Non-Voice BPO Gaining Strength

While the Philippines is set on maintaining its global leadership in voice BPO or contact centers, it is rapidly expanding its share of the global non-voice IT-BPO services market, according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

Last year, the IT-BPO industry grew at an impressive rate of 24% but the non-voice sector expanded by an even more impressive rate at 30%, according to BPAP figures.

BPAP senior executive director Gillian Virata attributed the expansion in the non-voice services to the strengthening of service delivery in the financial services, insurance, human resources, logistics, engineering, software, media, healthcare, IT, and legal industries, according to Virata.

"The demand for new outsourced services is increasing and the potential for non-voice and other emerging services is enormous," Virata said.

"IT-BPO has now evolved into an 'industry of industries' with a broad range of new sectors seeking to leverage opportunities in the delivery of

non-voice services," she added.

Research and consultancy firm Everest Group recently forecast the global market for outsourced services to reach $220 billion to $280 billion this year, with 90% expected to be non-voice work. Last year, 33% of $11 billion in Philippine IT-BPO revenues was generated by non-voice sectors expanding from $2.8 billion in revenues to $3.6 billion.

This growth is being felt across several non-voice sectors in the Philippines which are restructuring to meet demand for more non-voice, complex services. The sector formerly referred to as medical transcription now includes health care information management, while animation services are now grouped with other creative services such as game development and graphic design.

Business services for industries such as banking, transportation, manufacturing, retail, and pharmaceutical, among others, are also gaining traction.

The Philippine IT-BPO industry last year accounted for about 5% of the country's gross domestic product. One-third of the output consisted of non-voice work, delivered by approximately 220,000 employees.

"This is an exciting time for IT-BPO industry players. As a result of the industry's rapid growth, the Philippines has become an important venue for global IT-BPO stakeholders to discuss industry developments and forecasts. The International Outsourcing Summit (IOS), an annual conference and exhibition that attracts 500 participants and close to 70 speakers and panellists from the world's major brands, serves to facilitate that exchange," said Raymond Lacdao, BPAP executive director for industry affairs.

For this year's summit, the roster of confirmed speakers include Alfredo Ayala, president and CEO of LiveIt Investments Ltd.; Jean Paul Binot, director for Finance Transformation at Deloitte Consulting Pte.; Mark Bretton, vice president and head of BPO UK and Europe at Tata Consultancy Services; PrabhakarBisen, head of Global Insurance BPO and country head - Philippines, Cognizant Technology Solutions; David Guerrero, chairman and CCO of BBDO Guerrero; Som Mittal, president of NASSCOM; Ralph Schonenbach, CEO of Trestle Group; and AparupSengupta, managing director and global CEO of Aegis Limited.

"We expect the presentations to fuel insightful discussions on strategizing for high growth, especially for the non-voice industry; managing talent supply; and assessing global economy, competition and customer retention," said Lacdao.