Leave it to Jamaica to build a new vision for the country-based Nearshore conference model.
This April, Jamaica will host the Caribbean’s first independently funded BPO conference in Montego Bay, supported by the nation’s government and existing BPO players and stakeholders.
Hosted by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), the Outsource2Jamaica Symposium & Expo (or O2J) will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Center (pictured) this April.
Launching under the theme of “Innovation through Digital Transformation”, O2J aims to attract a diverse group of local entrepreneurs, government officials, and BPO leaders, as well as global buyers and international industry experts. The conference is being launched as an annual event, demonstrating the real commitment the BPO community has to sustainable and focused market development.
“For Jamaican BPO, this a great opportunity to showcase the depth and quality of the local market,” said Gloria Henry, President of the BPIAJ. “The show will also highlight the strengths of our contact center, Information Technology Enabling Services (ITeS), and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) market space.”
Going It Alone
With several US multinational providers and captives in a sector consisting of 60 firms and over 25,000 employees, Jamaica is no doubt the top BPO location in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The fact that Jamaica is blazing its own path is a noteworthy achievement, indicating a willingness to pass on the opportunity to work with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has previously held events in Uruguay and Colombia with a similar namesake, and had reportedly offered to bring their conference platform to Jamaica.
“This is the first event that Jamaica is hosting by itself, and it’s certainly a big step for the country and the industry to define itself as a destination for outsourcing,” said Yoni Epstein, CEO of Itel-BPO Solutions, and a key speaker at the event.
“O2J will help educate attendees about Jamaica, and those who may overlook it for alternative destinations in Central or South America, which will lead to more business for local BPOs in the short- and medium-term.”
National Development and Goals
According to Henry, the Jamaican government has been behind the BPIAJ every step of the way, providing great support for the sector along with the investors and operators already in the country.
“Jamaica has been in the BPO industry for more than two decades now, and we’ve been growing steadily,” said Henry. “While most of the growth is in Montego Bay, spaces have been built on the Eastern end of the island, in Kingston, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, and Portmore, so this event is a great opportunity to showcase the new spaces being developed and the energy behind the training and development of our human capital.”
While Montego Bay is well-known for its customer support, the industry has started to utilize a pool of tertiary graduates in Kingston, where KPO is bulking up. Thanks to this source of human capital, Henry says, Kingston has recently become well-positioned for data analytics, legal process, outsourcing, finance and accounting, and IT outsourcing, something that will be showcased at O2J.
“Our hope is that O2J will improve Jamaica’s positon in the Nearshore market,” said Henry. “Jamaica is the largest English-speaking country in the region, we have a number of multinational and local providers settled in, and the workforce and industry as a whole is steadily moving up the value chain.”
O2J Activities and Info
O2J takes during Jamaica’s National Outsourcing Week 2018 (NOW 2018), a week-long combination of events and initiatives designed to promote and increase awareness of local BPO industry.
Attendees of the event can expect to visit some of the newest built-out facilities, with a chance to see agents at work. It also features presentations and talks from a number of industry thought-leaders, such as Dr. the Honorable Andrew Wheatley, MP and Minister of Science, Energy and Technology for Jamaica; Odetta Rockhead-Kerr, Country Head and Associate Vice President at Sutherland Jamaica; and Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director and Founder of Nearshore Americas.
Outsource2Jamaica Symposium & Expo is sponsored by the likes of C&W Business, Itel-BPO Solutions, Teleperformance, Collective Solution, and Fusion BPO, with support from Sutherland Global Services, Conduent, and C4 Global, according to Henry.
The conference takes place from April 11 to April 13, 2018. For more information and to register, visit the website by clicking here.