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Destination of Choice
Philippines growth in the business process off shoring market has been tremendous; Coming from a challenging 2nd rank position for the best outsourcing destination, Philippines has exceeded the expectations and have rank 1st surpassing India. Through this, Philippines have proven to be the best venue for outsourcing services and with its edge to compete globally, there is no doubt that market share of Philippines will continue to rise.
Being the third largest English speaking nation in the world and having a strong affinity for U.S. culture has positioned the Philippines as the destination of choice for customer contact and BPO services, due to its ample supply of English speaking, computer and Internet-savy college graduates who view contact center work as a career.
English is the First Language
In the Philippines, English is the official language used for education, business, medicine and Government. The fact is, the Philippine education system has been using English as a medium of instruction for decades. Filipino children start to learn English in elementary school and its use continues up to the college level. The intensive use of English is aimed at preparing students for their future occupations, so that by the time they finish their education, they have a comprehensive knowledge of English, and are prepared for state examinations, which are only given in English.
A neutral accent, which is an important quality when speaking with American customers, is a result of being trained to speak American English as opposed to the British English spoken by India. This distinction of being trained in American English is important to both speaking and writing skills and allows Filipino workers to understand complex business processes. Gartner Research rates the Filipinos’ English proficiency as “world-class and superior to that of India, Ireland and other offshore destinations.” Gartner Research also brings up “the ability of Filipinos to adopt accents and nomenclature, as well as understand American idiomatic expressions and usage, as significant advantages.”
With the economic phenomenon called Global Labor Arbitrage, business people, cost efficient as they are known to be, gain access to lower cost economies through offshoring. Arbitrage means taking advantage of a price difference generated by the wage gap between industrialized and developing nations. Amidst global recession, a foreigner’s best resort for its business to survive is outsourcing to low wage countries. Some may just want to free up their time and grow their business but simply cannot afford unless revenue increases. Consequently, Philippines is one of those developing countries with low.
Best Infrastructure – 100% Digital Connection
The Philippines has been identified as having some of the best telecommunication infrastructure in the entire Asian region, according to Cambridge, Mass-based Giga Information Group: “The Philippines possesses a clear edge over all other offshore contenders due to its superior telecommunications infrastructure.” Since the Philippines formerly housed two U.S.military installations, Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Port (both are now decommissioned), the country benefited from the build up of a tremendous trans-pacific communication infrastructure with a significant amount of voice/data communication bandwidth available. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has made a tremendous investment in establishing digital connectivity throughout the Philippines, so there are no “last mile” issues like those that exist in India.
Most Westernized Asian Nation
Having been exposed to and influenced by U.S. culture for more than a century, the Philippines is one of the most westernized of any Asian country. This fact was recognized by Gartner Research, which stated “this positions the country well to work with and conduct business with U.S. end user buyers seeking to procure services from Filipino service providers.” The Philippines is the oldest working democracy in Asia and continues to maintain its long-standing and close relationship with the U.S. A former U.S. colony, it has adopted the U.S. model of government, which brings stability and a defined process for handling political issues. This stability in the government shows up in strong economic policies and a solid financial environment, which can be seen in a steady U.S. dollar to Philippine peso valuation.
BPO firms vow more investments in Philippines
– September 21, 2011
NEW YORK CITY: The chief executive of a leading American business process outsourcing (BPO) company pledged on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) to continue investing in the Philippines and help spur the country’s economic development.During a courtesy call on President Aquino at the Guggenheim Room of the Omni Berkshires Hotel, Convergys Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Fox assured the President of his company’s commitment to put more capital and create more jobs through its thriving Philippine operations.
Mr. Aquino also met with Bill Bloom, executive vice president of EXL Services, during the same courtesy call. President Benigno Aquino 3rd is on the second day of his five-day working visit in the United States. According to Fox, Convergys was cognizant of the opportunity for growth in investing in the Philippines, saying that his company was taking definite steps to ensure that its partnership with the host country remained strong. “I met with President Aquino to reemphasize the partnership and growth opportunities that Convergys and . . . the Philippines have together and to confirm our long-term commitment to invest in the Philippines,” he said after the meeting.
The Convergys chief expressed his delight to have been given the chance to personally thank Mr. Aquino for all the help he has done in making the BPO industry in the country flourish. “We appreciate everything that the government does to make sure that we’re good partners,” Fox said. President Aquino also committed his government’s support for the industry, the biggest in the world and one of the biggest employers in the country, he added. “The President has a history of being engaged and very supportive of not only our industry, but I think all industries that can bring quality jobs to the Philippines,” the Convergys chief said. Meanwhile, Bill said that they chose the Philippines as one of its “model centers” that would cater to clients with “higher end” needs. “That would include work that is typically provided to physicians, nurses or lawyers or accountants and we’re building models such that we can offer those services to our clients here in the US from our centers in the Philippines,” he added.
