Nearshore Americas | The New Axis of Outsourcing Experts in BPO, IT and Software in Latin America and the Caribbean 2015-05-26T17:37:50Z http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/feed/atom/ Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Jamaica Tops the Global List for Female Leadership]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45419 2015-05-26T17:37:50Z 2015-05-26T17:37:50Z By Narayan Ammachchi Jamaica has the highest proportion of female managers in the world, with women accounting for 59.3% of all managers in the Caribbean nation, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO). But across most of the globe women continue to be under-represented at senior management levels in business, despite the fact that they are beginning to outnumber ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Jamaica has the highest proportion of female managers in the world, with women accounting for 59.3% of all managers in the Caribbean nation, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

But across most of the globe women continue to be under-represented at senior management levels in business, despite the fact that they are beginning to outnumber men in higher education.

Generally, the larger the company, the fewer women there are at the top. Women hold over 40% of jobs globally, yet most of the businesses where they have acquired leadership roles are small in size.

Women represent around only 5% of CEOs of the largest global corporations, and they own and run 30% of the businesses in 73 out of 128 countries for which data was available.

Most of the businesses in the developed world choose females to fill up management positions in communications, public relations, and human resources, but these positions do not lead them to becoming the head of a company.

Countries with over 40% of female representation in senior management positions included Slovenia, Philippines, Ecuador, Latvia, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

The ILO says numerous recent studies document the positive business outcomes gained in hiring/retaining more women at the highest levels as part of more diverse management teams.

In 2012, according to the Latin Business Chronicle, only 1.8% of companies in Latin America were run by women.

In Caribbean countries like Jamaica and Saint Lucia, women have a long history of accessing higher education. “In addition, there is a crisis of masculinity, with women assuming much of the social and economic responsibility of families and thus playing a greater role in decision-making generally,” the report added.

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Cuba ICT Session Includes Exclusive Research from NSAM]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45412 2015-05-26T15:45:41Z 2015-05-26T15:45:09Z By NSAM Team Cuba’s ICT outlook will be the subject of a special session at next week’s Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) “Network of the Future” conference in Dallas, and among the expert speakers at the gathering will be Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director at Nearshore Americas, who will highlight exclusive new research on the country’s formative IT and Internet roadmap.   The four-day ...

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By NSAM Team

Cuba’s ICT outlook will be the subject of a special session at next week’s Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) “Network of the Future” conference in Dallas, and among the expert speakers at the gathering will be Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director at Nearshore Americas, who will highlight exclusive new research on the country’s formative IT and Internet roadmap.  

The four-day conference attracts leading policymakers and communications industry executives, many of whom have begun analyzing Cuba as a new frontier for ICT given the special exceptions authorized by President Obama in December, permitting direct investment in Cuba telecommunications. As a result, the TIA – representing many of the world’s largest telecommunications providers and equipment vendors – has accelerated its focus on Cuba given the groundswell of interest from member  companies.

“From the first moment President Obama announced the rapprochement with Cuba, there has been lots of curiosity about Cuba’s prospects as an IT and BPO hub, and of course telecommunications and Internet infrastructure is an incredibly important variable impacting  its future,” says Laughlin.

The TIA session will be held in a breakfast-briefing format on June 4th at the Dallas Hyatt Regency. Taly Walsh, TIA’s vice president of networking and intelligence says about Cuba: “An opportunity now exists to leap over five generations of telecommunications technology and build out a modern, robust system.” In addition to addressing the opportunities, the session speakers will also look at the challenges – from Congressional action to regulatory ambiguities. In addition to Laughlin, the session will feature Dr. Margaret Crahan, Senior Research Scholar and Director, Cuba Program, Columbia University Institute for Latin American Studies, as well as Timothy Finton, Senior Counselor for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State.

Nearshore Americas’ Cuba ICT analysis is ongoing – a survey of Cuba IT professionals commenced last week, and researchers – including experts based in Cuba – are still gathering information that will provide crucial insights on the path the country is expected to take around nurturing a tech services industry. “Before there is real debate about the merits of Cuba’s ‘candidacy’ as Nearshore tech player, we believe strongly that facts and data need to be presented first, in order to then have a reasoned discussion. That is the real purpose of our research –which will be unlike anything we’ve done previously at NSAM,” said Laughlin. The research study will also be the focus of a free online webinar, currently scheduled to take place in July.

