International Contact Center Conference

Live Blog

International Contact Center Conference

With the theme, "The Future of Outsourcing," economists, analysts and players give insight into the direction the business process outsourcing industry should be taking

  • The discussion has turned to cloud computing and most the attendees have turned to lunch.
  • Lunch break has formally started, will tweet more updates after.
  • Media interview with CCAP President Benedict Hernandez now ongoing.
  • CCAP Director Bong Borja is also here.
  • Hernandez says BPO industry feels no impact yet from the strengthening of the peso.
  • A strong peso trims the value of dollar earnings of companies when converted into local currency. It also jacks up costs.
  • Hernandez says BPO industry wants constant incentives policy in the Philippines especially since this is one of the factors investors look at when putting in money over the long term
  • Borja talks about "next wave cities" for BPO -- Baguio, Dumaguete, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Clark, Laoag...
  • Unlike before, when BPO companies are primarily servicing overseas markets, Borja says they are now catering "heavily" to Filipino firms.
  • Borja: PH businesses have seen the advantage of outsourcing. You would see that telco companies, even the government are actually outsourcing now.
  • Conference resumes.
  • Up for discussion: "The rise of the east and the impact on outsourcing's future."
  • University of Asia the Pacific professor Bernardo Villegas to present a paper on the topic. The session's panelists include Taguig (2nd District) Rep. Sigfrido Tinga, Asian Development Bank senior country economist Norio Usui, AIM faculty Federico Macaranas and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines senior advisor John Forbes.
  • ICCCE conference is back on. Check Rappler's live blog to know what's happening in the event and in the BPO industry www.rappler.com
  • UA&P's Winston Padojinog talks about global scenarios: slow growth of US economy, continuing but slower growth in china and emerging markets, EU still in economic and debt turmoil
  • Padojinog: Weak demand in these countries force companies to locate labor-sensitive, non-core operations to low-cost countries like PH
  • Macaranas: For outsourcing sector, surveys show that short term (financial attractiveness), medium term (people, skills) and structural factors for the long term (business environment) are being considered by location strategists.
  • He says in the past several years, India and China were top two countries that rated well for services location
  • Macaranas: PH dropped to 11th place in 2011 from 4th in 2004 in global ranking of best locations for services. It was overtaken by Thailand (due to better business environment), Indonesia and Vietnam (due to financial attractiveness).
  • Panel discussion starts. Moderators are Joey de Venecia III and Don Felbaum
  • On issue of foreign exchange stability, Macaranas says it is a "precondition" for contact centers. "If peso would turn 38:$1, it will wipe out some of you," he tells conference participants
  • However, he says stability is "well guarded" by monetary authorities for the interest of the exporters, BPO companies and families of OFWs
  • Padojinog agrees. "There are a lot of compelling reasons why BSP has to stabilize the currency. BPO, OFWs are a big sector to ignore"
  • Session on the "future of work" in PH starts. Swati Chawla, head for talent consulting business (Southeast Asia) of Towers Watson, gives a snapshot of the demand and supply of talent in the region.
  • What will Philippine contact centers be like in 10 years? Panelists in the conference will answer that question next.
  • Maulik Parekh, president and CEO of SPi Global, says 10 years from now more people will be more involved in digital technology. He says in the US, 27% of population belong to the "digital native" generation.
  • A digital native is a person who was born during or after general introduction of digital technology, understands its value, and uses it to seek out opportunities, says Parekh
  • Parekh: As the world becomes more and more digital, consumers would appreciate talking to someone who understands them, who's warm... what better place to get someone like that than the Philippines?
  • Paul Birdseye, exec VP and country manager of VXI Global Holdings BV Phils, predicts that in the future there will be a balance between virtual and human call center agents. "But people will still want to talk to a live, warm person."
  • Birdseye also sees more countries offering outsourcing services to cater to demand from companies looking to cut costs. How PH will keep its competitive edge is key.
  • On that note, Rappler is signing off. Thank you for joining us.
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