Outsourcing News for May 2011
by: Karen Cayamanda
With a total of $100 million worth of investments, six US-based companies are outsourcing non-voice business process outsourcing (BPO) work to the Philippines, generating 10,000 job opportunities for Filipino workers. According to Cristino Panlilio, managing head of the Board of Investments (BoI), these American firms are new outsourcing players, though the names remain undisclosed.
In an earlier report, BoI said AETNA, US-based insurance company, will hire Filipino nurses to provide two kinds of services: clinical support and home care for American patients. BoI Executive Director Fe Reyes-Agoncillo said there are 250 nurses who are already providing clinical support, and the firm needs a total of 500 for that service. On the other hand, 250 nurses are needed to provide home care services for patients. This number is expected to reach 1000 in the next two years.
by: Sarah Joson
Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corporation (CPVDC) and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) have teamed up in managing Asian i-Office Properties Inc. (AiO), a company that recently led the topping out of eBloc Tower 2 at the Asiatown IT Park.
Francis Monera, CPVDC President, said, “Cebu’s booming BPO sector is ripe for the expansion of new and existing IT locators. The opening of an eBloc Tower 2 will open the door to more investments and job opportunities in the area.”
eBloc Tower 2 is a follow-up to the eBloc Tower which was completed in 2009. The 16-level office building is situated at a 4,383-square meter lot, and is predicted to become the best location for BPO, IT, and IT-enabled services (ITES) business locators.
Monera also said that various BPO companies are very interested in leasing office space. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the total occupancy were already reserved for upcoming operations, and once occupancy rate has reached 70%, AiO will begin the construction of the third tower.
ALI senior vice president and Visayas-Mindanao group head Emilio Tumbocon said that eBloc Tower 2 only accounts for one of Ayala’s 13 new projects to be launched this year. “With these strategic directions, we will take on new ventures and maximize the potential of the BPO industry, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao areas,” he said.
by: Sarah Joson
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that representatives from prominent companies Convergys (Philippines) and Everything and Everywhere (Britain) contacted President Benigno Aquino III and presented the plan. The British company is looking to hire employees and establish foothold here in the country. “And since this is a British BPO, there’s also a need for the Filipinos to be trained in the British accent, which we are not familiar with,” he added.
Lacierda said, “They are very, very bullish. They are interested and they are very open to the situation here in the Philippines. We’re the No. 1 BPO destination in the world and they recognize our ability. They recognize we have the infrastructure to maintain our status as the No. 1 BPO destination in the world,”
In line with that, Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said that Everything and Everywhere is working on a partnership with Convergys in hopes of penetrating Philippines’ BPO market.
by: Sarah Joson
According to Fe Agoncillo-Reyes, assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), a New York-based company, Aetna Insurance, has a unit in the Philippines called EXL Service Philippines. This company, which started out with 250 nurses at an office in SM Mall of Asia, is now looking to hire 1,000 nurses to provide basic clinical support like assessing and approving insurance claims. Other services include calling home-care patients based in the US.
The healthcare BPO sector provided jobs to 14,000 healthcare professionals in 2010, and produced $102 million in revenue, an 11% increase from 2009. Today, medical transcription is no longer the solitary work available in the healthcare BPO sector according to the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (formerly Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines Inc.), Reyes added.
In line with this, the sector is preparing for the increasing demand for healthcare services in the United States due to changes in US healthcare regulations.
On the other hand, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) reported that the Philippine IT-BPO industry grew 26 percent in 2010 to $8.9 billion and employed 525,000 professionals. BPAP also projected a 15% baseline increase in the next few years. The projection would then account for 900,000 total direct jobs, 1.7 million indirect jobs, and $20 billion in revenues.
by: Sarah Joson
Nonetheless, clients are now demanding for specific services wherein they can contain costs and focus on their core functions. Some of the functions clients are looking for are mortgage processing, core banking, supply chain, and healthcare insurance.
According to the group CEO of Aditya Birla Minacs Deepak Patel, banking clients and insurance clients are now outsourcing core processes in finance and are requesting for a study regarding loans and loan distribution.
Although BPO vertical focus is similar to the IT outsourcing industry, Indian BPOs manage each vertical differently. Two ways of putting up a vertical are: looking for a country that offers the specific expertise needed and buying out other service providers. An example of the latter is the recent acquisition of a finance and accounting outsourcing service provider, Outsource Partners International, by BPO firm EXL Service Holdings. Other companies that are looking to acquire specific services in other regions are Tech Mahindra , TCS, and Aegis.
Group CEO of WNS Global Services, Keshav Murugesh, said, "When clients interact with us, they interact with people with specialized knowledge and work skills from the same industry. Our core area of investment now lies in sales and new verticals."