International Outsourcing Summit & the future of IT-BPO

Michael Alan Hamlin

Posted on August 18, 2011

In just under two months, The Philippines will host its third Annual International Outsourcing Summit (IOS), a landmark event for the burgeoning IT-BPO industry. Sessions led by over 70 expert speakers and panelists will focus on the profound shift in the IT-BPO landscape from process-based services such as managing customer relationships, to knowledge-based services including project engineering and management and risk assessment.

Close to 30 different services are outsources to organizations in the Philippines. They range from advertising and social marketing services to the design of integrated circuits.

More than 300 delegates from 20 countries are expected to attend the two-day event, including senior executives from client-side corporations who decide what work to outsource to the Philippines and other outsourcing centers around the world. Some of those centers will also be represented by high-level delegations, such as Colombia, Jordan and the Czech Republic. Major vendors will assemble senior executives in Manila for meetings coinciding with IOS.

Client-side panelists include Jackie O’Leary, vice president for Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile); Partha Mishra, managing director of UnitedHealth Group’s information services; and, Jim Cross, managing director for operations at Aetna. At least eight different IT-BPO country associations will be represented, including Australia, Europe, UK, Russia, and the Netherlands as well as Columbia, Jordan, and the Czech Republic, which are sponsoring the summit.

According to organizers, the annual summit provides a platform to assess progress towards development goals provided in the IT-BPO Road Map 2011-2016, which projects potential annual growth of the Philippine industry of up to 20% over the next five years, generating 1.3 million direct jobs, 3.2 million indirect jobs, and US$25 billion in revenues. The event is organized by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP). (Disclosure: My firm, TeamAsia, has been engaged to manage the summit.)

That assessment includes a look at how fast the industry is evolving to higher value complex services that leverage knowledge workers’ minds, not just their language skills and pleasant personalities. While traditional voice-based BPO will contribute substantially to continued growth, non-voice, complex services are expected to be the principal engine of growth for the industry, according to Raymond Lacdao, Industry Affairs Executive Director of BPAP.

“We anticipate growth in non-voice, complex IT-BPO services of 20-25% over the next five years,” Lacdao said. “Voice-based services will grow at a rate of 15-20%. IOS 2011 was designed to focus attention of the industry on the emerging potential of non-voice, complex IT-BPO services, and to increase the global visibility of the Philippines’ capability for delivering these services.”

In part to demonstrate that capability, this year’s summit features a session on how the Philippine IT-BPO industry can extend its leadership by innovating new services, including fundamental research and development. “Last year, we became the global leader in voice BPO,” Lacdao said. “But we are rapidly transitioning to non-voice, complex services delivery. We want to demonstrate that the Philippines has a very high capability in this area.”

Influential industry executives representing other country industry associations will attend IOS to pitch their own capabilities. They include Armand Angeli, co-founder and president of the European Outsourcing Association; Sergio Pessoa, director of marketing and international markets of the Brazil Association of Software and Services; and Valentin Makarov, president of the RUSSOFT Association.

Session speakers and panelists represent a variety of industry stakeholders. They include Ralph Guggenheim, founding member of Pixar Animation Studios and CEO of Alligator Planet; Paul Robinson, vice president for Finance Process – Expenditure, Shell Shared Services Asia BV; John Wheeler, vice president for Strategy and Emergent Technologies, SPi Global Content Solutions; and, Kush Kamra, vice president for Global Service Delivery, Global Capability Sourcing.

Alfredo Ayala, president and CEO of LiveIt Investments Ltd. and BPAP chairman, will moderate an “Emerging Markets” panel on the first day of the summit. Key Philippine government officials will also address delegates, including Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and his secretary of trade, Gregory L. Domingo. The IT-BPO industry is the Philippines’ principal generator of high-value, high-paying jobs, and a development priority.

While the summit involves two days of intense sessions with a terrific lineup of speakers and panelists, business matching, exhibits showcasing state-of-the-art technologies and services, it also provides compelling opportunities to network, including two gala evenings courtesy of PLDT and Globe Telecom. Every year, these supporters put on world-class shows that impress international and local delegates alike.

Information on the summit is available at here. There’s still time to register, but space if filling up quickly. I suggest you register today for the chance to network with the world’s most influential IT-BPO executives and their clients.

(Michael Alan Hamlin is the managing director of TeamAsia and a Manila-based author. His latest book is High Visibility: Transforming Your Personal and Professional Brand. Write him at mahamlin@teamasia.com and follow him on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.). Copyright © 2011 Michael Alan Hamlin. All Rights Reserved.)

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