The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Outsourcing week in review
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A stark reminder that the upskilling of BPO workers is critical to the ongoing success of the industry in the Philippines came last week from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). As many as 56% of workers in the ASEAN region could lose their jobs within a couple of decades due to technology disruption as repetitive jobs get automated. Training initiatives for new jobs are therefore essential, such as that of the social development organization Bayan Academy which has partnered with JPMorgan and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to bolster technical-vocational education through the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (2018-2022 NTESDP).

The good news is that labor shortages are already developing in skilled sectors that are offering new jobs and hence supporting the investment in training. For example, demand for data science engineers in the Philippines is already growing fast and outstripping supply, but Filipino engineers need to learn more about using artificial intelligence in the outsourcing sector to really meet demand, according to Silicon Valley firm, the AI Center of Excellence at Wave Computing.

Solving such labor shortages will also require increased skilled worker mobility across the ASEAN region, helping to transfer knowledge across borders and boosting productivity, says the ADB.  Some AI-driven services can also help support existing staff to improve performance, rather than replace them. A good example is VoiceOps, a startup based in San Francisco. It has developed one of the world’s largest data sets of sales behavior that it is using to help companies train their call center representatives to sell better.

Another outcome is that higher skilled workers will inevitably expect higher salaries and benefits. The US trade union, the Communication Workers of America (CWA), has urged Philippine authorities to address concerns regarding the working conditions of the country’s BPO workers. Nell Geiser, CWA assistant director for research, said that labor code loopholes created by Philippine BPOs’ location inside economic zones should be removed.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), however, already has jitters about property demand in economic zones plummeting. Fears of Chinese authorities cracking down on Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) could lead to “ghost buildings” as POGOs close down en masse, says PEZA. Property developers with skin in the game, however, appear far less concerned. David Leechiu, founder and president of Leechiu Property Consultants, says that landlords will survive any withdrawal of POGOs as local demand remains strong, with BPO firms and multinationals expected to occupy any vacated spaces.

According to property firm JLL Philippines, demand for office space in several cities in the Philippines is continuing to rise, with offshoring and outsourcing companies generally driving the growth – particularly in Davao and Cebu. Flexible office space provider KMC Solutions is confidently opening its new office space location at the Cebu IT Park later this month which will add 970 seats to its current Cebu office space portfolio. And with restrictions on new zone development in Manila in force, firms are looking at alternatives outside the capital. BPO firm Transcom Worldwide has said it is now considering expansion in the provinces as a result.

Meanwhile top industry players continue to push the development of their tech expertise. Infosys is now a Google Cloud Managed Service Provider, and has been named as the Microsoft 2019 Global Alliance SI Partner of the Year. IT and BPM firm Datamatics Global Services has been honored as a Star Performer in Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix for Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Technology Vendors 2019 for its product TruBot.  A final, worthy mention is Telus International Philippines, which through its foundation the TIP Community Board, has donated PHP455,400 to the Adat B’laan community in South Cotabato and the non-profit organization GeoChris Foundation in order to finance programs aimed at reviving cultural awareness among the Adat B’laan youth.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


2 September 2019

  • Over 50% Of ASEAN Workers Could Lose Jobs Due To Technology – ADB – read article…
  • Infosys Named Microsoft Global Alliance SI Partner Of The Year – read article…
  • Skilled Labor Mobility Powerful Tool To Ease Skill Shortages – read article…

30 August 2019

29 August 2019

28 August 2019

  • KMC Solutions To Open New Cebu Office Space Next Month – read article…
  • Datamatics Honored As Star Performer By Everest Group – read article…
  • POGO Crackdown Not End Of The World, Says Property Veteran – read article…

27 August 2019

  • US Union CWA Seeks Improved Benefits For Philippine BPO Workers – read article…
  • IT Centers At Risk Of Becoming Ghost Buildings, Says PEZA – read article…
  • JPMorgan, Bayan Academy, TESDA Team Up For Technical Education – read article…

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: August 28, 2019
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: September 11, 2019

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.