The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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The BPO sector in the Philippines is now operating extensively on a work-from-home (WFH) basis. According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which has been one of the many government bodies pushing for the practice, the majority of outsourcing operations have now bedded down their WFH arrangements. Some firms are still permitted to maintain a skeleton staff at their offices, generally providing in-house or nearby food and accommodation arrangements for such workers. Los Angeles-based Awesome OS says it has succeeded in equipping all of its 3,000+ customer service associates from seven offices in Manila and Davao City to work from home, and is still meeting all of its client needs. Cognizant Technology Solutions has raised the base pay of some employees in India and the Philippines who are taking on extra work while working from home.

> COVID-19 chaos creates urgent need for BPO buy, sell, merger & fundraising forum
COVID-19 has caused widespread economic chaos. There will be a consolidation of the BPO industry. We have been contacted by many BPOs who are interested in buy, sell, merger or fundraising options. Thus, we have launched the Outsourcing Merger & Acquisitions (OMA) Forum. >> Learn more and join today <<

>> Do businesses have a recovery plan?
Outsourcing is counter-cyclical, so BPOs can thrive in market-downturns when Western businesses need to cut costs.  Outsource Accelerator is launching the Business Recovery Action Plan – targeting Western businesses affected by COVID-19.  This could be a pivotal opportunity for the PH outsourcing industry – read more.

Not all operations in the country have managed to make the transition successfully, however. At least 14 BPO companies in Davao City have temporarily suspended their operations for the duration of the community quarantine, according to the BPO Covid-19 Task Force. 55 BPO firms in the city are still operating.

With such a rapid restructuring there are inevitable teething problems. In Cebu, the Department of Labor and Employment is investigating claims that several call centres in Cebu City are forcing employees to work and live in ‘subhuman conditions’ inside their offices. Out-of-town workers are stuck in the city as BPO companies in Cebu City are barred from leaving and returning to their homes in the province. The challenge of maintaining a stable internet service in the country as millions of new WFH employees go online is keeping many BPO managers awake at nights. So far, service providers say there are no problems, but the DICT has called on streaming platform operators to reduce their bitrates during the community quarantine period. Several streaming companies, including Google, iFlix, and iWant, have already agreed to downgrade video quality to free up bandwidth.

The Philippines is not alone in its fight to keep its BPO industry operational; India is facing similar challenges on the back of its national lock down. Some of the world’s biggest outsourcing companies in India are racing to maintain their services for global clients, now that the country has imposed a nationwide shutdown, according to the Financial Times. Tata Consultancy Services said that around 85% of its 400,000 employees in India and elsewhere in the world are now working from home. Infosys said that 70% of its 200,000 global workforce is also now home-based. Salil Parekh, Infosys CEO and managing director, said businesses should work together with civil society and healthcare institutions to support communities.

Despite the current extreme economic environment, the outsourcing industry is better positioned than most to weather the storm and then to bounce back, despite forecasts of a severe global recession, such as one recently released from the IMF. David Leechiu, founder and chief executive officer of Leechiu Property Consultants, says that during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, MNCs worldwide had to aggressively cut costs and increase production driving many to turn to BPO solutions. This is likely to happen again in the Philippines in the third to the fourth quarter of 2020, Leechiu predicts. In turn, this will drive up demand for office space which will be good news for the property sector, struggling with collapsing occupancies and escalating losses. According to a report by property consultancy firm Colliers the slowdown in demand for office space by POGOs will probably lead to an increase in office vacancies, especially in the Metro Manila area.

Meanwhile business goes on. Global professional services platform Genpact has been named as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business Process Outsourcing for AML and KYC 2019 Vendor Assessment. Accenture continues its ongoing global acquisition program and has completed its acquisition of Munich-based ESR Labs which develops embedded software for leading German car brands and suppliers.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020



6 April 2020

  • Gov’t Checking ‘Subhuman Conditions” Of BPO Workers In Cebu – read article…
  • All 3,000+ Awesome OS Workers Now On WFH Setup – read article…
  • BPO Firms Likely To Play Role In Tempering Downturn – read article…

3 April 2020

  • Property Owners Urged To Let Office Space To Traditional Tenants – read article…
  • Accenture Completes Acquisition Of Germany’s ESR Labs – read article…
  • IDC Names Genpact As 2019 Leader In Worldwide Analytics – read article…

2 April 2020

  • BPO Workers In Cebu Not Exempted From Movement Restrictions – read article…
  • Infosys Calls For Business-Government Collaboration – read article…
  • Property Market To Suffer Big Losses Due To Covid-19 – read article…

1 April 2020

  • DICT Says BPO Firms Should Consider WFH During Pandemic – read article…
  • Cognizant Raising Salaries Of Some Employees In India, PH – read article…
  • Streaming Firms Urged To Help Stabilize PH Internet Connection – read article…

31 March 2020

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: March 25, 2020
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: April 15, 2020

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About Derek Gallimore

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.