Other business meetings
After conferment rites in Fordham University, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang said that some members of the economic team were scheduled to meet with three international credit rating agencies. He said that the meeting aimed to ask these agencies to reconsider the Philippines’ sovereign credit rating. “I think it’s to make the case that our fiscal management right now probably deserves a second look as far as ratings are concerned. They have some concerns about the sustainability of our spending programs,” Carandang added.
World’s Leading Location for Call Centers? It’s not India.
– September 21, 2011
Manila, April 19, 2011 – Frustrated by her stagnant 12,000-peso monthly salary ($275) managing one of Manila’s top record stores, Joepi Paloma quit her job and took a leap of faith on the Philippines’ then-nascent call center industry. Seven years and four promotions later, she earns a handsome six-figure (peso) monthly wage leading a team of more than 550 people in one of the archipelago’s outsourced call centers. The sector is a rare spot of good news in an economy that has habitually underperformed, leaving around a third of the estimated 94 million population in poverty. “It’s exciting for the Philippines,” she says. “I make good money, but my goal is also to make sure we keep creating jobs. If we keep our seats, jobs are filled. That’s 550 families with at least one bread winner.”
Lured by tax breaks, cheap labor, and an abundance of college-educated English speakers, global outsourcing firms have flocked to the Philippines. Big names such as IBM, Shell, HSBC, Proctor & Gamble, and the Hershey Company all have Filipinos taking and making calls on their behalf. So gilded is the industry that the southeast Asian nation last year stole India’s perch as the world’s leading location for call centers. Around 600,000 Filipinos are employed in outsourcing and the government forecasts the sector to generate $12 billion to $13 billion in 2012, rising to $100 billion by 2020. After just a decade in existence, call centers account for 5 percent of gross domestic product, half the amount sent home by the estimated 9 million overseas Filipino workers, according to research by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
“India is the call center pioneer, but the neutral accent of Filipinos means clients and their customers now prefer us to answer their calls,” argues BPAP’s Martin Crisostomo. “Filipinos have a natural gift for customer service: we are polite, respectful of elders, patient, and good shock absorbers for angry customers.”
Taking advantage of the industry growth In recognition of the success in the call center industry, President Benigno Aquino has pledged 62 million pesos ($1.4 million) to drum up new information- and technology-outsourcing business.
But industry leaders want more. They are pressing for the retention of tax holidays for new entrants to the outsourcing market, income tax breaks for skilled expatriates, and state-funded training for aspiring call center workers.The goal is to capture the specialized, and more lucrative, outsourcing markets such as accounting, medical transcription, animation, and gaming – for which India still holds most of the aces.
Its official: PH bests India as No. 1 in BPO
– September 21, 2011
MANILA, Philippines?After challenging India for the top position for several years, the Philippines is now the world leader in business support functions like shares services and business process outsourcing, according to the latest reports and trends analyses. In fact, the country overtook India in these categories last year, according to IBM?s latest Global Locations Trend Annual Report, released recently in New York.
India now ranks No. 2, the first time it was not in the leading position for these activities, according to the IBM report, launched in October but made available online last month. The Philippines has taken over the lead in the global ranking from India,? the report said. The IBM report said the Philippines offered a similarly attractive business environment for international business support functions as India. Unlike India?s BPO hot spots, however, labor costs here have not increased as much. Revenue: $5.7B in 2010 On Thursday, the Contract Center Association of the Philippines said the country had become the call center of the world, with around 350,000 Filipinos working in call centers against India?s 330,000-strong workforce.
evenues from the country?s call center industry are also expected to reach $5.7 billion this year, higher than India?s $5.5 billion, the CCAP said. The call center industry, which provides so-called ?voice? services like customer support and sales, is part of the BPO industry. Call centers make up 70 percent of the BPO industry in the Philippines. Currently, there are 600,000 Filipinos employed in the country?s BPO industry, according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines. India is here In yet another sign of the Philippines BPO dominance, Tata Consultancy Services, the information technology services, business solutions and outsourcing arm of India?s giant Tata Group, opened its first BPO center in Southeast Asia at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on Thursday.
We believe that the Philippines has a very high quality of talent that can represent the company before our Asia-Pacific customers and our global customers,? said Vish Iyer, head for the Asia-Pacific region for Tata Consultancy Services. Iyer also said Tata chose the Philippines because it ?wants to be here to see the Philippine BPO industry grow from its current $9 billion [in annual revenues] to the projected $25 billion in 2016.? The BPO center that Tata Consultancy inaugurated will have 400 seats, and a target of three clients, including Citibank. Abid Ali Z. Neemuchwala, vice president and global head for business process services and process excellence, said the company expects to more than double this to 1,000 seats and a target of five clients two years from now. The firm generated revenues of about $6 billion last year.