For more information and to register for TIA’s Network of the Future Conference, visit this page.

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Teleperformance to Offer Dutch-Language Customer Care from Suriname]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45409 2015-05-26T15:16:12Z 2015-05-26T15:16:12Z By Narayan Ammachchi Teleperformance is preparing to launch a delivery center in Suriname’s capital Paramaribo, from which the BPO firm will provide Dutch-language customer care service. The campus, which is being built in the heart of Paramaribo, will be staffed by about 200 people. “The new multichannel contact center will provide high-quality customer care, customer acquisition, and technical support solutions ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Teleperformance is preparing to launch a delivery center in Suriname’s capital Paramaribo, from which the BPO firm will provide Dutch-language customer care service.

The campus, which is being built in the heart of Paramaribo, will be staffed by about 200 people.

“The new multichannel contact center will provide high-quality customer care, customer acquisition, and technical support solutions to Benelux clients in Dutch,” stated the French outsourcing giant in a press release.

The news comes just months after Teleperformance announced the launch of an office in Guyana, a neighbor of Suriname. A former Dutch colony, Suriname is the only independent entity in the Americas where Dutch is spoken by the majority of the population.

The historic inner city of Paramaribo has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.

“What makes this unique are the added capabilities this gives our clients who need or will need alternative Dutch language delivery options. It is with great pride that we all welcome our newest members to the Teleperformance family,” said Paulo César Salles Vasques, CEO, Teleperformance Group.

With 182,000 employees and 270 contact centers in 62 countries, Teleperformance is the biggest voice-based BPO provider in the world.

Teleperformance is also expanding rapidly in the United States, where it employs more than 27,000 people. The outsourcer is now hiring another 400 customer care agents in Killeen, Texas and 300 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[As Oil Prices Fall, Caribbean Economies Begin to blossom]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45403 2015-05-25T16:38:26Z 2015-05-25T16:38:26Z By Narayan Ammachchi Thanks to sustained low oil prices and the region’s recovering tourism industry, the Caribbean economy has begun to break free of the shackles of debt incurred in the aftermath of 2008 global financial crisis. Economies in the Caribbean registered average growth of 1.5%  in 2014 and Moody’s says that growth will extend to 2% this year. “Government ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Thanks to sustained low oil prices and the region’s recovering tourism industry, the Caribbean economy has begun to break free of the shackles of debt incurred in the aftermath of 2008 global financial crisis.

Economies in the Caribbean registered average growth of 1.5%  in 2014 and Moody’s says that growth will extend to 2% this year.

“Government debt, which rose following the financial crisis, is slowly stabilizing or in some cases declining,” stated the US ratings agency, in a note to investors.

Debt ratios are stabilizing in Belize, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bermuda, St. Maarten and Trinidad & Tobago. Debt pressures are easing in the Cayman Islands, Moody’s added, although they are increasing in Barbados and St. Vincent.

Tourism is the central pillar of the economy in most Caribbean countries. Barbados, Belize, the Bahamas and St. Maarten are among the most dependent on tourism. With the US and UK economies gradually returning to normal, the tourism industry in the region foresees a brighter future.

“Although the rebound in tourism will help all Caribbean nations that rely on this industry, the individual credit effects will reflect each country’s dependence on this industry,” says Gabriel Torres, Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Lower oil prices have also helped spur tourism growth, with fuel costs for airlines dropping significantly in 2014 and expected to continue their decline in 2015. This will also support domestic demand and consumer spending by easing current and expected inflation levels.

However, lower prices hurt oil producer Trinidad & Tobago. “The sharp drop in energy prices will significantly reduce government revenues, the current account surplus and foreign direct investment flows,” Moody’s said.

While Belize is a net oil-importing country, the decline in its petroleum production will also reportedly have a significant negative effect on government finances.

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Indian Firms Fight Fiercely with Global Peers Over Large Outsourcing Deals]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45397 2015-05-25T15:33:49Z 2015-05-25T15:33:49Z By Narayan Ammachchi Indian outsourcing firms such as Cognizant and Wipro captured nearly a quarter of the top 100 outsourcing deals in 2014, according to a study by research firm IDC. Despite being small in size compared to their American peers, Indian BPO providers are proving strong competitors for large outsourcing deals. To strength their hand they are putting forward new offerings such as cloud ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Indian outsourcing firms such as Cognizant and Wipro captured nearly a quarter of the top 100 outsourcing deals in 2014, according to a study by research firm IDC.

