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Industry Research : More Than Just Talk: Philippines Eyes Broader Outsourcing Role

The Philippines will need more graduates and better trained professionals if it's to be a major force in the broader outsourcing market, where growth is in providing research and analytics for the legal, healthcare and financial industries.

In little more than a decade, the Philippines has overtaken India in running call-centres, helped by an affinity for the language, culture and work ethic of the United States, its former colonial master.

The number of Filipinos offering a cheery "Have a nice day" while working the graveyard shift to answer calls on behalf of multinational clients now far exceeds India's 350,000, and the government wants to double the market to $25 billion by 2016, employing 1.3 million workers.

But to do that the Southeast Asian nation must convince investors it has more to offer than just a huge pool of talent speaking English with an American accent.

Research firm Everest Group has forecast the global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry could be worth $220-$280 billion this year, with 90 percent of that in non-voice work - providing more complex skills and services in research and analytics for lawyers, doctors and bankers.

In the Philippines, non-voice work last year accounted for just over a fifth of total BPO revenues of $10.9 billion, but employed a third of the BPO workforce, or around 220,000 people.

"The goal is aggressive but achievable as long as we know one thing: that what got us here won't get us to where we need to be," said Maulik Parekh, president and CEO of outsourcing services provider SPi Global, part of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) (TEL.PS), the country's most valuable listed company.

"A lot of the focus of the tripartite relationship between the government, educational institutions and the private sector has been about English language skills. We need to start to focus on how we can have a thriving healthcare, publishing, finance, human resource, procurement, IT-related BPO," Parekh said.

India is expected to continue to dominate in outsourcing, with its first-mover advantage and skills in software development, but the Philippines has its eye on the non-voice market's potential.

"While some providers are leveraging the Philippines for non-voice functions, the scale of work is relatively low. However, tremendous market potential exists if service providers can successfully manage talent-related constraints," Nikhil Rajpal, partner at Everest, wrote in a study.

With China, Latin America and other Asian markets such as Malaysia also making strides in outsourcing, the Philippines must ensure it has a steady supply of professionals and highly-skilled workers to offer the more complex, added-value services to meet clients' changing and increasing demands.

In Manila, Cebu and beyond, demand for outsourcing is growing at around 20 percent a year, but the number of local university graduates is growing at only 3 percent, and only 5-8 percent of them are hire-able, based on government data, highlighting a need to re-engineer the country's educational system.

The Philippines has a 10-year basic education system, which the government is looking to extend by two years, by adding a pre-school kindergarten programme, to match its Asian rivals.

"The challenge is to be able to supply the human resources to support the industry both from the entry level to middle managers and executives," said Trade Secretary Gregorio Domingo.

The country turns out 470,000 accountants, lawyers, nurses and engineers each year, but that figure is dwarfed by the 4 million college graduates in India and 2 million in China.

The Americas remain the biggest clients for the Philippine outsourcing industry, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the domestic BPO market, but Europe, Australia and Japan are increasingly knocking at the door for business.

Some local BPO operators worry about the possible impact of U.S. President Barack Obama's election-year pledge to close tax breaks for companies that move U.S. jobs overseas and offer incentives to firms bringing those jobs back home.

But Jose Cuisia, Manila's ambassador to Washington, has sought to allay those fears, saying a pending bill in the U.S. Congress to end job exports lacks support from the Republicans that dominate the lower house of the Congress.

"I don't think that will pass, even in an election year," Cuisia said at a recent forum with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, noting that outsourcing backroom functions makes U.S. companies more competitive.

In its 2011 Global Services Location Index, consultancy firm A.T. Kearney ranked the Philippines 9th out of 50 outsourcing destinations, saying: "Politicians are using global services offshoring as an easy scapegoat for current economic woes and high unemployment levels in their home countries, stoking resentment against globalised firms and their host countries."

"Although signs of a slowdown in the growth of global services are evident in this environment, don't expect offshoring to end. In fact, the global services industry's full potential is ready to be tapped."

