Technology Matters: Future-Proofing the Philippines’ BPO SectorJam Macalino, February 22, 2017
The Philippines’ Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry remains one of the world’s most vibrant and flourishing industries. Not only does it provide jobs for millions of Filipinos, but it also helps sustain the country’s economy. In fact, it is estimated that the BPO sector would bring in revenues of up to $24 billion by the end of the year.
Foreign companies remain bullish on the Philippine market. Reports indicate that there are about a hundred international firms in talks with Philippine BPOs as they look to outsource their services not just in Metro Manila, but in Tier 2 and 3 cities such as Cebu, Davao, Iloilo where new opportunities are emerging. This means more employment opportunities, where it is estimated to produce 1.2 million jobs nationwide by the end of 2022, 500,000 of which will be outside NCR.
Given the increasingly competitive atmosphere of the local BPO market, C-level executives and key decision makers are continuously looking for ways to innovate and improve processes, while looking to cut costs. That’s why many decision makers are harnessing technology such as cloud computing, business analytics software, social media platforms and process automation software.
With the growing role technology plays in the BPO industry, the role of the critical infrastructure – from individual workstations to the main data center – becomes increasingly critical. A resilient and agile critical infrastructure is vital for the success of any technology-backed service. I have identified key infrastructure challenges faced by the BPO industry here in the Philippines and how to best approach them:
Challenge: Time to market. For BPO companies, speed is critical. It is important for BPOs to deliver customer services quickly and efficiently. As such, ensuring the availability of all IT assets is important, from the most basic of all workstations up to the data center itself. Due to the increasing pressure being put on these IT assets, BPO firms require scalable solutions that give them the flexibility and speed they need as the demand changes.
Approach: With technology becoming a huge player in the BPO business, C-level executives can consider moving away from per kW data center deployment and thinking about integrated data center infrastructures that combine all the essential elements of a data center – power, thermal and IT management – in a standardized design that’s rapidly deployable, highly efficient and space-saving. Not only do these integrated solutions provide the reliability and flexibility BPOs require, but they are also cost-effective for those looking to have provisions for their IT growth in the future.
Challenge: Critical infrastructure downtime. With increasing reliance on IT, any minute of downtime can be costly for the BPO business. On the average, the highest estimated cost of downtime in a single IT facility was calculated at approximately $2.5 million, according to a recent study conducted by Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute.
Approach: According to our recent study, UPS failure accounts for 25% of data center outages. It is critical for BPO companies to have reliable, flexible and efficiency backup power solutions in the event of sudden outages such as power fluctuations and disasters.
Challenge: Resiliency. For some areas in the Philippines, reliable, clean and consistent supply of power remains an issue. Some areas still experience blackouts or rotating brownouts. For BPO firms to successfully maintain or deploy IT services here, they need a power protection solution that provides steady backup power supply in case the main power source fails.
Approach: Having a disaster recovery plan is essential in every company. On the infrastructure side, power protection and management must be in place to reduce downtime in the effect of outages.
The key to addressing these infrastructure challenges is to have the right partner that can help provide the right solutions to address these requirements. At Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power), we have supported and are supporting several BPO firms here in the Philippines, helping them future-proof their critical infrastructure as they look to improve their business processes. We understand the critical nature of BPO services and offer power protection, thermal management and infrastructure management solutions for their critical infrastructure.
For example, in 2009, we helped a leading BPO firm build its new IT facility in Davao. This IT facility would provide inbound customer service, technical support, outbound sales, lead generation and back office work for a wide variety of industries. Due to the criticality of the project, the firm needed a reliable infrastructure that could provide the new facility with quality power. Working with our representatives, the firm was provided with high-efficiency UPS solutions that gave them full protection against any downtime. Moreover, the solution we provided was scalable and was able to meet the firm’s fast growth requirements within the next 10 years.