Despite being small in size compared to their American peers, Indian BPO providers are proving strong competitors for large outsourcing deals. To strength their hand they are putting forward new offerings such as cloud and hosting services.

Analysts say that investing in more transformative capabilities in areas such as analytics, social media, and mobility, and enhancing strategic local capabilities and resources, have enabled them to compete successfully with well-established players.

Leveraging the offshore business model has also contributed greatly to their success, according to David Tapper, IDC’s Vice President, Outsourcing and Offshore Services.

According to IDC’s data, Indian outsourcing companies represented more than 50% of the total contract value of the top 100 outsourcing deals in 2014. In 2013, by comparison, they represented 43% of the total contract value.

Globally, the top five vendors – who include the likes of IBM and CGI – have continued to snap up nearly 50% of high-valued outsourcing deals. With US$13.8 billion worth of deals, IBM tops the list. CGI is ranked second, though the value of the contracts ($2.8 billion) it won is considerably lower.

Indian firms Cognizant and Wipro are quickly catching up with CGI, having won contracts worth $2.7 billion and $2.3 billion respectively.

The research firm says the number of mega deals is currently shrinking, as are the number of government contracts. Furthermore, very few providers are competing for mega deals, partly due to a belief that large deals can be very complicated to implement.

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Bianca Wright <![CDATA[Cracking the Innovation Code: LatAm IT Companies Need to Foster, Demonstrate Innovation]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45376 2015-05-22T10:22:49Z 2015-05-21T20:08:23Z By Bianca Wright Talking about innovation and being innovative are two different things. For software development companies, the need to innovate is paramount, yet the question always remains: how do you demonstrate innovation? More importantly, perhaps, how do you instil a culture of innovation among your developers? In an increasingly competitive IT environment, answering those two questions has never been ...

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By Bianca Wright

Talking about innovation and being innovative are two different things. For software development companies, the need to innovate is paramount, yet the question always remains: how do you demonstrate innovation? More importantly, perhaps, how do you instil a culture of innovation among your developers? In an increasingly competitive IT environment, answering those two questions has never been so vital.

During a Nexus panel discussion at the end of April, Alex Robbio, Co-Founder and President of Belatrix Software, pointed out that it is very easy to claim innovation, but more difficult to prove it. He noted that his company has adapted Ideo’s Design Thinking concept to foster innovation among its developers.

In a statement on the Ideo website, president and CEO Tim Brown, explained that Design Thinking is “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Drive For Innovation

This concept ties into a larger trend to combine design into the broader development framework. Gustavo Aguirre, the new VP of Innovation at Latin American software development company Globant, said: “What we are seeing lately is a stronger and stronger demand to merge design and innovation from the very beginning in all our software development engagements.”

Aguirre added that this is driven by customer demand. “For example today, as customers when using a mobile banking application, we do not compare its design and user experience with other mobile banking apps, but we expect it to be as ‘cool’ as any other application we have on our smartphone,” he said. “We are seeing the same behavior with corporate employees; they expect the company’s internal applications to be as user-friendly and innovative as the applications they use outside the corporate world.”

Aguirre noted that previously innovation and design were done by specialized boutique companies and then were specifications sent to an engineering company. “This was obviously a very inefficient process, so nowadays the market demands all these practices – innovation, design and engineering – to be integrated,” he said.

One possible approach to greater innovation is what Sam Elfawal, President for U.S. Operations at Neoris, calls co-innovation. Co-innovation, he noted, is about partnerships that help to stimulate innovation. He emphasised in a Practical Insights post that “In order to succeed, co-innovation efforts must have the 4Cs: collaboration, cost-containment, continuity, and commitment. For today’s global IT and consulting services providers, it is imperative to mold ourselves into top rated co-innovation partners for our clients. This can be accomplished by adopting on-shore or near-shore models to deliver the 4Cs, and promoting the advantage of regional proximity and lower labor costs.”

