Cebu’s ICT-BPM industry in ‘a new wave’ of outsourcing

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Thursday, May 22, 2014


WITH the setting up of big-time foreign companies involved in shared services, health information and insurance management in Cebu, a key stakeholder believes Cebu’s information and communications technology and business process management (ICT-BPM) industry is now “going up the value chain.”

Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology executive director Wilfredo Sa-a Jr. said in a press conference yesterday that the advancement of Cebu’s ICT-BPM will present employment opportunities for the locals, particularly nurses and those in the medical field with the growing number of health information and insurance management (HIIM) companies locating in Cebu.

Among the big players in the field are United Health Group, ExlService Philippines Inc., Cognizant, QBE Insurance and Manulife Business Processing Services.

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In the field of shared services, Lexmark Shared Service Center and new player Daimler Group Services are also doing well in its Cebu operations, reported Sa-a.

“We are now in the new wave of outsourcing….a higher-value outsourcing,” Sa-a told reporters.

Yet despite the promising growth of Cebu’s ICT-BPM, industry players have also expressed concern with the full integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in two years’ time.

As part of the integration’s preparation, Cedfit and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry have organized the 2014 Cebu ICT-BPM Conference and Expo, one of the activities of Cebu Business Month, on June 2 and 3 at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.

The conference will focus on the Asean integration and its impact to Cebu’s ICT-BPM industry.

One of the effects of the integration, Sa-a cited, is the possibility of Cebu professionals and IT talents to move to other Asean countries like Singapore to work.

“Even now, there are already people (IT professionals) going to Singapore (for employment),” Sa-a said.

To better understand the issue, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora Terrado will further discuss the topic during the first day of the conference.

Aside from talent mobility, other concerns related to social media, mobile applications, start-ups and disaster-preparedness will also be discussed.

Speakers and panellists include a mix of foreign and local experts like Franco Eisma of Amazon Web Services, Dr. Donald Lim of ABS CBN, Khailee Ng of 500 Startups Malaysia, Paul Santos of Wavemaker Labs Singapore, and Henry Schumacher of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines among many others.

Another topic that Sa-a finds interesting is a discussion on “impact sourcing” or the implementation of outsourcing jobs in the countryside. This will be discussed by Guia Bengzon of Accenture and Ron Cirujano of Elance.

An updated Global Startup Report will also be presented at the conference by Beryl Li.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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