Support for BPO industry In November, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said she would file a measure to ?jump-start legislative support for the BPO industry, especially its workers? and urged other legislators ?to formulate laws supporting this booming sunshine industry.? According to the International Labor Organization, the BPO industry may be broadly divided into voice services such as call and contact centers, and non-voice or ?back office? services, like finance and accounting, data processing and management, and human resource development. An ILO report released last July noted that Filipino BPO employees were earning 53 percent more than workers of the same age in other industries. The study pegged the average monthly salary of local BPO employees at P16,928, with men earning 13 percent more than women. Local BPO employees also work 44.7 hours per week on the average, with overtime work averages of 1.12 hours per week. Night work The study also found that 42.6 percent of BPO employees in the country work at night, and that respondents have reported sleep disorders, fatigue, eye strain and body pains. Following India in IBM?s ranking of BPO leaders were the United States, Poland, China, Britain, Columbia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ireland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Australia, Egypt, Chile, France, Canada, France, Singapore and the Netherlands. The IBM report said Sri Lanka was another Asian country that had succeeded in positioning itself as an alternative to India.
Advantages of offshore call center outsourcing services in the Philippines
The Philippines is has proven to be an excellent venue for offshore call center outsourcing services for three important reasons: the country’s low labor costs, presence of reliable technology and availability of college graduates who posses high level of English and IT skills.
Additionally, most Filipinos who gain employment in a call center view their work as a long-term profession due to many opportunities in career advancement and the attractive compensation. The average monthly salary of a call center representative in the Philippines is US$300, which is about twice the amount a person working in a minimum-paying job would earn. This is why the call center industry in the Philippines has a relatively low attrition rate compared to other countries providing offshore call center outsourcing services.
The delivery of high quality services by Filipinos at very competitive rates is the main reason why many multinational companies choose offshore call center outsourcing services in the Philippines for their contact center and customer management operations. A study showed that among countries in the Asian region, the Philippines had the highest availability of skilled labor. The Filipino’s proficiency in American English is one of its biggest advantages over competitors considering the main clientele in the call center industry are US companies. Moreover, the Philippines is a former colony of the United States and its system of education is similar to that of the US. English is a subject taught very early in schools making Filipinos well oriented with American English including pronunciation and diction. In addition to English language skills, the Philippines boast off high IT competency. Moreover, Filipinos are easy to train and has a strong work ethic. Filipinos are naturally hospitable, personable and service-oriented – qualities that are desirable in the call center outsourcing services.
Benefits of Bringing Call Center Jobs to The Philippines
The Philippines is considered to be one of the major players in the call center industry in Asia. In 2004, the country already held 20% of the total market share in call center solutions in the world. Experts in the business are expecting that this rate will increase at 55% in 2009.
Because of the industry’s market strength, it has made a relevant 12% contribution to the Philippines’ Gross National Product. It is also the leading provider of jobs for 900,000 of Filipinos. There are more than 700 call centers established in the country and most of which are located in the business sectors of Manila. Because of its stellar performance in the market, the Philippines has been ranked as one of the top ten business process outsourcing destinations, not only in Asia, but the whole world. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the country’s great feat in the BPO industry. Primary to this is the Filipino’s command of the English language. Compared to neighboring countries which are also pursuing a call center success, Filipinos are preferred by foreign clients because of their neutral accent. Given months of proper speech trainings, agents hired in the Philippines can already replicate an American accent. In this way, clients can be more assured of quality English-speaking staff, and at the same time, be able to save on training costs.
Another reason that made the Philippines a haven for call center jobs is the quality of outsourced work that Filipinos are able to deliver. Whether it is customer service, efficiency at work and courtesy, Filipino agents are highly commendable by clients when it comes to the said characteristics. They are also more able to live up to the strict performance metrics of international standards. Finally, the call center industry in the Philippines has been a booming enterprise because it offers affordable rates without jeopardizing quality of service. Outsourcing call center services from Asia proves to be 85% more affordable than hiring Americans to occupy vacancies in the customer service department. On average, foreign clients are only going to pay a Filipino contact center agent $8 to $10 per hour. It is exponentially lower than the $25 per hour rate that American contact center agents will charge.
Projections about the call center industry in the Philippines continue to paint positivism. Amidst the global economic crisis, the business continues to flourish and is in fact, still is a strong source of job opportunities for Filipinos. If the industry continues to develop and reach greater heights, getting more than half of the worldwide market shares in the business will be a possibility.