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Aguirre explained that innovation is about culture. “It is not a single thing. For example, at Globant the offices layout is built thinking about innovation and collaboration, special rooms for brainstorming, whiteboards everywhere, 3D printing labs — even the desks are organized such that there are spaces in between for collaboration,” he said.

He added that they also do many innovation-related activities, like brainstorming sessions, or organizing FlipThinking Sessions where they bring experts from different fields to talk about subjects that may seem unrelated to our business: NeuroScience, Rockets and Satellites, Biotech, Nuclear Engineering, and so on.

Patrick Millar, Co-Founder and CMO at Formatic.Ly, emphasized that if providers in Latin America want to succeed — within the context of, for example, SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) technologies — they need to demonstrate their ability in the innovation space. “Providing software development services is a low margin business. In this ‘me too’ space where skill differences are quickly leveled, the advantage goes to providers who can add clear value by innovating with their clients during the development process. In many cases this will require clients to be more agile in their processes, but it also requires providers to create an environment that encourages innovation and to coach employees on how to innovate,” he said.

Not Ideal For Innovation

Recent steps towards insourcing in some quarters has been linked, by some, to lack of innovation in outsourced environments. Bill Huber, Managing Director at Alsbridge, explained that one key driver behind the move to insourcing is that outsourcing has fallen short of its promise to deliver innovation and transformation. “By taking services back in house, organizations often believe that they can achieve the benefits of labor arbitrage, while bringing more flexibility and focus on the customer,” he said.

Huber added: “The problem is that in traditional outsourcing, business cases are focused on cost take-out rather than improving the effectiveness of service or enabling business objectives. The result is that contracts are structured with rigid service levels to reduce costs rather than enrich business services.”

Mike Slavin, Managing Director of Alsbridge said: “Traditional large infrastructure outsourcing relationships have been unsuccessful at driving innovation because of their basic commercial constructs.” He added that very few, if any, agreements have items such as a standing innovation committee or an innovation fund built into the deals.

Slavin said: “Many innovative projects, such as moving to cloud, potentially cannibalize existing revenue streams and assets that are not fully depreciated. That means that, under the traditional constructs, providers have a clear disincentive to push for innovation.”

He agreed that functions being repatriated are often related to innovation, and the data does clearly shows that lack of innovation is one of the top three complaints that clients have about outsourcing. “So while there are certainly other factors driving smaller and shorter deals, that repatriation of certain functions has been a contributor,” he said.

Huber went on to explain that lawyers seek to “de-risk” outsourcing contracts and fail to include innovation elements, which in any event are difficult to define legally. “Another problem is that sponsorship and governance of outsourcing are frequently done at an operational rather than strategic level, with a ‘keep-the-lights-on’ focus,” Huber said.

The potential perception that outsourced environments may not foster innovation means that Latin American companies need to ensure that their innovation is recognized and that they put in place strategies to encourage the required kind of innovation in their development teams. As Aguirre noted: “You should have innovation as an important corporate value, and encourage and reward innovation.”

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Xerox and ACT to Expand Operations, Create 2,000 New Jobs in Jamaica]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45379 2015-05-21T15:25:46Z 2015-05-21T15:25:46Z By Narayan Ammachchi Advanced Call Center Technologies and Xerox are due to significantly expand their operations in Jamaica, with the global BPO firms leasing more space at the Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, they have occupied “all the available space” in the 50,000-square foot facility at the tech park. A statement on the Jamaican government website claims the ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Advanced Call Center Technologies and Xerox are due to significantly expand their operations in Jamaica, with the global BPO firms leasing more space at the Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, they have occupied “all the available space” in the 50,000-square foot facility at the tech park.

A statement on the Jamaican government website claims the BPOs will create as many as 2,000 jobs by the end of this year.

Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACT) has a strong presence in Jamaica, where it has been operating for the past five years. According to the Jamaican government, ACT already runs nine delivery centers in Montego Bay alone.

Some local reports say the company will hire an additional 250 agents by the end of the summer.

Built by the real estate firm Mark Kerr-Jarrett, and armed with high-speed Internet and a round-the-clock electricity supply, the Barnett Tech Park is the centerpiece of BPO infrastructure in Jamaica.

