A new wave of industrial revolution is shaking up the landscape of the IT-business management (IT-BPM) process industry not just globally but more so locally. This ushers in challenges that must be overcome collectively.
Currently, the local IT-BPM industry earmarks an annual revenue of $27.1bn (PHP1.41 trillion)—about 18% of the total global IT-BPM industry which stands for about $83bn (PHP4.32 trillion), based on latest data from the global think tank The Everest Group.
“Logically, a shift in the priority for professionals’ level of skills required to perform tasks will have an impact to the Philippine IT-BPM industry, particularly to the contact center sub-sector,” said Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) President Jojo Uligan.
The contact center segment of the industry keeps a big slice of the pie—accounting for annual revenue of $14.6bn (PHP759.2bn) and employing more than 890,000 call center professionals nationwide.
With the changing requirements brought about by the evolving landscape of the global IT-BPM industry, a shift from low-level-skill tasks into mid-skill and high-skill tasks is logically inevitable.
“As CCAP together with the rest of the contact center sector has been emphasizing for quite some time now, we have taken a proactive approach to this change,” Uligan said. “It is a common knowledge in our industry that we have already been implementing changes in job tasks and description to cope with the evolving requirements.”
In a previous analysis by industry consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, tasks that require basic skills (low-level) in the global BPO landscape is projected to decline by 29% by 2022. At the same time, mid-skill jobs are expected to rise by 12%, while positions that require higher skills are projected to jump by 19%.
New customer expectations
From the traditional focus, which is customer services delivery, the Philippine contact center sector is now geared towards an emerging priority—customer experience delivery. During the recent Contact Islands summit organized by CCAP in the second half of 2018, the evolving customer expectations were identified.
Thus, local contact center firms now prioritize quick and accurate resolution, personalized interactions, demand for a self-service option, interaction in customers’ preferred channel, and seamless/consistent experience. Disruptive technologies also point to automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence to meet the delivery of customer experience (CX).
“Mid- and high-skilled jobs are getting more demand in our industry. Our professionals are now finding their selves more engaged in complicated tasks that require experience or specialized expertise paired with abstract reasoning and situational response/autonomy,” Uligan explained.
Based on the results of internal research by CCAP, mid- and high-skilled jobs in the contact center sector account for 85% of positions. That is ahead compared to a projection by Frost & Sullivan that about 73% of the global IT-BPM industry will be covering mid- and high-skilled jobs by 2022.
Uligan assured that the Philippine contact center sector is taking the necessary steps to overcome the challenges brought about by this shift. “The industry is investing heavily in training for both entry-level and tenured positions,” he said.
As a leader in its sector, CCAP regularly facilitates specialized programs throughout the year to further equip agents of their member-organizations amid an aggressive shift in job priorities. Those events cater to various players in the sector—Contact Islands, GenNext, and Team Leader Summit. It has also spearheaded breakthrough programs like collaboration with the academic sector to promote industry-relevant curriculum, teacher training, and student immersive activities.