The Philippines First and only, Pre-Qualified Call Center Directory
Posted on: July 8, 2010
The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines started back in the early 1990s with a number of companies that offered non-voice and software-related services such as software application development, system design, data entry and email support. These companies started to offer other services such as teleservices in response to their clients with voice requirements. Clients who wanted their customers’ concerns addressed directly and promptly through technical support and customer care services employed the services of a call center in the Philippines. Many contact centers also started offering travel and financial services, both of which are customer relations services. The services being offered by call centers in the Philippines became essential in the development of the country’s call center and BPO industry and in defining its important role in the outsourcing industry worldwide.
Many foreign companies are aware of the advantages that a call center in the Philippines will bring to their businesses. A company that decides to hire a contact center in the country will be able to focus more on its core competencies. By transferring most customer relations services to a contact center equipped with the necessary technology and skilled and knowledgeable agents, the client company can make the most out of its investment since it can now focus more on advertising, marketing and improving its sales and products. Lower operational and labor costs are among the many advantages that hiring a call center in the Philippines can give to a company. These foreign businesses are aware of the fact that contact centers can provide the same kind and level of customer service at lower costs. They will not spend as much money when hiring a call center in the Philippines as they would if they hired and trained customer support agents themselves and paid for overhead costs.
Another good reason for foreign businesses to get the services of a call center in the Philippines is the Philippine government’s support for the IT and BPO industries. The government is focused on expanding its already large talent pool by providing individuals with free training and seminars that will equip them with the skills needed to meet the demands of the BPO industry. The importance of call centers in the Philippines is further established when companies come to realize that they can attract and maintain customers more efficiently if they employ the services of an excellent contact center. As mentioned, contact centers offer different types of services such as sales verification, customer service, surveys and technical support. Most of these are services that companies need in order to attract more customers and maintain or improve customer relationships. Through these services and by using the information a call center in the Philippines gathers, they will be able to learn how to serve their customers better by improving their products or services.
Many foreign businesses are aware that the Philippines has a big talent pool composed of highly educated individuals, most of whom are fluent in spoken English (the country being the third largest English-speaking country in the world). This makes the country an ideal and important offshore outsourcing destination for these foreign businesses. Unlike other BPO companies located in other countries, customer support or technical support agents working in a call center in the Philippines will require little training when it comes to speaking English. Most of the time, training related to the English language only requires accent neutralization. BPO companies and call centers in the Philippines do not only pose advantages for foreign businesses but also give great benefits to the country. The emergence of business process outsourcing has created jobs in the country and has generated some $7.3 billion in total industry revenues in 2009 alone. This year, call centers, BPO companies and KPO firms are expected to generate more jobs and industry revenues, as well as expand its hold on the global outsourcing market.
Your Call Center In The Philippines If you’re in business, you’ve probably heard the talk about using Call Centers in the Philippines and have wondered exactly what your Call Center In The Philippines could do for you. The short answer is.”A lot!” But let’s be more specific about the exact benefits, OK? For one thing, because the Philippines is on a completely different time zone than the continental US, having a Call Center in The Philippines means your business would never have to ‘go to sleep’ in the evening. While all your US employees go home to enjoy an evening with the family, your Call Center Philippines could be making calls in the evening across all US time zones (assuming this is appropriate for your product or service of course)to set appointments for the next day. Of course appointment setting isn’t the only thing your Call Center in the Philippines can do. They can also do Customer Tech Support, Help Desk Support, Inbound Upselling, Inbound Telemarketing, Live Chat Sales, Email Support, Claim Processing and…etc. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees and your business is tough going today. We know that your customers are demanding better products and services and better service. Sure, it sounds contradictory but that’s the reality, right? Using a call center can be one of the main answers to that problem because so much of the perceived value your customers get from your company is based on the impressions they get from your employees or representatives.
Todays high-tech communication means that you can have anywhere from 5 to 500 loyal, enthusiastic, courteous, call center agents ‘on your team’, even though they’re a half way around the globe, for pennies-on-the-dollar of equivalent stateside services (depending on the size of your need of course). Call Center agents in the Philippines, even though Philippines wages are minimal in comparison to US wages, highly prize their jobs and love coming to work and their work environment. This is why so many big, name brand companies have been outsourcing as much as possible of their daily operations abroad (especially to the Philippines) for years now. The fact is that almost anything that can be done via the phone can be done from the Philippines. Selling or straight administrative and clerical work.it doesn’t make any different. Why wouldn’t you want to save 30-60% on what you pay for those tasks?