ACT’s CEO Joseph Lembo has stated that he is in talks with the constructor to build another facility for the firm, increasing its floor space to 250,000 square feet.

The new facility, likely to be ready for occupation within the next two years, will take the company’s total headcount to 8,000, Lembo said.

“Our business is very competitive and we earn business based on performance. Since we have taken over this part of the business, our team here has outshone most of our competitors,” Lembo added.

Xerox, believed to be the largest BPO operator in Jamaica, said it will add 50,000 square feet to its operation and hire another 900 people.

Furthermore, the outsourcer has also unveiled plans to launch three more call centers in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, adding another 1,000 employees to its current workforce of over 6,000 in the country.

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[World Economic Forum Lauds Barbados’ Tourism Infrastructure]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45371 2015-05-20T16:56:52Z 2015-05-20T16:56:52Z By Narayan Ammachchi Barbados has the best tourism infrastructure in the Caribbean, while the Dominican Republic is the region’s most-visited country, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report. Tourism forms the central pillar of economies across the region, but the WEF report has urged regional governments to focus on improving transport and Internet infrastructure, pointing out ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

Barbados has the best tourism infrastructure in the Caribbean, while the Dominican Republic is the region’s most-visited country, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report.

Tourism forms the central pillar of economies across the region, but the WEF report has urged regional governments to focus on improving transport and Internet infrastructure, pointing out that they rely heavily on their famous beaches.

According to the report, a lack of UNESCO natural heritage sites and reluctance in protecting lands are the reasons why the Caribbean’s tourism growth is slowing. Meanwhile, in Central and South America, infrastructure gaps, safety and security and business environment issues are the main hurdles restraining further growth in the sector.

“Most Caribbean economies rely extensively on their famous beaches but do not seem to sufficiently promote their cultural resources. More efforts in promoting and leveraging their cultural heritage could further improve their competitiveness,” the report noted.

In Latin America, the most-visited countries are Brazil and Mexico. The report regards the new Quito International Airport as the most important piece of infrastructure for bolstering tourism sector in Ecuador.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games have led Brazil to invest huge sums of money in infrastructure and connectivity, helping the country rank 41st in airport infrastructure and 3rd in the number of sports stadiums.

With approximately 60.6 million arrivals, Spain tops the WEF ranking. Thanks to its Latin American connections, Spain is seeing a sudden surge in tourism from Mexico and Brazil.

The WEF has urged countries to focus on improving their broadband infrastructure to draw more tourists, saying that Internet access during a trip is increasingly seen as a necessity. A recent study by Boston Consulting Group estimates that 95% of people use digital resources to organize a trip.

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Duncan Tucker <![CDATA[Automation and Client Demands Drive Evolving BPO Skill Sets]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45358 2015-05-20T15:59:55Z 2015-05-20T15:59:55Z By Duncan Tucker As clients grow more demanding and technological advances facilitate the onset of automated work, BPO workers must become more flexible and rounded, with universal skill sets that enable them to perform a broader range of tasks. Meanwhile, in order to improve retention and develop a more mature and sophisticated workforce, their employers must invest in more comprehensive ...

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By Duncan Tucker

As clients grow more demanding and technological advances facilitate the onset of automated work, BPO workers must become more flexible and rounded, with universal skill sets that enable them to perform a broader range of tasks.

Meanwhile, in order to improve retention and develop a more mature and sophisticated workforce, their employers must invest in more comprehensive training programs and ensure that staff see tangible long-term career opportunities within their organization. That was the message that executives from BPO giants Capgemini and Teleperformance conveyed to Nearshore Americas when questioned about how the evolution of skill sets required for global BPO work.

Jean-Christophe Ravaux, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Business Transformation at Capgemini, affirmed that today’s BPO workers need more Cloud and analytics training as well as further specialist training to oversee automated work. For this reason, he said, Capgemini has adopted a new curriculum in order to meet the levels of demand and sophistication that clients are now demanding.

“In terms of skill sets we’ve moved drastically from being a strong business operator to a more holistic engagement executive role,” Ravaux said. Rather than mere back-end support staff, Capgemini’s BPO workers are more like front-end consultants specialized in different industries and with a broad capacity to grow and work on diverse projects, he explained. “After a couple of years they become team leaders. Every 18 to 24 months our staff change roles. They change clients and they change industries,” Ravaux added, noting that having multi-talented staff like this makes the company more credible in the eyes of its clients.

