management over an IP infrastructure. This
includes implementing eight units of Cisco’s
advanced 7800 Series media convergence
servers and upgrading its Cisco Unified
Communications Manager (CCM 3.3 to
4.2) and Unified Contact Center Enterprise
to deliver advanced presence-based
communication applications to IPCCO’s
clients and employees.
IPCCO Chief Operating Officer Mike
Murphy expects to achieve a number of
significant benefits from the deployment.
These range from making customer service
agents more efficient and productive to
increasing revenues through upsell and
cross-sell opportunities while reducing cost
per seat.
“Fundamentally, Datacraft is building
IPCCO a highly reliable, scalable and futureproofed contact center,” said Murphy. “But
there’s much more to it than efficiency and
room for expansion. This new architecture
will enable IPCCO to deliver powerful
self-service solutions that will enhance our
customers’ experience.”
“The new IP-based network will provide
a platform for a new generation of customercentric applications with highly flexible
deployment models,” he added. “These will,
in turn, allow IPCCO to provide personalized
service through unique customer experiences
– a key differentiator in an increasingly
competitive market.”
Datacraft will also provide IPCCO
with Uptime powered by Cisco Services
– a collaborative service offering developed
by the Datacraft-Cisco Global Services
Alliance. IPCCO has signed a one-year
contract for this service, which will see it
benefit from Datacraft’s enhanced service
offerings, among them robust service level
agreements (SLAs), helpdesk support and
problem escalation to the Cisco Technical
Assistance Centre. z
Convergys’ New Bacolod
Contact Center to Employ
1,000 by Year-end
Convergys
Corporation
(NYSE: CVG), a global leader in
relationship management, plans to employ
up to 1,000 workers in its integrated
contact center in Bacolod by year-end. The
new facility was launched last October
with Her Excellency, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as the guest of honor.
Located in One Sanparq, San Antonio
Square along Lacson Street, the new contact
center currently employs 700 local residents.
With this new site, Convergys now has nine
of the largest, multi-client, US-companyowned contact centers in the Philippines.
The firm has two centers in Cebu and six in
Metro Manila. One of the largest and most
recognized employers in the country today,
Convergys maintains a workforce of over
14,000 Filipino professionals.
The 6,000-sqm Bacolod facility
encompasses
the
contact
center,
administrative offices, recruitment and
training rooms, an advanced language
laboratory, a cafeteria, and common areas
for employees. It is outfitted to international
standards with ergonomically designed
furniture for contact center work, state-ofwww.bpap.org
the-art generators, and specialized lighting.
Similar
to
Convergys
centers
nationwide, the Bacolod City facility
provides both general support and advanced
technical help desk services to a variety
of clients via traditional voice calling, email, and Web chat as well as “back office”
application and document processing.
“We have an employee base (made up) of
the best minds and talents and have created
a competitive advantage by harnessing the
individual strengths of peoples and cultures
around the world,” said Marife Zamora,
Convergys Vice-President and Country
Manager, Philippines. “With our new facility
here in Bacolod City, we continue to tap
the tremendous pool of people resources
available in the Philippines.”
Convergys has been recognized by the
Philippine Economic Zone Authority as
Outstanding Employer of the Year twice,
as well as Outstanding Exporter. In 2006,
the company was honored with the title
Employer of the Year at the International
ICT Awards. Convergys has also won the
Philippine Quill Award in the Employee
Communication category. z
Business Processing Association PHILIPPINES