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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BPO firm won’t hike workforce to cut costs

A UNIT of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co. said it would not increase its workforce this year amid efforts to reduce costs, but would spend money on technologies to boost productivity.

Peter S. Maquera, chief executive officer of SPi Global Solutions, said in an interview late last week that the PLDT business process outsourcing (BPO) unit is looking at 10%-15% growth in revenues this year.

The company’s local workforce, which stands at 11,000 in 10 contact centers nationwide, is not expected to post a significant growth this year as SPi Global is trying to cut costs. Instead, the company will focus on investments in technology to maximize productivity and to support its move into high-value services in areas such as health and education, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maquera called for the passage of a law creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology to allow the country to compete with larger BPO hubs like India.

Amid a greater consolidation of customers as well as vendors, an ICT department will serve as a powerful agency to market the high-value capabilities of Filipino talents, he added.

The establishment of such an agency will also strengthen the domestic market, thereby creating a long-term business opportunity for the local BPO industry, he said.

Six SPi Global contact centers are into voice services while four are in the non-voice services. The biggest site is in Parañaque, employing over 3,000 agents.

It merged with ePLDT last year when the latter acquired 100% of SPi Global in April 2008. SPi Global has a total of 14,000 employees in 29 locations in North America, Europe and Asia.

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