Tech support services increasing
The outsourcing industry remained bullish in 2013 despite the many calamities in the fourth quarter.
“As expected, we are still bullish, we continued to have more and new investors players with employment surpassing the 100,000 mark,” said Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) president Gregg Gabison.
Gabison added that the growth were seen mostly on the software research and development side involving more of the programming intensive companies.
“There are at least new 70 players and about 30 for contact centers. These validates our direction to leveling up from typical call center and tech support services to Software R&D or IP creation,” Gabison said.
Some of the companies that opened office in Cebu this year includes Results Company, EXL Services, United Health Group, Cognizant, Telstra (a project under Teletech), Ameeratel, Firstsource, Daimler Group Services and Synacy.
CEDF-IT executive director Jun Saa agreed with Gabison and said that this year they also saw a lot of existing companies expanding and adding more workforce into their operations.
Gabison said that the growth was mainly fuelled by the conducive ecosystem in Cebu where different sectors like the academe, industry and government continued to be more collaborative and resilient.
While the two calamities-the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October and supertyphoon Yolanda in November caused some delays for some investors, Gabison said the impact is very less and was not much of an issue or disruption.
“It’s evident that a week after these catastrophic events, everything went back to normal. There were enough warnings and advisories made by the city government before the typhoon struck and the different IT/BPO companies quickly heeded the directive,” said Gabison
Gabison added that in the case of the earthquake, management of the outsourcing companies were quick to facilitate emergency procedures to avoid panic during aftershocks and consistently undertake buildings and facility inspections.
Gabison said that this year they expect the industry to remain bullish and grow more.
“Given the trend, Cebu will continue to move up and we’ll continue to see growth especially from the higher end outsourcing segment,” he said.
At least three major companies will enter Cebu next year according to Saa and will add more employment opportunities in Cebu.
Saa said that there is a new growth potential for the data industry given the fast growth of data now fueled by the internet.
“We see this as another area that we can tap so we will have a training on Big Data next year in partnership with EMC. It will be more on understanding the available big data and make some sense out of this available information,” Saa said.
Factors like increased availability of operation-ready venues of facilities for locators, qualified entry level employment for software R&D (research and development), cost friendly infrastructure especially on the telco side, supportive and collaborative and a resilient ecosystem will help fuel more growth in the industry, Gabison said.
Gabison called on the government to address issues on taxes and services from Philippine Economic Zone Authority l (PEZA) and its coordination with the local government to further create a more enabling environment and attract more investors.
“An issue that most of these IT/ BPO companies are facing is on the shortage of middle managers. This can be addressed by promoting growth internally among its employees through HR development schemes, and coordinate or link up with local universities that offers true graduate executive and management programs that prepares their employees for middle management positions,” he said.
Saa said they are further strengthening their links with the stakeholders especially the academe in order to help them produce more abled and industry-calibrated graduates to supply the needed workforce of the industry.
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