The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Outsourcing week in review
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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Next year, the Philippines will enjoy substantially faster internet speeds, approaching that of Singapore, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Eliseo Rio, the DICT’s acting secretary, said China Telecom-backed Mislatel is expected to start its operations in the first quarter of 2020, and will give existing telco players, Globe and Smart, some healthy market competition.

Less healthily, perceived Chinese competition in the labor market is becoming a concern for the authorities. Malacañang has announced that several government agencies are planning to establish guidelines on foreign nationals looking for employment in the country given the rapid rise of foreign workers, specifically Chinese, and concerns that they might take jobs intended for Filipinos. Caution should be exercised. Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans are the top foreign nationals employed in the Philippines according to labor chief Silvestre Bello III, and the majority of them work in business process outsourcing, administrative support, and offshore gaming operations.

Concerns about jobs are understandable given the massive transformation that the BPO industry is currently undergoing. About 800,000 BPO employees could lose their jobs to artificial intelligence in the next three to five years unless they develop new skills, says Christopher Monterola, professor at the Asian Institute of Management. The Technological Education and Skills Development Authority is also planning to conduct a workplace skills survey to determine the potential impact of automation on job training requirements, with a focus on the BPO sector.

The challenge for the industry is not restricted to the Philippines. According to Shekhar Shah, director general of India’s National Council of Applied Economic Research, to provide the 21st century skills needed to ensure lifetime employment education should focus more on cognitive and problem-solving skills instead of vocational skills. Last week global tech giant IBM announced possible lay-offs of about 1,700 staff.

Reassuringly, new jobs are emerging fast, according to Indeed, a global employment-related search engine. The Philippines is currently recruiting for nearly 6,000 digital and cloud-related jobs, and, given global market intelligence firm IDC’s forecast that 30% of companies across the Philippines will achieve “digital determination” by 2020, this will only increase.

Despite such concerns, the news from last week shows that the country’s BPO sector is continuing to expand, attract investment, and move into the provinces. Bulacan will soon be home to the 12-hectare Bulacan Cyberpark and Business District. Bacolod City is fast becoming a leader in information and communications technology according to Ivin Ronald Alzona, officer-in-charge undersecretary for regional operations and countryside and ICT industry development for DICT.

The country’s real estate market, particularly the office sector, should also sustain its growth this year. Half of that demand is coming from offshoring and outsourcing companies, according to a report by real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle in partnership with online marketplace Lamudi.com.ph. Harald Fries, Swedish ambassador to the Philippines, said that small and medium-sized Swedish companies are establishing their presence in the country’s BPO, information technology, software engineering, and software development sectors. India-based BPO firm WNS has allotted US$37 million for expansion next year, including increasing its presence in the Philippines.

Top international BPO companies with Philippines operations have also picked up some plaudits last week. Wipro, a leader in global information technology, consulting, and business process services, was honored as 2018 Citrix Cloud Partner of the YearThe Results Company has assimilated US call center firm USA800 into its fold, and it will now operate under The Results Company brand. Global IT and BPM company Datamatics Global Services has been included in the IAOP 2019 Global Outsourcing 100 List of the World’s Best Outsourcing Providers.

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

NEWS THIS WEEK

17 June 2019

  • Around 800,000 BPO workers may be jobless by 2024 due to automation – read article…
  • Bulacan soon to have 12-hectare cyberpark, business district – read article…
  • Wipro honored as 2018 Citrix Cloud Partner of the Year – read article…

14 June 2019

  • TESDA to hold automation impact survey among IT-BPM, construction sectors – read article…
  • DICT officer says Bacolod is ICT leader – read article…
  • Over 5,000 digital and cloud roles offered in Philippines – read article…

13 June 2019

  • Analyst urges firms, workers to be ready for skills required in the future – read article…
  • Government to release guidelines on employment of foreigners – read article…
  • Philippine office market expected to sustain growth this year – read article…

12 June 2019

11 June 2019

  • Swedish firms eye more investment in Philippines – read article…
  • India’s WNS to invest USD37m for expansion, including Philippines – read article…
  • Philippines to have faster internet connection by 2020 – read article…

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: June 12, 2019
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: June 26, 2019

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