Capgemini recently doubled its presence in North America through the acquisition of Indian technology services provider iGATE, Ravaux said. He could not reveal how many staff the company is taking on from iGATE in the nearshore region but he said that the acquired firm’s assets and vertical-centric IT solutions will complement Capgemini’s operations nicely: “We bring the methodology and they bring these capabilities and products and I think that should be a very positive combination.” Noting that 40% of iGATE’s business is related to financial services, Ravaux said the acquisition will reinforce Capgemini’s finance-related offerings in Brazil, although this is a market area where the company was already particularly strong. Taking on iGATE’s Mexican operations will also complement Capgemini’s BPO operations in neighboring Guatemala, which have also “recorded massive growth,” he added.

Skills and Certification Challenges

Alejandro Hernandez, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Teleperformance in Mexico, told Nearshore Americas that there is a greater demand for what he describes as “universal profiles.” He explained, “I see more and more approval of profiles when the need is for people with universal skills who can change from one kind of call to another, thus giving clients a more flexible workforce. Before agents worked in customer service, technical support or sales, but now clients want people to be able to handle all three. It’s something that they’re demanding now so us BPOs need to have the ability to develop or identify the right talent to meet their needs.”

Hernandez noted that is also greater demand for BPO workers with a higher level of educational experience today. Clients “prefer for staff to have past experience, or high school or further education. This educational experience gives you greater flexibility and maturity, basic skills for being able to tend to customers,” he said. “There are people out there but it can be hard to find those with the right profile. Sometimes those who are available in the market didn’t finish high school because they moved to the United States or started their own business. They have the right abilities but they don’t have the certifications,” Hernandez added. “So I think we must work with the government through open school programs to solve this problem, so that the people who are apt and available are able to obtain the certifications in order to meet the requirements that clients establish in their contracts.”

Ravaux agreed that a lack of certified workers had been posing a problem for Capgemini. In a bid to resolve this issue, he said, “We’ve invented a BPO certification around transformation capability for people who can do content modeling and have consulting skill sets – they’re a different kind of talent.” Capgemini has developed its own universities and academies which offer training and certification programs based on a curriculum devised by the company. “We’re perfecting these models, area by area and industry by industry,” Ravaux said of Capgemini’s training programs.

In order to accelerate the development of Capgemini’s most talented new employees, the company has also introduced a mentoring program that partners vice presidents with high-performing employees of the opposite gender. The idea is to bring together people with different experiences from different generations, genders, cultures and put bright new recruits in “situations where they can further demonstrate their ability,” Ravaux said. “We get them certified because we’re not deviating from the curriculum that we’ve put in place, but they will be progressing a bit faster than others. It’s also good for retention. This is a way to show that we genuinely do care about people. When you’ve got top leaders coaching individuals from other parts of the organization then the loyalty we show people is paid back ten times over.”

Teleperformance has also “evolved and been working very hard on our training programs,” Hernandez said: “We have programs in which we provide participants with opportunities to develop their skills so that they can become supervisors or coaches or work in quality assurance. We’ve changed the content of our curriculum because times have changed. I think this is essential for any BPO or any organization because if you stop investing in your first-line management then you’re done for.”

Improving Retention

Ravaux repeatedly emphasized the crucial importance of retention and creating clear career paths for employees. “This is a talent industry and we try to avoid a talent war. We select people who can climb the ladder or the pyramid,” he said. “We need to be smarter and faster than our rivals. We always need to be ahead. We’re in an industry where to do nothing is not an option. To retain our people we not only need to have more and more clients but also to elevate our training programs and create more interesting jobs. That’s what we’ve been working on for the last five or six years. This is why people stay with us.”

Encouraging employees to frequently work in new areas instead of one fixed-position not only makes them more flexible and attractive workers but also keeps them motivated and mentally stimulated, Ravaux added. “When you look at the new generation their attention span is reduced to 12 to 18 months. So they need that stimulus,” he said. “But not many clients – even global corporations – can offer work that is not position-based. So if they don’t get a promotion after two or three years the employees move on because they are bored and nobody’s investing in their education.”