The growth in the Philippine outsourcing sector has made it indispensable to the economy and to employment, with local officials citing it as one of the reasons the country escaped recession in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

In 2009, when much of the world was reeling from the crisis, the United States invested $1.4 billion in the Philippine BPO sector, up from $986 million a year earlier, central bank data showed.

"The BPO industry is one that takes advantage of the strength of the Philippines, which is its people," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.

"It's an industry that not only offers direct employment (but) also supports the real estate industry and the service industry, and, together with remittances from Filipinos working abroad and tourism, will form part of the three strong legs that will be the platform for growth of the Philippines in the next years."

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Anticipate Volatility

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, March 9, 2012

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2022 Buyers Guide Remote Agent Solutions


Making sure agents can work remotely isn’t a problem with Branches. The system shows accurate information, real-time. No fear of missing out on important updates anymore.


Web Agent
Our Web Agent application is a web browser-based telephone agent interface for the Genesis Intelligent Series (IS) call center platform. The Genesis Web Agent application makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station.


Centrical Business Continuity & Remote Work Solutions
Centrical Solutions Help Sustain Business Continuity,
Keep Employees Engaged and Connected During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Centrical, provider of the holistic, real-time employee engagement and performance management platform, offers contact centers ways to

Keep calm and keep working remotely.

We offer solutions for business continuity in a crisis that provide effective engagement, communications, and reskilling of employees working from home, among other things. They will let you:

Reduce anxiety and isolation
The times we’re in require an extra effort to communicate and keep everyone connected. With Centrical, you can create an ongoing stream of communica...
(read more)

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™ Mobile
As we enter the next stage of the global pandemic, Contact Centers are faced with a new set of challenges to enable their Agents to Work-from-Home without impacting Customer Experience (CX). UniAgent™ Mobile is the ideal solution to enable Work-from-Home Agents using Tablets or Smartphones or PC without any VPN. UniAgent™ Mobile is compatible with Cisco CCE, CCX, PCCE and HCS-CC contact centers (both bridged and nailed connection). UniAgent™ Mobile is available as On-Premises or Cloud Solution which can be hosted in the Private Cloud, or on the Public Cloud (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc.). UniAgent™ Mobile can be deployed in conjunction with Cisco Unified Mobile Agent (CU...
(read more)

Dalbar Inc.

CXA iCoach
As a leading expert in contact center business practices, DALBAR recognizes the challenge of consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences with the sudden shift to remote teams. Our self-evaluation and coaching solution for remote representatives and virtual contact centers will let you meet these challenges head on. DALBAR's CXA iCoach solution, combines our proprietary criteria and over 40 years of industry research. It allows Contact Center Managers and Quality Teams to continue to improve and provide a better customer experience even when they aren't at a physical location.


CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.
CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS. This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!

MattsenKumar LLC

Virtual Contact Center Solutions
Our virtual contact center services help our clients to run their customer support processes (phone, chat, and email) remotely. Our well trained remote agents can help them deliver the best experience for their customers irrespective of the channels. With our data security measures, engaged workforce, and the right reporting tools, our clients are guaranteed with a satisfied customer base.

MFE International

Oracle LIVE Experience
Live Experience offers HD voice, video, Screen sharing and annotations for customer mobile users. Agents interacted with users using desktops or mobile. Applications are for Financial Services, Retail, Travel and Hospitality, Digital Services, Utilities, Coporate IT where remote HD video, screen share or annotation is needed for a great customer experience.

Nuxiba Technologies

Maintain your business operation from anywhere, even if your agents are at different locations!
Don't let COVID-19 stop you. Use our cloud contact center hosted software and continue your operation.
Monitor active campaigns in our administration module, have your agents receive and dial calls, access reports, have multi-channel interactions, and obtain 24/7 support.

Easy setup and usage, request a quote or schedule a live demo today!

Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development - For Remote Workers
Learning & Development for Remote Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.


VADS Indonesia Remote Agent Solutions helps your company with various features that can make it easier for you and your company to stay productive, can be accessed anywhere because it uses cloud-based licenses so that it can help you and your business activities run smoothly.The features that keep your company activities running and productive.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.

About us - in 60 seconds!

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