Even when Capgemini does lose staff, Ravaux said it’s not uncommon to see them return within a few years: “We have clients poaching our talent from time to time because of their expertise. They overpay them to attract them but after two years they often get bored because it’s position-based, they’re working with just one client and soon they’ve had enough and they come back to us.”

Overall, he believes Capgemini offers “a pretty rich career path.” Many people start out there almost by accident and only regard it as a short-term option, he admitted, “but then they realize that after many years in the business they’re enjoying it more and more because they can grow as people leaders, take on added responsibilities and have partner roles.”

Hernandez described the perception of BPO work as a short-term career option as an undeniable problem for the industry, but one that can be overcome. “There are some businesses out there who don’t take human capital seriously,” he said, “but we have a policy of investing heavily in our people; we’re constantly carrying out employee satisfaction surveys and we’re certifying more and more sites with the Great Place to Work institute. I think we must work very hard to show people that they can develop here. We have many success stories of directors and managers who started out taking calls.” Hernandez added: “Nearshore workers tend to have strong social and cultural aspirations. They’re people that have lived in the United States or studied English and they want to keep growing. We try to make sure that they have very clear career paths so that they understand how far they can go. I think if you give people a clear idea of how far they can go then those that are focused will achieve it.”

Finding the Right Profiles

In Latin America there is a growing need for profiles with greater technical skills and high-tech knowledge,” Hernandez said. “The way in which people contact our staff is changing. We’re evolving from the telephone to social networks,” he added. “Although the telephone is still the principal means of reaching customers, it’s very important that we bear in mind that social networks are the channel of the future.”  When it comes to finding talent with the right skill sets, Hernandez said he believes in-house training is more important than an ability to find the perfect potential employee. He also stressed that “the government a needs to work with us to develop the industry as an important source of employment.”

Hernandez explained: “One of the greatest needs of all Latin American countries is for job creation and we see ourselves as great generators of employment. So we need to talk to our governments and say ‘hey, help us out with this.’ I think if we work together we can achieve our aims. In Mexico I think there are about 80,000 or 90,000 people employed in the BPO industry and we’re a country of 120 million inhabitants. Surely there are more people out there who could be working in this industry.”

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Narayan Ammachchi <![CDATA[Bahamas Reviews Internet Security after Hackers Hit Government Sites]]> http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/?p=45363 2015-05-20T15:48:39Z 2015-05-20T15:48:39Z By Narayan Ammachchi The Bahamas government says it is reviewing its entire Internet infrastructure after an Islamist group allegedly hacked several of its official websites. The news comes barely a month after St Vincent complained that a radical Islamist group affiliated to Islamic State (IS) hacked some of its sites. All the hacked sites have now been restored, Prime Minister Perry ...

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By Narayan Ammachchi

The Bahamas government says it is reviewing its entire Internet infrastructure after an Islamist group allegedly hacked several of its official websites.

The news comes barely a month after St Vincent complained that a radical Islamist group affiliated to Islamic State (IS) hacked some of its sites.

All the hacked sites have now been restored, Prime Minister Perry G. Christie told parliament. Christie did not blame the Islamic State but accused a Tunisian Islamist group, known as Fallaga Team, of defacing the government sites.

The hacked sites include www.bahamas.comwww.bahamasfilm.com as well as the site of the country’s tourism ministry.

“Defaced sections of the government-owned websites were quickly removed and a corrected version redeployed and with the restoration of all compromised pages, all affected websites are now back to normal modes of operation,” the government said in a statement.

To prevent similar hacks in the future, government has set up a committee of industry experts to review the country’s entire Internet infrastructure.

“All government websites have been checked for possible breaches, safeguarded and reinforced against potential vulnerabilities by the implementation of software patching,” added the government statement.

The committee, comprised of technology experts from both the public and private sectors, will meet regularly and help the government formulate policies with respect to cyber security.

“This matter has been given serious attention and we will spare no effort in protecting and safeguarding these valuable assets,” stated the country’s Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

Another committee, made up of experts including a retired FBI cyber security agent, is said to be preparing to train Bahamian officials in ethical hacking in order to enable them to intercept and block such security threats quickly.

The post Bahamas Reviews Internet Security after Hackers Hit Government Sites appeared first on Nearshore Americas | The New Axis of Outsourcing.

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